50 Most Influential: Vladimir Putin
President of Russia
CHANGE FROM 2012: NEWCOMER
Moments after Thomas Bach was named president of the International Olympic Committee, he received a call from Putin. The call came as no surprise. Russian delegates to the IOC were a major lobbying force behind Bach’s election, and the political future of Bach and Putin will be determined by the success of the Sochi Games. Putin picked Sochi, put it forward as an Olympic host city and has remained heavily involved in all aspects of its development, from pushing oligarchs to develop resorts and hotels in the area to firing a member of the Russian Olympic Committee because of cost overruns.