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Masters of the IOC universe: Putin, Gazprom, oligarchs and sheikhs

The so-called Olympic movement has showed a surprisingly strong interest in the first part of the report on the presidential race in the International Olympic Committee (IOC). The acronym ABB seems to have electrified people. It stands for “Anyone But Bach” – referring to the clear favorite among the six contenders for the IOC Presidency, the German Thomas Bach.
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On April 21st this year, most senior IOC officials met in Tianjin, northern part of China. On this day, the „Juan Antonio Samaranch Memorial Museum“ was opened, planned by the architect Ching-Kuo Wuo (Taiwan), another one of the six presidential candidates. At this occasion a conspiratorial-sounding abbreviation was used for the first time. ABT: „Anything but Thomas“. Sometime in May it changed to ABB.

Of course, the five challengers of Thomas Bach discreetly promote the ABB story among their peers. But one of them, Ser Miang Ng from Singapore, currently thought to be number two or three in the presidential race, now argues more offensively with a historical fact:

There have been eight presidents in IOC history. Seven from Europe, one from the U.S. – but none from the biggest and most populous continent. None from Asia.

So perhaps the ABB will be replaced by an ABE: From anywhere but Europe?

Withering whispers of IOC members: ABB. Anything But Bach?

First of all. What one of my readers recommended:

… says Michael R. Payne, longtime IOC marketing director, „father of olympic branding“.

Here’s the analysis, written for my friends at Play the Game, sometimes off base :), but widely independent from spin doctors.

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[caption id="attachment_16086" align="aligncenter" width="1536"]IOC headquarter, Lausanne IOC headquarter, Lausanne[/caption]

The Catholic Church has had eleven popes since 1894. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) had just eight presidents since its birth in 1894.

Eleven popes. Eight IOC presidents. In 119 years.

That says a lot about continuity in the so-called Olympic family.

Elections do not take place very often in the IOC. But this year, on 10 September at the 125th IOC Session in Buenos Aires, the successor to the incumbent Belgian Jacques Rogge (71) will be elected. The members have the choice, in the true sense of the word choice. It’s about the most important post of world sport. Six men want the power and want to be the ninth president in the history of the IOC. Of course the IOC is far from ready for a female president.

The six aspirants for the crown all have an extended background in sports administration. Some of them are very rich. Three of them have been Olympic athletes. With Bach and Bubka there are two Olympic champions among the candidates.

In the official Olympic language it has been said that all of them are strong candidates.

But in reality: some are stronger than others.

In June 2013 there is one frontrunner, one favourite.