BEIJING, March 10 (Xinhua) — Thomas Bach proposed that “together” to be added into the Olympic slogan of “faster, higher, stronger” after being re-elected as the president of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) during the virtual 137th IOC Session organized from Lausanne, Switzerland on Wednesday.
Being the only candidate for the election, the incumbent president won 93 out of 94 valid votes from IOC members through an online voting system to serve the presidency until 2025, as the IOC rules prescribe a first eight-year term for a president and another four years in case of re-election. Four members abstained from voting.
“Thank you very much from the bottom of my heart,” he said. “This is more overwhelming given the reforms and difficult decisions we had to take.”
The re-elected president then stressed that his campaign motto for his first run “unity in diversity” will continue to be true in his second and last term, before calling on a discussion with the IOC members and the Olympic community to add “together” in the Olympic motto.
“We could add after a hyphen – together. Faster, higher stronger – together,” he noted, before saying “Thank You” in nine different languages.
As decided by the IOC Executive Board, the elected president will take office after the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, which will take place from July 23 to August 8, 2021.
The German has served his first term of office since being elected in September 2013, during which he pushed forward several reforms to the IOC and the Olympic Movement, including Olympic Agenda 2020 adopted in December 2014, under the mindset of “to change or to be changed.”
He also geared the IOC to tackle challenges including mounting tension in the Korean Peninsula before PyeongChang 2018 and a joint decision with Japan to postpone the Tokyo 2020 for the historic first time facing the global COVID-19 pandemic.
“There is no doubt the opening ceremony (of Tokyo 2020) will take place on July 23,” Bach reiterated in his opening remarks.
Bach, 67, is a German lawyer and fencing champion at Montreal 1976.