Lausanne (Switzerland): One week to the day after being elected the ninth president of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), Thomas Bach took over the reins from his predecessor, Jacques Rogge, at the IOC headquarters on Tuesday.
Bach spent his first day in meetings with Honorary President Rogge, IOC Director General Christophe De Kepper and the IOC directors. The day was capped with a reception for the IOC administration to welcome the new president and bid farewell to the former.
"President Bach and I were elected as IOC members at the same Session in 1991 in Birmingham, Great Britain," Rogge reminisced. "He is an Olympic champion, a team builder, a sports leader. And he knows he can rely on you. I tell you, you can also rely on him."
President Bach, who took the podium following a round of applause for the outgoing president, joked that he had received "a lot of advice - or instructions" from his predecessor over the last few days, drawing a hearty chuckle and reproaching gesture from Rogge. "It doesn't matter what you call it, I'll follow it anyway," Bach responded.
The 59-year-old German is no stranger to the IOC headquarters or Lausanne, having spent 22 years as an IOC member and the last eight years on the IOC Executive Board. He was also the founding president of the German Olympic Sports Confederation (DOSB), a post he resigned from Sep 16.
"One man alone or a group alone can never be successful. It always depends on the entire team - each and every person," Bach said.
"This is why I am looking to the future with great confidence. I have a really great team in front of me. I want you to continue to be a part of the team and to continue to contribute to build on the same successful path we have been on."
President Bach's first official trip will be to Olympia, Greece, Sep 29 for the ceremony of lighting the Olympic flame, marking the start of the Olympic Torch Relay for the Sochi 2014 Olympics.
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