Thomas Bach

Week 1 (7 - 13 September 2013)

Thomas Bach succeeded Jacques Rogge as president of the International Olympic Committee at the 125th IOC Session in Buenos Aires after the German walked the perfect communications line in the final week of his campaign.

Bach, who is the first Olympic medallist to take the presidency, was the stand-out favourite in the lead-up to the vote, meaning any slip-up would be magnified and seized upon by the media. His challenge was to appear presidential yet without arrogance every single time he entered a room or held a conversation.

At no point in his final week did the 59-year-old stray from his task, remaining calm and dignified throughout, even in the face of rumour and conspiracy theories. Bach's spokesperson, Christian Klaue, helped sustain this relaxed image through calm reassurances and by arranging background briefings for the media when appropriate.

That Bach would play the final week in Buenos Aires with a steady hand is no surprise: it had been the hallmark of his campaign.

The Montreal 1976 fencing gold medallist in the team foil was the first to announce he would run for president of the IOC in May and wasted no time outlining his extensive vision to the media with a series of telephone interviews. By Buenos Aires the leg work was done, with some quarters of the media even suggesting that the majority of Bach's presidency pitch had been made over the previous ten years. But Bach never saw it like that, always projecting a humble yet quiet confidence. It proved an excellent strategy.

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