IOC chief urges a revamp of the Olympic Games
Bangkok: The International Olympic Committee (IOC) chief , Thomas Bach, urged delegates to approve a wide-ranging revamp of the Olympic Games, which is likely to include a shake-up of the sports and the introduction of a new TV channel.
Bach was addressing about 1,000 representatives at the Association of National Olympic Committees general assembly (ANOC) in Bangkok yesterday, ahead of the release of 40 proposals which will be voted on next month.
"We have been discussing for one year. Now is the time for agreeing on something," the IOC president said.
IOC delegates will be provided the full details of the proposals in two days. These will then be published next week before being put to a vote at the IOC's extraordinary session in Monaco on December 8.
"Now we are sitting in the driver's seat of the bus. If we don't make these changes now, others will drive this bus and we will have to sit on the back seat of the bus and have to hope that the driver is going in the right direction," said Bach.
Measures under discussion include a year-round digital TV channel and an end to the limit on the number of sports contested. Host cities will also be allowed to propose sports.
Hosting bids will have to focus on the event's legacy to each city. The revamp is also aimed at putting the focus on athletes and youth, and improving the IOC's organisation and structure.
Bach, who has ambitions of placing the Olympics at the heart of modern "society" -- a word he mentioned some 20 times -- said the time was ripe for a makeover after the successful Games at London and Sochi.
"The reason to change is because we are successful, because if you don't change when you are successful, the time will come and will come very fast when you are forced to change," he said.
"We can already see some challenges on the horizon. If we miss this opportunity, then the window of opportunity will be closed."
The 204-member ANOC is an umbrella grouping of the world's national Olympic committees led by the influential Kuwaiti Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah, who also heads the Olympic Council of Asia.