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New International Olympic Committee President Is Thomas Bach Of Germany

The International Olympic Committee has elected a new president, naming Germany's Thomas Bach to replace outgoing chief Jacques Rogge, who served in the post for 12 years. Bach was chosen by secret ballot on the last day of meetings in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

An Olympic fencer whose successes include a gold medal at the 1976 Montreal Games, Bach later became an executive at Adidas. He was widely seen as the favorite in the race to lead the IOC.

Bach, 59, will become the ninth president in the IOC's 119 years. He will serve an eight-year term, with an option of running for an additional four-year term.

Speaking to the crowd gathered in Argentina, Bach said "thank you" in several languages — to those who voted for him, and to his rival candidates. He then said his term as IOC president would be informed by his motto: "Unity in diversity."

"I want to be a president for all of you," he said.

In winning the IOC post, Bach beat out five other candidates: Sergey Bubka of Ukraine, Richard Carrión of Puerto Rico, Ser Miang Ng of Singapore, Denis Oswald of Switzerland, and Ching-Kuo Wu of Chinese Taipei.

Wu was eliminated in the first round; the voting stopped after a winner was chosen in the second round.

Under IOC rules, a new president must receive a majority of the votes. So the candidates who stood for the position went through several elimination rounds of voting, until the top candidate got the support of a majority.

In 1999, the IOC embraced a raft of age and term limits for its delegates and leaders, ending an era of lifetime terms in a move that was widely seen as a response to a bribery scandal over the selection of Salt Lake City for the 2002 Winter Games. Those rules also installed a maximum delegate age of 70, instead of 80.

Earlier at its sessions in Argentina, the IOC awarded the 2020 Summer Games to Tokyo and reinstated wrestling for 2020 and 2024.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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