10 – Christophe De Kepper, IOC Director General
De Kepper took over as director general in March after eight years as chief of staff for the IOC President. The consolidation of his responsibilities puts him in touch with all aspects of the operation of the IOC.
For 2012, De Kepper will be busy dealing with behind-the-scenes work preparing for London 2012. A lawyer by training, De Kepper will be an important source of expertise as legal issues arise in the lead-up and staging of the Games.
De Kepper is on the road to help oversee resolution of issues involving NOCs as well as development projects of the IOC, such as Haiti.
He will be a key aide for the IOC President as Rogge finishes his agenda for the last two years of his mandate.
Last year's ranking: none
11 – Gilbert Felli, IOC Olympic Games Executive Director
Perhaps the most traveled IOC official, Felli has his fingerprints on every recent Olympics as well as those to come. For the Innsbruck Youth Olympics, he's played a vital role in shaping the sports program and formats. Felli's vast knowledge and eye for detail have significant influence on the way London will deliver the Games next year. He's hoping for a smooth run-in.
Felli is also a regular visitor to Sochi, supervising and guiding plans for Russia's first Winter Olympics. For Rio 2016, the challenges are different again. With rugby and golf's additions to the program, the Swiss has plenty on his plate. PyeongChang 2018 welcome their first IOC Coordination Commission in March, and Felli's energy and enthusiasm for the Games will again be critical as Korea's plans move forward.
Felli's sphere of influence also extends to structuring and tinkering with the bidding process for each Olympics. For the six-city 2020 race, international promotion is being cut back a little under attempts to reduce costs for the bidders. In May, Felli will have input into the IOC's 2020 short list, the announcement coming at SportAccord in Quebec.
The IOC is reluctant to let him go before someone is properly groomed to replace him. Earlier this year, president Jacques Rogge announced that Felli would remain with the IOC till 2014, two years beyond normal retirement age. He turns 65 in 2012.
Last year's ranking: 14
Click here for more about ATR's Golden 25 and here to view the Golden 25 for past years.
Written by Ed Hula and Mark Bisson.
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