Today: Last Update:

  • Bach, Sochi and Rio Preps Highlight Golden 25


    In a year where his election to the IOC presidency was the Olympic Movement’s leading story, Thomas Bach was a natural choice to lead the Golden 25.

    Bach heads a top five that also features Russian President Vladimir Putin, FIFA president Sepp Blatter, ANOC chief Sheikh Ahmad, and Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff.

    The former German Olympic committee president’s work in 2014 will include making sure Sochi is positioned for success, as well as setting the agenda for Tokyo 2020 preparations.

    Bach's every move will continue to make news in 2014. (Getty Images)
    “What [Bach] does this year will make a difference for years to come for the IOC and the Olympics,” said Around the Rings editor-in-chief Ed Hula.

    Meanwhile, Putin’s place at #2 is “a big statement about the importance of a good Games in Russia."

    “Does that mean safe Games? Good Games for the Russians? Smooth-running Games?” said Hula of the coming Winter Olympics. “He’s got so much of his prestige and influence invested in Sochi that clearly the buck will stop there, as far as crisis decisions and last-minute plans.

    “Putin will make sure it all happens.”

    Once Sochi is in the books, the eyes of the Olympic Movement will shift to Rio. (Getty Images)
    Once the Sochi Olympics are complete, preparations for the Rio Games will take center stage. In addition to Rousseff, IOC coordination commission head Nawal El Moutawakel (#11), Rio 2016 CEO Sidney Levy, and construction chief Maria Bastos (both at #12) all appeared in the poll.

    “We didn’t have quite that emphasis last year,” said Hula.

    Notable among those leaving the poll are a couple of those who ran unsuccessful campaigns for the IOC presidency. C.K. Wu and Sergey Bubka checked in at #13 and #20 respectively last year before dropping out this year.

    Instead, it’s another of the candidates who fell to Bach, Ser Miang Ng at #13 this year, who seems best positioned for a significant role in the new administration.

    The top spot last year went to former IOC president Jacques Rogge.

    Written by Nick Devlin

    For general comments or questions, click here.

    20 Years at #1: Your best source of news about the Olympics is, for subscribers only.