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New IOC Chief Seen as 'Mr. Clean'

(2007-05-28 00:18:11)
分类: 英汉自译
New IOC Chief Seen as 'Mr. Clean'
By Graham Jones

The new president of the International Olympic Committee, Jacques Rogge, has benefited from an image as "Mr Clean." The 59-year-old Belgian orthopedic surgeon who specialises in sports medicine had successfully distanced himself from the bribery scandal involving Salt Lake City's successful bid for the 2002 Winter Games.1 One of his proud boasts was that he never visited cities bidding to host Olympic events.

Head of the European Olympic Committee and IOC co-coordinator of the 2002 Sydney Olympics and 2004 Athens2 games, he has also been, importantly, vice-chairman of the IOC's anti-doping panel—so was seen as an "ethically correct" candidate.3

"You have also to be able to defend the values of sport, and they are threatened by doping, by violence, by corruption," he maintained.

Rogge's closest rival, South Korean Kim Un-yong, 70, was unable to match this moral high ground.4 He was given a severe warning in 1999 after an internal IOC inquiry into the Salt Lake City scandal — his son was accused of accepting a sham job funded by the committee for the Utah bid.5

And his campaign looked doomed especially after the IOC's ethics commission probed reports —which he denied — he would offer IOC members $50,000 a year for an office and expenses if he became president.

Rogge has had a relatively meteoric6 rise within the IOC, having joined only in 1991 and been executive board as recently as 1998. But he had gained a reputation as a reformer.

Olympic-watchers point to his diplomatic skills —an urbane charm, mastery of languages (he speaks Dutch, French, English, German and Spanish fluently) and non-confrontational style. His Olympian credentials stem from being a yachting7 competitor in the 1968, 1972 and 1976 games.

He pledged after his election to take the IOC forward.

"I'm going to dedicate the next eight years to the development of the Olympic movement and the IOC in close collaboration with all my colleagues," he said.

"It is not an easy task but I believe sport has such great strengths that the IOC will remain successful. There are a lot of things to be done.

"I'm not talking about victory —I'm talking about decisions of the IOC. I hope to be innovative."

Those working closely with Rogge say he is always determined in meetings despite his reputation as a consensus politician. They say the man seen as "a fixer" and often resorts to medical language to describe his tactics, stressing that he is not afraid to attack a problem.

"As a surgeon where there is an abscess, you cut, you evacuate the pus and you let the body heal,"8 he said. "If you have a problem you have to address it as soon as possible."

Rogge says his surgical career has taught him about having a sense of responsibility, and remaining humble, calm and cool. He has medical offices in Ghent9 and his hometown, Deinze. He is expected to give up his medical practice to live and work in the IOC's home city of Lausanne,10 Switzerland, where, as president, he would receive no salary.

One thing which helped Rogge to his landslide win11 was the strong backing of European Olympic delegates, who have a weighty 57 votes in the committee — Rogge is president of the European Olympic Committees.

Serving for an initial eight years with an option to stay on for no more than four years more, he is expected to cut quite a different profile from predecessor Juan Antonio Samaranch, who held the post for 21 years of triumphs and embarrassments.12

Rogge is leading a campaign to downsize the Olympics and restore their human face, arguing that the games have become so massive and costly that only the wealthiest cities and countries are capable of staging them.

He also believes that the reforms adopted following the Salt Lake City bribery scandal should be reviewed to determine whether they are working. Rogge advocates the reinstatement13 of visits to the bid cities by IOC members should probably be re-examined.

"I think I can be described as being a trouble-shooter. If there is a problem I come and try to solve it."


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