Wu Ching-kuo, the first Taiwanese to run for the presidency of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), vowed yesterday that he would help the Olympic movement and the IOC progress further if elected to the sports body’s top post.
After making a presentation along with the other five contenders for the job in the Swiss city of Lausanne on Thursday last week, Wu said that the motivation behind his candidacy was straightforward — “to make the IOC even better.”
Since 1980, the IOC has been under the leadership of two great presidents, Juan Antonio Samaranch and Jacques Rogge, Wu said, and he hopes to have the chance to build on their achievements.
“Further progress and development can be made ... to make good better,” said the 66-year-old Wu, who has served as an IOC member since 1988.
The election of a successor to Rogge, whose 12 years at the head of the 119-year-old organization are coming to an end this year, will be held in early September.
Seen as a dark horse in the race, Wu is hoping that his experience in leading and reforming the International Boxing Association for the past seven years and designing and founding three Olympic-related museums will boost his candidacy. Wu said that during his 15-minute speech, he focused on expanding the IOC’s work to make it a humanitarian body.
The IOC has been recognized for its achievements in sports, culture and art, Wu said, but he believed that with its resources the world’s top sports body could also provide aid to those in need worldwide.
“The IOC can play multiple roles by assisting the United Nations and other international organizations in providing global services,” he said.
In addition, Wu suggested collecting and combining all the platforms proposed by the contenders and making them available to the new leader as a reference.
“Each candidate proposed what he is good at and what he is capable of. The opinions are very valuable for the whole and should all be taken into consideration,” he said.
Wu emphasized that the other five contenders are all his friends and colleagues and that the election simply provides a platform for them to exchange ideas on how to make the group better and stronger.
“Running for election takes only about three months, but friendships last forever,” he said.
The other contenders are IOC vice presidents Thomas Bach of Germany and Ng Ser Miang of Singapore, Richard Carrion from Puerto Rico, Denis Oswald from Switzerland and Sergey Bubka of Ukraine.
The September session will not only select the new leader of the sports body, but also decide the host city for the 2020 Olympics and an additional sport on the Olympic program.