Golden 25 - World NOC Leader, German IOC VP #4, 5
4 – Mario Vazquez Rana, ANOC President, IOC Member
As he turns 80 in 2012, the powerful Mario Vazquez Rana knows he will have to start relinquishing the array of responsibilities he holds in the Olympic Movement. How he handles the transfer of power will make him influential in the years ahead, even after he steps down from the IOC in 2012.
Already Vazquez Rana has had to deal with jostling for the seat on the IOC Executive Board he will have to relinquish with his IOC membership. He’ll be involved in the machinations to nominate a successor at the ANOC assembly set for Moscow in April.
But while he will leave the IOC in 2012, he will not be leaving the ANOC presidency until 2014, the end of his current term. And in March, Vazquez Rana will seek what may be his final term as president of the Pan Am Sports Organization, his original base of power.
There are people in both ANOC and PASO who are eager to see change come to both organizations, sooner rather than later. How Vazquez Rana deals with the restive mood will determine whether the transition is smooth and harmonious – or a shambolic scramble.
Still undecided by the IOC President is what to do about the chairmanship of Olympic Solidarity, headed by Vazquez Rana. Doling out hundreds of millions from IOC marketing revenue to the world’s NOCs, Olympic Solidarity is a plum assignment eligible for IOC members only. Vazquez Rana will become an honorary IOC member following his retirement, enough to remain with Olympic Solidarity for a while longer. A new IOC president elected in 2013 will get to choose a new chair, perhaps.
Last year's ranking: 3
5 – Thomas Bach, German NOC Leader, IOC VP
Since joining the IOC 20 years ago, Bach has steadily expanded his influence across the Olympic Movement to the point where the president of the German Olympic Sports Confederation is the putative candidate to succeed Jacques Rogge at the helm of the IOC.
In past months, the Olympic champion fencer has brushed aside talk of his IOC presidential ambitions. But the IOC vice president won't avoid the question for long in 2012 as he seeks an edge on the candidates to replace Rogge; the next 12 months are crucial in campaigning before the elections in September 2013.
Bach's calm exterior masks a steely determination to succeed in his Olympic endeavors. This was exemplified by the prominent role he played in the final months of Munich's 2018 Olympic bid campaign that ultimately ended in failure. It was a blow for Bach.
Bach's experience on various IOC commissions has brought knowledge and won valuable allies. He currently carries considerable weight as chair of the juridical commission, and is also a member of the TV rights and new media body.
The lawyer, who turns 58 today, Dec. 29, has spoken out in support of the British Olympic Association's lifetime Olympic ban on drugs cheats. He will take significant interest in the Court of Arbitration for Sport's upcoming decision on the BOA's legal challenge to the World Anti-Doping Agency finding it "noncompliant". This will have a bearing on how Bach and his IOC colleagues approach WADA to request that the Osaka Rule be included into the revised WADA code up for approval in 2013.
Last year's ranking: 6
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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