Singapore’s Ng Ser Miang has officially confirmed he is putting himself forward as a candidate to replace Jacques Rogge as President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
The announcement from the 64-year-old here today in the French capital was made at the location where Baron Pierre de Coubertin, the founder of the Modern Olympics, held the historic Olympic Congress in 1894 in a gathering that led to the revival of Games in Athens two years later in 1896.
Coubertin was the longest serving IOC President, holding the position for 29 years from 1896 to 1925, and Ng is now hoping to become the latest successor and the ninth individual to hold the most powerful position in sport by taking over from incumbent Rogge when the Belgian steps down from the role in Buenos Aires on September 10 this year.
“I am inspired by the Olympic Movement and deeply believe in our Movement’s values and power to improve lives around the globe,” Ng, who said he would be a full time volunteer if elected, explained. “The passion I feel for the Olympics is the same passion that fuels the dreams of young athletes, ignites the Olympic flame and breathes life into its ideals.”
Speaking exclusively to insidethegames earlier this month, Ng, who is the first vice-president of the IOC having been a member of the global sport body since 1998, warned that the next President faces a “daunting challenge” to build on the legacy of Rogge, but it seems the former sailor has every ground covered.
Plans to further youth development featured largely in his speech – something close to Rogge’s heart, evidenced in his setting up of the Youth Olympic Games which he created to educate young people about the Olympic values while introducing them to Olympism.
Indeed, Ng has already laid the foundations for such a philosophy when he worked alongside Rogge to set up the event as he served as President of the Organizing Committee at the inaugural competition in his native Singapore in 2010.
“We must harness the collective power of Olympism for the benefit of the world’s youth – and we must refocus our efforts on the education of youth through the values of sport, for they are tomorrow’s living Olympic legacies,” he insisted. “The Olympic Games are great exhibitions of sport and its eternal values. But, relatively few youths get to participate in the Olympic Movement. I want to change that. I was privileged to help organize and manage the first Youth Olympic Games in Singapore in 2010. I saw up-close, and first-hand the impact of sport and its values on young people. We need to place youth at the center of the Olympic Movement.”
Another key aspect of his speech was his desire to bring about greater empowerment of all IOC members and deeper collaboration with the entire Olympic family, using the “wealth of experience and knowledge” to share strengths and “better engage them with a common vision.”
“The Olympic Movement faces a new and rapidly changing world, bringing new challenges and opportunities for sport,” he explained.
“As a result, the IOC will require a leader with a universal perspective and an inclusive, cooperative leadership style.
“I am confident that working together with my IOC colleagues, we can build on the successful legacies of Presidents Rogge and Samarach to further strengthen Olympism’s influence and inspire the lives of youth around the world.”
“I humbly believe that I have the experience in consensus building, the understanding of the Olympic Movement, and a deep passion for Olympism that qualifies me to be that leader,” Ng added.
He also touched on the subject of integrity in sport, insisting he would fight the issue with education.
“We know that our Olympians are our greatest assets,” he said. “In order to preserve and secure their health, safety and competitive excellence, we must protect the integrity of sport. We do this by enhancing our capabilities to fight doping, match-fixing, illegal and irregular betting and punish cheaters.”
His announcement brings the number of official candidates for the IOC Presidency, with Germany’s Thomas Bach, also an IOC vice-president, confirming he would be entering the race at a press conference in Frankfurt last week.
Head of the IOC’s Finance and Audit Commissions Richard Carrión from Puerto Rico, Ukraine’s International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) vice-president Sergey Bubka and International Boxing Association President (AIBA) C K Wu of Taiwan are also expected to announce their candidacies in the coming weeks.
The deadline for declaration of candidacies is due on June 10, three months before the vote at the IOC Session in Buenos Aires.
Contact the writer of this story at firstname.lastname@example.org. Inside the Games is an online blog of the London Organizing Committee that staged the 2012 London Games. The blog continues to cover issues that are important to the Olympic Movement. This article is reprinted here with permission of the blog editors.