COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – As International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach stepped into the headquarters of the United States Olympic Committee in Colorado Springs, Colorado, he couldn’t help but to reflect on his trip and note that it had been one to remember.
“I’m really impressed by this visit. It was a new way to see the organization and the enthusiasm of the people,” Bach noted.
Bach and his IOC delegation traveled to the USOC’s headquarters after spending time in New York meeting with President Bill Clinton, attending the Super Bowl in Arizona and watching the first day of competition at the FIS World Alpine Ski Championships in Beaver Creek, Colorado, where Lindsey Vonn won bronze in super-G.
Tuesday afternoon, he met with key members of the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic movements at a reception held in his honor.
|(L-R) IOC members Anita DeFrantz, Thomas Bach, Angela Ruggiero and Larry Probst pose for a photo at the United States Olympic Committee's headquarters in Colorado Springs, Colo., on Feb. 3, 2015.|
Bach was joined by USOC CEO Scott Blackmun, USOC Chairman Larry Probst, Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper, former Massachusetts governor Deval Patrick, Boston 2024 Chairman John Fish, and IOC members Anita DeFrantz and Angela Ruggiero, as well as a host of other National Governing Body and USOC leaders.
Bach’s “willingness to give back to the sport and give back to the Olympic cause,” Hickenlooper said, “is a great thing not just for this country, but a great thing for this world.”
Hickenlooper wasn’t the only one who was impressed by Bach’s efforts. Upon telling his 12-year-old son he had met Bach, a 1976 gold medalist in fencing for Germany, Hickenlooper said his son’s eyes grew “as wide as saucers” and said, “That’s cooler than meeting someone who won the Nobel Peace Prize!”
Bach’s visit comes on the heels of the USOC’s announcement last month that Boston was selected as the U.S. applicant city for the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
“The USOC remains committed to an act of partnership with the IOC and the opportunity to spend time with (Bach) this week has been incredibly constructive for our team,” Probst said.
“Since his election in Buenos Aires 17 months ago,” Probst continued, “President Bach has worked tirelessly to develop and now implement Olympic Agenda 2020, to ensure that the Olympic Movement remains both important and relevant, and the USOC intends to fully support and partner in that effort.
“Our selection for Boston as the U.S. bid city to host the Games in 2024 is indicative of that commitment.”
While in Colorado Springs, Bach also visited the U.S. Olympic Training Center, a facility he called “high quality” and “unique.” Bach also noted that the international sports scene was certainly taking note of the USOC as it will host seven world championships this year.
“You have shown the determination of this great country to host the Games in 2024,” Bach said.
Bach compared the arduous bid process to an athlete’s training, saying, “You have to undertake all efforts. You have to get your team together. Then, you have to run with the absolute determination to win, but also to know that in the right moment, everything has to come together.
“What I have seen the past few days has made me confident that the U.S. will make this effort.”