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IOC president Bach: Olympics not a political stage “to score points”

Thomas Bach

International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach listens to reporter’s question during news conference at the office of the PyeongChang Organizing Committee for the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in Seoul, South Korea, Thursday, Nov. 21, 2013. IOC President Bach came here on Wednesday for his two-days trip as on the last leg of his four-city Asian tour. South Korea’s eastern city PyeongChang is the host city for the 2018 Winter Olympics. (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)

Lee Jin-man

International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach opened the group’s 126th Session by declaring in a speech that the Olympics should not be a stage for global political battles.

As outlined by writer Alan Abrahamson, Bach pleaded for disagreements like those to be settled “in a peaceful direct political dialogue and not on the backs of the athletes.”

“We are grateful to [political leaders] who respect the fact that sport can only contribute to development and peace if it is not used as a stage for political dissent or for trying to score points in internal or external political contests,” the former gold medalist fencer said in Sochi.

MORE: IOC president Thomas Bach expects successful Sochi Olympics

“To other political leaders we say: Please understand what our responsibilities are and what your responsibilities are.”

For more from Bach’s speech, Abrahamson’s entire story can be read here.

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