IOC President Thomas Bach visits St. Gallen University

IOC President Thomas Bach visits St. Gallen University

The President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and former Olympic Champion Mr Thomas Bach visited the University of St. Gallen, one of Europe’s leading business universities, for a public panel discussion with Matthias Huppi, Moderator and Commentator at Swiss Television SRF.

Before the interview started in the auditorium which was attended by some 300 students and people from St. Gallen, but also from the region and even from Zurich, Bern and Fribourg, Mr Bach paid a spontaneous visit to the state-of-the-art sports hall of the University where he met with lots of students. He discussed with them about dual career, the sport facilities at St. Gallen University and also about the value of sports in general.

University of St Gallen students with IOC President

IOC President also engaged in an ongoing TRX lesson. Mr Bach showed a great interest in the skills and practises of the students and was impressed by the high number of participants in all the courses.

TRX session

After having met also with Mr Thomas Bieger, Rector of St. Gallen University, Mr Markus Buschor, City Counsellor of St. Gallen, Mr Ivan Louis, President of the Parliament of the Canton of St. Gallen and representatives of the Swiss Television SRF, IOC President was introduced to the public by Mr Leonz Eder, Head of Sports Department at the University of St. Gallen and FISU’s 1st Vice-President. Eder underlined the importance of the recently signed MoU between the IOC and FISU and mentioned some of the strategic goals for the development of University sport worldwide.

IOC President with the Rector of the University of St Gallen

Mr Bach himself was presented as a successful example of combining studies and top level sports. He participated not only at the Summer Universiade 1973 in Moscow and 1979 in Mexico City, but won the team gold medal with the German fencers at the Olympic Summer Games 1976 in Montreal. During the panel discussion Mr Bach told the audience that he wanted to start his sports career with Football, but his parents then moved him to Fencing. The interview covered not only his personal career as a sportsman and official, but also Rio 2016, assumptions of corruption and the doping cases from Sochi. Mr Bach finally explained some main goals from the IOC Agenda 2020 and stated that the IOC Congress in Lima was very successful also by attributing the Olympic Games 2024 and 2028 to Los Angeles and Paris respectively.

Full auditorium

The visit of the IOC President at St. Gallen University strengthened the links between Olympic and University sport.

(Photos by H Thalmann)