127th IOC Session opens in Monaco – President Bach delivers keynote speech
Change needed to secure Olympics’ relevance, says IOC’s Bach

(MONACO — Reuters Published Sunday, Dec. 07 2014,)
A planned overhaul of the Olympic Games is crucial to ensure the world’s biggest multi-sports event’s relevance and continued growth in a rapidly changing world, International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach said on Sunday.
A day before the IOC session votes on the biggest changes for the Olympics in decades, Bach urged members to approve the 40 recommendations dubbed ‘Agenda 2020’, a project he initiated immediately after taking over in Sept. 2013.
“In our world -- changing faster than ever -- the success of yesterday means nothing for today,” Bach said at the opening of the IOC session in Monaco.
“The success of today gives you only the opportunity to drive the change for tomorrow. If we do not address these challenges here and now we will be hit by them very soon.”
The overhaul, to be voted on Monday and Tuesday, includes changes to the bidding process, making it easier, cheaper and more efficient for cities to launch a bid for the Olympics.
The IOC is also planning to bring in more sports, increasing their number past the current 28, to tap into new markets, bigger audiences and as a result higher revenues.
“The Olympic Agenda 2020 is like a jigsaw puzzle. Every piece, every recommendation, has the same importance,” said Bach. “Only when you put all these 40 pieces together you see the whole picture.”
Among the first to benefit from a change in the sports programme will be the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, eager to introduce baseball and softball, both hugely popular in the Asian nation.
Karate is also an option being considered by the Japanese organisers.
“If we do not drive these changes ourselves others will drive us to them,” Bach, a lawyer by profession, said. “We want to be the leaders of change in sport not the object.”
The IOC is also planning to set up a digital Olympic channel to keep the Games relevant in non-Olympic years.
“If I would deliver this speech in a theatre I would say with an ironic smile: To change or to be changed, that is the question,” said the German.

(Press Release by IOC 07/12/2014)
The 127th Session of the IOC officially got under way tonight with an Opening Ceremony at the Grimaldi Forum in Monaco.

Speaking at the Ceremony, IOC President Thomas Bach stressed the importance of the 8 and 9 December gathering of the full IOC membership, which will discuss and vote on the 40 recommendations that make up Olympic Agenda 2020, a strategic roadmap for the future of the Olympic Games.
“The Olympic Agenda 2020 is like a jigsaw puzzle,” President Bach explained. “Every piece, every recommendation, has the same importance. Only when you put all these 40 pieces together will you see the whole picture. You see progress in ensuring the success of the Olympic Games, progress in safeguarding the Olympic values, and progress in strengthening sport in society.”
The IOC members were welcomed by HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco, President of the Monegasque Olympic Committee and a fellow IOC member, at an official reception before the Opening Ceremony.