IOC President in Rome
President Bach was in the Italian capital this week for a visit that included a celebration of the 80th birthday of IOC Member in Italy Mario Pescante.
The visit began with a meeting with the Italian National Olympic Committee (CONI), and its President and (soon to be) IOC Member, Giovanni Malagò. They discussed the development of sport and the very successful sports model in the country. Also present at the meeting were IOC Members in Italy Ivo Ferriani, Mario Pescante and Franco Carraro, as well as the President of the Association of Summer Olympic International Federations (ASOIF), Francesco Ricci Bitti.
Later, the IOC President met the Under-Secretary of State to the Presidency of the Council in charge of Sport, Giancarlo Giorgetti. The Under-Secretary expressed his strong support for the candidature of Milan/Cortina d’Ampezzo for the Olympic Winter Games 2026.
In the evening, there was a gala dinner to celebrate the 80th birthday of Mario Pescante, with many Italian Olympians and representatives from the worlds of politics and culture. During his speech President Bach described Mario Pescante as having “a heart full of passion for sport and the athletes”.
Next day, President Bach met the President of Italy, Sergio Mattarella, at the Quirinale Palace. The two leaders discussed the candidature as well as reforms designed to make the Olympic Games more feasible, more sustainable and fitting with the needs of the city, region and country.
They also discussed the role of sport in society, with President Mattarella noting that, “all around the world we see mounting tensions, and the Olympic values are a valuable way to bring people together. This is why,” he said, “Italy is a candidate for the Games. It is an opportunity not only to host a global sporting event, but also to make a contribution to peace around the world.”