Thomas Bach was elected President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) on 10 September 2013.
He was born in Würzburg, Germany, on 29 December 1953. His parents were both sports enthusiasts, and although he spent most of his time as a child playing football, they eventually persuaded him to join the newly founded local fencing club. He thus pursued a "dual career" in sport and in school. After medalling at the Junior World Championships in 1971 and the World Championships in 1973, Bach went on to become World Champion twice (1976 and 1977) in the men's foil team event. His biggest dream came true in 1976 in Montreal when he won an Olympic gold medal in the men's foil team event at the age of 22.
While he was still an active athlete, he became increasingly involved in sports management to voice the opinions of his peers, first as an athletes' representative in the German Fencing Federation and later as Chairman of the West German Athletes' Commission. Following his disappointment with West Germany's decision to boycott the 1980 Olympic Games in Moscow, thereby depriving athletes of the opportunity to compete, Bach decided to redouble his efforts and involve himself more actively in sports administration.
After representing the athletes at the Olympic Congress in 1981 in Baden-Baden, he became a founding member of the IOC Athletes' Commission, continuing in this role until 1988. He was co-opted as an IOC member in 1991. Since then, he has chaired several commissions (Evaluation, Juridical, Sport and Law, Anti-Doping Disciplinary), been a member of the Marketing Commission and TV Rights and New Media Commission, and acted as chief negotiator for European TV rights. Bach was elected to the IOC Executive Board four times and served as IOC Vice-President for more than 10 years. He has also chaired the appeals division of the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).
Bach completed his studies in law at the University of Würzburg. Still following his "dual career" path, as a volunteer in sport and as a lawyer by profession, he started his own law firm in 1983, amongst other things serving as an advisor to the German Minister of Economics during Germany's reunification. He has since exchanged the practice of law for presiding supervisory boards of international companies.
Thomas Bach was also the founding President of the German Olympic Sports Confederation (DOSB) in 2006. He recently stepped down from this position when he became President of the IOC.