Road To The Olympic Games

Ng Ser Miang enters race for IOC presidency

There are now two candidates to succeed Jacques Rogge as president of the International Olympic Committee after vice president Ng Ser Miang of Singapore announced Thursday he wants the top job.

President Jacques Rogge will step down in September

Singapore's Ng Ser Miang, right, shakes hands with International Olympic Commitee President Jacques Rogge. Ng wants to succeed Rogge and become the first Asian to head up the IOC. (Ed Wray/AFP/Getty Images)

Singapore's Ng Ser Miang entered the race for IOC president on Thursday, seeking to become the first Asian to hold the most powerful job in the Olympic movement.

The 64-year-old Ng announced his candidacy at the Sorbonne in Paris, a highly-symbolic venue where the IOC and modern Olympics were founded in 1894 by Pierre de Coubertin.

Ng, an IOC vice-president, became the second declared candidate for the top job after Germany's Thomas Bach announced his candidacy last week in Frankfurt.

At least three other members are expected to run to succeed Jacques Rogge, who steps down in September after 12 years as president of the International Olympic Committee.

Ng is a strong representative from Asia, a continent with growing economic, political and sporting influence on the world stage. All but one of the IOC's eight presidents since 1894 have come from Europe, with Avery Brundage of the United States the only exception.

"I come from Singapore, a multi-racial, multi-cultural society whose success is based on teamwork," Ng said. "I am proud to be Asian, but I am also a global citizen. This gives me a unique perspective as an IOC member."

Another Asian member, C.K. Wu of Taiwan, is also expected to enter the race soon. Wu is head of the international amateur boxing association.

IOC member since 1998

Ng chaired the organizing committee of the inaugural Youth Olympics in Singapore in 2010. He has been an IOC member since 1998 and has served on the policy-making executive board since 2005 and as a vice-president since 2009.

Ng has also been Singapore's non-resident ambassador to Norway since 2001 and is a former vice-president of the international sailing federation.

As an ambassador, Ng said he understands European values. As an IOC member, he said, he has also worked closely with African and South American cities.

"I understand the strength of the movement lies with its diverse interests and perspectives," he said.

Ng notified Rogge of his decision to run earlier this week and said he was sending his manifesto to all IOC members on Wednesday. Bach, by contrast, said he would wait until June to release his platform to the members.

"The Olympic movement faces a new and rapidly changing world," Ng said. "The IOC will require a leader with a universal perspective and an inclusive, co-operative-leadership style."

"The world is changing and the movement must change with it," he added. "I believe that we can do more and that we must do more."

At a time of economic problems around the world, Ng said, the IOC must review the size and cost of the Olympics.

Ng said he would also focus on the role of youth in the Olympics and would "empower' IOC members to work with sports federations and governments to strengthen the movement.

"This will require a leader with an inclusive leadership style and world view based on collective input and decision making," Ng said. "I humbly believe that I have the experience in consensus building, the understanding of the Olympic movement and a deep passion for the Olympism that qualifies me to be that leader."

Rogge suggested recently that his successor should be paid, a break from IOC tradition where the presidency is a volunteer position. But, like Bach, Ng said if elected he would choose to remain a volunteer with no pay.

Ng said he also supported a proposal for the presidential candidates to present their manifestos in person at the IOC general assembly in Lausanne, Switzerland, in July.

Wu, Richard Carrion of Puerto Rico and Sergei Bubka of Ukraine are expected to announce their candidacies in the next two weeks. Swiss member Denis Oswald is also weighing his options.

The official deadline for candidacies is June 10, exactly three months before the election in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

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