IOC boss to break with tradition in Games closing ceremony

SOCHI, Russia Sun Feb 23, 2014 6:46am EST

International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach speaks at the IOC session on the final day of the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi February 23, 2014. REUTERS/Shamil Zhumatov

International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach speaks at the IOC session on the final day of the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi February 23, 2014.

Credit: Reuters/Shamil Zhumatov

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SOCHI, Russia (Reuters) - There will be no single snappy phrase to describe the Sochi Olympics at the closing ceremony on Sunday, International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach said, breaking with the organization's tradition of decades.

Predecessors Juan Antonio Samaranch and Jacques Rogge used one or two adjectives to describe or rank the Olympics with spectators and television viewers always eagerly awaiting the verdict in their closing speeches.

Rogge, who was replaced by Bach in September, had called the 2012 Olympics in London 'happy and glorious Games' while Samaranch's last Games in Sydney were described as the 'best' Games.

"This evening I will not use the one adjective," Bach told reporters. "If I don't change my mind.

"What I want is not to give my judgment. I want to convey the messages I heard from the athletes, National Olympic Committees, international federations, sponsors and broadcasters.

"This will be the purpose of the speech tonight. My English is not good enough to have that one adjective," he joked, snapping his fingers.

The Sochi Games come to a close later on Sunday after 16 days of sports on snow and ice, marking the end of Russia's first Winter Olympics.

(Reporting by Karolos Grohmann; Editing by Ossian Shine)

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