Seoul National University (President Oh Se-Jung) awarded an honorary doctorate degree in Sports Management to Thomas Bach, the president of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), for his dedication to creating a peaceful and harmonious world through sports. The award ceremony was held at 11:30 p.m. on October 18, 2022 (Tuesday) in the auditorium of the Cultural Center. Seoul National University has awarded honorary doctorate degree to 113 people, including the late WHO Director-General Lee Jong-wook and HYBE Chairman Bang Si-hyuk.
Thomas Bach, an Olympic fencing gold medalist and lawyer, has contributed to world peace and harmony by realizing the spirit of fairness and equality through sports and law since 2013.
In particular, IOC President Thomas Bach played a decisive role in forming a unified women's ice hockey team at the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics by leading the UN Olympic Truce for the PyeonChang Winter Olympics and contributing to the Olympic Korean Peninsula Declaration. In addition, he actively took the lead in promoting a project to build an Olympic Youth Development Centre for young people in the least developed countries which provide opportunities for young people to participate in sports, and establishing the Olympic refugee team.
□ Recommendation speech (Dean of Graduate School Choi Hae-cheon)
In honor of the outstanding achievements in sports and the remarkable achievements made for mankind, I recommend IOC President Thomas Bach for the honorary doctorate degree.
President Bach was elected as IOC president in 2013 after building a career in the IOC as a lawyer and an Olympic fencing gold medalist. As the president of the IOC, he has devoted himself more than anyone to creating a peaceful and harmonious world through sports, focusing on fairness and equality, the core values of sports and law.
President Bach worked hard to promote world peace and harmony through sports. At a time when tension on the Korean Peninsula reached its peak due to North Korea's missile launches and nuclear tests, he greatly contributed to the adoption of the Olympic Truce at the UN General Assembly on November 13, 2017. In addition, North Korean athletes participated in the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, leading to the Olympic Korean Peninsula Declaration, which served as the basis for forming a unified women's ice hockey team for the first time in Olympic history.
In addition, President Bach took the lead in supporting youth to grow healthy both in mind and body by lowering barriers to participating in sports. For example, he actively promoted a project to build the Olympic Youth Development Centre so that the youth in the least developed countries like Haiti could fulfill their potential.
President Bach has also made pioneering efforts to protect refugees. In 2015, the Olympic refugee team was established for the first time and was supported in various ways to continue training under any circumstances including war. He also immediately spearheaded global support for the Ukrainian Olympic Committee in the recent Ukrainian crisis, and once again made the world aware of the importance of peace and human rights.
Finally, President Bach ultimately promoted the sustainability of the Olympics by presenting a strong reform agenda to the IOC and setting a moral example while driving innovation in the international sports community.
In recognition of the outstanding contributions above, I recommend President Bach's honorary doctorate degree in Sports Management at Seoul National University, and welcome you as an honored member of Seoul National University.
Translated by Jungyun Oh (Department of Aesthetics)