Thomas Bach was Olympic champion in fencing at the Montreal Olympics of 1976 and has served as President of the International Olympic Committee since September 2013 when he took over from Jacques Rogge. Bach was born in Wurzburg, Germany in 1953. He trained as a lawyer and speaks fluent German, English, French and Spanish.
This will be the second Honoris Causa doctorate awarded by UCAM in the field of sports, with the first having been given to Vicente Del Bosque, Spain’s national soccer team coach.
Throughout his period as President he wishes to focus on two main objectives: improving the selection process for the cities bidding to host the Olympic Games, and fighting against doping. These achievements, among many others obtained throughout the course of Thomas Bach’s career, will be mentioned by Antonio Sanchez Pato, dean of the Faculty of Sports at UCAM in the Laudatio which will serve to outline the reasons why Thomas Bach is worthy of this distinction of highest academic prestige, at the Catholic University of Murcia
UCAM: The University of Sport
Last year in a meeting held between Thomas Bach, Alejandro Blanco and UCAM’s President Jose Luis Mendoza, the President of the IOC learned about UCAM’s reputation as “the University of Sport” backed by its efforts to help athletes of a high calibre to combine their professional training and competitions with their academic formation. This model which is the only one of its kind in Europe, receives the full backing from the Spanish Olympic Committee. In that same meeting Bach praised this project and offered the support of the International Olympic Committee to help to implement this model in many Latinamerican countries, through their respective Olympic Committees. Uruguay and Brasil have already put this into practice a few months ago.
Not only has Thomas Bach recognised UCAM’s efforts in helping athletes , but also the European Union has financed a project headed by the Catholic University of Murcia to help develop, improve and export this model of athletes’ tuition to other European countries. Universities from Britain, Italy, Malta and Greece have already joined this project. UCAM’s work in favor of sport goes beyond scholarships, sponsorship and support of athletes. The university has four of its own teams: basketball (ACB League), football (Second división B) and table tennis (Masculine and Feminine superdivision). In addition it sponsors twenty other teams of different disciplines such as indoor football, handball, swimming, athletics and volleyball
Evidently UCAM also stands out in the aspects of teaching and research. Through the Degrees in Sciences of Physical and Sporting Activity, Professional Formation (TAFAD) and various postgraduate courses the university trains professionals in any aspect of the world of sports. There is also a huge drive towards research, heralded by the opening of two high performance sports centers (UCAM Sports Center and La Manga Club). Among recent studies, it is worth highlighting those taking place at UCAM researching the prevention of sudden death, which is one of the greatest problems being faced by modern day sports.