- It is a great honor for me to be here with you today at the University of Gdańsk. This is the greater privilege that I receive an honorary doctorate from a university with such a great reputation in Poland, Europe and the world. On behalf of the Olympic movement, I am very grateful and respectful of this distinction from your prestigious university, '' said Dr. Thomas Bach, president of the International Olympic Committee, during the ceremony of conferring him the title of doctor honoris causa of the University of Gdańsk
Dr. Thomas Bach is a titled athlete, former Olympic champion, world-famous sports promoter and outstanding lawyer. He became famous for his involvement in activities for high-performance sport, promoting the ethics of sport competition (especially the fight against doping) and for equal treatment of sportspeople from all over the world. Since 2013, he has been the president of the International Olympic Committee.
Ceremony of awarding the title of doctor honoris causa
University of Gdansk to Dr. Thomas Bach had a special dimension during the 50th anniversary of the University of Gdańsk. The ceremonial sitting of the Senate of the University of Gdańsk from this occasion took place on November 6, 2019 at the Artus Court in Gdansk. It was attended by Pomeranian parliamentarians, representatives of state and local government authorities, representatives of the IOC, invited athletes and the academic community of the University of Gdańsk. The guests of the University of Gdańsk were, among others Bogdan Borusewicz, Deputy Speaker of the Senate of the Republic of Poland, Anna Badzanowska, Director General of the Ministry of Science and Higher Education and Andrzej Kraśnicki, President of the Polish Olympic Committee. Also present in the room were the reviewers of the honorary doctorate - Fr. prof. dr hab. Eng. Stanisław Dziekoński from the University of Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński in Warsaw, prof. dr hab. Józef Lipiec from the Jagiellonian University and dr hab. Marek Rocki, prof. SGH from the Warsaw School of Economics.
The University of Gdańsk Senate and Honorary Doctor Thomas Bach entered the ceremony to the Great Hall of the Artus Court assisted by young players from the Gdańsk Fencing School.
Professor dr hab. Jerzy Piotr Gwizdała, Rector of the University of Gdańsk, read the Resolution of the Senate on conferring doctor Thomas Bach on the title of doctor honoris causa of the University of Gdańsk and made a solemn promotion.
Professor dr hab. Piotr Stepnowski, Vice-Rector of the Gdańsk University for Science, who was the celebrator, emphasized above all the merits of dr. Thomas Bach as the IOC President:
- There is no doubt that since taking over by dr. Thomas Bach, the President of the IOC, the Olympic movement underwent a rapid, healing change, thanks to the fundamental rules of sport resounding not only in terms of sports excellence and integrity, but also the equality of professional opportunities or mutual respect and solidarity - he noted.
The laudation was given by prof. dr hab. Andrzej Gąsiorow-ski, director of the Institute of Political Science at the University of Gdańsk:
- Personal values of dr. Bach indicates his outstanding versatility, multiple competences and forms of commitment, especially the unity, durability and identity of an ethical attitude and strong character. The Olympic champion, and at the same time an outstanding lawyer and manager, and an uncommon creator and activist of the global Olympic movement - all these forms of activity point to a non-accidental set of virtues - he emphasized the uniqueness of Dr. Thomas Bach in his speech.
The title of doctor honoris causa of the University of Gdańsk was awarded to Dr. Thomas Bach at the request of the Council of the Faculty of Social Sciences of the University of Gdańsk. The content of the diploma was read by the dean of the faculty dr hab. Tadeusz Dmochowski, prof. UG.
Andrzej Kraśnicki, President of the Polish Olympic Committee emphasized the importance of the distinction:
- For the Olympic family, it is a great honor that the University of Gdańsk allowed to honor the most outstanding skipper of world Olympicism. Thank you to everyone who contributed to this beautiful ceremony - he noted. He directed special words of thanks to prof. dr hab. Jerzy Piotr Gwizdała, Rector of the University of Gdańsk and prof. dr hab. Piotr Stepnowski, Vice-Rector of the University of Gdańsk for Science for the initiative of honoring Dr. Thomas Bach.
Doctor Thomas Bach, in thanks to the University of Gdańsk for the initiative of honoring him with the title of doctor honoris causa, at the hands of JM Rector of the University of Gdańsk prof. dr hab. Jerzy Piotr Gwizdała, handed over a special statuette - a bust of Pierre de Coubertin, the founder of the International Olympic Committee.
Music was provided during the ceremony by the Academic Choir of the University of Gdańsk under the direction of prof. Marcin Tomczak and the Golden Gate String Quartet.
At the end of the song sounded, which cannot be the voice will be missing on this day - 'We are the Champions' performed by the University of Gdańsk Academic Choir.
DR THOMAS BACH, currently the president of the International Olympic Committee, is an award-winning athlete, former Olympic champion, he won the gold medal in fencing (team classification) at the XXI Olympic Games in Montreal in 1976 and a world-famous sports promoter. He is a lawyer by profession, but he has chosen a sports career and achieved success as an athlete and an outstanding social activist in the field of sport.
He is particularly involved in activities for high-performance sport, promoting the ethics of sport competition (especially the fight against doping) and actions for equal treatment of athletes from all over the world. He became the President of the International Olympic Committee in 2013 and runs the IOC in accordance with the motto "unity and diversity". The two main goals of the presidency of Thomas Bach are to improve the selection process of cities applying for the Olympic Games and the fight against doping. One of his priorities is also to change the current Olympic bidding process and ensure sustainable development. He proposed a number of reforms (known as Agenda 2020) that were adopted at 127 IOC Session in Monaco.
He was still involved in sports policy as an active player. In 1991 he became a member of the International Olympic Committee, and in 2000–2004 and 2006–2013 he was the vice president of the Executive Committee of the International Olympic Committee. In addition, in the years 2006–2013 he was the president - founder of the German Confederation of Olympic Sports, and from 2013 - the honorary president of the confederation.
Beata Czechowska-Derkacz, spokesperson for the University of Gdańsk