Golden 25 -- #18 Marius Vizer / Francesco Ricci Bitti /Gian Franco Kasper

(ATR) Three federation leaders navigating the implementation of Olympic Agenda 2020.

(ATR) This trio of federation leaders will deal with the outcome of Olympic Agenda reforms as well as the future of SportAccord – the convention and federation union that represents Olympic and non-Olympic sports.

Vizer, 56, president of SportAccord / International Federations’ Union and the International Judo Federation, faces the challenges of growing SportAccord, the union of international federations.

His proposals to create new events such as Urban Games and Beach Games could mean new opportunities for sports away from the Olympic Games. Financing and finding time on a crowded sport calendar are the obstacles.

Vizer also has aspirations to grow the SportAccord Convention, the annual trade show owned by ASOIF, AWOIF and ARIFS, the association for recognized federations.

Set for Sochi in 2015, the meeting will test whether the market exists for a larger SportAccord. After being held in a series of out-of-the-way locations, Vizer and colleagues may still be scrambling to find top-tier cities willing to host the event.

Ricci Bitti, president of the International Tennis Federation, also leads the 28-member Association of Summer Olympic International Federations.

As the IOC moves from a sport-based to an event-based sports program, Ricci Bitti and ASOIF will be closely involved in potentially controversial moves to eliminate events on the program to make room for new sports.

Kasper, president of the International Ski Federation, is president of the seven-member Association of Winter Olympic International Federations. He will be keeping an eye on the flexibility to Winter Olympic bids now permitted as a result of Olympic Agenda.

Preparations for the 2018 Winter Games in South Korea will be the first test. Kasper, 70, is the first IOC member who has benefited from a four-year extension of his IOC term made possible by Olympic Agenda.

2014 ranking: Vizer, 8, Ricci Bitti, 24, Kasper, unranked.

The Around the Rings Golden 25, now in its 19th year, is sponsored by EY.

The list spotlights 25 individuals who will have substantial influence on the Olympic Movement in the year ahead. The Golden 25 is compiled by the staff of Around the Rings, the world’s most experienced journalistic team dedicated to covering the Olympics.

The countdown from number 25 began December 20. The number-one position will be announced Jan 1, 2015.

Reported by Ed Hula

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