WHEN TOKIO BECAME AN OLYMPIC CITY 2020 IT WAS EASY TO PREDICT FURTHER STEPS.
Nine New IOC Members Elected
The election of new members brings the IOC membership to 113.
The most significant is the election of Larry Probst, which may provide a boost for a possible U.S. bid for the 2024 Olympics. The chairman of video game publisher Electronic Arts Inc. becomes the fourth U.S. IOC member after Anita DeFrantz, Jim Easton, and Angela Ruggiero.
Probst issued a statement saying he was honored by the election and proud to serve as a member of the IOC.
“It has been a great privilege to serve as chairman of the United States Olympic Committee and I look forward to continuing our collective efforts to advance the Olympic Movement and its important values of respect, friendship and excellence.”
Russian Olympic Committee president Alexander Zhukov is rewarded for his contribution to Sochi 2014’s fast-track Olympic preparations in his current role and in his capacity as a deputy prime minister.
At 39 years of age, Camiel Eurlings of the Netherlands becomes one of the youngest IOC members. The CEO of KLM Airlines was handpicked by outgoing IOC member Willem-Alexander to be his replacement; he became the new Dutch king in April.
Eurlings said he hopes to be a very good ambassador of the IOC in his country “and I also want to really be a good representative of the Dutch sports world” internationally.
He said that a Dutch Olympic bid “is not on the agenda because the government said given the hard economic times, that is not a good discussion for this moment.”
Instead, the government plans to invest in sport for young people and be in organizing other great sporting events in the Netherlands in the future.
“Who knows, if we come out of the crisis, what the next government will decide,” Eurlings said.
KLM is a worldwide airline and Eurlings said that before he became an IOC member there were already talks going on between Rio 2016 organizers about sponsorship. “That is not the issue for today,” he said. “I try to keep things very separate.”
Stefan Holm of Sweden also brings the average age of the IOC membership down. The 37-year-old Swedish high jumper won gold at the Athens Summer Games with a leap of 2.36m. He has also won four indoor world titles and bagged a silver at the Paris worlds in 2003.
Kenyan long distance runner Paul Kibii Tergat, a silver medalist in the 10,000 meters at the 1996 and 2000 Olympics, held the marathon world record from 2003 to 2007. He won two silvers and a bronze in the 1995, 1997 and 1999 world championships.
Tergat replaces fellow distance running great Kip Keino on the IOC. He said that to sit on the IOC "where most of the sports decisions are being made,” he could help the youth.
“It’s very important that we can be able let the young know that apart from their education, extracurricular activities is also very important," Tergat added.
Bernard Rajzman of Brazil is a former Brazilian volleyball player. He played in three Olympics, winning a silver at the 1984 Los Angeles Games. He is president of Brazil's National Commission of Athletes and a state congressman.
Mikaela Maria Antonia Cojuangco-Jaworski, who is often known as Mikee Cojuangco, is an equestrienne, television host and actress from the Philippines. The 39-year-old won gold in the in the individual show jumping event at the 2002 Asian Games in Busan, South Korea.
Dagmawit Girmay Berhane is secretary general of the Ethiopian Olympic Committee. She is the president of Badminton Africa and also heads her country’s badminton federation.
With Berhane one of the two new female members, women account for 20 percent of IOC membership.
“I do believe it is important, I don’t think this is enough, but still it is a good start,” she said. “We all have a role to play in that. I’m very happy it is continuing that way.”
The election of new IOC members followed the recommendations of the IOC Nominations Commission. They will be sworn in after the election of the new IOC president.