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SBJ/Sept. 16-22, 2013/Olympics
Also at the 125th IOC Session
Published September 16, 2013, Page 29
U.S. Olympic Committee Chairman Larry Probst became the fourth U.S. representative to the IOC last week, following a 71-20 vote by IOC members.
The election came four years after Probst attended his first IOC session in Copenhagen, Denmark, and watched the IOC eliminate Chicago in the first round of the campaign to host the 2016 Olympics. He subsequently hired a new CEO in Scott Blackmun, and the two of them worked hard over the last four years to improve the organization’s relationship with IOC members.
“Obviously, there were some issues that needed to be addressed and problems solved,” Probst said. “The entire team, Scott and his team, myself and our IOC members, have worked hard the last four years to move things in a positive direction, and this is symbolic of making some significant progress.”
Probst joins Anita DeFrantz, Jim Easton and Angela Ruggiero as U.S. members of the IOC.
DeFrantz wins board seat
Anita DeFrantz beat out Canadian Dick Pound and Malaysian Prince Tunku Imran for the only vacant seat on the IOC Executive Board. The former Olympic rower previously served on the executive board from 1992 to 2001.
“Having Anita on the executive board is a big deal and it’s good news for the USOC and the United States,” Probst said.
Wrestling retains its hold
Seven months after being dropped from the Olympic program, wrestling persuaded the IOC to give it a second chance. The sport received 49 votes from IOC members, giving it a first-round majority over competitors baseball and softball (24 votes) and squash (22), which also were vying for one final spot in the 2020 Olympics.
Wrestling was the clear favorite coming into the vote, but its federation had to answer more than a half-dozen questions from IOC members about everything from alleged corruption to gender equality.
“Wrestling has changed,” said FILA President Nenad Lalovic. “Wrestling has become a modernized sport ready to compete with other sports. We persuaded the IOC members [that] our improved sport will support the Olympic movement.”