Golden 25 -- Pan Am Sports Chief #22 Mario Vazquez Rana

(ATR) He may have left the IOC, but Pan American Sports Organization President Mario Vazquez Rana is still wielding influence in the Americas.

Now 80, he resigned from the IOC in March, ahead of schedule. He also abandoned a seat on the Executive Board, and left the presidencies of the Association of National Olympic Committees and Olympic Solidarity.

It was an angry departure. Vazquez Rana took swings at those involved with a move to unseat him at ANOC unless he agreed to a defined succession plan. Since then he has become isolated from the rest of the Olympic world, save for the Americas. For the first time since the 1960s, Vazquez Rana missed going to an Olympics when he stayed home from London.

While Vazquez Rana has declared his intention to seek an 11th term as PASO president in 2015, he is facing potential challengers. He says his health and energy have gotten a boost by shelving his other posts and that he is ready to rule. But his isolation from the mainstream of the Olympic Movement may undercut those plans.

Vazquez Rana has agreed to open the purse at PASO, a move that helps keeps him in favor with the 41 member NOCs, each to receive $1 million across the next four years.

2012 Golden 25: 4

Written and reported by the ATR Staff.

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