(ATR) The senior IOC member in Spain is the new watchman for the Beijing Winter Olympics in 2022.
Juan Antonio Samaranch is number 11 in the 2018 edition of the Around the Rings Golden 25. Published since 1997, the Golden 25 is an annual review of people, events and issues expected to influence the Olympic Movement in the year ahead.
Following the suspension of the original chair of the Beijing 2022 commission, Samaranch has taken the helm of this group overseeing the first Winter Olympics in China.
While the ability of Beijing is not a worry, Samaranch and his team will want to be sure this most untraditional and unexpected host of a Winter Olympics can deliver an inviting atmosphere. As the second Winter Olympics in a row in Asia, Beijing presents a challenge to retain interest in the event from major centers of winter sport in the Americas and Europe.
With the ski venues north of Beijing reliant on artificially made snow in an arid region, the Beijing Winter Olympics raises sustainability issues Samaranch and the IOC will need to face.
The son of the former IOC president, Samaranch became a member in 2001, the year his father stepped down. He has steadily risen in influence since then, elected to the Executive Board in 2012 and a vice president in 2016.
A business executive in Madrid, Samaranch, 58, is the IOC designate to negotiate broadcast rights in Europe. He chairs the board of directors for the Spanish corporation for the Madrid-based Olympic Channel.
Unranked in 2017
Reported by Ed Hula.