(ATR) As the Tokyo 2020 Olympics approach, the IOC counts on John Coates to help steer the ship on a smooth journey.
The chair of the IOC Coordination Commission for the 2020 Olympics, Coates is number 9 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.
Coates has been an active participant in the labors over the past three years to lower the costs of the Tokyo Olympics. From perhaps more than $20 billion, Coates and Tokyo organizers have shaved the estimate of what it will cost to stage the games by more than half. And work continues on more ways to cut costs and complexity.
The moves in Tokyo are essential to the future of the Olympics given the reluctance of cities to bid based on budget fears and other political concerns. Coates and the IOC are on a mission to prove that the Olympics need not overwhelm a host city.
Coates is a frequent visitor to Tokyo, actively engaged in the week to week preparation, perhaps an even bigger job than he had 20 years ago as a vice president for the 2000 Olympics in Sydney. He is the only current IOC member with direct experience leading an organizing committee.
While he faces the IOC retirement age of 70 just prior to Tokyo, IOC President Thomas Bach organized a change to the status of Coates’s IOC membership in 2017. It is now possible for Coates to remain on the IOC through Tokyo and beyond.
After a bruising battle in 2017 to win re-election as president of the Australian Olympic Committee, Coates has declared this is his final term. He now is preparing the AOC for a transition to a new era after 30 years at the helm. During that time the AOC has grown into one of the most-watched and influential of the world’s NOCs.
A lawyer by profession, Coates is chair of the powerful Legal Affairs Commission for the IOC. He is also president of the Court of Arbitration for Sport, a key waypoint in the fight against doping.
2017 ranking - #5
Reported by Ed Hula.