(ATR) The IOC loses seven members as 2019 begins.
From a roster of 103 on New Year’s Eve, there were 96 the following morning as retirements took effect.
Prominent members who turned 80 in 2018 are Italian Mario Pescante, a member since 1994, and Sam Ramsamy who joined a year later. Pescante was IOC rep at the U.N. Ramsamy is legend for his role ending apartheid in South Africa sport.
Ung Chang from North Korea spent his final year on the IOC helping to bring North and South Korea together at the PyeongChang Winter Olympics. He is now battling health issues.
Three members who were covered by the age 70 retirement rule are Tunku Imran of Malaysia, elected in 2006, Richard Peterkin of St. Lucia, elected in 2009 and Barry Maister of New Zealand who joined in 2010.
The U.S. drops one of its three members with the resignation of Larry Probst. His IOC membership was tied to his presidencyof the U.S. Olympic Committee, which he resigned effective Jan 1. He joined in 2013.
The drop in membership is now customary for the IOC at the end of the year. In 2019 for example, six members are scheduled to leave due to retirement. Over the next three years 16 members will hit retirement age.
In addition to retirements or resignations, three members died in 2019: Nat Indrapana of Thailand, Irina Szewinska from Poland and Patrick Baumann of Switzerland.
The churn means plenty of work for the IOC New Members Election Commission headed by the Princess Royal of Great Britain. In 2018 the commission named nine members that pushed membership briefly to 104, the largest number of IOC members in a few years. The Olympic Charter limit is 115.Once the the turnover was more measured.From 2002 to 2006, no new IOC members were elected.
From the IOC Class of 2018, just one, Giovanni Malago, president of the Italian NOC, replaces a retiring member from that country.
New IOC members will be elected in 2019 at the IOC Session in June.
Reported by Ed Hula.