Top Story Replay: IOC Fills High-Profile Vacancies

(ATR) IOC announces its commission composition for 2019, trumpeting growth in representation for both women and youth.

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(ATR) The IOC announces the composition of its commissions for 2019, including filling two vacancies created by high-profile departures.

Jiri Kejval from the Czech Republic replaces Tsunekazu Takeda as chair of the IOC Marketing Commission while Robin Mitchell of Fiji takes over for Sheikh Ahmad Al Fahad Al Sabah from Kuwait as head of the Olympic Solidarity Commission.

Kejval, the president of the Czech Olympic Committee, became an IOC member in February of 2018.

Takeda stepped down as Japanese Olympic Committee President in March amid an investigation by French prosecutors into allegations of bribery surrounding Tokyo’s election as 2020 Olympic host city. He also relinquished his IOC membership, which was tied to his post as JOC president. Takeda maintains his innocence.

Sheikh Ahmad denies charges of forgery brought against him in Switzerland but decided to step down as an IOC member in November pending the outcome of the case. Mitchell, who was named acting president of the Association of National Olympic Committees (ANOC) after Sheikh Ahmad decided to temporarily leave that position, will now replace him as the head of the IOC commission which distributes funding to the National Olympic Committees.

Four other commission chairs were announced by the IOC on Tuesday: Richard L. Carrión for the Olympic Channel, Mikaela Cojuangco Jaworski for Olympic Education, Sari Essayah for Sport and Active Society, and Luis Alberto Moreno for Public Affairs and Social Development through Sport.

Nicole Hoevertsz, IOC member in Aruba and a member of the IOC Executive Board, was named chair of the IOC Coordination Commission for Los Angeles 2028. She replaces Patrick Baumann, who died suddenly at age 51 while attending the Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires in October.

Hoevertsz has also been appointed vice-chair of the Coordination Commission for Paris 2024, which the IOC says will strengthen "the close collaboration and sharing of best practices between the two Organizing Committees and the two cities, following the double allocation of the Olympic Games 2024 and 2028".

The IOC is trumpeting further growth of female membership and a significant increase in youth representation in its commissions.

Besides three additional female chairs, a record 45.4 percent of the positions across the IOC’s 27 commissions are now occupied by women. That is more than double what it was in 2013.

"Gender equality, both on and off the field of play, is one of the key focus areas of Olympic Agenda 2020," said President Thomas Bach. "With the number of female athletes participating at the Olympic Games, we are practically there for Tokyo 2020. Off the field of play, we will continue our efforts, but we are very proud of having reached such strong female and youth participation in a very short time."

Following a commitment made during the Youth Summit in Tokyo in December, Bach has increased the positions held by Young Change-Makers across the IOC Commissions from seven in 2018 to 16 in 2019.

Young Change-Makers is a program launched at the inaugural Youth Olympic Games in Singapore in 2010 that has created a network of 280 around the world to spread the values of Olympism.

Written by Gerard Farek

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