IOC Athletes Commissioner ‘War of the Stars’ Domestic qualifiers more competitive than Olympic gold medals

Kim Yeon-kyung and Park In-bee officially declare their candidacy
Jong-oh Jin and Dae-hoon Lee
One Korean selected to compete in Paris next year
Olympic athletes vote for four

Kim Yeon-kyung

“Volleyball Queen” Kim Yeon-kyung (35), “Golf Queen” Park In-bee (35), “Mr. Taekwondo” Lee Dae-hoon (31), and “Shooting Emperor” Jin Jong-oh (44) are in a four-way race for the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Athletes’ Commission seat. Only one of the four, who are all family names in their respective sports, will be able to represent South Korea in the IOC Athletes’ Commission elections during the Paris Olympics next July.

Lee Dae-hoon

On March 21, the Korean Olympic Committee (KOC) sent a letter to each sporting organization asking them to nominate a Korean representative for the IOC. Afterward, it was expected that Kim Yeon-kyung, Lee Dae-hoon, and Jin Jong-oh would compete in a three-way race, but on March 3, Park In-bee announced her intention to run for the IOC, making it a four-way race.

Inbee Park

The Korean Sports Federation will close the nomination period at 6 p.m. on April 4. Then, over the course of about three weeks, they will conduct ‘candidate unification’ through document screening and interviews. The screening consists of 10 evaluation items, including athletic achievements. The interview will include a presentation in English. The IOC states that candidates must be “fluent in English” to be eligible. National Olympic Committees (NOCs), such as the Korean Olympic Committee, have until the first of the following month to nominate one candidate to the IOC.

Jong-Oh Jin

Candidates for the IOC Athletes’ Commission, including South Korea’s representative, will campaign at next year’s Paris Olympics. The final four winners will then be chosen by a direct vote, where each Olympic athlete can cast up to four votes. According to IOC rules, the four winners must be from different sports.

South Korea has had two IOC Athletes’ Commissioners so far. Moon Dae-sung, 47, a former taekwondo national team member and Special Assistant for International Cooperation at the State Guesthouse, became the first Asian to be elected to the IOC when he topped a field of 29 candidates at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Yoo Seung-min, 41, president of the Korea Table Tennis Association, was elected at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, finishing second out of 23 candidates.

The maximum number of IOC Athletes’ Commissioners is 23, and 12 of them (eight for summer sports and four for winter sports) are elected at each Olympic Games. Athletes are elected for a term of eight years. Four new faces are elected every summer and two every winter. Yu is one of four Athletes’ Commissioners whose term ends at the Paris Games. The other 11 Athletes are nominated by the IOC President based on gender, region and sport.

Only athletes who have competed in the Olympic Games or the immediately preceding Olympic Games are eligible to stand for election as an IOC Athlete Commissioner. For next year’s elections, athletes must have competed at the Paris Games or the Tokyo 2021 Games to be eligible. However, countries that already have an IOC Athlete Commissioner from their country are not eligible to run. South Korea was elected at the 2016 Rio Olympics, so it did not have a candidate for the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Games or the 2021 Tokyo Summer Games. This meant that “figure queen” Kim Yeon-ah, 33, whose last Olympic Games were in Sochi in 2014, could not stand for election in Pyeongchang in 2018.

Once elected to the IOC, athletes are automatically appointed as IOC members. They have all the same rights and responsibilities as other IOC members, including the right to vote on the selection of Olympic venues. If he is elected to the IOC in Paris, he will become the 12th South Korean IOC member, 토토사이트 following the election of Korean Sports Minister Lee Ki-heung (68).

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