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S. Korean sports administrator Kim Jae-youl nominated for IOC membership

Sept. 9, 2023 - 10:34 By Yonhap
This file photo provided by the Korea Skating Union on June 10, 2022, shows Kim Jae-youl. (Yonhap)

Veteran South Korean sports administrator Kim Jae-youl is set to become a member of the International Olympic Committee membership, with his candidacy expected to be ratified next month.

The Swiss-based IOC announced on its website Friday that its executive board had approved the nomination of eight candidates for election. IOC members will vote on their candidacy during the IOC Session in Mumbai in October, a process regarded as a formality.

Kim, president of the International Skating Union, is one of two candidates linked to their functions within an international federation of an Olympic sport, alongside International Table Tennis Federation President Petra Sorling.

Kim, 54, is the son-in-law of the late Samsung Group Chairman Lee Kun-hee, who once served as an IOC member.

Successful candidates must win the majority of the votes cast by members at the session.

According to the IOC, the eight candidates "have been subject to integrity checks conducted by the IOC Ethics Commission."

Kim is in line to become the third South Korean member of the IOC, joining Ryu Seung-min, the 2004 Olympic men's table tennis gold medalist, and Lee Kee-heung, president of the Korean Sport & Olympic Committee.

Ryu was elected to the IOC Athletes' Commission in 2016, and his term will end at the Paris Summer Olympics next year. Lee was elected in 2019, in connection with his function within a national Olympic body. Lee will only be able to serve until he turns 70 in 2025, though the IOC may extend the age limit for four years upon a proposal from the executive board.

Also from South Korea, LPGA Hall of Fame golfer Park In-bee will be running for a seat on the Athletes' Commission during the Paris Olympics next summer.

Kim was elected ISU president in June last year, becoming the first non-European leader of the world skating governing body since its foundation in 1892.

Prior to that, Kim had been serving on the ISU Council, its executive body, since 2016.

With the IOC, Kim was a member of the Coordination Commission for the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics from 2016 to 2021. Then in 2022, he joined the Coordination Commission for the 2026 Winter Olympics, to be held in Milan and Cortina d'Ampezzo.

Previously, Kim was the Korea Skating Union's president from 2011 to 2016, executive vice president of international relations for the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics, vice chairman of the KSOC and head of the South Korean delegation to the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics.

The list of candidates includes Michelle Yeoh, the first Asian actress to win an Academy Award for a leading role; Yael Arad, the first Olympic medalist for Israel; and Mehrez Boussayene, president of the Tunisian Olympic Committee. (Yonhap)