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Korean sports administrator Kim Jae-youl elected as IOC member

Oct. 17, 2023 - 20:07 By Yonhap
Newly elected International Olympic Committee members (from left) Korea's Kim Jae-youl, president of the International Skating Union, Cecilia Tait, former Olympic medallist and politician from Peru, Hungarian businessman and sports administrator Balazs Furjes, Israel's first Olympic medallist Yael Arad, IOC President Thomas Bach, Malaysian actress Michelle Yeoh, German sports entrepreneur Michael Mronz, Sweden's Petra Soerling, head of the International Table Tennis Federation, and Mehrez Boussayene, president of the Tunisian Olympic Committee, pose for a group picture during the third day of the 141st IOC session in Mumbai, India on Tuesday. (Yonhap)

South Korean sports administrator Kim Jae-youl was elected as a new member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) on Tuesday, becoming the 12th person from the country to join the top Olympic body.

Kim, 55, was one of eight new members whose candidacy was ratified during the IOC Session in Mumbai, about a month after the IOC's Executive Board first recommended their nomination. The vote by IOC members at the session was considered a formality.

A successful candidate needed a majority vote, and Kim garnered 72 out of 73 votes cast by IOC members at the session.

Kim is also the president of the International Skating Union (ISU). He is one of two new members who are the heads of an international federation of an Olympic sport, alongside International Table Tennis Federation President Petra Sorling.

Kim is the son-in-law of the late Samsung Group Chairman Lee Kun-hee, who was elected as an IOC member in 1996 and became an honorary member in 2017.

Kim becomes the third active IOC member from South Korea, joining Ryu Seung-min, the 2004 Olympic men's table tennis gold medalist, and Lee Kee-heung, president of the Korean Sport & Olympic Committee (KSOC).

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.

Kim was elected as the ISU president in June 2022, 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.

Joining Kim and Sorling as new members at this election were: Michelle Yeoh, an Oscar-winning actress from Malaysia; Yael Arad of Israel, the first Olympic medalist from her country; Balazs Furjes, a veteran government official and sports administrator from Hungary; Cecilia Tait, a former Peruvian volleyball player; Michael Mronz, a German sports manager; and Mehrez Boussayene, head of the Tunisian Olympic Committee.

These elections bring the number of IOC members to 107.