Olympics: IOC elects five new members and decides to hold its 2023 session in Mumbai; India’s Shiva Keshavan fails to get on to Athletes’ Commission

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) that held its session at Beijing during the 2022 Winter Olympic Games has elected five new members besides electing a new Vice-President. It also re-elected two Executive Board members. The session also re-elected and approved the change of membership status of one member while consenting to a term extension of another member. It also re-elected two members of its Ethics Commission.

In another significant decision, it decided to hold its next session in Mumbai in 2023.

For the first time in Olympic history, a UNHCR-recognised refugee has been elected as an IOC Member. Yiech Pur Biel is an Olympian, who competed as a member of the IOC Refugee Olympic Team Rio 2016 and was a team manager for the same team at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020. His election was possible following the amendment made to the Olympic charter in Tokyo allowing the election of IOC Members in special cases without a nationality or National Olympic Committee (NOC) requirement.

Olympic bronze medallist Danka Bartekova (Slovakia), who has been an elected  athletes’ representative  and an IOC Member besides being Vice-Chair of the IOC Athletes’ Commission from 2018 to 2021, was also elected. Both Mr Biel und Ms Barteková were elected as Independent Individuals.

David Lappartient (France) was elected as an IOC Member in his capacity as President of the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI).

Olympians Martin Fourcade (France) and Frida Hansdotter  (Sweden), who were elected by the athletes participating the in the 2022 Winter Olympic games  as members of the IOC Athletes’ Commission (AC), were also elected as IOC Members, bringing the number of active athletes’ representatives in the IOC membership to 15.

The elected athletes will replace current IOC AC member Hayley Wickenheiser (Canada), who is finishing her term of office at the end of Beijing 2022, and fill the vacancy caused by Ole Einar Bjørndalen (Norway)’s resignation from the IOC AC in 2016.

India’s first Winter Olympian Shiva Keshavan (Luge), who was also in the fray for Athletes’ Commission member got 90 votes against 901 votes got by Martin Fourcade.

The term of office of all the newly elected IOC Members is eight years.

A new Vice-President and two members re-elected to the IOC Executive Board (EB)

During  the Session  also elected was Juan Antonio Samaranch (Spain) as an IOC Vice-President. Mr Samaranch’s term as Vice-President will start on  May 20 after the conclusion of the 139th IOC Session.

Nenad Lalovic (Serbia) and Ivo Ferriani   (Italy) were also re-elected as EB members. The terms for the EB members is four years.

Member re-election, term extension and change of membership status

Arriving at the end of her IOC membership term, Nicole Hoevertsz (Aruba) was re-elected for an additional eight years. A change of status to Independent Individual was also approved for Ms Hoevertsz.

IOC Member Poul-Erik Hoyer (Denmark) informed the Session that, for personal reasons, he was not seeking re-election. Therefore his membership will end at the close of the 139th Session in May.

The age limit of 70 for IOC Member Luis Moreno (Colombia) was extended for four years. As the Chair of the IOC Public Affairs and Social Development Through Sport Commission and Permanent Observer of the IOC to the United Nations since 2019, Mr Moreno plays an important role in the relationship between the IOC and the UN.

After new elections, the number of IOC Members goes up to 106.

The Session also re-elected two members of the IOC Ethics Commission for a new four-year term, in their capacity as IOC Members: They are Pierre-Olivier Beckers-Vieujant and Auvita Rapilla.

Chaired by former UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon since 2017, the IOC Ethics Commission is composed of nine members, five of whom must be independent from the IOC. Among the four IOC Members, one must be an IOC Athletes’ Commission member.