Coates officially elected IOC Vice President
11 September 2013
AOC: John Coates has officially been elected as a Vice President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and becomes only the second Australian to hold such a position.
Coates was unopposed after Sami Moudallah from Syria withdrew from the race yesterday. The official vote was 70 votes in favour to 12.
Coates thanked Mr Moudallah and the IOC members for their confidence in him.
“Thank you for your support and I look forward to serving you in this new capacity and supporting the new President in his role,” Coates said from the 125th Session of the IOC in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Thomas Bach of Germany won the election from six candidates earlier in the day to become the new IOC President, as Jacques Rogge stepped down after 12 years as the most powerful position in world sport.
Coates will remain the President of the Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) and Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).
The Australian 63-year-old joined the IOC in 2001 after playing a key role in winning and then staging the Sydney 2000 Olympics.
It was a remarkable day for Australian sport as on the same day senior IOC Member Kevan Gosper was honoured with an Olympic Order.
“I thank my senior IOC colleague, Kevan Gosper and my AOC Executive for the encouragement and support they have given me. Kevan is the only other Australian to have held the position and his support and continuing wise counsel means a great deal to me.”
Gosper, who has spent 17 years on the Board, congratulated Coates and said, “It is a great privilege for us to have a Vice President of the IOC who is an Australian.”
Coates has been a member of the IOC Executive Board since 2009 and sits on the Juridical Commission and the TV Rights & New Media Commission.
He served on the Coordination Commission for the 2012 London Olympics assisting Lord Sebastian Coe and the Chairman of the British Olympic Association, Lord Colin Moyinhan, organise an outstanding Olympics.
The Sydney 2000 Olympics were described as the “best Olympics ever” by the then IOC President, Juan Antonio Samaranch. Coates was awarded the Olympic Order in gold following those Games.
At that time he also negotiated a windfall of $90m for the Australian Olympic Foundation (AOF) which is used to benefit Australia’s Olympic athletes as they chase their dream to compete at the Games.
His sport is rowing... starting as a cox at Homebush High School in Sydney, but making his mark as an administrator. From Rowing Manager at the 1976 Montreal Games to AOC President and Chef de Mission of the Australian Olympic Team at six Olympic Games from 1988 to 2008.
Mike Tancred in Buenos Aires
More news from the 125th IOC Session: