Published on May 24th, 2013 | by Alan Abrahamson
Denis Oswald of Switzerland made it five Friday and three in one week, announcing that he, too, is now a candidate for the International Olympic Committee presidency.
Oswald, experienced in virtually all facets of the movement — as an athlete, IOC member and administrator — sent a one-page letter to his fellow members that both declared his intent to run and outlined his extensive qualifications:
“My 40 years of service to the Olympic movement have provided me with a comprehensive understanding of our organization as well as its role and significance in the wider world.
“This knowledge and experience … will enable me to advance the Olympic cause and enhance the IOC’s authority as the leader of world sport.”
IOC presidential candidate Denis Oswald of Switzerland
Oswald, 66, joins a list that includes C.K. Wu of Chinese Taipei (who announced Thursday), Richard Carrión of Puerto Rico (Wednesday) and Ser Miang Ng of Singapore and Thomas Bach of Germany (both earlier).
Sergei Bubka of Ukraine is also expected to jump in, perhaps as soon as next week.
The IOC will select the successor to Jacques Rogge Sept. 10 in Buenos Aires. (more…)
Published on May 23rd, 2013 | by Alan Abrahamson
C.K. Wu of Chinese Taipei, the president of the international boxing association and a member of the International Olympic Committee’s policy-making executive board, on Thursday announced he is running for the IOC presidency.
Stressing that the Olympic movement ought to reach deep into communities worldwide to emphasize not just sport but culture and, especially, the education of young people, Wu said, “This is the way to look to the future.”
He added, “The Olympic values should start early. When you are young, we all have family education. We learn a lot through the family. When I look at the problems facing us — doping, match-fixing — and beyond, all the issues that we care about, issues that are part of our responsibilities, you ask, how to tackle these?
“I am emphasizing the education.”
International boxing association president and IOC executive board member C.K. Wu
Wu, 66, made his announcement at a news conference in Taipei, becoming the fourth candidate in the race, joining Richard Carrión of Puerto Rico — who issued a statement on Wednesday — as well as Ser Miang Ng of Singapore and Thomas Bach of Germany.
Sergei Bubka of Ukraine is also widely expected to join. Switzerland’s Denis Oswald has been dropping hints, too, about getting in.
The IOC will elect its new president on Sept. 10 in Buenos Aires. (more…)
Published on May 22nd, 2013 | by Alan Abrahamson
It was a couple days before the start of the Vancouver 2010 Winter Games. The British Columbia weather was, as usual for that time of year, unpleasant — rain and sleet. All the more charming, it was hardly 7:30 in the morning.
And yet — people were lined up three-deep to watch the Olympic flame go by. Those who had prime viewing locations made way so that some in wheelchairs could get a look. People who had babies held them up high and said, out loud, to the little ones, “There it is.”
Taking all this in that morning was the man who, for a couple minutes, ran with the flame, then handed it off on its next leg toward the cauldron and the opening ceremony — Richard Carrión, the International Olympic Committee member from Puerto Rico.
On Wednesday, Carrión announced he is a candidate for the IOC presidency. Much will inevitably be made in the weeks and months to come about how Carrión is a banker, a businessman who has negotiated the IOC’s major television rights deals, indeed arguably the IOC’s key financier — all of that — and how he would bring best-practices sensibilities to the office.
IOC member Richard Carrión
That, though, is not why he is running.
Thinking back to that morning now more than three years ago, Carrión said, “The people were there to watch the torch — not the guy.
“That flame evokes an emotion. That is the most powerful thing we have going for us. The minute we think this a business or a professional meeting, we are lost.
“This is fundamentally an organization built around universal values that tries to bring out the best of us in every way. That is what makes me feel privileged to give the organization the time I have given it the past 23 years. I feel it is a privilege — not something I should be compensated for. That is what stirs the passion in me.”
Carrión, 60, is third to announce his candidacy, joining Germany’s Thomas Bach and Singapore’s Ser Miang Ng. (more…)
Published on May 17th, 2013 | by Alan Abrahamson
On days when it may seem grim, there is the quiet example of U.S. Navy Lt. Cmdr. Dan Cnossen to give us all hope.
Cnossen is a leading contender to make the U.S. Paralympic team at next February’s Sochi 2014 Games in Nordic skiing. He has a real shot to win a medal in both cross-country skiing and in biathlon, the skiing-and-shooting sport.
It’s not just that, though.
U.S. Navy Lt. Cmdr. Dan Cnossen competing on skis // photo courtesy U.S. Paralympics
Dan Cnossen, a Navy SEAL, lost both legs just above the knees in an explosion in Afghanistan in September, 2009.
It’s how he has come back, how he can walk and run, and ski, and how it’s all a new normal.
This is the way it’s going to be now for those wounded in the Boston Marathon bombings last month.
Dan Cnossen’s tale can show the way.
“We are a high-performance sports organization, and that means we work day in and day out with a pretty remarkable group of people,” Max Cobb, the president and chief executive of USA Biathlon, said.
“And then there are times when for a moment you reflect on an athlete like Dan Cnossen, and on his progress, on his story, on his phenomenal tenacity. It’s emotional. Dan makes you proud to be an American, proud to be on his team.”
Published on May 16th, 2013 | by Alan Abrahamson
In a moment rich with symbolism, Singapore’s Ser Miang Ng announced Thursday he is a candidate to become the next president of the International Olympic Committee.
Ng, 64, made the announcement in Paris, at the Sorbonne, the university where in 1894 Pierre de Coubertin and his invitees met in the Salle Octave Gréard to revive the Olympic Games. There began the audacious idea of making this modern Olympic committee something that might someday be truly, indeed profoundly, international.
Now the movement includes more national Olympic committees, 204, than the United Nations has member states, 193.
The “values of sport,” Ng said Thursday, “are tomorrow’s living Olympic legacies.” At the same time, he said, “The world is changing — and the movement must evolve with it.”
Singapore’s Ser Miang Ng // photo Getty Images
Ng’s candidacy makes two now in the presidential race. He joins Germany’s Thomas Bach, who jumped in last Thursday.
Others expected to make announcements in the coming days include Ukraine’s Sergei Bubka, Puerto Rico’s Richard Carrión and C.K. Wu of Chinese Taipei. (more…)