— Published 11 September 2023

Four new women, including Michelle Yeoh

Instead of discussing the sports programme for the Los Angeles 2028 Games, the IOC Executive Board debated a much more consensual subject on Friday 8 September: its membership. The result was eight happy candidates, who will be proposed for IOC membership at the next session, scheduled for 15 to 17 October in Mumbai, India. In a sign of the times, the eight future members are perfectly evenly matched: four men and four women. Five of them – three women and two men – are proposed as independent individual members: Israel’s Yael Arad, Olympic judo runner-up in 1992 and current President of the National Olympic Committee; Hungary’s Balázs Fürjes, former President of Budapest’s bid committee for the 2024 Games; Peru’s Cecilia Roxana Tait Villacorta, a former volleyball international who is now a member of parliament; Germany’s Michael Mronz, an organiser of international sporting events, and Malaysia’s Michelle Yeoh (pictured above), a former national junior squash champion who went down in history this year as the first Asian actress to win an Oscar. Two other candidates, one woman and one man, have been proposed in connection with their functions within an international federation: Petra Sörling of Sweden, President of the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF), and Jae Youl Kim of South Korea, President of the International Skating Union (ISU). Finally, one candidate has been put forward in connection with his position on a National Olympic Committee: Mehrez Boussayene from Tunisia. With the addition of four new female members, the IOC will have 44 women members, a percentage of 41.1%. In addition, seven IOC members who have reached the end of their eight-year term of office will be proposed for re-election for a further eight years, despite their age: Nawal El Moutawakel, Albert of Monaco, the Grand Duke of Luxembourg, Valeriy Borzov, Gunilla Lindberg, Syed Shahidi Ali and Nenad Lalovic. Finally, the IOC Executive Board decided to propose to the Session the extension of the mandates of Luis Mejía Oviedo of the Dominican Republic, who will reach the age limit of 70 at the end of the year, and Gerardo Werthein of Argentina, who will turn 70 at the end of 2025. The former will remain a member of the body until 2027, while the latter’s term will be extended until 31 December 2029.