Jul 17 (Reuters) – Cuban Maria Caridad Colón and Briton Sebastian Coe, both former Olympic champions, were elected as new members of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), organizers of session 136 of the world sport’s governing body reported on Friday.
Colón, 62, became the first Latin American and Caribbean Olympic champion to throw the javelin at the Moscow 1980 Games, while Coe conquered a gold double in Moscow 1980 and Los Angeles 1984 in 1,500 flat meters.
“They are dreams come true, one that you feel is impossible and becomes the result of decades linked to sports,” the Cuban said in statements to the Prensa Latina news agency. Colón witnessed the vote at the IOC at the headquarters of the Cuban Olympic Committee, according to state television on the island.
Five other Cubans had integrated the IOC at different times. The last of them, the late Reynaldo González between 1995 and 2015.
Coe is the current president of “World Athletics”, the former International Association of Athletics Federations, a sport that had not had any representation in the IOC since the departure of its predecessor, the Senegalese Lamine Diack, in 2015, in the midst of a scandal. of corruption.
In addition to Columbus and Coe, Croatian Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic, Saudi Reema Bandar Al-Saud and Mongolian Battushig Batbold joined as IOC members on Friday.
The IOC session, which was held by videoconference, was opened by its President, the German Thomas Bach.
The IOC and the government of Japan decided in March to postpone the Olympic Games until 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic that is plaguing the world. The opening ceremony of the Tokyo Games is planned for July 23 next year.
(Report by Nelson Acosta. Edited by Javier Leira)