SINGAPORE – Veteran sports administrator Ng Ser Miang was elected a vice-president of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) at the 136th IOC Session on Friday evening (July 17).
The 71-year-old Singaporean has served the IOC as a member since 1998 and was also vice-president from 2009 to 2013. He currently chairs the IOC Finance Commission and Human Resource Committee and was an executive board member from 2005 to 2009 and 2016 to 2020.
The IOC executive board comprises the president, four vice-presidents and 10 other members. All executive board members are elected, by secret ballot, for four-year terms.
The other vice-presidential slot up for grabs on Friday went to Australian Olympic Committee president John Coates. Ng, who garnered 82 of the 85 valid votes, and Coates replaced Ugur Erdener and Juan Antonio Samaranch.
Ng, the Singapore Olympic Foundation and Singapore Olympic Academy chairman, told The Straits Times: “Being able to serve on the IOC, be a part of the Olympic movement, and contribute to sport in my own way has always been a role that I have seen as a rare privilege.
“I look forward to working shoulder to shoulder with my colleagues on the executive board, under the leadership of (IOC president) Thomas Bach, as we adapt to the new normal and continue to support the Olympic movement and the Olympic Games.
“I will also continue to leverage on my knowledge and network for the development of sports and the Olympic movement in Singapore, and hope to support more Singaporeans in serving in international sports organisations.”
Ng’s election was confirmed at the IOC’s first virtual Session, the first gathering of world sport’s leaders since the start of the coronavirus pandemic that led to the postponement of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Instead of starting next week, the quadrennial Games will now take place from July 23 to Aug 8 next year in the Japanese capital.
At the Session, Bach also indicated his readiness to run for the IOC presidency for a second term if he has the support of the majority of its 105 members.
During the four-hour Session, Tokyo 2020 organisers released an updated schedule which showed that women’s softball will kick off competition at 9am in Fukushima on July 21, two days before the Games officially open, with all events taking place a day earlier than the 2020 schedule. Tickets already secured can be used for next year’s events, while refund options are also available to fans.
TOC president Yoshiro Mori shared that the approach for the Tokyo Games will focus on safety, security, and simplicity to reduce the impact of the postponement, and a three-party council with the national government and the Tokyo Metroplitan government will be set up to prepare for various scenarios to safeguard the health of all participants.
Bach praised the “highly impressive” efforts and plans which give all parties confidence that Tokyo 2021 will be a great celebration of humanity, solidarity and resilience.
Meanwhile, the Session also approved the postponement of the Dakar 2022 Summer Youth Olympic Games to 2026, a decision announced by the IOC executive board on Thursday following a request from Senegal President Macky Sall.
The IOC had said the delaying of the first Olympic event to be held in Africa is due to the “large scale of the operational challenges which the IOC, the National Olympic Committees and the International Federations are facing following the postponement of the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020”.