Zubair elected as IOC member
Khalid al Zubair, the Oman Olympic Committee (OOC) chairman, was on Friday elected as a member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) during the IOC Session in the Peruvian capital of Lima.
Muscat Daily had first reported last month that Zubair was set to be elected as the IOC member.
Zubair was among the eight new members elected during the session that also elected a new vice-president and three new members of its executive board.
The eight new members were proposed by the executive board in August.
Zubair along with Neven Ivan Ilic Alvarez, president of the Pan-American Sports Organisation were elected as representatives of a National Olympic Committee (NOC) or continental association of NOCs.
The other members elected were Jean-Christophe Rolland, president of World Rowing and Ingmar de Vos, president of the International Equestrian Federation as members representing an international federation. Four members, three of them women, were elected in the category of individual members - Baklai Temengil, Kristin Kloster Aasen, Khunying Patama Leeswadtrakul (all women) and Luis Mejia Oviedo.
Anita DeFrantz of USA was elected as an IOC vice-president. Robin Mitchell, Nicole Hoevertsz, and Mr Denis Oswald were chosen to join the IOC Executive Board.
At the IOC Session, 16 members were re-elected after eight years of membership, and among them was Kuwait's Sheikh Ahmad al Fahad al Sabah.
Speaking to Muscat Daily from Ashgabat in Turkmenistan, where he is attending the fifth Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games, Taha al Kishry, the OOC secretary-general, said, “The election of Khalid al Zubair as an IOC member is a historic moment for Oman. It is only the second time that an Omani has been elected as an IOC member, the previous instance being in 2009 when the then OOC vice-chairman, Habib Abdulnabi Macki, was elected.
“The election is a testimony of a strong Olympic movement in Oman, which has begun to bear fruit in recent times following the efforts of the OOC led by Zubair.”
“The OOC has been strongly supporting the IOC activities and programmes, be it the Olympic Solidarity programmes, including training courses for coaches and scholarships for athletes, administrators and technicians or be it courses on sports medicine, anti-doping and emphasis on women’s sport,” said Kishry.
Zubair, who is in his second term as the OOC chief after his previous term ended last year (2013-16), has made significant contribution to the IOC’s objectives by adopting multi-faceted projects and programmes within OOC. It has resulted in Omani teams and individuals winning medals at Asian level.
The OOC in its effort to ensure progress under the theme ‘Sport for Development’ had also formed ten supporting committees - planning and follow-up, Olympic Solidarity, anti-doping, women’s sport, athletes, sport for all, sport and environment, sports medicine, media and marketing.
The OOC was also instrumental in setting up the Dispute Resolution and Arbitration for Sport Committee. Among the other major achievements under Zubair has been the support of corporate houses to national teams and individuals. Zubair was the first elected chairman of the OOC in 2013 and his elevation as an IOC member is certain to bring more spotlight on Olympic sports in Oman.