On Saturday, the International Olympic Committee member responsible for overseeing preparations for the Beijing Games was elected back to the executive board.
Juan Antonio Samaranch was the only candidate for vacant vice president. His father was IOC president 1980-2001.
Samaranch is now in a position to run for the IOC presidency. According to current IOC rules, Thomas Bach must step down in 2025 after 12 consecutive years as president.
Samaranch stated to IOC members, “You cannot, but maybe you can imagine, how happy I am continue working with you all.”
Samaranch received 72 votes for and four against. Nine people abstained.
Samaranch will assume the seat of Yu Zaiqing, China’s vice president. He had to resign after serving the maximum of two consecutive four-year terms.
Samaranch was previously a VP between 2016-20. Now, he is back on the 15-member IOC board where decision-making has become more concentrated and power has been distributed more effectively under Bach’s hands-on leadership.
Samaranch was the chairman of the IOC coordination committee for the Beijing Olympics in 2018 and became the primary point of contact with Chinese officials.
He has had long-standing ties with the country. He founded the Chinese government-backed Samaranch Foundation in 2012 to promote Olympic culture in China. In 2010, the elder Samaranch, who was also known as Samaranch, died.
The IOC board now contains several candidates for Bach’s successor, including Nicole Hoevertsz, Aruba’s vice president.
Hoevertsz was a 1984 Los Angeles Olympics swimmer in synchronized swimming. She had her IOC membership renewed on Saturday. She will be leading IOC oversight for the 2028 Los Angeles Games.
Five IOC members were elected Saturday. One of them was Yiech Pur Biel a refugee athlete who participated in the Rio de Janeiro Olympics 2016. As a child, he was sent to South Sudan to live in a Kenyan refugee camp before he won selection for the Olympic refugee team.
Luis Alberto Moreno is an ex-diplomat and official observer to the United Nations. The IOC extended his membership. Moreno was the Colombian ambassador to the United States.