Mikee inches closer to IOC post

By Abac Cordero, The Philippine Star

Posted at Jul 16 2013 04:54 PM | Updated as of Jul 17 2013 12:54 AM

MANILA, Philippines - The Philippines may find a new voice inside the International Olympic Committee once Frank Elizalde’s term as IOC representative to the Philippines ends on the midnight of Dec. 31, 2013.

Mikee Cojuangco, a gold medalist in equestrian in the 2002 Asian Games in Busan, has gained the nod of the IOC executive board as possible replacement for Elizalde.

Jose Romasanta, first vice president of the Philippine Olympic Committee, yesterday said the 39-year-old Cojuangco has one foot inside the IOC.

“She and eight others have been approved by the IOC executive board as IOC members,” said Romasanta, adding that Cojuangco and the eight others were chosen from a pool of 70 that was trimmed down to 40 two weeks ago.

The list will be submitted for ratification to the 125th IOC General Assembly in Buenos Aires in September when the IOC elects a new president.

Also in the list are long-distance runner Paul Tergat of Kenya and Athens 2004 high-jump champion Stefan Holm of Sweden.

Cojuangco’s nomination to the IOC was first reported in September last year as Filipino officials started hoping that the IOC keep a representative to the Philippines.

Elizalde has played the distinguished role since 1985 and before him there was Jorge Vargas. If Cojuangco gets full ratification, she will become only the third IOC representative to the Philippines.

Cojuangco’s father, Jose “Peping” Cojuangco, is president of the POC since 2004.

Elizalde is the chairman of the powerful nomination commission of the IOC. He said that prevents him from recommending anyone as his possible replacement.

“Ironically I’m the chairman of the nomination commission of the IOC. I’m not allowed to nominate anybody. It’s not for me to make a recommendation,” said Eizalde.