Asian Games gold medalist and champion equestrienne Mikaela “Mikee” Cojuangco-Jaworski accomplished a milestone for the Philippines when she was elected member of the prestigious International Olympic Committee executive board late Friday night.
During the 136th session of the IOC Congress, the first to be held online, Cojuangco, 46, garnered a majority of 45 out of the 93 votes cast in joining the elite 15-person executive board led by IOC president Thomas Bach.
The IOC EB is the highest decision-making body of the world Olympic body based in Lausanne, Switzerland, made up of a president, four vice presidents and 10 members.
Cojuangco, who ruled the women’s show-jumping event in the 2002 Busan Asian Games, was the only other Asian to be voted to the board outside of Singapore’s Ng Ser Miang, who was re-elected vice president.
Also elected were John Coates, president of the Australian Olympic Committee, as IOC vice president; and Argentine Gerardo Werthein, another former equestrian, as member of the board replacing former Olympic and world Olympic men’s pole vault champion Sergey Bubka of Ukraine.
Among those who elected as individual IOC members was Olympic great and former top British middle-distance runner Sebastian Coe, president of World Athletics, track and field’s global governing body.
“Congratulations to Mikee and to our country. Her election is not only a good representation for our country but for the entire Asian region as well,” said Philippine Olympic Committee president Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino in a statement.
“This is huge for the Philippines considering that Mikee is relatively young. It is good to have an ‘insider’ in the highest body of the IOC,” added POC first vice-president Joey Romasanta. “She could be the face of the new generation of IOC leaders.”
A former movie actress, Cojuangco is the daughter of former POC president and congressman Jose Cojuangco Jr. and Margarita “Tingting” Cojuangco.
She was first elected IOC representative to the Philippines in 2013, succeeding businessman Frank Elizalde, former president of the Philippine Football Federation.
She is the wife of Robert “Dodot” Jaworski Jr., son of basketball icon Robert “Big J” Jaworski Sr., with whom she has three boys.
Although low key, Cojuango, a Bachelor of Arts Psychology graduate at Ateneo, is known in local sports circles as an efficient and hardworking sports official yet “easy to get along with,” according to Romasanta.
She has proven her mettle within the IOC ranks and has held key posts in several IOC commissions, which include: Coordination for the Games of the 32nd Olympiad Tokyo 2020 (2014 to the present); Women and Sports (2014-2015); Olympic Channel (2015 to the present), Communications (2015 to the present), Olympic Education (2015 to the present.)
She was a member of the Commission of the Evaluation for the Games of the 33rd Olympiad in 2024 (2016-2017) as well as a present member of the Commission of the Coordination of the Games of the 33rd Olympiad Paris.
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