Running for IOC Board was 'win-win' for Mikee Cojuangco

Camille B. Naredo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 13 2020 06:26 PM

IOC Executive Board member Mikee Cojuangco-Jaworski. File photo. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News

MANILA, Philippines -- For Mikee Cojuangco-Jaworski, her decision to run for the Executive Board of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) put her in a "win-win" situation, regardless if she won the position or not.

Cojuangco-Jaworski, a 2002 Asian Games gold medalist, became the first Filipino to be elected to the prestigious Executive Board. Last July, she garnered a majority of 45 out of the 93 votes cast during the 136th session of the IOC Congress.

"I decided around November of last year that I was going to make a go for the IOC Executive Board, knowing that there were two vacancies coming in this session in 2020," Cojuangco-Jaworski said when she guested on the "So She Did" podcast.

"It doesn't really happen that there are two vacancies, so I thought, you know, okay, why not, right?" she added.

Cojuangco-Jaworski has been a member of the IOC since 2013, and was already involved in various commissions, including the Coordination Commission for the upcoming Olympic Games in Tokyo.

But earning a spot in the Executive Board is a step up for Cojuangco-Jaworski, as it is the highest decision-making body of the IOC.

The 46-year-old equestrienne was told that it was not common for IOC representatives to win the first time they ran for a place in the Executive Board.

"So I was thinking, I have nothing to lose. I really have nothing to lose," Cojuangco-Jaworski said. "I'm still gonna be a member of the IOC, regardless if I win the election."

"All the other candidates are, we're all friends, and they're all great. So I felt like, 'You know what, if I don't win, those guys are gonna serve me as a member of the IOC anyway, so you know what, win-win, it's a win-win situation,'" she added.

Cojuangco-Jaworski was admittedly shocked to have won. 

"The IOC president said, 'We congratulate Mrs. Jaworski.' I was like, 'what?' Thank goodness my audio was muted, my video was off," she recalled. "I was like jumping around, very undignified from the position that I just won."

The voting process, she said, was nerve-wracking. Cojuangco-Jaworski recalled not getting much sleep in the two weeks leading up to the election, and becoming more and more nervous when the results were being announced.

"I was praying, 'Lord, pakibigay na sa akin 'to, pwede? Kung mananalo man ako, can you let me win now? Kasi I'm really nervous. I would probably throw up soon,'" she remembered thinking, just moments before her name was called.

READ MORE: Mikee Cojuangco wants to prove that IOC Board is ‘a place for a Filipina to be in’
[https://news.abs-cbn.com/sports/07/30/20/mikee-cojuangco-wants-to-prove-that-ioc-board-is-a-place-for-a-filipina-to-be-in]

As exhausting and stressful as the whole process was, Cojuangco-Jaworski still treasured it and considered it a learning experience.

"The process itself allows you to gain a larger perspective on sports and what it's like in the different parts of the world, in different cultures," she explained. "So you know, win-win, right?"

"I went into it, and I just prayed. I said, 'God, I'm submitting myself to your will, if this is a job and a responsibility you want me to have, then I leave it up to You,'" she added.

(For more sports coverage, visit the ABS-CBN Sports website).