SYDNEY (AP) — Ian Chesterman was upgraded from vice president to president after voting on Saturday to replace outgoing Australian Olympic Committee chief John Coates.
Chesterman beat former Olympic swimmer Mark Stockwell 67-26 in the vote held at the COA’s annual general meeting.
Coates was the official responsible for delivering two Olympic Games in Australia – the Sydney Games in 2000 and the 2032 version to be held in Brisbane. But he stepped down from his role after 32 years as president.
Coates, 71, will remain vice-president of the International Olympic Committee until 2024. IOC President Thomas Bach traveled to Sydney to attend the annual general meeting and speak at the dinner of Coates celebration later Saturday.
Bach, who said no other Olympic official has delivered two Games to their home country, said he had good news and bad news as he congratulated Chesterman.
“The shoes he has to fill are huge,” Bach said. “It’s also good news, because it also means that he can build on a very solid base. John leaves the AOC in very good condition.”
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Chesterman served as chef de mission for Team Australia at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and six Winter Olympic teams. Stockwell was a member of the famous Australian “Mean Machine” relay swimming team from the 1984 Games in Los Angeles.
Chesterman has been a member of the AOC’s executive committee since 2001, while Stockwell, despite his three medals at the 1984 Games and his long association with sports administration, was considered an outsider for the top job.
There were a total of 93 votes among eligible delegates, largely made up of nominated members of the sports federations on the program for the upcoming Summer and Winter Olympics.
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