By Stephen Parry
There aren’t too many paupers around, but the International Olympic. Committee (IOC) can boast a posse of princes.
Three Princes, one English Lord, one French Count and Princess Nora of Liechtenstein ensure the continuation of the blue blooded line which has been a feature of the IOC since the Olympic movement was founded by Barron Pierre De Coubertin in 1894.
But other changes are afoot. While the Olympic governing body has not entirely shrugged off its image of dusty dotards sitting in serried ranks, the age of the dilettante is fading.
‘The games themselves are professional and so, increasingly, is the manner in which Olympic Administrators conduct their affairs.
As the tide of professionalism has swept over De Coubertin’s rigid 19th century sporting code, so too the gifted amateurs of earlier decades are being replaced by administrators who know full well where the next Olympic dollar is coming from.
The Olympics are big business. The TOC itself, in terms of cash and property, is worth an estimated 45 million US. Dollars, but that’s only the beginning of the story.
‘The marketing of the movement’s emblem, the five Olympic rings, is expected to generate more than 100 million dollars this year, while the sale of television rights for next week’s Winter Olympics in Calgary and the Seoul Games in September will produce an estimated total of 750 million dollars.
“As the sum involved have increased, so too has the recognition that we must act in a more professional manner”, Dick Pound, a Canadian member of IOC executive board, told Reuters.
“But we haven’t deliberately sought out IOC members who have a professional background, It’s been good luck rather than good management, he added.
Members no longer have to pay for their IOC travel, so personal wealth is no longer a criterion for membership. Pound also said younger, more active people were being elected and that improvements in travel and communications meant more members were able to attend meetings.
The age of IOC Members ranges from Prince Albert of Monaco, the youngest at 29, to Count Jean De Beaumont of France, the oldest at 84. De Beaumont became the senior IOC member last year when Vladimir Stoychev, Commander of the Bulgarian army in World War Two, resigned at the age of 95,
SINGAPORE, Reuter: Top seed Yang Yang of China outclassed Thailand’s Kusasemkij 15-10, 15-2 to win the men’s Singles title in the Asian badminton championships on Sunday
Article extracted from this publication >> February 12, 1988