Sweden’s Lindberg elected to IOC executive board

Sweden’s Gunilla Lindberg returned to the International Olympic

Committee executive board Saturday, becoming the second woman on

the ruling 15-member body.

Lindberg was elected unopposed Saturday to the single opening on

the board, filling a spot vacated by Norway’s Gerhard Heiberg after

the completion of his four-year mandate.

She received 63 votes in favor, 10 against and four abstentions

in the secret ballot on the final day of the IOC’s four-day session

in Durban.

”Welcome back on board,” IOC President Jacques Rogge said.

Lindberg had rotated off the board after serving as an IOC vice

president for four years from 2004-08, only the second woman in

history elected to that position.

Lebanon’s Toni Khoury had also considered running for the

executive board position, but decided not to submit his candidacy

when it was apparent that Lindberg would win.

”I’m happy that a Scandinavian colleague can take over,” said

Heiberg, who will remain as chairman of the IOC marketing


The 64-year-old Lindberg has been an IOC member since 1996 and

secretary general of the Swedish Olympic Committee since 1989. She

was elected to the IOC board in 2000, serving for four years before

being promoted to one of the four vice presidents’ spots in


The IOC’s first female vice president was American member Anita

DeFrantz, who served a four-year term ending in 2001.

The other woman on the board is former hurdles champion Nawal El

Moutawakel of Morocco. She was elected to the board in 2008,

becoming the first female from a Muslim nation on the rule-making

body. She filled the spot vacated by Lindberg’s departure.

Re-elected to the IOC on Saturday was Britain’s Phil Craven,

president of the International Paralympic Committee. Having joined

the IOC in 2003, Craven received 73 votes in favor and three


Three new members were elected to the IOC on Saturday: Jose

Perurena Lopez of Spain, Gerardo Werthein of Argentina and Barbara

Kendall of New Zealand.

Lopez is president of the international canoe federation and

Werthein heads Argentina’s national Olympic committee. Kendall

competed in windsurfing at five Olympics and won a gold medal in

1992, silver in 1996 and bronze in 2000. She finished sixth in

Beijing in 2008.

Kendall had the biggest voting support, with 73 in favor and

nine against. Werthein received 68 in favor, 12 against and two

abstentions, while the totals for Lopez were 60-16-4.

The IOC also presented one of its top awards, the Olympic Order,

to Fernando Lima Bello of Portugal and Kipchoge ”Kip” Keino,

considered ”the father of African distance running” who won gold

in the 1,500 meters at the 1968 Mexico Games and 3,000-meter

steeplechase at the 1972 Munich Olympics.

Keino, who heads Kenya’s national Olympic committee, has been an

IOC member since 2000.

Becoming honorary members at the end of the year after reaching

the retirement age of 80 are Phil Coles of Australia, Chiharu Igaya

and Shun-ichiro Okano of Japan, Arne Ljungqvist of Sweden, Lassana

Palenfo of Ivory Coast and Antun Vrdoljak of Croatia.