Elizalde Ready To Step Down

Frank Elizalde, whose term as the International Olympic Committee (IOC) representative to the Philippines expires midnight of Dec. 31, 2012, revealed that he is in talks with the IOC hierarchy to allow the country to keep its lofty post in the world's biggest gathering of nations.

A member of the IOC since 1985, Elizalde said it is "not automatic" that the IOC will name a successor when he steps down.

Not all 204 member nations of the IOC have representatives to the IOC, noted Elizalde, who is pushing 80 years old.

"There are around 80 countries that have representatives and some countries even have two or more representatives," said Elizalde. "But not even half (of the entire number of nations) has representatives."

Elizalde is only the second Filipino ever been given the post after the late Jorge Vargas, grandfather of Amateur Boxing Association of the Philippines (Abap) president Ricky Vargas, held the post of IOC representative for 35 years until his death in 1980.

Whether the IOC will opt to retain a spot for the Philippines will be known next year when the IOC holds its general assembly in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in September.

Elizalde said the IOC will decide which among three cities - Istanbul, Madrid and Tokyo - will host the 2020 Olympics in Argentina.

Although Elizalde will be attending that council as an honorary member of the IOC, he will no longer enjoy the perk of casting his vote, a role he's been exercising the last 27 years.

As to his possible replacement, Elizalde is keeping his cards close to his chest. "I have somebody in mind but it's better not to say who (that is)," said Elizalde.

There is speculation that Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) president Jose 'Peping' Cojuangco is grooming her daughter, 2002 Asian Games equestrian gold medalist Mikee Cojuangco-Jaworski, to fill in the void that Elizalde will leave.

Being the IOC's representative, Elizalde has a voting right in POC affairs.


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