The Board of Directors of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), headed by President Thomas Bach, announced on Friday their recommendation that Yael Arad be elected as a member of the International Olympic Committee. Arad will be the second Israeli to be chosen for the prestigious appointment after Alex Giladi.
The final selection will be at the 141st General Assembly of the IOC to be held this October in Mumbai, India. The IOC currently has 99 members out of a possible 115. Most of the members are chosen through direct election due to their public status, their affinity for public Olympic activities, and their sphere of influence in their country.
Yael Arad, who won the first Olympic medal for Israel at the Barcelona Games in 1992, was the European champion and the runner-up of the world champion in judo and currently serves as the chairwoman of the Olympic Committee in Israel.
The 56-year-old Arad is highly regarded by Bach, who just a year ago accepted her invitation and visited Israel as the guest of honor at the ceremony commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Munich massacre.
Since 2011, Arad has been an active member of the International Olympic Committee's Commercial Partnerships and Marketing Committee, and about four years ago she also joined the organization's Technology and Innovation Committee.
Arad carries the memory of Munich martyrs
"I am very excited by the decision of the Executive Board of the International Olympic Committee today to recommend that I be elected as a new member of the International Olympic Committee and I want to thank the President of the IOC Mr. Thomas Bach and the Board of Directors for the trust they have placed in me,” Arad said.
"In recent years I have developed the ambition to be part of this very unique organization, to bring to this endeavor all my skills and the experience I have gained during my life in the various angles - sports and business-management - and dedicate my energy and time to be an active partner in this fascinating global activity.”
"Besides my personal ambition, I know that I can also bring to the organization the special voice of the State of Israel, that the world sports arena for it and its athletes is much more than an arena of competition, but an opportunity to make our voice heard, to get to know people and people up close that without this bridge that sports creates, we would not get to know. This week we will mark 51 years since the murder of the 11 Munich martyrs, and on this day I carry their memory. This will be an important continuation of the path in the organization of the late Alex Giladi, who was the first Israeli to break the way and pave the way for us, the next generation."
The International Olympic Committee is the umbrella organization of world sports and has led the Olympic Games since 1896. The organization grants the right to cities to host the Olympic Games and makes decisions on the sports in the Olympic program and on global collaborations.