Korea candidate Kim snubs IOC victory announcement


MOSCOW, AFP

Defeated International Olympic Committee (IOC) presidential candidate Kim Un-Yong snubbed the official announcement of the winner here on Monday. Instead of going with the other IOC members to the Hall of Columns to witness the hand-over of power by outgoing president Juan Antonio Samaranch to Belgian surgeon Jacques Rogge the 70-year-old South Korean stayed in his hotel room. “I didn’t feel like going. I watched it on television,” Kim told AFP. Kim, who had been trying to become the first Asian to win the most powerful job in sport, could only manage 23 votes to Rogge’s 59 – a crushing defeat. Kim, who in the past has been seen within the IOC as the kingmaker, said he knew he was beaten 24 hours before Monday’s vote when the IOC ethics commission announced they were investigating him for an alleged breach of the campaign rules. Although he was cleared almost immedately of any wrongdoing Kim had no doubt the probe had harmed him. “I knew then I would not win. I knew it was impossible,” he said. But Kim insists he has no complaint against Rogge. “I will work with anyone,” he said. He added that the defeat was not important. “I was second. Not bad. For me it is nothing. I have many roles to play,” said Kim. In Seoul, there were hints of racism levelled against the IOC decision. “I am extremely disappointed by Kim’s failure,” a Korea Olympic Committee official told AFP in Seoul, on condition of anonymity. He said: “It’s so regrettable because I suspect, I hope not though, that discrimination against a non-white race may have affected the voting.” The vote results were televised live by local television, including Seoul’s YTN cable TV news station, reflecting a strong interest in Kim’s bid. But Kim’s failure led to media anger against the IOC. The Yonhap news agency styled the organisation as a “white-centred iron-clad bastion” after Kim lost the vote. S. Korean official hints at racism after failed IOC presidency bid A South Korean Olympic official said on Monday racism could have been a factor in why the country’s candidate Kim Un-Yong failed to be elected International Olympic Committee (IOC) president, Kim, 70, was trying to become the first Asian in the most influential post in world sport, but arch-rival Jacques Rogge of Belgium instead won the IOC vote in Moscow. “I am extremely disappointed by Kim’s failure,” a Korea Olympic Committee official told AFP in Seoul, on condition of anonymity. He said:”It’s so regrettable because I suspect, I hope not though, that discrimination against a non-white race may have affected the voting.” The vote results were televised live by local television, including Seoul’s YTN cable TV news station, reflecting a strong interest in Kim’s bid. But Kim’s failure led to media anger against the IOC. The Yonhap news agency styled the organisation as a “white-centered iron-clad bastion” after Kim lost the vote. Rogge, a 59-year-old Belgian surgeon, has a strong power base in Europe, which has a 57 strong membership. The total IOC membership is 122. The former world champion yachtsman who also played rugby for Belgium is replacing Juan Antonio Samaranch who is standing down after 21 years in charge.