[EDITORIALS]Kim Un-yong for IOC President

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[EDITORIALS]Kim Un-yong for IOC President

The International Olympic Committee will select its eighth president at its general meeting in Moscow on July 16. The next IOC president will be entrusted with the task of leading the 21st century Olympic movement with a new vision for reforming the Olympic Games, which have been stained with commercialism, drug use and corruption. Among the five candidates for the job is Kim Un-yong, chairman of the Korea Athletics Council.

As election day nears, foreign news outlets have named Mr. Kim as the strongest candidate to succeed Juan Antonio Samaranch. This assessment brings us hope and encouragement. Despite some personal disadvantages, such as a lack of experience as an athlete on any level, many say Mr. Kim is the most appropriate candidate for the presidency based on his capability and experience. As some committee members from countries such as Germany and Russia threw their support to Mr. Kim, the media reported there was no clear cut leader in Europe.

Mr. Samaranch exhibited for the last 21 years that the IOC president is the world president of sports. The committee president represents its122 members who hail from 79 countries. The president supervises 61 international sports associations, including the 35 Olympic sports . The president also manages the national Olympic committees of the 199 membership countries. The power and reputation of the IOC presidency overshadows that of the UN Secretary General. Since the launch of the committee in 1894, the post has been an exclusive possession of Americans and Europeans. Therefore, it is a historical event that a non-white candidate is running for the election with a high probability of winning.

It would not be an exaggeration to say Mr. Kim made it to such a position by himself. Although domestically he was viewed by some in a sarcastic light because of his past missteps, which could have created difficulties for his debut on the international stage, he was able to climb to his current position. We should not consider his effort an easy task. It is a significant change that the IOC members of Asian, African, South and Central American countries largely support Mr. Kim. His election would be more than a personal honor, it would also heighten the reputation and status of Korea in the international community. We offer Mr. Kim our support in his quest for the presidency of the IOC.
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