The head of the U.S. Olympic Committee was nominated for membership of the IOC on Tuesday, a big boost for U.S. efforts to regain influence on the international Olympic stage.
In the latest sign of improved ties between the two bodies, USOC President Larry Probst was among nine candidates put forward for election to the International Olympic Committee.
The president of the Russian Olympic Committee, Alexander Zhukov, was also nominated. The list also included former Olympic high jump champion Stefan Holm of Sweden and Kenyan distance running great Paul Tergat.
The nominees were approved by the IOC executive board ahead of a two-day meeting featuring presentations by the three cities bidding for the 2020 Olympics and the six candidates for IOC president.
“I am truly honored to be nominated for membership in the IOC, and extremely grateful for the potential opportunity to serve the Olympic Movement,” Probst said.
The nominees for IOC membership will be up for election — usually a formality — at the full general assembly in Buenos Aires, Argentina, on Sept. 10.
Probst, chairman of video game publisher Electronic Arts Inc., is in line to become the fourth U.S. member on the IOC, joining Anita DeFrantz, Jim Easton and Angela Ruggiero.
“It would be fair to say the U.S. is a very strong important partner of the IOC,” IOC spokesman Mark Adams said. “Larry’s nomination is a sign of that and a good sign of the continuing very strong cooperation we have with the USOC.”
Also nominated Tuesday were KLM executive Camiel Eurlings of the Netherlands, Mikaela Maria Antonia Cojuangco-Jaworski of the Philippines, Bernard Rajzman of Brazil, Octavian Morariu of Romania and Dagmawit Girmay Berhane of Ethiopia.
Probst would be the first USOC president to hold IOC membership since Sandra Baldwin, who resigned from both posts in 2002 after admitting to having lied about her academic credentials.