The first Vice President of Rwanda Olympic Movement Madam Rwemalika Felicite has been elected as a member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC). The elections were held at the 113rd IOC Session on Tuesday in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Rwemalika was among the five new individual Members (three women and two men) and four representatives of the constituents of the Olympic Movement were elected, following a proposal by the IOC Executive Board in July 2018.
This is because there are already two individual members from Italy – Franco Carraro and Mario Pescante, whose term concludes at the end of the year.
The Italian is joined by Lithuanian Olympic Committee President Daina Gudzineviciute, Camilo Perez López Moreira, President of the Paraguayan Olympic Committee and Samira Asghari, a peace and human rights advocate in Afghanistan who is a member of the IOC Athletes’ Entourage Commission.
William Blick and Prince Jigyel Ugyen Wangchuck, Presidents of the NOCs in Uganda and Bhutan respectively, was also elected with comfortable majorities.
Rwemalika is the first Rwandan to get to the top of the International Olympic Committee (IOC). The IOC members are representatives of the IOC in their respective countries, and not their country’s delegate within the IOC.
The 60-year old Rwemalika has been selected as an individual member who is renowned for her gender advocacy, especially in Rwanda Sports Movement.
Rwemalika was a former FERWAFA Executive Committee member in charge of women football commission from 2013-April 2018.
In 2016, Rwemalika received an IOC Award for Women and Sport on the African continent in honor of devoting her life to helping Rwandan women and girls in different areas, particularly sports. She is also an active member of IOC History Sport and Active Society Commission since 2017.
IOC President Thomas Bach said: “In line with the recommendations of Olympic Agenda 2020, the IOC is constantly aiming at a more diverse and inclusive membership. The Olympic Movement would benefit significantly from the expertise of these nine candidates that we are proposing to the next IOC Session. Their extensive knowledge of the sports movement will add extra strength and experience to the universal college of IOC members.”
Their membership is linked to their functions as the head of their respective NOCs. Tuesday’s vote sees the number of IOC members go above the 100 mark. All proposed members were vetted by the IOC Ethics Commission, which also conducted integrity checks.
1. Daina Gudzineviciute (Lithuania), President of the Lithuanian Olympic Committee and five-time Olympian.
2. Felicite Rwemarika (Rwanda), First Vice-President of the Rwandan Olympic Committee.
3. Camilo Pérez López Moreira (Paraguay), President of the Paraguayan Olympic Committee.
4.Giovanni Malagò (Italy), President of the Italian Olympic Committee – effective from 1 January 2019.
5. Samira Asghari (Afghanistan), member of the Athletes’ Entourage Commission since 2014.
Representatives of the Olympic Movement
1. William Frederick Blick (Uganda), President of the Ugandan Olympic Committee.
2. HRH Prince Jigyel Ugyen Wangchuck (Bhutan), President of the Bhutanese Olympic Committee.
Two Members linked to a function within an International Sports Federation (IF) or association of IFs, or an organisation recognised by the IOC:
1. Morinari Watanabe (Japan), President of the International Gymnastics Federation (FIG).
2. Andrew Parsons (Brazil), President of the International Paralympic Committee (IPC).