Khunying Patama Leeswadtrakul offers her thanks after being elected to the IOC in Lima.
Khunying Patama Leeswadtrakul offers her thanks after being elected to the IOC in Lima.

Patama makes Olympic history

sports September 17, 2017 08:23

By Lerpong Amsa-ngiam
The Nation

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First Thai woman on IOC vows to reward local sport.

KHUNYING Patama Leeswadtrakul has become the first Thai female to be eected on to the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

 after being elected during the IOC session in Lima, Peru yesterday (Thailand time).

The Badminton Association of Thailand (BAT) president, Patama was one of three women chosen in the category of Individual Members by over 200 IOC representatives at a gathering in Lima, Peru, yesterday (Thailand time). A total of eight members were elected.

Patama is the fourth Thai after Gen Prapas Charusathien (1971-1974), Thawee Julasap (1974-1989) and Nat Indrapana (1990- March 2018) to be elected on to the IOC.

Patama and IOC president Thomas Bach.

 “It’s a great honour for myself and my family to be given this opportunity. Thank you IOC president Thomas Bach and Princess Royal Anne for their trust in me,” the 52-year-old Patama said during her acceptance speech.

“This opportunity will serve as a thrust for me to perform my duties at maximum effort. I will cooperate with other organisations to ensure the greatest benefit to Thai sports and make use of sports and the value of Olympics to develop the quality of life for children through work ethics and free from both political and commercial influence,” Patama said.

Patama, who runs hotel and steel businesses, has been the elected BAT president since 2013. 

Under her supervision, Thai badminton is enjoying a golden era during which several players have made their mark in the sport. 

That includes Ratchanok Intanon, who won the 2013 World Championships title and set a record of three straight Super Series wins last year. 

The current national team also made history by winning Thailand’s biggest share – four gold medals – at the SEA Games in Malaysia last month.

 “It does not matter which country you are from, what religion you believe in or what gender you are. It is all about ability and commitment,” Patama added.

Patama’s IOC responsibilities will be notified during the next IOC gathering, during the Winter Olympics in Pyongyang, in February.

The other two female IOC members elected were Baklai Temengil from Micronesia and Kristin Kloster Aasen of Norway. 

Luis Mejia Oviedo of the Dominican Republic was the other successful candidate in the Individual Member category.

American Anita L. DeFrantz of the US, who joined the IOC in 1985, was elected as an IOC Vice-President. She already occupied this position from 1997 to 2001.

Dr Robin E. Mitchell, IOC member in Fiji, Mrs Nicole Hoevertsz, IOC member in Aruba, and Mr Denis Oswald, IOC member in Switzerland, were chosen to serve on the IOC Executive Board for four-year terms.

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