Historic elections in the Mexican Olympic Committee closed the 2021 electoral process of the NOCs in Latin America

Pere Miró, María José Alcalá and Olegario Vázquez Raña

For not a few followers of Latin American Olympism, the elections of the Mexican Olympic Committee were a watershed in the renowned history of that institution that the IOC considers “very important” among the World Olympic Committees.

The exclavadista María José Alcalá, a finalist in four Olympic Games, became the first woman president of the COM in 98 years as the culmination of the tense and intense electoral process in such a short time, and in which secret voting was used for the first time And this was also history.

Alcalá confirmed Around The Rings that he will travel next week to Cali, Colombia, to attend the opening of the I Junior Pan American Games and the General Assembly of Panam Sports, in what will be his first international appearance. “But very brief, because we have a lot to do in Mexico.”

With the historic COM elections, the electoral calendar of the NOCs of Latin America was closed in 2021.

Coinciding with the end of these ballots in which two forms were held in an unusual way, the IOC president, Thomas Bach, announced the awarding of the Olympic Order to the outgoing president of the COM, Carlos Padilla, a proposal that was voted unanimously in Lausanne by the IOC Executive Commission.

Bach sent the deputy director of the IOC, the Spaniard Pere Miró, as an observer of the Mexican elections.

Speaking to Around the Rings, the honorary lifetime president of the COM and representative of the IOC in Mexico, Olegario Vázquez Raña, clarified the presence of Miró and highlighted the importance of these elections to which he gave “the utmost importance”. Vázquez Raña has attended these electoral forums for almost fifty years in his capacity, originally, as president of the Mexican Shooting Federation.

In 2021 it was the second election occasion with two candidates for the presidency. In 2005 there were also two candidates, Felipe “Tibio” Muñoz, who was running for reelection, and Pascual Ortiz Rubio. The then President of ANOC and honorary president of COM, Mario Vázquez Raña, supported Muñoz.

“I supported Ortiz Rubio. I always demanded a secret vote, I was radically opposed to open voting. Mr. Pere Miró was an observer at that meeting, ”said Olegario Vázquez Raña. The proposal on that occasion was unsuccessful.

“When I informed President Bach that Mr. Carlos Padilla would not run for reelection and that there were other female candidates, he responded by asking if he could send an observer.”

“I said that I totally agreed and suggested Pere Miró, because he is a man who perfectly understands the Latin American mentality. His answer was affirmative. The choice was completely transparent and clean. All the delegates had the opportunity to speak ”.

The vote sheets were counted one by one and displayed as they were publicly unfolded, while each vote was added up on a giant screen for all to see. María José Alcalá won with 87 votes, against 46 for Norma Olivia González Guerrero.

“I affirm that of all the elections in which I have been present, this has been the most orderly, transparent and open. All the delegates were very satisfied with the process and with the words spoken by Pere Miró, who announced that his favorable opinion would be transmitted to President Bach ”, he explained.

Váquez Raña considered that the Olympic Order conferred by the Executive Commission of the IOC to Padilla one day after the elections, on November 12, “is a recognition for his merits and hard work over the years in favor of the Olympic Movement and for their constant struggle for respect for the Olympic Charter ”.

Carlos Padilla gave his last report as President of the Mexican Olympic Committee
Carlos Padilla gave his last report as President of the Mexican Olympic Committee

Questioned by ATR, Peré Miró revealed that since his arrival in Mexico he had “multiple contacts” the previous days “and even the same day” of the meeting with representatives of both contending lists and the organizers of the electoral Assembly.

“Everything went perfectly. The process was flawless. Clear, transparent and fully in accordance with our principles of good governance ”, he said.

“Honorable mention for both candidates,” he added.

Miró returned as an observer 16 years later, when at that time he was in charge of IOC relations with the Olympic Committees and the Olympic Solidarity Department. He had last been to the Mexican capital in September 2018 when he accompanied Bach on his way to Buenos Aires for the Youth Olympic Games.

Miró also praised Ivar Sisniega, current secretary general of Panam Sports, who chaired the Electoral Commission “created at our behest a few days before the election and which paved the way to avoid any litigation.”

To another question, Miró denied the existence of challenges.

“All excellent in the end. An example to follow ”, reiterated the experienced IOC official of the Samaranch era, who from Mexico would head to Doha, Qatar, for talks with representatives of the Taliban government of Afghanistan.

Speaking to the Mexican press at the end of the election day, the candidate Norma Olivia González expressed that “it is like a competition, you win and you lose. I think we all win, because the important thing is the sport. This exercise was historic. This is a moment, and then we all get together ”.


For the first time in 98 years, a woman will chair the Mexican Olympic Committee


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