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S. Korean IOC member wins re-election as head of S. Korean Olympic body

PyeongChang 2018 18:35 January 18, 2021

By Yoo Jee-ho

SEOUL, Jan. 18 (Yonhap) -- Lee Kee-heung, a South Korean International Olympic Committee (IOC) member, has been elected to his second consecutive term as head of the national Olympic body.

In a vote held on Monday, Lee beat out three candidates for the new four-year term in an election for the top position at the Korean Sport & Olympic Committee (KSOC).

In this photo provided by the Korean Sport & Olympic Committee (KSOC), Lee Kee-heung, current head of the KSOC, speaks during a televised debate with other candidates in Goyang, Gyeonggi Province, on Jan. 9, 2021. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

Of 1,974 votes cast by representatives of the KSOC, its member federations, provincial, municipal and other regional sports associations, Lee garnered 915 votes. Kang Shin-wook, a university professor and former head of the Korean Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance, finished second with 507 votes.

According to the KSOC, 2,170 voters were eligible, and nearly 91 percent of them participated in the election -- up from about 64 percent in the previous election.

Lee Jong-kul, a five-term legislator and former head of the Korea Basketball Association, was third with 423 votes, and Yoo Joon-sang, a four-term lawmaker and current president of the Korea Sailing Federation, had 129 votes to rank last.

Lee, a veteran sports administrator who once led the national swimming federation, won his first KSOC election in October 2016. Then in June 2019, Lee was voted as a new IOC member, becoming only the second South Korean member of the top international Olympic body alongside Olympic table tennis gold medalist Ryu Seung-min.

If Lee had come up short in the KSOC election Monday, he would also have lost his IOC membership, which is tied to his function as the national Olympic chief.

The election campaign was marred by mudslinging, with a series of accusations, subsequent denials and criminal complaints lodged with police.

In this photo provided by the Korean Sport & Olympic Committee (KSOC), Lee Kee-heung, current head of the KSOC, speaks during a televised debate with other candidates in Goyang, Gyeonggi Province, on Jan. 9, 2021. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

jeeho@yna.co.kr
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