Antelope Valley Press

Allyson Felix and Inbee Park among 32 athlete candidates at Paris Olympics in IOC membership vote


PARIS — Seven-time Olympic champion sprinter Allyson Felix and seven-time golf major winner Inbee Park are candidates in elections at the Paris Games to represent their fellow athletes at the IOC.

The Internatio­nal Olympic Committee announced a list of 32 candidates Wednesday for elections to be held during the July 26-Aug. 11 games when about 10,500 athletes are eligible to vote.

Felix, the now-retired American track great, and Park, who took gold for South Korea when golf returned to the Olympics in 2016 at Rio de Janeiro, are among a slew of Olympic champions competing for four places in the 100-strong IOC membership.

Russian pole vaulter Yelena Isinbayeva is among the four athletes whose eight-year terms expire in Paris.

Isinbayeva has retained her IOC membership and privileges during the Russian invasion of Ukraine and despite her officer rank in the armed forces.

Among the new candidates are Ukrainian judoka Georgii Zantaraia, who questioned at an IOC-hosted global meeting of athletes in October why neutral status is being offered to some Russian athletes to compete in Paris. Zantaraia suggested any Russian athletes who disapprove­d of the war could compete in the Olympic refugee team.

Swimmers from the Israeli and Palestinia­n teams at the Tokyo Olympics — respective­ly Yakov Toumarkin and Yazan al Bawwab — are among the candidates, plus seven-time Olympian Funke Oshonaike, a table tennis player from Nigeria.

Other Olympic champions contesting the vote are three-time gold medalist Áron Szilágyi, a fencer from Hungary, and twotime champions Mariana Pajón (BMX, Colombia), Valent Sinkovic (rowing, Croatia), and Kahena Kunze (sailing, Brazil).

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