RECENTLY elected to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Executive Board, Mikee Cojuangco-Jaworski shared that she is very grateful for the opportunity presented to her and that she is raring to work on the many programs of the organization, including upholding the values of Olympism especially amid the ongoing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.
One of the guests in the two-part online Philippine Sportswriters Association Forum on Tuesday, Ms. Cojuangco-Jaworksi said she is happy and excited to be part of the IOC Executive Board and continue doing her part in further promoting and developing the vision of the sporting group.
One of the thrusts she is very dedicated to is championing the Olympic values as the chairman of the education commission of the IOC, particularly during these extraordinary times with the pandemic, which she said is making everything challenging.
“That (Olympic values) is very important to me because I’m the chairman of the education commission of the IOC and that is exactly what we deal with; the Olympic values from playing sports. It’s really challenging right now because one of the most important aspects of sports is community, to be able to interact with one another as human beings,” said Ms. Cojuangco, who with her election to the Executive Board made history as the first Filipino and Asian woman to hold such a post.
“And this episode really is a challenge for us on how we can sustain the Olympic values not only on the consciousness but also in practice,” added the 2002 Asian Games gold medal-winning equestrian.
But she was quick to say that the IOC has started work on addressing it, finding ways to communicate the values of friendship, respect and excellence, among other things, despite the organization busy preparing for the Tokyo Games in 2021.
“The IOC has started exploring connecting the Olympic values not only through sports but also in other aspects like culturally. It’s a very interesting topic of conversation we are having right now in the IOC with this,” she said.
Ms. Cojuangco went on to say that the IOC is right smack in the middle of preparing for the rescheduled Olympics in 2021, and she admitted that it has been tough.
“Preparing for the Olympics itself is already hard but for it to be rescheduled and for us to be given a year to adjust is tougher. But we are doing everything we can to make sure the Olympics next year will be handled properly,” she said.
As to her historic election to the IOC Executive Board, Ms. Cojuangco-Jaworski reiterated that it is not about her being elected to the post but more of being given the opportunity to show one’s ability to perform a task.
“My election shows that it is a position that a Filipina can aspire for, and that we can do things.” — Michael Angelo S. Murillo