ZAGREB, November 25, 2017 – Slovenia’s Janez Kocijančić is the new permanent European Olympic Committees president, Raffaele Pagnozzi continues his role as Secretary General, and Kikis Lazarides was elected as Treasurer. All three of them were elected by acclamation, and were the only candidates for the respective positions. Denmark's candidate Niels Nygaard had more votes for the position of Vice President then Andre Bolhuis from The Netherlands.

 

Greece's Spyros Capralos, Serbia's Djordje Visacki, Jean-Michel Brun of France, Andrzej Krasnicki of Poland, Zlatko Matesa of Croatia, Daina Gudzineviciute of Lithuania, Liney Rut Halldorsdottir of Iceland, Josef Liba of Slovakia, Alejandro Blanco of Spain, Britain's Bill Sweeney, Turkey's Hasan Arat, Peter Mennel of Austria and Peter Mennel of Austria were elected to Executive Committee.

 

Kocijančić iz only the fourth President of EOC, since this organization has had this name, and was acting president for the last year, after Patrick Hickey of Ireland stepped down.

 

During a very intensive first day of the 4th EOC General Assembly, Kocijančić highlighted that during his presidency EOC will fight for a more important role of the European Games, more independence and autonomy for European sports, and financial strength, using its own EOC marketing strategy.

 

The power and quality of European sports was also a part of the speech of Mr Thomas Bach, IOC President, also present in Zagreb, who had positive words about the EOC and European sports during his welcome speech addressing to the delegates from 50 European countries. Of course, the "Russian problem" was mentioned but only as a part of "certain but fair" decision of IOC Executive on December 5th. Bach also informed delegates that Friday saw the first snowfall in PyeongChang, and that the political tensions in the region have been relieved thanks to the UN consensus regarding the Olympic Truce during the Games in Korea a week ago. Both Koreas agreed.

 

Mr Zlatko Matesa from Croatia, the host of the Assembly, recieved the Order of Merit for his work in Croatian and European sports, especially in the organization of the European Games in Baku, and the upcoming Games in Minsk in 2019. During the Assembly Mr Kocijančić and Mr Svein Arne Hansen, EAA President, signed the contract which guaranteed the presence of top athletes during the Minsk Games, with the Dynamic New Athletics program - 30 countries in a brand new format of competition, which will be launched for the first time in Minsk 2019.

 

The first day ended with a Gala dinner, and the presentation of the "Piotr Nurowski Prize" for the best young European athletes. And the winner was Italian cyclist Letizia Paternoster, who was given the award by Thomas Bach, while the other four awardees where Reka Nagy - Hungary, Dimiros Papadimitrou - Greece, Mihrac Akkus - Turkey and Filip Nepejchal - Czech Republic. All five of the athletes were present in Zagreb after been chosen from 30 candidates from all over Europe.

 By Jura Ozmec, AIPS Treasurer, AIPS Acting Secrertary General Photo: Damir Senčar, HINA