Ian Chesterman Australian Olympic Committee new president

Seven-time chef de mission Ian Chesterman has been elected the Australian Olympic Committee’s new president at the organisation’s annual general meeting on Saturday.

Chesterman becomes the seventh AOC president, succeeding John Coates who stepped down after 32 years in the role earlier this week.

With 93 voting delegates – including representatives from national sporting federations, the AOC executive, the athletes’ commission, the indigenous advisory committee and the IOC – Chesterman won the ballot after receiving a majority 67 votes.

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He trumped former Olympic swimmer Mark Stockwell with 26 votes.

Having already committed 21 years to the organisation, Chesterman was first elected to the AOC executive in 2001, before becoming vice president in 2016. He was made an AOC life member in 2018.

The 63-year-old was chef de mission of the Australian team at six consecutive winter Olympic Games’ and in 2021 at the Tokyo Summer Games.

In his final speech, outgoing president Coates announced that the executive had approved an offering of $141,000 to the International Olympic Committee’s solidarity fund, which was established to support Ukrainian athletes currently competing around the world while their country defends itself from Russia’s invasion. A conflict that Chesterman will now lead Australian sport through.

Coates reiterated the AOC’s strong support for sanctions and bans imposed by the Australian Government and the IOC’s lead in urging all international sports federations to relocate or cancel sports events planned for Russia and Belarus, as well as measures to prevent athletes and sports officials from Russia and Belarus competing under their countries names.

“We are part of an international sporting movement raising its powerful voice. We will continue to use it until this crisis is over,” he said.

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