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Mankamyer Nominated for Presidential Role

July 30, 2002|ALAN ABRAHAMSON | TIMES STAFF WRITER

The U.S. Olympic Committee's policymaking Executive Committee on Monday nominated Colorado Springs real estate broker Marty Mankamyer to be USOC president through 2004.

Mankamyer, 68, the USOC's secretary, has served as acting president since late May, when Sandra Baldwin resigned after acknowledging discrepancies in the depiction of her academic background on her USOC biography.

Mankamyer prevailed Monday over Paul George, a USOC vice president long active in the administration of winter sports, and Larry Hough, a businessman who served as USOC treasurer in the early 1980s. The counts from Monday's voting were not disclosed. Hough was eliminated first, two sources said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

If confirmed by a majority of the USOC's 123-member board of directors, Mankamyer would serve the remainder of what had been Baldwin's term, through 2004. She has pledged to serve only the 2 1/2 years, no more. Confirmation is by no means assured. The USOC is political, and as Mankamyer said Monday with a laugh, "It's not over till the fat lady sings."

The board will cast its ballots by mail. Ballots must be returned by Aug. 14. The key constituency shapes up to be voters from what are called NGBs, or "national governing bodies," the agencies that oversee Olympic sports in the U.S.; under the USOC's complicated weighted voting system, the NGBs control 50.1% of the votes. Mankamyer is due to take part in a conference call with interested NGB officials later this week.

Mankamyer's base of support in the process to replace Baldwin has been athletes and ex-athletes now serving in USOC positions--just as it was for Baldwin. Mankamyer also has a unique ability to reach out to NGB affiliates because she is, as she proudly calls herself, a "soccer mom" who was long active in the U.S. soccer federation.

Also in Mankamyer's favor is a point that speaks directly to the USOC's political nature. If elected president, that would create a vacancy at secretary--an appealing post from which to launch a 2004 presidential campaign.

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