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OLYMPIC REPORT

Lindberg Elected as Vice President

August 12, 2004|Alan Abrahamson; Diane Pucin | From Times Staff Reports

ATHENS — Gunilla Lindberg of Sweden on Wednesday became only the second woman elected vice president of the International Olympic Committee.

Lindberg, 57, will serve a four-year term as vice president. An IOC member since 1996, she has been on the 15-member, policy-making executive board since 2000.

Anita DeFrantz of Los Angeles, who served from 1997 to 2001, was the IOC's first female vice president. Lindberg called DeFrantz a "role model who encouraged women members to stand for election."

Lindberg replaces Thomas Bach of Germany. Vitaly Smirnov of Russia and Jim Easton of Van Nuys remain IOC vice presidents. The IOC's remaining vice president is South Korea's Kim Un Yong, but his membership privileges have been suspended because of a corruption case in Seoul. He is appealing a June conviction.

Re-elected to the board Wednesday were former Olympic pole vault champion Sergei Bubka of Ukraine, Denis Oswald of Switzerland, Mario Vazquez Rana of Mexico and Ottavio Cinquanta of Italy.

The 123-member IOC also elected to the board Yu Zaiqing of China and Richard Carrion of Puerto Rico. Beijing will play host to the 2008 Summer Games and Yu's election was seen by Chinese media as a matter of national pride.

-- Alan Abrahamson

*

It was an upset when Mohini Bhardwaj was named to the U.S. Olympic women's gymnastics team. Now she is the captain.

USA Gymnastics President Bob Colarossi announced that Bhardwaj, 25, a former UCLA star, had been selected as the captain of the team that is a favorite to win a gold medal.

After helping UCLA win two NCAA team championships, Bhardwaj quit the sport because she was burned out by training and discouraged by a perception that only young teenagers need apply for national teams.

After she decided to return to the sport, Bhardwaj suffered a major elbow injury in 2002 that seemed to end her Olympic hopes. But Bhardwaj fought back from the injury and from financial troubles that almost ended her training before actress Pamela Anderson donated $20,000 to her cause.

-- Diane Pucin

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