Following his election last month as President of the World Olympians Association (WOA), Joël Bouzou asked H.S.H. Prince Albert II of Monaco to become the new Patron of this unique worldwide organization uniting all 100,000 athletes to have competed in an Olympic event.
The Sovereign Prince of Monaco immediately accepted and his role was unanimously approved by the WOA Board Members and by the President of the International Olympic Committee, Dr. Jacques Rogge.
The Sovereign succeeds Juan Antonio Samaranch who founded the WOA in 1994 and was Patron until his death in 2010.
Himself a fine athlete, H.S.H. Prince Albert II is the only Head of State to have participated in five Olympic Games in bobsleigh (Calgary 1988, Albertville 1992, Lillehammer 1994, Nagano 1998 and Salt Lake City 2002). He has also been a member of the International Olympic Committee since 1985.
A passionate champion of the cause of peace and social progress through sport for many years, H.S.H. Prince Albert II will full-heartedly support and promote the WOA’s new ambition and mission: serving Olympians during and after their careers, and serving society.
WOA President Joël Bouzou declared: “It is a tremendous honour for the World Olympians Association to have H.S.H. Prince Albert II of Monaco as the new Patron of our organization. He is an Olympian and a true humanist who has always believed that the values of sport can change lives and can change society for the better. His involvement and advocacy will greatly increase our influence and will make a huge difference to convince new stakeholders that Olympians across the globe can and should contribute to improve the world in which we live. I can’t thank him enough for his support.”
On Joël Bouzou’s recommendation, Swedish Alpine ski Champion and former IOC Member Pernilla Wiberg was also appointed Member of the WOA Executive Board. Pernilla Wiberg is one of the few skiers to have won medals in all five Alpine Ski disciplines (combined, slalom, giant slalom, downhill and Super G). Her achievements are exceptional: two gold medals in the Albertville and Lillehammer Games, four World Championship titles between 1991 and 1999, a victory in the 1997 World Cup, 24 racing medals (14 slalom, 3 Super G, 3 combined, 2 downhill, 2 giant slalom) and no less than 61 appearances on the winners’ podium. Pernilla was a member of the International Olympic Committee from 2002 to 2010 and she participated in many of its commissions: the Athletes’ commission, Sport and Environment, Ethics, and Coordination of the 2010 Winter Olympics and 2010 Youth Olympic Games… She also serves as President of the Athletes’ commission for the International Ski Federation.
Following these appointments, the new WOA organizational chart is as follows:
H.E. Juan Antonio Samaranch, Founder
H.S.H. Prince Albert II of Monaco, Patron
Dr. Jacques Rogge, Honorary President
Mr. Joël Bouzou, President (FRA)
Mr. Anthony Ledgard Grimm, Secretary General (PER)
Mr. El Hadj Amadou Dia Ba, First Vice President (SEN)
Mr. George Andreadis, Second Vice President (GRE)
Mr. Patrick Singleton, Treasurer (BER)
Dr. Liston Bochette, Executive Board (PUR)
Mr. Alper Kasapoglu, Executive Board (TUR)
Mr. Cor van Aanholt, Executive Board (AHO)
Mr. Dick Fosbury, Executive Board (USA)
Ms. Pernilla Wiberg, Executive Board (SWE) (appointed)