Richard Carrión today gave official confirmation he is entering the race to succeed Jacques Rogge as International Olympic Committee (IOC) President, bringing to three the number of declared candidates.
The 60-year-old Puerto Rican will bid to become the second IOC President from the Americas – and only the second from outside Europe – after Avery Brundage, a United States citizen, who held the post between 1952 and 1972.
Carrión follows German IOC member Thomas Bach and Ng Ser Miang of Singapore in declaring his intention to seek the most powerful position in world sport.
At least two further IOC members – C K Wu of Taiwan and Ukraine’s Sergey Bubka – are expected soon to throw their hats in the ring.
The outcome of only the second such election in 33 years will be decided on September 10 at the IOC Session in Buenos Aires.
As chairman of the IOC’s Finance Commission and a prominent member of its Marketing Commission, Carrión has been a key figure behind the commercial success that has enabled the Movement to glide with feathers largely unruffled over the recent prolonged period of international economic turbulence.
His stature as a business leader, moreover, extends far beyond the Olympic Movement, as illustrated most strikingly by his position on the Board of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, an institution at the heart of the US banking system.
Carrión also heads the Banco Popular de Puerto Rico, whose parent company, Popular Inc, is listed on the NASDAQ stock exchange.
Interviewed exclusively by insidethegames, Carrión highlighted his role in successfully shoring up the Movement’s financial position during Rogge’s 12-year Presidency.
“The President said to me very early on, ‘I would like a fund to protect the Olympic Movement if the Games were cancelled,'” Carrión confided.
“Then we had $100 million (£66 million/€77 million) in the Olympic Foundation [the Movement’s permanent fund, or rainy day money].
“Now we have $900 million (£596 million/€696 million).”
But he also delivered a strong warning against complacency.
“Our place in the world is not guaranteed,” he cautioned.
“The only thing inevitable is that we will have change between now and the end of the term of the next IOC President.
“We must have a leader who knows how not just to manage the coming change, but also make it work for the IOC and the Movement…
“We have a lot at stake in this election.”
To read full exclusive interview click here.
Contact the writer of this story at firstname.lastname@example.org. This article is from Inside the Games, which is a blog of the organizers of the London 2012 Summer Olympics. It can be viewed at http://www.insidethegames.biz/.