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Friday, July 28, 2000
Henderson gets IOC post

By GEORGE GROSS -- Toronto Sun

  The addition of two Canadians has boosted Canada's membership in the International Olympic Committee to five.

 Toronto's Paul Henderson and Robert Steadward of Edmonton were among 14 candidates nominated for membership yesterday by the IOC executive board.

 The 14 candidates from the ranks of International Federations and National Olympic Committees are to be voted in at a pre-Games IOC Session in Sydney, Sept. 11-13.

 Henderson, 65, president of the International Sailing Federation and Steadward, president of the International Paralympic Committee, give Canada a record number of IOC members. The other three are first vice-president Dick Pound of Montreal, Carol Anne Letheren of Toronto and Charmaine Crooks of Vancouver.

 With Toronto's Jim Worrall as an honourary member, Canada will have six people in the IOC, which will increase its membership to 127 from 113 in September. The new members are elected for eight years, or as long as they hold their domestic positions.

 For Henderson, a three-time Olympian, it's a dream come true. He was vice-president of the International Yacht Racing Union -- predecessor of the International Sailing Federation -- for 16 years and has been president of the ISF for the past six years.

 The controversial and outspoken sports executive, who headed Toronto's failed bid for the 1996 Games, represented Canada in the 1964 Tokyo Olympics in the Flying Dutchman class, four years later in Mexico City in the Finn class, and in 1972 was coach of the sailing team at Munich. He has been a technical delegate for every Olympics since, except 1980 in Moscow, which Canada boycotted.

 "It's a great honour," Henderson said yesterday, before a round of golf.

 "It's like receiving the Order of Canada. I look at it as if the IOC did this in appreciation for what I've done for the Olympic movement over the years.

 "But, my greatest Olympic thrill was marching into the Tokyo Stadium in 1964 for the opening ceremonies under the Canadian flag, representing my country. I never thought that a kid born on Ward's Island would make it that far."

 The IOC session in Sydney is expected to rubber-stamp the nominations.

 However, the board expressed its disappointment that no women were nominated. It assigned vice-president Anita DeFrantz of the U.S. to look into the matter. The IOC has 13 women members.

 -- with file from AP
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