Steadward joins the IOC
It was an event to remember
By TERRY JONES -- Edmonton Sun
SYDNEY - Bob Steadward was late for the Canadian Olympic Team reception here last night.
He had an acceptable excuse.
He had to wait to be officially pronounced as a member of the International Olympic Committee.
Steadward, of course, knew months ago this would happen here.
The Edmontonian was one of 14 people put forward for the 14 vacant member of the IOC spots. And while you could hardly term the official '`election'' of the 14 of them to the positions a major news event, it was certainly an event Steadward will remember.
'`It just happened an hour ago,'' said the co-chairman of the Edmonton 2001 bid committee, who for the last 12 years has been the Juan Antonio Samaranch of Paralympic sports.
Steadward and the 13 others, which included Paul Henderson of Toronto, were told to assemble outside the IOC Congress room and were eventually brought in at 6:30 p.m. here Wednesday evening (1:30 a.m. Edmonton time Wednesday morning).
'`Francois Carrard of the IOC read out the names,'' he said.
Alphabetically. Steadward was the second-last name called in the group.
'`We were brought up individually and held the Olympic flag and read the Olympic oath,'' said Steadward.
'`Then we were presented the IOC medals and Juan Antonio Samaranch shook our hands.
'`I think the best part was that Samaranch gave me a special hug. That made me very proud and pleased. That made it even more meaningful.
'`I worked for 12 years with Samaranch with the Paralympics and he was the one responsible for putting me on the IOC reform commission.
'`I've had a lot of wonderful moments in sport but I'd have to call this the crowning achievement for me.''
So what's next?
If Steadward hadn't rushed away to the Canadian Olympic Team reception, an extremely long, drawn-out event which was originally designed to inspire our athletes but has evolved into two hours of speeches with the athletes held captive if hardly captivated, he'd have found out.
As a member of the International Olympic Committee, he'll be assigned a few medal presentation ceremonies.
'`My first IOC session will be here on the 30th,'' he said.