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Taiwan's IOC sports leader hoping to pass torch to young generation

2017/06/17 15:08:04

Taipei, June 17 (CNA) Wu Ching-kuo ( 吳經國), a Taiwanese member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) since 1988, said on Saturday that before he retires in 10 years, he hopes to see not just a few, but a large pool of, Taiwanese young people who will be able to take over his job in the prestigious world sports organization.

In addition to being the IOC's representative to the Chinese Taipei Olympic Committee, Wu is also a member of the IOC Executive Committee, and chairman of the IOC's Cultural and Olympic Heritage Commission.

During an exclusive interview with CNA, Wu, 70, put forth a list of "job requirements" for Taiwanese youth interested in becoming an international sports leader like him.

"First, you need to love sports as they will be your work, doing which should not be boring or tedious," said Wu.

"Secondly, fluency in English is a basic. It would be a tool for you to communicate with people from around the world. If you speak other foreign languages, that'd be even better," he said.

"You also need to carry yourself in a manner that represents Taiwan -- energetic, civilized, very bright and cheerful. Integrity is of particular importance," said Wu, who is also known as the "reformist" president of AIBA -- the International Boxing Association.

He said family upbringing is also critical since those who have been immersed in good moral values such as a sense of right and wrong, and justice and fairness make a good leader in many sectors, sports included.

During a talk to the faculty and students of the University of Taipei's Tianmu Campus on Saturday, Wu told the young people not to turn the palms of their hands up (to take a bribe) if they ever become a sports organization's official.

He said he had to fire several vice presidents and secretaries general of AIBA to overhaul its image as a clean sports organization.

"We're in sports to make contributions, not to make profits," he said.

As part of his efforts to cultivate Taiwan's younger generation of sports leaders, Wu donated a scholarship to the university to sponsor a thesis competition on two topics: international sports organizations and the global sports industry.

He also hopes to recruit interns to learn real-world operations in various international organizations, including in Lausanne, the capital city of the Olympic sports.

Besides being an IOC member, Wu also sits as vice chair of the Association of Summer Olympic International Federations (ASOIF), whose mission is to unite, promote and support the International Summer Olympic Federations.

Having been active and well-known in international sports throughout his decades-long career, has he "detected" any Taiwanese candidates who might some day be qualified to take over his various jobs in the IOC and its affiliated organizations?

"Not yet. For my AIBA job, too, I'm still scouting for potential candidates. I'm not aiming just to see a few, but a large pool of talented and enthusiastic sports fans to fill my jobs in the coming years," Wu said.

(By S.C. Chang)
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