Greece's Spyros Capralos has been elected President of the European Olympic Committees (EOC) after seeing off acting head Niels Nygaard in the vote at the organisation's in-person General Assembly in Athens.
Capralos, President of the Hellenic Olympic Committee (HOC) and a member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), received 34 votes, with his Danish rival Nygaard earning 16.
The Greek official is the ninth President of the EOC and succeeds Nygaard, who had held the position in an acting capacity since Janez Kocijančič last June.
"What an honour, thank you so much for your confidence," said Capralos.
"Through unity, trust and solidarity, we can raise the EOC to the next level."
Capralos admitted there would be "many challenges" during his first four-year term and called for "solidarity" from the EOC's members.
"We have to remain united and bring solidarity with our members so we can assist more countries in need," he said.
"There are many challenges ahead, such as the European sports model, and we need to work on the recovery after the pandemic.
"Integrity, better governance and transparency - this is what we intend to do.
"We also need to find sustainable solutions for the future to ensure lasting success for our events."
The votes have been counted and we now have a newly elected Executive Committee of the EOC who will support the President and Raffaele Pagnozzi who was re-elected as the Secretary General. #EOC50 pic.twitter.com/K5C4XskUJZ
— EurOlympic (@EOCmedia) June 10, 2021
Capralos, who became the first Greek member of the IOC since 2015 when he was elected to the organisation two years ago, had been the favourite in the two-horse race for the Presidency.
A member of the EOC Executive Committee since 2005, Capralos, a two-time Olympian in water polo, also served as the director-general of the Organising Committee for the 2004 Olympics in Athens.
Who is Spyros Capralos
BA in Economics, University of Athens, Greece (1978); MBA, INSEAD, France (1979)
VP Bankers Trust Company (NY, Paris, Athens, Milan, London) (1979-1990); Executive Vice Chairman, National Bank of Greece and other prominent positions in the Greek financial community (1990-2000); Chairman & CEO, Athens Exchange (2004-2010); President, Federation of European Securities Exchanges (2008-2010); President & CEO, Starbulk Carriers Corp. (Nasdaq Listed Shipping Company) (2011-2014); Chairman, Starbulk Carriers Corp. (2014-)
Swimming; Water polo
Greece Swimming Champion (1969-1974); Olympic athlete in water polo (1980 & 1984)
Vice-President, Greek Swimming Federation (1991-1993); Hellenic Olympic Committee, Member & President of Olympic Preparation (1993-1996); Chef de Mission of Greece (Atlanta 1996); Sports Director, Athens Bid Committee (1996-1997); Executive Director, Organising Committee for the Olympic Games Athens 2004 (2000-2004); General Secretary of State and City Manager Olympic Games Athens 2004 (2004); President, Hellenic Olympic Committee (HOC) (2009-)
MEMBERSHIP OF OTHER ASSOCIATIONS
Chairman of Euroclinic (private hospital); Member of Board of GEK TERNA (Greek construction company); Member, Executive Board, European Olympic Committees (EOC) (2009-); Chairman, EOC Olympic Culture & Education Commission (2010-2013); Chairman, EOC Coordination Commission for the 1st European Games “Baku 2015”; Chairman, EOC Coordination Commission for the 2nd European Games “Minsk 2019”; Member, ANOC Events Commission (2019-)
AWARDS AND DISTINCTIONS
Olympic Order (2006); Order of Merit by the Republic of Azerbaijan (2015)
Member, IOC Culture and Olympic Heritage Commission (2015-2019); Expert, IOC Culture and Olympic Education Commission (2014-2015); Member, Olympic Solidarity Commission (2018-).