Tracking ISU and U.S. Figure Skating Events, Issues and Governance
Jan Dijkema (NED) has been elected the first new President of the International Skating Union (ISU) in 22 years replacing Ottavio Cinquanta.
The 71-year-old Dijkema won by 63 votes to 52 for Hungary’s György Sallak in a second-round run-off after candidates Didier Gailhaguet (FRA) and Chris Buchanan (GBR) both withdrew.
Dijkema, who had previously been ISU vice-president for speed skating, will continue a tradition of a speed skating representative leading the organization that has already stretched 36 years.
It marks the third time a Dutchman has led the ISU after founding head Pim Mulier, who led from 1893 to 1895, and Gerrit W. A. van Laer, who was in charge from 1937 to 1945.
“I had a lot of help from the figure skating field and that is why I was elected; It was a team effort.”
Jan Dijkema’s manifesto entitled “Innovation & Inspiration” proved successful with voters.
The result allays concerns over the suitability of both Sallak, accused of misusing ISU funds during his time as development coordinator, and Gailhaguet, returning from a three-year ban from the sport for involvement in the Salt Lake City 2002 judging scandal.
Dijkema was seen as a steady-hand choice vowing to focus on the period up to the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympics before calling fresh elections in two years time.
He delivered a statesman-like five minute address in the closed Congress, highlighting his plan for marketing, promoting and developing the sport, through good governance, his three main priorities.
“The President is important, but you can’t do it alone. I have to work in a team with the new Council.” He went on to add, “I hope we will have a smooth transition and will now begin a new era in the ISU, as spelled out in my manifesto.” Dijkema also reiterated how, “in principal”, he plans to stand for just a two year term, which would end in 2018 shortly before his 74th birthday; but left the door open, adding “we will see how it goes”.
Russia’s Alexander Lakernik unseated Finland’s Marie Lundmark for the figure skating vice-presidential position. Japan’s Junko Hiramatsu led the list of five figure skating Council representatives with 94 votes, just one more than United States’ Patricia St Peter. Lundmark retained her place on the Council with 91, with Benoit Lavoie of Canada and Maria Teresa Samaranch of Spain – daughter of former IOC President Juan Antonio – joining her with 85 and 67 respectively.
Complete election results available here.