April 30 - A new Dutch International Olympic Committee (IOC) member to replace Willem-Alexander, who today became the country's first King for more than a century, is set to be elected later this year, it was revealed today.
King Willem-Alexander will officially tender his resignation as a member at the IOC Session in Buenos Aires in September and step down at the end of this year.
It follows his Coronation today after replacing mother, Queen Beatrix, who has abdicated following 33 years on the throne to allow her son to take over, the first King in the Netherlands since 1890.
André Bolhuis, President of the Dutch Olympic Committee*Dutch Sports Federation (NOC*NSF), said talks had already been held with IOC President Jacques Rogge to ensure that the Netherlands continues to be represented.
"I have talked about it with the Crown Prince and President of the IOC," said Bolhuis, a former hockey player who carried the Netherlands' flag at the Opening Ceremony of Montreal 1976.
"Time will tell who will the seat for the Netherlands, but I am convinced that we will get one member again."
Rogge was among the guests at today's Coronation in Amsterdam, along with Royal guests from 18 countries, including Britain's Prince Charles and his wife, Camilla, and the Japanese Crown Prince Naruhito and Crown Princess Masako.
A candidate to replace King Willem-Alexander has already been identified but Bolhuis does not want to reveal who yet.
If a replacement had not been allowed for King Willem-Alexander then it would have left the Netherlands without an IOC member following the death in 2010 of Anton Geesink, a member since 1987, the resignation of Hein Verbruggen, former President of the International Cycling Union (UCI) in 2008, and Els van Breda Vriesman, who forfeited her place five years ago after she lost her position as head of the International Hockey Federation (FIH).
"The IOC is formed by 115 people who play a major role in the course of events surrounding the Games, the biggest sporting event held every four years," said Bolhuis.
"It is important for us to be part of that group.
"The Crown Prince has done an excellent job since 1998 and has always been committed to major events that come to the Netherlands.
"He was also very visible at events and thus he helped boost enthusiasm for the Olympics.
"This was highly valued by both the athletes and the rest of the country."
The 46-year-old King had been the member of several Commissions during his period on the IOC, including the Evaluation Commssion for the 2010 Winter Olympics and Paralympics and the Coordination Commission for Sochi 2014, until he stepped down from that role in 2012.
He is also a member of the influential Marketing Commission.
"The Crown Prince has obviously been a very popular guest in the sports world," said Bolhuis.
"And with his knowledge about sports he also had an important role.
"That was very appreciated."
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