Puerto Rico Olympic Committee (COPUR) President Sara Rosario Vélez has been elected onto the Association of National Olympic Committees (ANOC) Executive Council as a representative of the Pan American Sports Organization (PASO).
She will replace Marcel Aubut, who stepped-down last November following his resignation as President of the Canadian Olympic Committee amid sexual harassment allegations.
Rosario, who was elected as the first female COPUR President in 2012, has been involved in the sports world since 1987 and in COPUR since 1991, serving as Puerto Rican Chef de Mission at Athens 2004.
She beat National Olympic Committee of Haiti President Hans Larsen by 27 votes to 14 in an election held here during the PASO Extraordinary General Assembly.
Rosario will join four other PASO representatives on the ANOC Council: along with United States Olympic Committees chairman Larry Probst, PASO secretary general and Mexican Olympic Committee vice-president Jimena Saldaña, Peruvian Olympic Committee head José Quiñones and St Vincent and the Grenadines Olympic Committee general secretary Keith Joseph.
Her appointment brings the total number of female representatives on the 31-member ANOC body to nine following a proposal in 2014 that all continents must have at least one female among their five members.
The election in which Rosario was selected was due to be the final item on the agenda for the PASO EGM but was brought forward to take place ahead of the main business of discussion on Statute proposals.
This was deliberate, some claimed, because there was a feeling that this would maximise Rosario's chances of being elected as voting intentions would not be influenced by opinions voiced in later discussions.