Nita Ambani, an Indian businesswoman, and owner of the Mumbai Indians cricket team franchise was among eight new members elected to the International Olympic Committee on Thursday on the eve of the Rio de Janeiro Olympics.
Ambani joined the world governing bob and skeleton federation chief Ivo Ferriani of Italy, South African film producer Anant Singh and Austria Olympic committee chief Karl Stoss.
Canadian Olympic committee president Tricia Smith, Finland’s Sari Essayah, Colombia’s former ambassador to the U.S Luis Moreno and Secretary General of the Papua New Guinea Olympic Committee Auvita Rapilla were also voted in.
The eight new members bring the total number of IOC members to 98.
Moreno, Singh, and Ambani were earmarked for membership by the IOC Members Election Commission which is chaired by Britain’s Princess Anne as candidates outside the Olympic and sports community who could usher in a fresh approach and new skills to the organisation.
As part of reforms agreed in 2014, the IOC is eager to elect members “with different sets of skills and knowledge while ensuring the necessary balance in terms of gender and geography”.