Mikee’s role of a lifetime
MIKEE Cojuangco-Jaworski did not exactly face a huge hole in her diary after leaving the celebrity scene as a commercial model, film actress and horsewoman of a high degree.
Her role away from the public eye as a doting mother of three boys and business partner to her hubby, Robert “Dodot” Jaworski Jr., has been loaded with excitement to keep the journal going.
With Mikee—the equestrienne and Asian Games gold medalist—back in the limelight, expect her life’s log to be even more crowded with detail.
Now 39 years old, the former movie sweetheart and television host for five years has found the part to play for a lifetime.
As the newly elected representative of the International Olympic Committee to the Philippines, Mikee joins an all-powerful panel that promotes the Olympic Games and decides where they will be held and how.
She becomes the first Filipino woman and only the third Pinoy to become an IOC member (Jorge Vargas was the first).
Mrs. Jaworski takes over from Frank Elizalde, who served for 27 years and had to retire at age 80, not on his own terms, but by the rules of the Olympic governing body.
The retirement age for an IOC member is actually 70, but members elected between 1966 and 1999, Frank included, were allowed to serve until they reach 80.
Out of 205 countries that take part in the Olympics, only 112 are blessed with IOC members.
Mikee’s IOC membership will not result in looser qualification standards for Filipino Olympic hopefuls. Everybody still has to go through hoops to qualify. But Mikee can sure help instill Olympic values among Filipino youth.
“The IOC is an institution with a huge amount of knowledge, wisdom and a system that is currently evolving,” Mikee said. “I believe this, among other reasons, has made it … the foremost sporting body in the world. Any education I gain through the institution and my colleagues can be shared with the Philippines and applied to our specific setting.”
Mikee happens to be the daughter of Philippine Olympic Committee president Jose “Peping” Cojuangco Jr. and a first cousin of President Noynoy Aquino.
Mr. Cojuangco has said his daughter’s IOC election “will help put the Philippines in the limelight of sports,” a vague reference that drew this response from Mikee:
“I have been told that the IOC will put me to work! Although I would like to assist the POC as much as I can, I will probably have more responsibilities in the assignments that will be given to me by the IOC.”
So what is the state of Philippine sports under her dad?
“You reap what you sow. No matter what systems might be in place, if there is no concerted effort or appreciation for the benefits sports can bring and plans cannot be implemented, the results we hope for will be difficult to achieve,” she said.
“We also need to open our minds as a people to what sports should be: a tool for nation building than can be practiced by citizens of all ages,” she added.” For as long as sports is immaturely gauged merely by medal tallies, we are missing the point.
Nobody—not the POC, not Elizalde—would admit who submitted Mikee’s nomination as IOC rep.
For the “now it can be told” department, Mrs. Jaworski said: “I asked Mr. Steve Hontiveros to write the IOC.”
Steve Hontiveros is the current POC secretary general.
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