There had never been three candidates for the presidency of the Italian National Olympic Committee. 39 days before the elective assembly in Milan which will take place at the ‘Alberto Bonacossa Tennis Club’ where Giulio Onesti held the first post-war elections 75 years ago, three people are cradling the dream of leading Italian sport until spring 2025, that is until after the 2024 Paris Olympics. One of the candidates is the outgoing president Giovanni Malago, number one in Italian sport since February 19, 2013 and who will present himself to aspire to the third term, the last possible one. Two exponents of the cycling world also aspire to settle in Palazzo H at the Foro Italico, Antonella Bellutti, the first woman to run for the presidency of Coni and twice Olympic champion on the track, and Renato Di Rocco who until last February had been for almost 16 years number one in Italian cycling. Waiting for the response from the polls that will arrive after an electoral campaign that promises to be interesting, one thing is already certain: the leaders of Italian sport in the next four years will be more “women”.

It will not be a facade because in the National Council to date, with still some ‘intermediate’ electoral rounds to be carried out, the increase compared to the previous legislature is already 37%. In fact, of the current 8 rose quotas, 11 women are already certain in the next legislature. The increase in the presence of women was possible thanks to the modification of the regulation for the renewal of offices. strongly desired by President Malago ‘, of last December 15, which provides for the presence in the Council of at least 10 members of different genders out of 28 elected. Any ‘female’ federal presidents are out of the count. It is precisely for this reason that the number has risen to 11. On March 13th Antonella Granata broke the taboo by becoming the first woman president of a national sports federation (squash). Another important fact, the significant increase – there are 14 – of women elected or appointed federal vice-presidents. In the history of the Coni national elections in the recent past, the outgoing president was defeated only once. It dates back to the end of June 1993 when Arrigo Gattai, the president of the triumphs of Alberto Tomba in Calgary ’88, of the World Cup in Italy ’90 and of Deborah Compagnoni in Albertville ’92, was ousted by his general secretary Mario Pescante over the years. later he also became deputy vice president of the International Olympic Committee. In the last 40 years Coni has had regencies only twice and in any case for a very short period. In 1998, Pescante resigned following the scandal of the Acqua Acetosa anti-doping laboratory and in January 2013 Gianni Petrucci after being elected president of ‘his’ Federbasket.

If Antonella Bellutti is the first female candidate to aspire to the highest office in Italian sport, she is not the first to have won an Olympic gold medal. On 29 January 1999, Mauro Checcoli – double gold in Tokyo ’64 in equestrian (complete individual and complete team) – lost at the polls to Petrucci. The National Council that will remain in office until spring 2025 will have a presence of at least 11 women, an increase of 37% of different genders compared to the previous legislature. To date, of the 74 votes, 46 are already known. The new president will be elected with at least 38 votes. These are the 40 re-elected or newly elected presidents of the national sports federations (there are 11, or 37.5%), the two sports that follow the winter Olympic four-year period (Federsci and Federghiaccio), the presidents / commissioners of the two federations that have yet to go to vote (AeroClub d’Italia and Unione Tiro a Segno) and the two members of the International Olympic Committee (Ivo Ferriani and Malago ‘). The outgoing president is also expected to vote, but as a rule he does not vote. The other 28 voters in the May 13 elections will still have to be elected. These are the representatives of athletes, technicians, Associated Sports Disciplines, Sports Promotion Bodies, Meritorious Associations, Regional Committees and provincial delegates. On 13 April at the Coni Hall of Honor in Rome, 9 of the 25 ‘Athletes’ candidates will be elected, of the 14 ‘Technicians’ in the running, 4 will be elected. On the 14th, again at the Foro Italico 3 exponents of the Associated Sports Disciplines will be elected, 5 within the Sports Promotion Bodies and one of the Meritorious. On April 21, the 3 exponents of the regional committees and 3 of the provincial delegates will meet (one for each North, Center and South area). There was a strong increase in the presence of women in the provincial delegations. As regards the South area and the islands, in the last four years there was no pink presence while now there are 9 out of 34 delegates. For the Center area, four years ago there were 2 women out of 35, now they are 8 out of 35. An increase in women’s quotas of almost 500% for the North area: from 2, they are now 10 out of 35.

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