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Susan O'Neill Gets IOC Seat Nod -- March 15, 2000

Swimmer Susan O'Neill took a step towards becoming Australia's first female International Olympic Committee member when she was nominated for a seat on the IOC's Athletes' Commission.

O'Neill, 26, beat a field including fellow swimmer Kieren Perkins, basketball player and former American collegian Andrew Gaze and Olympic rowers Mike McKay, James Tomkins and Nick Green to win the Australian Olympic Committee's nomination.

Eight berths on the IOC commission will be up for grabs at the Sydney Olympics, when all of the 10,200 competing athletes will be able to vote for their favorite.

The IOC Athletes' Commission was formed in 1981, with Australian swimmer Michelle Ford, the 800 meter freestyle champion from the 1980 Moscow Games, among the inaugural members.

The IOC Athletes' Commission includes the eight elected summer sports athletes, four from the winter sports and seven appointed by IOC president Juan Antonio Samaranch. Speedskater Johann Olaf Koss and pole vaulter Sergei Bubka were among the athletes elected at the past two Games.