OCI President Patrick Hickey became only the second Irishman ever to be elected to the executive board of the International Olympic Committee in London today.

Hickey, who has been president of the Olympic Council of Ireland since 1989, has devoted his life to the Olympic movement and has served in many positions before this historic election.

A former president of the Irish Judo Association and black belt in the sport, the 67-year-old Phibsborough man is now a member of the 16-strong executive board.

The executive board manages the affairs of the IOC and assumes the general overall responsibility for its administration.

As president of the European Olympic Committees, Hickey was elected to represent the views of the 205 National Olympic Committees from around the world and will serve under the IOC President Jaques Rogge, four vice-presidents and ten other members.

The last time Ireland was represented at the top table of the Olympic Movement was in 1980 when Lord Killanin was the President of the IOC.

Speaking after the election, Hickey said: “It is a huge honour for me personally and for Ireland and I am looking forward to playing my part as a team player on the executive board for the next four years.”

Since 2010 he has also served as a member of the coordination commission for the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, and is also the senior vice-president of the Association of National Olympic Committees.