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Bond girl and Oscar® winner Michelle Yeoh joins International Olympic Committee

By: Anders Frejdh
Published:
2023-10-18
Michelle Yeoh, International Olympic Committee
James Bond girl Michelle Yeoh, the first Asian actress to win an Oscar®, has joined the International Olympic Committee (IOC) after being voted in as a new individual member at a ceremony in Mumbai on 17th October 2023.

Michelle Yeoh was one of eight new proposed members to join the Olympic body at its session in Mumbai, the Indian financial capital.

“I remember when someone asked me, how did you become an actress? I always said, 'I never dreamt of being an actress, but as a child I always dreamt of being an Olympian,'” a beaming Yeoh told reporters after taking the oath as an IOC member.

“Sports was very much part of my life growing up, I was very much involved with squash, athletics, swimming and diving.

It has always been there and growing, but how do I find a way to join this (IOC) family? They are very tight-knit and also they have to be very sure that you share their passion, you share their commitment and ideology.

So it took me a little while to ensure this is what I do believe in and I need to be part of this family.”


A former Malaysian junior squash champion, Yeoh won the Oscar for best lead actress earlier this year for her role in the film, Everything Everywhere All at Once.

She got her Hollywood breakthrough when she was cast as the first ethnic Chinese Bond girl in 1997's Tomorrow Never Dies opposite Pierce Brosnan.

Pierce Brosnan, Michelle Yeoh, Tomorrow Never Dies
Pierce Brosnan and Michelle Yeoh in an action sequence from Tomorrow Never Dies. Copyright © 1997 Danjaq LLC. & United Artists Pictures. All rights reserved.

Yeoh, also a producer and a United Nations Goodwill Ambassador, starred in martial arts movie Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, the 2005 period drama Memoirs of a Geisha and the 2018 romantic comedy, Crazy Rich Asians.

Yeoh's favourite sport when she was growing up was squash. “But then two knee surgeries, a bad back,” she added.

“Now I do a lot of free shadow-boxing because I still do martial arts in my movies. So I keep up with hiking and swimming, which is one of the more gentle sports to do.”

The 61-year-old is married to Jean Todt, the former head of FIA, the governing body for motor sport, which was recognised by the IOC in 2013.

She joins judoka Yael Arad, who won Israel's first Olympic medal, Hungarian businessman and sports administrator Balasz Furjes, Cecilia Roxana Tait Villacorta, a former Olympic volleyball medallist and politician from Peru, and German sports entrepreneur Michael Mronz as the five new individual members.

Sweden's Petra Soerling, head of the International Table Tennis Federation, and South Korean Kim Jae-youl, president of the International Skating Union, joined through their function as heads of an international federation. Mehrez Boussayene, President of the Tunisian Olympic Committee, also joined.

Michelle Yeoh, The International Olympic Committee
The new members of the International Olympic Committee. Photo by Greg Martin. Copyright © 2023 The International Olympic Committee. All rights reserved.

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