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10 Actual Hereditary Aristocrats Who Run The Olympics

The best way to get on the International Olympic Committee is to have one of your ancestors kill a dragon.

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In the middle of the Sochi story, between the Russian officials who want to enforce the country's new anti-LGBT laws during the Winter Olympics and the activists who believe holding the Games in a human-rights-hostile atmosphere is immoral, are the 104 members of the International Olympic Committee. The members of the committee are the ones who chose Sochi as a location, and they're the ones responsible for the security of athletes and staff, the ones who suffer financially in the event of a boycott or sponsor pullouts. And so far, the IOC's reaction to events has been, at best, passive. The group said nothing publicly after the laws were passed and, when pressed in recent weeks, has said it's received assurances from the Russian government that the law won't affect the Games, a statement Russian officials then denied.

What is the IOC? Who are these people who have become so suddenly critical? Well, here are some of them:

2. His Royal Highness Prince Feisal Al Hussein of Jordan


On the left; seated behind him are the Countess and Earl of Wessex. Classic night out with the Countess and Earl of Wessex taking place here.


3. Her Royal Highness The Princess Nora of Liechtenstein


At right. Seen here with Prince Joachim of Belgium, with whom she is a godparent of the baby, who is Princess Laetitia Maria of Belgium. The baby is a princess.

4. His Royal Highness The Grand Duke Henri of Luxembourg

Dominique Charriau / WireImage / Getty

The capital of Luxembourg is Luxembourg. It's the city so nice they named it twice and made it tiny and hard to find on a map.


That last one may or may not be real. But this fact is: 10% of the International Olympic Committee consists of European and Middle Eastern dukes and princesses. Ten of the people in charge of handling this international human rights crisis have the job title of "aristocrat." It's not reassuring.

CORRECTION: Prince Joachim is Belgian. An earlier version of this item misstated his nationality. (8/18/13)