Britain’s 14-time Paralympic gold medalist Dame Sarah Storey is one of four athletes to have been elected to the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) Athletes’ Council.
The cyclist, who won a hat-trick of gold medals at Rio 2016, is joined as a new member by Canadian swimmer Chelsey Gotell, American cyclist Monica Bascio and Australian wheelchair racer Kurt Fearnley.
Dutch sitting volleyball player Elvira Stinissen, a Paralympic bronze medalist at Beijing 2008, and Turkish archer Gizem Girismen, the Paralympic gold medalist in the women’s individual recurve W1/W2 eight years ago, are the two re-elected athletes who complete the six-member Council.
The IPC Athletes’ Council is made up of nine athletes in total, which includes the aforementioned six summer athletes and three winter athletes due to be elected at Pyeongchang 2018.
“The Athletes’ Council is the collective voice for all Paralympic athletes within the IPC and the greater Paralympic Movement,” said Council chair Todd Nicholson.
“We act as a liaison between the IPC decision makers and Paralympic athletes, and contribute to effective decision-making at all levels of the IPC.
“It’s a very important role and it’s great for these athletes to step up and contribute their thoughts.
“I congratulate all of them for their contribution to the IPC and for representing the athletes going forward.”
Gotell is a 12-time Paralympic medalist, while Fearnley has 13 to his name, including two from Rio 2016 – silver in the men’s marathon T54 and bronze in the men’s 5,000 meters T54.
Bascio, winner of two road cycling silver medals at London 2012, said on her election: “It’s an honour to be elected by your peers and fellow Paralympians.
“I am proud to be representing Paralympians in an amazing, progressing movement.
“I want to be a voice communicating back to the athletes and to the IPC.
“I love that there are so many strong women and I am proud to be part of that circle as well.”
The IPC Athletes’ Council works to provide effective input into decision-making at all levels of the organisation.
To this end, the Council’s aim is to ensure effective athlete representation on all IPC committees and commissions, as well as to create other opportunities for athlete representation both within and outside the IPC.
A total of 2,355 athletes placed their votes across a 12-day period here this month, representing a 54 percent overall turnout, eight per cent higher than at London 2012.
By Daniel Etchells
Republished with permission from insidethegames.biz