Joël Bouzou OLY re-elected President of WOA

24 | 10 | 2020

Joël Bouzou OLY has been re-elected as President of World Olympians Association after standing unopposed at the 2020 WOA General Assembly. WOA Secretary General, Anthony Ledgard Grimm OLY and WOA Treasurer, Patrick Singleton OLY were also re-elected.

The General Assembly and election took place online due to Covid-19 and associated travel restrictions and social distancing measures. NOAs joined the assembly from all five continents around the world to vote on the WOA leadership and set a course for the future strategic direction of the organisation.

As a four-time Olympian and bronze medal winner who competed for France in the Modern Pentathlon, Bouzou’s re-election was a resounding vote of confidence in his leadership. President Joël Bouzou OLY has overseen the transformation of WOA, strengthened engagement and support for NOAs, deepened ties with the IOC and other Olympic Family organisations, and reinforced WOA’s mission to be of service to and empower Olympians worldwide.

WOA President Joël Bouzou OLY said: 

“I am absolutely delighted to be re-elected President of World Olympians Association and I am grateful to our NOA membership for their strong show of support. The past two terms have been extremely rewarding as WOA flourished, grew and established its place firmly within the Olympic Movement.

“In these uncertain times, it is fulfilling to see Olympians rise to current global social challenges – acting as beacons of hope during the pandemic, reaching out to their communities and keeping the legacy and spirit of the Games alive. WOA’s mission is to ensure Olympians have the tools, support and opportunities needed to thrive throughout their lives and continue to make an important difference in this world.”

International Olympic Committee (IOC) President and WOA Honorary President Thomas Bach OLY, said to the meeting:

“In these difficult times, we need our shared values of excellence, friendship, respect and solidarity. As Olympians you personify these Olympic values in the best possible way. This gives me the opportunity to express my admiration for the way that Olympians around the world have responded to this crisis.

“With your support and inspiring messages, you have demonstrated that solidarity runs strong in our Olympic community. This General Assembly is sending an important message: sport, athletes and importantly Olympians are ready to contribute to the rebuild of a more human society, a more inclusive society.”

IOC Sports Director, Kit McConnell also spoke at the General Assembly emphasising the close collaboration between the two organisations and their shared goal to ensure Olympians remain at the heart of the Olympic Movement.

WOA has welcomed 4 new members to its Executive Committee following the elections. The Executive Committee represents a diverse group of Olympians evenly distributed across every continent, with a 50 per cent split between male and female members, as written in the constitution.

New members:

  • Executive Committee Member Americas – Salvador Enrique Salguero Goodall OLY (El Salvador)
  • Executive Committee Member Americas – Aliann Pompey OLY (Guyana)
  • Executive Committee Member Africa – Abeer Essawy OLY (Egypt)
  • Executive Committee Member Europe – Igor Boraska OLY (Croatia)

Existing members, who retained their positions following the elections: 

  • WOA President – Joël Bouzou OLY (France)
  • WOA Secretary General – Anthony Ledgard Grimm OLY (Peru)
  • WOA Treasurer – Patrick Singleton OLY (Bermuda)
  • Executive Committee Member Asia – Mikako Kotani OLY (Japan)
  • Executive Committee Member Asia – Malav Shroff OLY (India)
  • Executive Committee Member Africa – El Hadji Amadou Dia Ba OLY (Senegal)
  • Executive Committee Member Europe – Pernilla Wiberg Bjerke OLY (Sweden)
  • Executive Committee Member Oceania – Natalie Cook OLY (Australia)
  • Executive Committee Member Oceania – Carl Probert OLY (Fiji)

In addition to the elections, WOA opened consultation on its 2021-2024 Strategic Plan which will set out the future direction of the organisation. Highlights include plans for OLY House at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, Beijing 2022 and Paris 2024; the expansion of WOA’s popular OLY scheme which now has more than 13,500 registered Olympians worldwide; the next World Olympians Forum; enhanced support for NOAs and the WOA Grants Programme; the introduction of WOA development officers in Africa followed by Europe; further strengthening of ties with the IOC; and increasing opportunities and benefits for Olympians.