Sochi Olympians Elect New IOC Athletes' Commission Members

21 | 2 | 2014

The most decorated Winter Olympian of all time and a three-time Ice Hockey Gold Medallist have been elected by their fellow Olympians to the International Olympic Committee's (IOC) Athletes' Commission.

Norwegian Biathlete, Ole Einar Bjørndalen, who claimed his record 13th Olympic title at the Sochi Games, and Canadian Ice Hockey star, Hayley Wickenheiser, were elected to eight year terms after a record 81 percent of the 2,871 Olympians eligible voted. They replace Saku Koivu and Rebecca Scott who were elected at the 2006 Turin Games.

President of the IOC, Thomas Bach, said: "As one of the founding members of the IOC Athletes' Commission, I very much appreciate the high participation in the vote.

"It shows the value the athletes place on being part of the decision-making process and helping to shape the future of the Olympic Movement."

The IOC Athletes' Commission is made up of 22 Olympians, who act as a bridge between athletes and the IOC. They are involved in major IOC decisions, including evaluating candidate cities for the Olympic Games, the fight against drugs and the make-up of the sports programme.

The Athletes' Commission also manages the IOC's Athlete Career Programme, which aims to provide education and job opportunities for athletes in the course of their careers and following retirement.

Claudia Bokel, a panellist at Tuesday's WOA Sochi Breakfast, was re-elected as IOC Athletes' Commission Chair at the IOC session in Sochi.

Announcing the result alongside IOC Executive Board Member Anita DeFrantz, Bokel, said: "Athletes are at the heart of the Olympic Games, and our Commission is their voice.

"I am sure that our two new colleagues will make an important contribution to our work."

Joël Bouzou, WOA President, added, "The WOA would like to congratulate Ole Einar and Hayley on their election. Its a huge honour and responsibility for them to represent active Olympians. We look forward to working with them to ensure that the needs of Olympians at all stages of their lives are met."

The election of Bjørndalen and Wickenheiser will be proposed at the IOC Session for IOC membership on February 23, and introduced officially at the Closing Ceremony of the Sochi Games, pending approval.