Lausanne [Switzerland], October 17 (ANI): The Executive Board (EB) of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has approved a list of 17 athletes (a record number for the Olympic Winter Games) covering all five continents, who have proposed their candidatures for the IOC Athletes' Commission (AC) election that will take place at the upcoming Games in Beijing.
Ten female and seven male athletes from 17 National Olympic Committees (NOCs), six sports and five continents will compete for the two vacant seats on the Commission. They have been nominated by their respective NOCs, together with their NOC Athletes' Commissions.
Approval of the candidatures of two athletes on the list who have not yet participated in the Olympic Winter Games is subject to their qualifying for the Games during the upcoming qualification competitions, and confirmation of their participation in the Games by their respective NOCs.
"The record number of candidates and global representation are a strong sign that athletes want to play a primary and active role within the Olympic Movement and make their voices heard, which is great," commented Emma Terho, Chair of the IOC AC in an official release. "All these candidates bring great value to the athlete community, and will add a new set of skills and expertise to the IOC Athletes' Commission no matter who will be elected."
The elected athletes will replace current IOC AC member Hayley Wickenheiser (CAN), who is finishing her term of office at the end of Beijing 2022, and fill the vacancy caused by Ole Einar Bjorndalen (NOR)'s resignation from the IOC AC in 2016.
Athletes competing at Beijing 2022 will be able to vote for their representatives in the Olympic Villages from January 27 (the day the Villages open) until February 16, 2022.
The IOC AC's mission is to ensure that the athletes' viewpoint remains at the heart of Olympic Movement decisions. Serving as a link between the athletes and the IOC, the Commission is composed of a maximum of 23 members (12 members directly elected by their peers and a maximum of 11 appointed), who serve a term of eight years. An election is held at every edition of the Olympic Games, with four members chosen at each Summer Games, and two at each Winter Games.
The appointments are made by the IOC President, in consultation with the IOC AC Chair, to ensure a good balance between regions, genders and sports. The Chair and Vice-Chair of the Commission are elected by the Commission members, and must also be elected members of the AC.
In addition, the chairs of the five NOC Continental Association Athletes' Commissions, plus a representative from the Athletes' Council of the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) and one from the World Olympians Association, take part in the work of the Commission as liaisons, to maximise engagement with the global athlete community. (ANI)