18 Aug 2016
Britta Heidemann from Germany (fencing), Seug-min Ryu from Korea (table tennis), Daniel Gyurta from Hungary (swimming) and Yelena Isinbayeva from the Russian Federation (athletics) have been elected to the International Olympic Committee (IOC)’s Athletes’ Commission by their peers at the Olympic Games Rio 2016 for a term of eight years.
IOC President Thomas Bach said: “The athletes are at the heart of the Olympic Games. Their voice is very important in the IOC. My congratulations go to the newly elected members of the IOC Athletes’ Commission. We are looking forward to working closely with them to further advance the Olympic Movement.”
The announcement was made today at the Olympic Village by IOC Member and Chair of the Election Committee Nicole Hoevertsz and incoming Chair of the IOC Athletes’ Commission Angela Ruggiero. The election was held over the past 25 days in the Olympic Village located in Rio de Janeiro.
Heidemann was elected with 1,603 votes, followed by Ryu with 1,544, Gyurta with 1,469 votes and Isinbayeva with 1,365. A total of 5,185 athletes voted.
For the full list of results, click here.
The four new members will replace outgoing members Claudia Bokel, Dae Sung Moon, Alexander Popov and Yumilka Ruiz Luaces, who were elected to the Athletes’ Commission at the Beijing Games in 2008 for a term of eight years each.
Claudia Bokel, who will be handing over the title of Chair of the Commission to Angela Ruggiero at the end of the Games, said after the announcement: “Congratulations to the four newly-elected members to the IOC Athletes’ Commission, which is the voice of all the athletes within the Olympic Movement. I wish them all the best in their contribution to the Commission under the leadership of incoming Chair Angela Ruggiero.”
On 21 August, Heidemann, Ryu, Gyurta and Isinbayeva will be proposed to the IOC Session for IOC membership. Pending approval, they will then be officially introduced at the Closing Ceremony of the Olympic Games Rio 2016 on 21 August.
Some 11,245 athletes were eligible to vote, and had 23 candidates from the same number of countries to choose from. Votes needed to be cast for four different athletes from four different sports. The candidates had to be presented by their National Olympic Committees, which were required to have their own athletes’ commission to select the candidate. In order to be eligible, the candidates had to have participated either in the Olympic Games in London in 2012 or in Rio in 2016.
Biographies of all the candidates can be found here.
Angela Ruggiero, current Vice Chair of the IOC Athlete’s Commission, was elected as the new Chair on 1 August and will replace outgoing Chair Claudia Bokel. After four years at the helm of the Commission, Bokel will see her term of office come to an end at the conclusion of the Olympic Games Rio 2016. Ruggiero will then take Bokel’s seat on the IOC Executive Board.
Background Information
Reflecting the Olympic Agenda 2020 goal of placing the athletes at the heart of the Olympic Movement and strengthening the support to athletes, the IOC Athletes’ Commission serves as a link between athletes and the IOC. Its goal is to ensure that the athletes’ viewpoint remains at the heart of the Olympic Movement decisions. Currently comprising 17 members who are past or active Olympians, the Commission members are involved in many key IOC activities, including the process for evaluating candidate cities seeking to host the Olympic Games; the composition of the sports programme for the Games; and the protection of clean sport. The Athletes’ Commission also oversees the IOC Athlete Career Programme, established in 2005, to facilitate education as well as job opportunities for athletes during and after their sporting career.
Learn more about the IOC Athletes’ Commission here.
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The International Olympic Committee is a not-for-profit independent international organisation made up of volunteers, which is committed to building a better world through sport. It redistributes more than 90 per cent of its income to the wider sporting movement, which means that every day the equivalent of USD 3.25 million goes to help athletes and sports organisations at all levels around the world.
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For more information, please contact the IOC Media Relations Team:
Tel: +41 21 621 6000 email: pressoffice@olympic.org, or visit our website at www.olympic.org.

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