Kirsty Coventry Appointed IOC Athletes Commission Chair

PYEONGCHANG — Following a vote of confidence from all members of the International Olympic Committee (IOC)’s Athletes’ Commission (AC), Zimbabwean Olympics swimmer Kirsty Coventry was officially appointed by the IOC president as the Commission’s chair during a joint meeting between the IOC executive board and Athletes Commission in Pyeongchang, South Korea, yesterday.

Kirsty Coventry
BEIJING – AUGUST 11: Kirsty Coventry of Zimbabwe competes in the Women’s 200m Individual Medley Heat 5 held at the National Aquatics Center on Day 3 of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games on August 11, 2008 in Beijing, China. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)


Coventry has been a member of the IOC Athletes’ Commission since 2012, and has played a significant role in developing the Commission’s new strategy, which was presented by the current Chair, Angela Ruggiero, at the International Athletes’ Forum last November.

Talking after the meeting, Coventry, a five-time Olympian, underlined her desire to continue to build and implement the strategy, which seeks to empower athlete participation in the Olympic Movement decision-making process and support athletes’ development in their sporting and non-sporting careers.

“The main objectives I would like to focus on are the implementation of this great strategy that we have all worked so hard to bring together,” said Coventry. “We also need to ensure we continue to improve and be proactive with our communications. This will help us to build a stronger global athlete community that is truly reflective of the athlete representatives.”

She added: “I would also like to take this opportunity to thank Angela for the amazing work she has done. Her commitment, drive and passion to push the Athletes’ Commission forward have been outstanding. I know all of the Commission members will join me as we offer her our full support in the important work she has to do in PyeongChang over the final few weeks of her term.”


In turn, Ruggiero congratulated Coventry on her appointment and expressed confidence in her being “a tremendous leader”. “While I am sad to depart the Athletes’ Commission, I know that it is being left in good hands, with Kirsty having already shown a lot of initiative in this Commission.”

After stepping up to Chair from Vice Chair at the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro in 2016, Angela Ruggiero will see her term end at the close of the Olympic Winter Games on February 25.