Bjorndalen, Wickenheiser elected to IOC Athletes` Commission

IANS| Updated: Feb 21, 2014, 10:56 AM IST

Sochi: Ole Einar Bjorndalen from Norway (biathlon) and Hayley Wickenheiser from Canada (ice hockey) have been elected to the Athletes’ Commission of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) by their peers at the Sochi Winter Games for a term of eight years.

A new Olympic record was set by the Sochi athletes after 80.87 per cent of them made their way to the voting booths to cast their votes.

IOC President 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 that athletes place on being part of the decision-making process and helping to shape the future of the Olympic Movement.”

The announcement was made Thursday at the Coastal Olympic Village by IOC Executive Board members Claudia Bokel (also Chairwoman of the IOC Athletes’ Commission) and Anita L. DeFrantz (also Chairwoman of the Election Committee). The election was held over the past 21 days in the three Olympic Villages located in the coastal and the mountain clusters.

Feb 23, Bjorndalen and Wickenheiser will be proposed to the IOC Session for IOC membership. Pending approval, they will then be officially introduced at the Closing Ceremony of the Sochi Games Sunday.

Some 2,871 athletes were eligible to vote and had nine candidates from the same number of countries to choose from.