Following her election to the IOC Athletes’ Commission in PyeongChang, five-time Olympian and double Olympic bronze medallist Emma Terho reveals what she hopes to achieve for her fellow athletes
I want to thank all the athletes who voted. I am excited and honoured to have this responsibility and now I want to make sure that I am worthy of your trust and that I can make our voices heard.
What I want to work towards
We know that athletes are huge role models but we need to make sure that athletes are also heard within all the organisations of the Olympic Movement, which would not exist without the athletes. That is something we need to take responsibility for. We also need to make sure that we take care of each other, and that there is support for athletes not only while they chase their dreams during their career, but also when it’s time to transition into a new life.
With my background of working in a dual career – in sport and the corporate world – I want to help educate athletes about their lives on and off the field. We need to make sure they know it is possible for them to study and prepare for a job so that the transition is easier. As a mother, I also have experience of leaving the sport and then coming back afterwards and we need to make sure that athletes know it is possible for them to continue their career even if things in life change.
The issues we face
We want to be talking about sports and we want to make sure that everyone who deserves it gets a fair chance. That is something that we need to make sure is always there in the future. Of course, with the Olympic Games, we also need to make sure that we can create an atmosphere where athletes can come to compete and feel safe.
Why I wanted this role
I feel like I have received so much from sports during my life and there have been so many opportunities that I wouldn’t have had if I wasn’t an athlete. There are many things that other people have done for me throughout my career and now it’s my turn to do something for the next generation of athletes, so that they can have the same opportunities as I did.