Olympic gold medal-winning shooter and Chair of the International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) Athletes Committee, India’s Abhinav Bindra, has been appointed to the IOC Athletes’ Commission (AC).

The 35-year-old is the fourth person to join the IOC AC in 2018, following the elections of Kikkan Randall and Emma Terho and the appointment of Hong Zhang at PyeongChang 2018. The members of the AC now come from 19 countries and 16 sports, making it truly representative of the worldwide athlete community.

Making a meaningful contribution

“It’s a great privilege to be appointed as a member of the IOC AC,” said Bindra. “I’ve been an athlete and involved in Olympic sport for the last 20 years of my life, and I’m really happy to be able to continue to work within the Olympic Movement. Hopefully, I can make a meaningful contribution to the Commission.”

Bindra became the first Indian to pick up an individual gold medal at the Games when he won the 10m air rifle at Beijing 2008, and for the past eight years he’s been a member of the ISSF, with the last four of those years as Chair of its Athletes Committee. He has worked closely with the IOC during this time, and believes his appointment to the IOC AC is “recognition of the work that the ISSF Athletes Committee has done”. This has included the publication of the ISSF Athlete’s Handbook, a guide for shooters on various topics related to their career and life, with topics ranging from mental health to managing finances.

Bindra explains: “Whatever the goals of the IOC AC have been, we’ve been trying to integrate them with ours. It’s something that has been very meaningful to me, and I hope to continue that work in my new role. The experience I’ve gained already should hold me in good stead.”

An exciting new challenge

The five-time Olympian joins a vibrant commission chaired by Kirsty Coventry, who congratulated Bindra on his appointment: “It is a pleasure to welcome Abhinav onto our commission. He is an Olympic champion with a strong background in athlete representation, and I look forward to working together to achieve our goals.”

Bindra is similarly delighted to be given the opportunity to help amplify the voice of the athletes.

“I’ve been an athlete all my life, and to try and give back and contribute to athletes’ journeys, to be able to represent them, is something that is extremely fulfilling for me,” he added.

“I certainly enjoy working to ensure that the athletes remain at the heart of all decision-making, and at the heart of the Olympic Movement. I’m looking forward to learning more about the common goals of the Commission within the next few days, and contributing to the best of my capabilities.”