The International Triathlon Union (ITU) has announced a newly elected Athletes’ Committee with a term of two years. With perfect gender equality, five men and five women, the new Athletes’ Committee also includes three paratriathletes and ensures that at least three continents are well represented, with the newly-elected members coming from eight different countries.
The ITU Athletes’ Committee act as a liaison between triathletes, the ITU staff and the Executive Board. The Chair of the Committee will be chosen in the coming days and will attend the next ITU Executive Board meeting, taking place in Luxor, Egypt. The committee receives two votes at the ITU Congress and one vote in the Executive Board.
ITU President and IOC Member Marisol Casado said she was proud of the democratic process that led to this successful election and highlighted the diversity and richness of the newly-elected Athletes’ Committee. “Athletes have been an integral part of the decision-making process since the ITU was founded 30 years ago,” she said.
“We are extremely proud of so many athletes stepping forward to be an integral part of our institution over many years, willing to work on the Committee to let us know their concerns and suggestions, helping us to make our sport and our events even better. This newly-elected Committee has a diverse range of athletes with a wide breadth of experience, and a great balance of different backgrounds representing different countries and cultures. We are all really proud of all of them, and are looking forward to working with them to make triathlon even better.”
Outgoing Chair Jessica Harrison thanked her peers for having given her the chance to represent them and was optimistic about the future with the newly-elected Committee. “It has been a pleasure and a privilege to have served on the Athletes’ Committee and as Chair over the last 12 years,” she said.
“I know that the incoming Committee members have exceptional motivation and experience, both as athletes and future sports administrators, to take the Athletes’ Committee forward in dynamic and innovative ways. This is helped by the exceptional support and mandate given to the Committee by the ITU constitution, fully backed by the Executive Board and President Marisol Casado. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Board and particularly Marisol for always making me and other members of the Committee feel welcome and integral to meetings. To the ITU staff and everyone I’ve worked with, it’s been an absolute pleasure. I have learned an enormous amount from you all. I’m excited that a new batch of current and former athletes have the opportunity to work alongside you in developing a sport we all love.”
The newly-elected ITU Athletes’ Committee:
- Lisa Norden (SWE)
- Rachel Klamer (NED)
- Ai Ueda (JPN)
- Claire Michel (BEL)
- Sally Pilbeam (AUS) – Paratriathlete
- Tony Dodds (NZL)
- Tamás Tóth (HUN)
- Yannick Bourseaux (FRA) – Paratriathlete
- Simon de Cuyper (BEL)
- Jonathan Goerlach (AUS) – Paratriathlete
Tony Dodds, one of the newly-elected members of the Committee, was looking forward to helping his peers and thanked them for placing their trust in him. “It means a lot to me to be on the Committee,” he said. “I have always cared about what athletes think and the welfare of them; I believe this should always come first. I have been in the game for over 13 years now but have now retired, so this gives me an opportunity to help athletes and the future of the sport. I will do my best to represent all the athletes. Thank you to all who voted for us.”
And lastly, Lisa Norden, who also served the previous term, thanked her peers and further outlined the importance of the Committee and the important work that needs to be done leading up to the 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games. “I’m very much looking forward to being on the Athletes’ Committee for another term,” she said. “The next couple of years are very important for many athletes: it’s less than two years until the Olympic and Paralympic Games in Tokyo, and the qualification process is well underway. The Committee is an important link for the athletes and I’m looking forward to doing what I can to improve and protect the interests of the athletes.”