We caught up with the three-time Olympian at the 8th IOC International Athletes’ Forum to discuss her roles on the IOC Athletes’ Commission and World Taekwondo’s Athletes’ Committee – and how she’s helping athletes to be heard.
Although Nadin Dawani made her third and final Olympic appearance in 2012, carrying her country’s flag in the Opening Ceremony, the Jordanian taekwondo athlete has stayed in the Olympic Movement since retiring from competition. After serving as Jordan’s Chef de Mission at the Olympic Games Rio 2016, Dawani was appointed to the IOC Athletes’ Commission (AC) later the same year, and is also now co-leading World Taekwondo’s Athletes’ Committee. Here, she tells us how she’s trying to ensure that the voices of athletes in her sport and others are heard loud and clear.
What inspired you to become an athletes’ representative?
It’s a great honour to be part of the IOC AC, and it means a lot to me to represent athletes within the Olympic Movement. I competed at the top of my sport for more than ten years and went through many obstacles in my career, and I feel it’s the time to stand for athletes’ rights and make sure their voices are heard.
How have you found your first year with the IOC AC?
Fantastic. I couldn’t find better colleagues to work with – they have helped me and guided me a lot. I have been giving my opinions in the development of the new Strategy, and recently I was also engaged in the communications working group. I’m still new, still getting used to everything, but it’s been a great 12 months.
This year, you and Pascal Gentil were elected as the chairs of World Taekwondo’s relaunched Athletes’ Committee.
Yes – we were elected in June at the World Taekwondo Championships in Muju (Republic of Korea), and it’s an honour to represent my sport. The committee is new for us in taekwondo, and I hope we can implement a good strategy for it.
What are your ambitions for this Athletes’ Committee?
First of all, we have to set a base so that all taekwondo athletes know they have a committee that represents them. Later, in the long term, we have to create an effective communications strategy to tell athletes about our programmes and everything else we do. In return, we will hear from the athletes and push their comments to the Executive Board – for example, about the rule changes that have been made in taekwondo over the past four years. We will be the voice of the athletes.
How useful did you find the 8th IOC International Athletes’ Forum?
It was very interesting and very helpful – and athletes were the main concern. Me and Pascal will make sure that everything we learned and shared here will come back to World Taekwondo’s Athletes’ Committee.
What do you hope to achieve during your eight-year term on the IOC AC?
I would love to learn more and deliver more. This year, I have been more of a listener, but after two years, I’ll be an established participant – sharing my experience and my knowledge. I would love to do everything I can for taekwondo, and to remain very involved with the Olympic Movement.