Zimbabwean Olympic legend Kirsty Coventry is adding another feather in her post-retirement accomplishment hat, as the 34-year-old has been appointed Chairperson of the IOC’s Athletes’ Commission. During a joint meeting between the IOC Executive Board and Athlete’s Commission in PyeongChang, South Korea this week, IOC President Thomas Bach appointed the Olympic gold medalist after Coventry has served as a member of the IOC Athletes’ Commission since 2012.
Coventry spoke to her vision for empowering athlete participation in the Olympic Movement decision-making process, stating, “The main objectives I would like to focus on are the implementation of this great strategy that we have all worked so hard to bring together,” said Coventry.
She added, “We also need to ensure we continue to improve and be proactive with our communications. This will help us to build a stronger global athlete community that is truly reflective of the athlete representatives.”
The 5-time Olympian has served on the Foundation Board of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), as a member of the WADA Athletic Committee, and in a Vice Presidency role of the International Surfing Association,
Throughout her historic career as overwhelmingly Zimbabwe’s most-decorated athlete, Coventry collected 7 Olympic medals, including back-to-back 200m backstroke gold medals at the 2004 and 2008 Games. She also was a mainstay on the World Championships scene, competing at every edition from 2000 through 2016. In Rio, Coventry acted as flag bearer and went on to place 11th in the 100m backstroke and 6th in the 200m backstroke.
In addition to her aforementioned work with WADA, she is serving on the Coordination Committee for the Tokyo 2020 Games and is a member of the Olympic Solidarity organization. In 2015, Coventry kick-started her own ‘Kirsty Coventry Academy’ in Zimbabwe with the goal of reducing drowning deaths within her home nation.
Below is Coventry’s personal tweet regarding her appointment:
I’m honored that my IOC Athlete Commission Team have entrusted me with leading them as their Chairperson and I’m committed to continuing to represent Athletes from around the World. Thank you. #Athletes #Pyeongchang #Olympics @Athlete365 @iocmedia @olympicchannel @Olympics pic.twitter.com/gmBtoPdOze
— Kirsty Coventry (@KirstyCoventry) February 6, 2018