Kirsty Coventry Appointed IOC Athletes’ Commission Chairperson

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:

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Bully well done Ms Coventry

Where have all the leaders gone

Kirst Coventry since the day she won her Olympic Medals has not once stood up and spoken out against the former president of Zimbabwe, Robert Mugabe. Mugabe was a terrible ruler and guilty a hundreds of crimes against humanity. Yet she accepted a diplomatic passport and shook his hand. My real interest lies in wondering if she has the ability to stand up for the rights of the athletes when it comes to the IOC. My personal belief is she is a tool the IOC can use at their own behest.
This looks great on paper but once again the athletes on the commission will do very little to help change in the IOC.

About Retta Race

Retta Race

After 16 years at a Fortune 1000 financial company, long-time swimmer Retta Race decided to change lanes and pursue her sporting passion. She currently is Coach for the Northern KY Swordfish Masters, a team she started up in December 2013, while also offering private coaching. Retta is also an MBA …

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