Olympian Kirsty Coventry has been appointed Zimbabwe’s Minister of Sport by President Emmerson Mnangagwa today, September 7th. Per the President’s Twitter account, he says, “Today, as promised, I appointed a diverse, dynamic, youthful and streamlined cabinet with the skills and experience required to achieve our goals.”
Today, as promised, I appointed a diverse, dynamic, youthful and streamlined cabinet with the skills and experience required to achieve our goals.
Now it is time to get to work!
— President of Zimbabwe (@edmnangagwa) September 7, 2018
Min. of Sports, Arts, Youths: Kirsty Coventry #ZimCabinet
— Open Parly ZW (@OpenParlyZw) September 7, 2018
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.
Since retiring from competitive swimming after the 2016 Rio Olympics, Coventry has been active on the administration side of sports internationally. In February of this year, Coventry was appointed Chairperson of the IOC Athletes’ Commission and has previously served on the Foundation Board of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), as well as a member of the WADA Athletic Committee. In 2016 she was elected VP of the International Surfing Association.
The 34-year-old is actively serving on the Coordination Committee for the Tokyo 2020 Games and is a member of the Olympic Solidarity organization. In April of this year she was named by the IOC as a member of the Evaluation Committee for the 4th Summer Youth Olympic Games.
In 2015, Coventry kick-started her own ‘Kirsty Coventry Academy’ in Zimbabwe with the goal of reducing drowning deaths within her home nation.