Zimbabwean Olympic legend Kirsty Coventry has just been named by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) as a member of the Evaluation Committee for the 4th Summer Youth Olympic Games. Responsible for assisting the selection process to elect the AFrican host of the 2022 multi-national event, Coventry will be joining a group of 7 members, including Beatrice Allen of Gambia, Neven Ilic of Chile and Gunila Lindberg of Sweden.
In her own words below, Coventry tweeted, ‘As an African I’m extremely proud to be a member of the Evaluation Commission so we can show the world what Africa has to offer.’
Youth Olympics is coming to Africa in 2022!!! ???As an African I’m extremely proud to be a member of the Evaluation Commission so we can show the World what Africa has to offer. ?https://t.co/YXddnZaTLL #Africa2022 #Olympics #Africa #ItsTimeForAfrica ❤️❤️❤️
— Kirsty Coventry (@KirstyCoventry) April 25, 2018
IOC President Bach said of Africa’s hosting the 2022 Summer Youth Olympic Games, “It’s time for Africa. Africa is the home of so very many successful Olympic athletes. It is also the continent of youth. This is why we want to take the Youth Olympic Games 2022 to Africa. This is why the IOC will proactively approach a number of African NOCs to evaluate the feasibility of bringing the YOG to Africa.”
Since retiring after the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio, Coventry’s career has been gaining steam out of the pool in the world of sports administration. 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.
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.