POSTED: February 26th 2010

Pengilly turns out a winner for Team GB in IOC athletes' commission election

Adam Pengilly: action in mind / lake images
Adam Pengilly: action in mind / lake images

KEIR RADNEDGE / Sports Features Communications

VANCOUVER/LONDON: Britain may have collected only one medal out among the action at the Winter Olympics in Vancouver but it has increased its complement of International Olympic Committee members.

Skeleton racer Adam Pengilly – along with United States women’s ice hockey star Angela Marie Ruggiero – has been elected to the Athletes’ Commission for an eight-year term. This automatically means they also serve as IOC members, helping ensure the athletes' voice is heard at the heart of the Olympic Movement.

Later Pengilly said a priority for him was the issue of track safety because of concerns raised by the death on the eve of the Games of the Georgian luger Nodar Kumaritashvili. Pengilly, who finished 18th , said: "We will never stop the risk entirely because we are in dangerous sports and these things will happen but we have a duty to attempt to minimise the chances of a repeat."

The election was held over the past three weeks in the Olympic Villages in Vancouver and in Whistler. Pengilly, a 32-year-old from Bath, was elected with 615 votes, followed by Ruggiero with 605 votes. They replace Pernilla Wiberg and Manuela Di Centa whose terms have ended after both were elected to the commission at the Salt Lake City Games in 2002.

Pengilly and Ruggiero will be officially introduced at the Closing Ceremony of the Vancouver Games.

How they voted

Some 1,965 athletes – 75.3 per cent of all eligible voters - chose from among nine candidates from as many countries. The votes had to be cast for two different athletes from two different sports. All the candidate athletes had to be presented by their National Olympic Committee.

Candidates had to be at least 18 on February 24, have participated either in the Olympic Games in Turin in 2006 or in Vancouver and never been found guilty of a doping offence during their sports career.

The Athletes’ Commission was created in 1981 and is composed of 19 members. Eight are summer sports athletes with four from winter sports whyile up to seven athletes are appointed by the IOC president to ensure a balance in terms of gender, sport and region.

In addition, a World Olympians Association (WOA) representative and an International Paralympic Committee (IPC) representative also feature on the Commission. Current chair is Namibian former sprinter Frank Fredericks who is also a member of the IOC executive board.

Keywords · IOC · athletes commission · Pengilly · Ruggiero

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