POSTED: January 28th 2016

Olympics: IOC and WOA confirm closer working relationship due to recent appointments

(L to R) Joel Bouzou and IOC President Thomas Bach / WOA
(L to R) Joel Bouzou and IOC President Thomas Bach / WOA

MARISSA FLANDERS (USA) / Sports Features Communications

(SFC) The working relationship between the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the World Olympians Association (WOA) has once again been strengthened as five high-profile former athletes have been named to the WOA's Executive Committee to represent the IOC. In addition, a new representative was named to the IOC Athletes Commission by the WOA, along with two members to the WOA Board.  

Those selected to served on the WOA Board included Angela Ruggiero (USA), Frank Fredericks (Namibia), Li Lingwei (China), Pernilla Wiberg (Sweden), and Natalie Cook (Australia). Also, taking over as the WOA representative on the IOC Athletes Commission will be Patrick Singleton (Bermuda). Furthermore, Willie Banks (USA) and Mikako Kotani (Japan) were appointed by WOA President, Joƫl Bouzou to extend the WOA Board's Continental representation.

This announcement will ensure that all Olympians and the WOA will benefit from the growing support through Olympic Agenda 2020 and its athlete support programs.

IOC President, Thomas Bach stated, "2015 was an important year in the history of the WOA. Following the successful World Olympians Forum in Moscow and the approval of the new WOA Constitution in October, I am very pleased to see that the integration of the WOA with the IOC is in its final stage."

"Protecting and supporting clean athletes is one of the main pillars of Olympic Agenda 2020. In this respect, the WOA's integration with the IOC is another implementation of the recommendations of Olympic Agenda 2020, it is athletes and Olympians who should and will benefit from this close collaboration," expressed President Bach.

"This is an exciting new chapter for the WOA and I am proud to welcome on board our new Executive Committee members. I am confident each will make a significant contribution to support the ongoing development of the WOA and the role of Olympians in society as we embark on the journey ahead," commented WOA President Bouzou.

He added, "We are grateful for the ongoing support from the IOC and believe that the increased integration of our two organizations in such a meaningful way will reap great rewards for Olympians and have a positive impact on their wellbeing at all stages of their lives."

WOA President Bouzou said, "I would also like to thank Amadou for his sterling work as the WOA representative on the IOC Athletes Commission and I look forward to continuing working with him on the WOA Board. As we forge ever closer relationships with the IOC it is important that we continue to integrate ourselves within the IOC structures while retaining our independence, which is why we have chosen our Treasurer Patrick Singleton, a very experienced and well respected administrator and recent Olympic Games competitor, as our next representative on the IOC Athletes' Commission."

"Willie Banks and Mikako Kotani are two highly respected and successful Olympians who have served sport and the Olympic Movement with honour and distinction since retiring from active competition and will extend the WOA's Continental representation as mandated by the newly updated WOA Constitution passed by the WOA General Assembly at the inaugural World Olympians Forum in Moscow at the end of last year," he concluded.

** MARISSA FLANDERS is a graduate of Saint Leo University with a Bachelor's Degree in Sport Business. She has over four years of writing experience and has a real passion for ice hockey following the Pittsburgh Penguins on her blog

Keywords · IOC · WOA · Olympians · athletes

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