POSTED: September 8th 2017

Paralympics: Brazilian Andrew Parsons selected to lead the IPC after Sir Philip Craven

Newly elected IPC President Andrew Parsons has served as Vice-President  © Getty Images
Newly elected IPC President Andrew Parsons has served as Vice-President © Getty Images

LAURA WALDEN (USA) / Sports Features Communications

(SFC) Brazilian Andrew Parsons won the majority vote today as the new leader of the Paralympic movement at the International Paralympic Committee's (IPC) 18th IPC General Assembly taking place in Abu Dhabi, UAE. A secret ballot vote took place among the membership which is made up of National Paralympic Committees, International Federations, International Organisations for the Disabled and Regional Organisations.

Parsons earned 84 votes in the single round of the election edging out Haidi Zhang with 47 votes, John Petersson with 19 and Patrick Jarvis with 12 votes. Zhang was the only woman candidate in this race to elect a new leader for the 3rd time in the history of the organization.

Former IPC Vice-President Parsons said, "I am absolutely delighted and I don't know what to say. I would like to thank the IPC membership for their trust" said Parsons, who becomes only the third President in IPC history.

"Throughout my campaign I think I have explained what I plan to do as IPC President and the membership understood and gave me their support.

"Now it is time to roll up the sleeves and work really hard with the membership and the new Governing Board.

"I think the election, winning in the first round, shows very strong support from the membership.  It shows they trust me and I am really delighted.

"Going forward the relationship with the IOC is going to be key.  We have some very important decisions ahead; sport is at a difficult moment at this time and we have many things in common that we have to fight for.

"It is fundamental that we work together, co-operate and I am sure we will do that."

He also paid homage to outgoing president Sir Philip Craven after 16 years of dedication to the Paralympic Movement, "Sir Philip is a legend, a mentor, an example and an absolute colossus, it's impossible to describe him with just words.  I have very big shoes to fill but I think I learned a lot from him and I will try to pay tribute to him by following in his footsteps."

Sir Philip Craven commented, "I would like to congratulate Andrew on his victory which was achieved in the first round and wish him the best of luck in his new role.  I would also like to pay tribute to Patrick Jarvis, John Petersson and Haidi Zhang for their election campaigns."

Duane Kale was elected for the role of Vice President in a closely fought race with the New Zealand four-time Paralympic champion earning 81 votes while John Petersson took 79.

"It is a little bit surreal but I am elated.  It will take time to sink in," said Kale.  "This has to be one of the most wonderful things to happen to me life wise.  I am very emotional.

"I am really looking forward to working with the new President.  I think we will make a fantastic team and I think that is important for the Movement."

**LAURA WALDEN has over twenty-six years of experience in the Olympic Movement, formerly at the European Olympic Committees with SportEurope under former IOC President Dr. Jacques Rogge and IOC Member Mario Pescante. She worked with the Rome 2004 and Turin 2006 Olympic bids and also managed PR & media for Dr. Jacques Rogge during his campaign for the presidency.

Keywords · IPC · Paralympics

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