Olympic champion and discus thrower Gerd Kanter has been shortlisted for the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Athletes' Commission elections. If successful, Kanter would be the first Estonian to become a member.
The IOC Executive Board approved the candidatures of 24 athletes for the Athletes' Commission elections, which will be held during the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro in August 2016.
The four top candidates will fill seats vacated by Moon Dae-Sung, Alexander Popov, Claudia Bokel and Yumilka Ruíz Luaces. The commission consists of 12 athletes, all elected by Olympic athletes.
The candidates come from all continents and represent 14 different sports with an equal number of men and women. The four elected members will serve an eight-year term of office, until the games of 2024.
“Sport has been my life and passion for the past 20 years,” Kanter said, adding that he is proud to have so far competed in three Olympic Games and win medals from two of them. He now wishes to give something back and share his vast experience with others.
“If I get elected, I promise to do my best to ensure that all athletes, regardless of their discipline, are treated and supported equally,” Kanter said. He added that he will also continue to stand for a clean and fair sport.
Perhaps the most controversial of Kanter's competitors are Russian pole vault champion Jelena Isinbajeva and hammer thrower Koji Murofushi from Japan. Isibajeva will be allowed to stand for the commission regardless of the IOC's decision to ban the entire Russian athletics team from the games following a string of doping offenses. The same applies to Murofushi, who was disqualified from the race four years ago for breaching strict rules that govern campaiging during elections.
Kanter is not the first Estonian sportsman to be shortlisted for a seat in the commission. Erki Nool, an Olympic champion in decathlon from 2000, ran for the commission in 2004 but was not elected.
Editor: M. Oll