Beckie Scott Elected To IOC Athletes' Commission

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) announced today that Canadian cross-country skier Beckie Scott (Vermilion, Alta.) was one of two Olympians elected to the IOC’s Athletes’ Commission for an eight-year term. Finnish ice hockey player Saku Koivu was also elected.

During the 16-day election period from February 8 to 23, Scott received the highest number of votes amongst the 15 candidates with a total of 449. Runner-up Koivu received 412 votes. A total of 2003 athletes – a record number – voted in the election, representing 78.2% of all eligible voters.

“I’m absolutely flattered to have been voted by my peers to represent them in this prestigious role,” said Scott. “I look forward to working for all of the athletes, and doing my best for them. I think it is really important to have a Canadian voice on the IOC Athletes’ Commission. Canadians are well respected worldwide, and bring a lot of what is good in sport and expected at the Olympic Games including sportsmanship and fair play.”

As a member of the IOC Athletes’ Commission, Scott will gain IOC membership status following formal approval by the IOC Board on Sunday. She will become Canada’s second IOC member, joining Richard Pound of Montreal.

A two-time Olympic medallist and three-time Olympian, Scott became the first North American woman to win an Olympic medal in cross-country skiing when she captured gold in the five-kilometre pursuit race at the 2002 Olympic Winter Games in Salt Lake City. She won a silver medal with Sara Renner in the women’s team sprint event on February 14 in Turin at the 2006 Olympic Winter Games.

An advocate of drug-free sport, Scott is also Canada’s current representative on the World Anti-Doping Agency’s (WADA) newly formed Athlete Committee. As a member of the 13-person committee, Scott works with fellow international lobbyists to allow WADA closer contact with athletes and to give the agency better insight into its questions and concerns regarding doping.

“We’re absolutely thrilled that Beckie’s peers have elected her to represent them as a member of the IOC Athletes’ Commission,” said Canadian Olympic Committee Director of Athlete and Community Relations Chris Farstad. “As an IOC member, Beckie will now be able to participate in influential discussions leading up to the Olympic Games in Beijing, Vancouver and London while providing an important voice for Canada’s athletes.”

Previous Canadian athletes elected to the IOC Athletes’ Commission include Charmaine Crooks (athletics, North Vancouver, B.C.) who served from 1996-2004 and Ken Read (alpine skiing, Calgary, Alta.) who served from 1985-1998.

Established in 1981, the IOC Athletes’ Commission serves as a link between the athletes and the IOC. Composed of 19 active and retired athletes, the commission holds annual meetings and issues recommendations to the IOC Executive Board with the goal of ensuring that athletes’ needs are met.

Elections for the IOC Athletes’ Commission are held during each Olympic Games. Nominees are voted upon by the Games’ entire athlete delegation in a secret ballot. During the Winter Games, the top two athletes with the highest number of votes are elected.

Nominations to the IOC Athletes’ Commission are announced prior to each Olympic Games. To be eligible for nomination, athletes must have participated in the previous Olympic Games or the Games during which the elections occur. In addition, athletes must have a clean doping offence record throughout their career. The IOC Athletes’ Commission is composed of 12 athletes elected by the athletes and seven athletes appointed by the IOC President to ensure a balance between regions, sexes and sports.