Six Olympians Elected To BOA Athletes’ Commission

07 January 2013 / 13:00

The British Olympic Association (BOA) announced today the six Olympians who have been elected by their peers to serve on the BOA Athletes’ Commission.  Each of the athletes has been elected for a four year term.

The athletes elected include a trio of Olympians who were members of Team GB at the London 2012 Olympic Games: rowing gold medallist Katherine Grainger, hockey bronze medallist Kate Walsh and athletics sprinter Christian Malcolm, who is a veteran of four consecutive Olympic Games.

Joining the 2012 Olympians on the Commission are double Olympic gold medallist rower James Cracknell, Beijing 2008 modern pentathlon silver medallist Heather Fell and Athens 2004 diving silver medallist Leon Taylor.

Grainger and Taylor were re-elected for what is the second of a maximum three terms which they are eligible to serve, while Walsh, Malcolm, Cracknell and Fell were elected for their first term.

The composition of the BOA Athletes’ Commission now includes 14 athletes from 10 sport disciplines. The 11 summer and three winter Olympians bring to the commission the combined experience of having participated in 40 Olympic Games (summer and winter) and having won 12 Olympic medals.

The Commission, which was formed in July 2010, is an advisory group that represents the perspective and expertise of athletes and provides input to the many initiatives and programmes offered by the BOA. The creation of the Commission followed a recommendation from the International Olympic Committee to ensure that athletes possess a meaningful voice in the decision-making processes of National Olympic Committees.

The six athletes elected to the BOA Athletes’ Commission are (Name, Sport, Olympic Games):

James Cracknell, Rowing – 1996, 2000, 2004

Heather Fell, Modern Pentathlon – 2008

Katherine Grainger, Rowing – 2000, 2004, 2008, 2012

Christian Malcolm, Athletics – 2000, 2004, 2008, 2012

Leon Taylor, Aquatics: Diving – 1996, 2000, 2004

Kate Walsh, Hockey – 2000, 2008, 2012

(Note: Katherine Grainger and Leon Taylor stood for re-election.)

To establish a staggered membership and continuity, the BOA Athletes' Commission in November 2012 voted for six of its 12 members to stay on the Commission for a further two years, to complete a four year total term to December 2014.  The following athletes were confirmed to stay on the Commission:

Ben Hawes, Hockey

Goldie Sayers, Athletics

Henry Nwume, Bobsleigh

Jackie Lockhart, Curling

Karen Pickering, Swimming

Sarah Gosling, Sailing

In addition, Olympic rowing bronze medallist and double World Champion Sarah Winckless was re-elected as Chair of the British Olympic Association Athletes' Commission in November.  As Chair of the BOA Athletes’ Commission, Winckless is responsible for providing the views of the Commission to the BOA Board of Directors, of which she is a member.

International Olympic Committee (IOC) Athletes’ Commission Member Adam Pengilly, a skeleton athlete, is automatically a member of the BOA Athletes’ Commission by virtue of his membership in the IOC.

Andy Hunt, BOA Chief Executive, said:

“We are delighted to welcome the four new members to the BOA Athletes’ Commission, and to welcome back Katherine Grainger and Leon Taylor for their second term of service.  The Commission is an invaluable resource for the BOA, and the expertise and perspective of its members has helped shape the design and delivery of many of the services we provide to support Team GB athletes.  The BOA is a much more effective, performance-focused organisation because of the Athletes’ Commission, and we look forward to the contributions the new members will make.”

Sarah Winckless, Chair of the BOA Athletes' Commission, said:

“The London Games have given us great memories and I was proud of the contribution the Athletes’ Commission made in preparation for the 2012 Games; however, I stood for re-election for the Chair role as I believe there is more to be done. I would like to thank the outgoing members -- John Kerr, Emily Freeman, Jaime Hasley and Kate Allenby -- for all their hard work and look forward to working with the new group. I am delighted with the mix of experience and new members, which will help bring new perspectives.”