Athlete Council


Our mission is to be the voice of all current, future and retired international athletes within the Paralympic Movement, in the strategic direction of the IPC and to support our athletes both on and off the field of play. 

To achieve this mission, the IPC Athletes’ Council has a leading role to ensure all athlete representatives have the support and resources required to be effective athlete leaders within their country and sport.

Our strategy will serve as a guideline to all Paralympic Movement stakeholders in creating an effective athlete voice that represents the needs of Para athletes. 

The IPC Athletes' Council also oversees the Athletes’ Council election process during the Paralympic Games. The Athletes' Council seeks to ensure that elections are organised in a democratic and fair manner. 

Furthermore, recognising that the election process is the primary means by which athletes express their voice, the Athletes' Council focuses on education and awareness initiatives aimed at maximum participation.


The IPC Athletes' Council wants to hear from you! We encourage athletes to share their views, express concerns, put forth ideas and get involved! Please e-mail us either personally at the e-mail addresses below or collectively at 

Chairperson Jitske Visser Wheelchair Basketball Netherlands
First Vice Chairperson Josh Dueck Para Alpine Skiing Canada
Second Vice Chairperson Mitchell Gourley Para Alpine Skiing Australia
Member at Large Birgit Skarstein Para Nordic Skiing Norway
Member at Large Grigoris Polychronidis Boccia Greece
Member at Large Martina Caironi Para Athletics Italy
Member at Large Vladyslava Kravchenko Para Swimming Malta
Member at Large Omara Durand Elias Para Athletics Cuba
Member at Large Takayuki Suzuki Para Swimming Japan
Member at Large Zahra Nemati Para Archery Iran
Chair of the IOC Athletes’ Commission Emma Terho Ice Hockey Finland



The first requirement of a candidate for the IPC Athletes' Council is a keen interest in the Paralympic Movement.

The second requirement is a strong commitment to working for and representing all IPC athletes.

The third and most important requirement is having the time and passion to make a difference for Paralympic athletes of today and tomorrow.

To be eligible for election to the Athletes' Council an individual must be an active Paralympic athlete. 

An active Paralympic athlete is defined as: 

  • an athlete that is competing in the current edition of the Paralympic Games or Paralympic Winter Games at which the election is taking place
  •  an athlete who has competed in either of the previous two editions of the Paralympic Games (if the election concerns summer sport athletes) or Paralympic Winter Games (if the election concerns winter athletes).