“I am absolutely delighted and I don’t know what to say. I would like to thank the IPC membership for their trust. 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."
Andrew Parsons of Brazil was elected as the International Paralympic Committee’s (IPC) new President on Friday (8 September) following one round of voting at the 18th IPC General Assembly in Abu Dhabi, UAE.
Parsons was chosen ahead of fellow presidential candidates Patrick Jarvis, John Petersson and Haidi Zhang.
“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’s 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.”
The new President also paid tribute to his predecessor Sir Philip Craven who stood down today after 16 years in the role.
“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.”
The President was elected by secret ballot by the IPC membership which is made up of National Paralympic Committees, International Federations, International Organisations for the Disabled and Regional Organisations.
Sir Philip Craven said: “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.”
A total of 163 members, plus the Americas Paralympic Committee, were in attendance for Friday’s election and eligible to vote.
In the first round 162 members voted and Parsons secured 84 votes having needed an absolute majority of 82 to win.
For the role of Vice President Duane Kale was elected in a closely fought race which 160 members voted in. The New Zealand four-time Paralympic champion polled 81 votes while John Petersson polled 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.”
President election voting results
Patrick Jarvis 12
Andrew Parsons 84*
John Petersson 19
Haidi Zhang 47
Vice President election voting results
Duane Kale 81*
John Petersson 79
In the afternoon session, 10 Members at Large were elected by the IPC Membership after six rounds of voting. They are:
• Debra Alexander (ITU)
• Mohammed Alhemeli (UAE)
• Muffy Davis (USA)
• Rita van Driel (NED)
• Sung Il Kim (KOR)
• Luca Pancalli (ITA)
• Leonel da Rocha Pinto (African Paralympic Committee)
• Tim Reddish (GBR)
• Juan Pablo Salazar (COL)
• Yasushi Yamawaki (JPN)
Chelsey Gotell, the IPC Athletes’ Council Chairperson, who also forms part of the IPC Governing Board, said: “I would like to congratulate all the members of the new IPC Governing Board on their election.
“I am looking forward to working with the new President and the new Board to ensure the IPC is an athlete centred organisation and the athlete voice is heard at the executive table.”
The Governing Board will serve a four-year term with elections next held in 2021. It will hold its first informal meeting on Saturday (9 September).