Become a voice for your sport!

Nominations for winter sport representatives on 2018 Athletes’ Council are open 01 Sep 2017
The Paralympic Movement's Athletes' Council.

The International Paralympic Committee Athletes' Council represents Para athletes from across the Paralympic Movement.


“The role is demanding, but it is extremely rewarding, especially when you know that what you are doing is going to help shape the future of our movement - the Paralympic Movement.”

Winter athletes are being given the chance to become voices for their sports, as the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) opens nominations for the 2018 Athletes' Council. Elections will take place during the PyeongChang 2018 Paralympic Winter Games in March.

The Athletes’ Council acts as the liaison between athletes and decision-makers, and influences how Paralympic sport and the Movement grow and develop. Three winter representatives will be elected and introduced to their peers during the Closing Ceremony of the Games.

Athletes are urged to contact their respective National Paralympic Committees (NPC) if they are interested in joining the Council. The NPCs will then select one athlete to put forward as a nomination.

Nominations can be made online by NPCs until 7 December 2017. Elections will be held at the PyeongChang 2018 Paralympic Winter Games, where all participating athletes in the Games will be eligible to vote.

“As the Paralympic Movement continues to grow, we need to ensure that the athlete voice is front and centre when to comes to the discussions and decisions that are made at the administrative level of sport,” IPC Athletes’ Council Chairperson Chelsey Gotell said.

“As athletes, we are at the ground level when it comes to the dialogue regarding the issues, concerns and creative solutions within our sports federations, NPCs and among our fellow athletes. We bring a unique perspective to the table that we must ensure this continues to be a strong asset and the driving force in the decisions that are made.”

Candidates are only eligible if they are competing at PyeongChang 2018 or if they have competed in either of the two previous Winter Games in Sochi and Vancouver.

If an NPC already has a summer representative on the Council, they cannot nominate another candidate.

Leaders on and off the field of play

Athletes’ Council members are expected to represent the views of athletes from across Paralympic sport and have strong advocacy skills for athlete related issues. They should have a track record of knowledge and respect both on and off the field of play, are able to lead and are role models for Para sport.

They are required to attend various meetings and functions, including for the Council itself which meets twice a year. They may also be required to attend major events.

The full eligibility criteria for candidates are outlined in the IPC Handbook, Chapter 2.5.1, Appendix 2 under the title “IPC Athletes Council Nomination & Election Procedures.”

Access information for the online nomination portal has been distributed to National Paralympic Committees.

“We need representatives who will not only be leaders on the field of play, but will also be leaders behind the scenes and serve as strong voices for their fellow athletes,” Gotell said. “We need athletes who are willing to devote their time, commitment and passion to drive our agenda forward, ensuring that the Athletes’ Council continues to serve all athletes in the best possible way.

“The role is demanding, but it is extremely rewarding, especially when you know that what you are doing is going to help shape the future of our movement - the Paralympic Movement.”

The last Council elections were held last year during the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games, and six members were elected: swimmer Chelsey Gotell of Canada; cyclists Dame Sarah Storey of Great Britain; Monica Bascio of the USA; and wheelchair racer Kurt Fearnley of Australia. Dutch sitting volleyball player Elvira Stinissen and Turkish archer Gizem Girismen were the two re-elected athletes.