Article courtesy of Australian Olympic Committee
Olympic champion Jessica Fox OLY will stand for membership of the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) Athletes’ Commission, the IOC has announced at its Executive Board Meeting in Paris overnight.
After being directly appointed to the Commission in 2021, the three-time Olympic paddler now hopes to continue her service by being elected by fellow athletes – a cohort of around 10,500 participants – who will vote at next year’s Paris 2024 Olympic Games.
Paris2024 will be the Australian’s fourth Games where she will be competing in the C1 and K1 and as well as potentially Kayak Cross classes. Her selection on the Australian Team for Paris was announced earlier this month.
The IOC Athletes’ Commission plays a central role within the Olympic movement, representing the global athlete voice within the IOC.
Fox, who was nominated by the AOC Athletes’ Commission, will be contesting the election to fill one of four vacancies that will come about after athletes Britta Heidemann (Fencing, Germany), Ryu Seung-min (Table Tennis, Rep of Korea), Daniel Gyurta (Swimming, Hungary), Yelena Isinbayeva (Athletics, Russia) complete their eight-year terms.
Elected Members also serve as IOC Members. The Commission is composed of a maximum of 23 members, 12 of whom are directly chosen through elections held during the Olympic Summer Games and Olympic Winter Games, with a maximum of 11 appointed members.
The appointments are designed to achieve a balance between genders, regions, and sports within the Commission.
Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) President Ian Chesterman says Jess’s experience in promoting athlete outcomes on the IOC AC, the Oceania National Olympic Committee’s (ONOC) AC, the AOC’s AC and International Canoeing Federation’s AC make her a perfect candidate for the role.
“Jess has already shown a great commitment to serve her fellow athletes,” Mr Chesterman said.
“She has strived for gender equality, typified by her championing the inclusion of a female C1 event ahead of Tokyo 2020 which, fittingly, she won.
“Through her actions, Jess continues to demonstrate a great passion for Olympic ideals. She cares deeply about athletes, and you can see that demonstrated through her involvement in four Athletes’ Commissions.
“She is an exceptionally strong candidate. Not only does she have a deep understanding of the issues affecting athletes, but she is also multi-lingual which helps her to effectively communicate across the globe.
“I fully support Jess’s candidacy for the IOC Athletes’ Commission and believe her experience, both in competition and out, will make her a valuable asset for athletes around the world.”
Fox says her experience on the IOC Athletes’ Commission over the past two years continues to ignite her desire to make a difference for athletes around the world.
“I’ve had the honour of being an appointed member of the IOC AC. The athlete experience at the Olympic Games is always a priority, but outside of those two weeks, it’s just as important to ensure Olympians and aspiring Olympians have their voices heard and feel supported around key issues affecting athletes,” Ms Fox said.
“I have a strong interest in contributing to the areas of sustainability, athlete opportunities and transition and mental health initiatives, as well as emerging technology and innovation such as AI and how it can contribute to the athlete experience.
“The sporting landscape is evolving and, if elected to the IOC AC, I’ll continue to listen, support and serve our global athlete community on their Olympic journey as we help shape the future of the Olympic movement – for all of us today & for the next generation towards LA2028 & Brisbane 2032!
“I’ve grown up with the Olympics – watching Sydney 2000 as a kid, competing in the first Youth Olympic Games in 2010, to representing Australia in London, Rio, Tokyo, and becoming Olympic Champion.
“I’m passionate about sport and the role we can all play in inspiring others. Whether that’s competing, spectating, supporting or promoting women’s sports initiatives and gender equality, sport has a powerful impact on society and athletes are at the heart of it.
“My experience on National (NF, AOC) and International (ICF, IOC) athlete commissions has built my understanding of governance, communication and engagement with the athlete community in Australia, Oceania and Internationally,” Ms Fox concluded.
Voting for the IOC Athletes’ Commission will begin on July 18th 2024, closing on August 6th with the new members announced the following day, August 7th, Paris time.