Members of the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) Athletes’ Council have met with their International Olympic Committee (IOC) Athletes Commission counterparts as part of the IOC International Athletes’ Forum in Lausanne.

The meeting centred on strengthening the relationship between athletes in both the Olympic and Paralympic Movements and was held during the Forum, which began on October 8 and concludes on October 11.

IPC Athletes Council chairperson Todd Nicholson, Paralympic gold medallist in 2006 as part of Canada’s victorious ice sledge hockey team, was in attendance, along with members Tim Prendergast, Yu Chui Yee, Gizem Girismen, Eskil Hagen and Katja Saarinen.

“Much of the IPC Athletes’ Council success and leadership is because of the support and guidance we have received from the IOC Athletes’ Commission,” Nicholson said.

“The members of the IPC Athletes’ Council that are attending the IOC Athletes’ Commission I’m sure will go home with some great contacts and understanding on how an Athletes Council, Athlete Focus Group or Commission can help open the lines of communication between the decision makers and the athletes within the Paralympic Movement.”

The IPC Athletes’ Council discussed the structure of their group and held meetings about continuing to support para-athletes across the world.

The meeting between the two organisations comes after the 2013 Forum, which called for an enhancement of the links between the various Athletes’ Commissions.

The IOC International Athletes' Forum was opened by IOC President Thomas
The IOC International Athletes' Forum was opened by IOC President Thomas Bach ©IOC

The Forum itself was opened by IOC President Thomas Bach, with the first day featuring a practical session on the IOC’s latest initiatives for athletes, including the IOC Athlete Learning Gateway, an online initiative designed to help competitors during and after their careers in sport.

Yesterday, Bach gave a presentation on Olympic Agenda 2020, the IOC’s strategic roadmap for the future of the Olympic Movement, while IOC Athletes Commission chairperson Claudia Bokel delivered an update on the progress of recommendations made at the previous forum in Singapore in 2013.

Over 100 athletes will have attended the Forum by the time it finishes, comprising members of the IOC Athletes Commission and IPC Athletes Council as well as representatives from International Federations and athlete representatives from Olympic and Paralympic Games Organising Committees.

A number of topics will be debated at the Forum including the role of the respective Commissions, athletes’ services and welfare and communication.

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