Guyana’s Aliann Pompey has been elected as President of the Panam Sports Athlete Commission, it has been announced here today.
The 41-year-old former sprinter was chosen to lead the Commission at its first meeting since new members were elected at the Pan American Games in Lima.
Only the three members of the Athlete Commission who were elected at Toronto 2015, the previous Pan American Games, were eligible to stand as for the President role.
El Salvador’s Adriana Escobar opted against standing, with Pompey and Puerto Rican judoka Carlos Santiago both deciding to seek the position.
The election was determined by the six Commission members present at the meeting, with Pompey chosen.
Pompey competed at four Olympic Games during her career, while she earned bronze medals in the 400 metres at the 2003 Pan American Games in Santo Domingo.
The Guyanan was Commonwealth Games 400m champion at Manchester 2002, before winning a silver medal eight years later in New Delhi.
"Honestly I was a little bit surprised," Pompey said.
"I wanted to give it a shot because I think it’s a tremendous honour to lead the Commission and it was obviously something I would love to do.
"I’m very, very happy with the outcome."
Pompey, as Athlete Commission President, will also sit on the Panam Sports Executive Board for the next four years before her term concludes at the 2023 Pan American Games in Santiago.
Her first Executive Board meeting is due to take place here on Sunday (December 15).
"It is a lot of work and I quickly realised that once we went through the timeline and what’s expected in the upcoming years, but I think we are a very collaborative group and with everyone working together we will do great things," Pompey said.
The Commission includes Brazilian sailor Isabel Swan, Canadian beach volleyball player Melissa Humana-Paredes and Mexican racquetball star Paola Longoria.
United States’ water polo player Tony Azevedo and Barbados’ cyclist Amber Joseph also feature on the Commission.
All five were elected at Lima 2019 and will remain in their positions until the 2027 Pan American Games.
"We are all thrilled to be on the Panam Sports Athlete Commission because it's a way for us to have meaningful impact in our sport and region outside of actual competition," said Pompey.
"I have and continue to learn so much, it's truly an enriching experience.
"In a few short years we've experienced the commitment of the Panam Sports Executive staff to the Commission in making sure the athletes' voice has infiltrated pretty much all of their operations."