New Zealand board-sailing legend, Barbara KENDALL has been appointed to the Athletes' Commission of the International Olympic Committee. The announcement comes following the resignation of Australian swimmer Susie O'NEIL from the 19 member Commission.Kendall has been the athlete's representative on the Yachting New Zealand High Performance Committee. Peter LESTER of Yachting New Zealand thinks the appointment is exciting for New Zealand.
"It's fantastic for the country and for the sport of sailing in New Zealand. It is thoroughly deserved by Kendall with her exceptional Olympic medal-winning history,' says Lester. "It recognises Barbara's achievements as an athlete. It also gives New Zealand a voice and a representative within the small and exclusive 19 member Commission."
Olympic Gold Medal winner in Barcelona in 1992, Kendall has participated in four Olympic Games including the Athens Games last year. She won silver in Atlanta in 1996 and a bronze medal in Sydney 2000.
The Rules of the Athletes' Commission required the replacement for O'Neil to be an athlete from the Oceania region. Kendall was appointed as she was the athlete from Oceania who received the second highest number of votes in the election in which the resigning member was elected, outside the other standing members.
Created in 1981, the Athlete's Commission is the link between active athletes and the International Olympic Committee. The 19 person group is made up of active and retired athletes who meet regularly with the IOC Executive Board, to which it issues recommendations. The Commission forms working groups to work in liaison with the Organising Committees for the Olympic Games to ensure that the athletes' needs are met.
Kendall will take an active part in the Athlete's Commission meeting in June this year in Lausanne. Her candidature for membership to the IOC will be forwarded to the Nominations Commission for consideration in advance of the IOC Session in Singapore in July 2005.