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Coventry speaks on IOC position


Zimbabwe swimming icon Kirsty Coventry believes if she is elected as an athletes representative on the International Olympics Committee (IOC), she will ensure that athletes from all walks of life will be represented.

Coventry is among 21 candidates who are vying to fill four places on the IOC Athletes Commission which will be up for grabs.

Of the 21 candidates, Coventry is the only African, making her a firm favourite to land one of the four posts.

I want to be part of the Athletes Commission to make sure athletes from all walks of life are represented fairly. Being an athlete from Zimbabwe, a country where our sports are well participated, but unfortunately underfunded, I understand the daily struggles and hard work that goes into being a successful athlete, Coventry told Swimming World.

I have achieved enormous goals in the sporting world. The Olympic Games have helped me do this and provided me with the platform on which to do it. I want the chance to use my experience to help others achieve their goals.

Legendary former Namibian sprinter Frankie Fredericks and ex-Moroccan middle-distance runner El Guerrouj are the only Africans who sit on the outgoing commission.

Olympic athletes will vote on these candidates during the Olympic Games in London, and results will be announced on August 9.

The commission, which meets one to two times per year, serves as a consultative body and is the link between active athletes and the IOC.

It is composed of 12 athletes (eight summer and four winter) elected for eight years by athletes participating in the Olympic Games, and up to seven athletes appointed by the IOC president, to ensure a balance between regions, genders and sports.

Should Coventry successfully secure a spot on the IOC Athletes Commission, she will become only the second Zimbabwean to be elected for a post in the IOC after Tommy Sithole.

Coventry burst onto the international scene with an impressive performance at the 2004 Athens Olympics, winning three medals; a gold, silver and bronze. In the 2008 Games in Beijing, she won four medals, a gold and three silver medals.

The 28-year-old star is currently preparing for the London Olympics which run from July 27 to August 12, in the UK, and will be hoping to increase her medal tally when the Games begin.

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