SPORTS Minister and Africa’s most decorated Olympian Kirsty Coventry has been appointed to chair the International Olympic Committee Coordination Commission for Brisbane 2032.
The Zimbabwean swimmer is a seven-time Olympic medallist and became a full IOC member at the organisation’s Session in Tokyo in July, coinciding with her term as chair of the IOC Athletes’ Commission coming to an end.
As chair of the Coordination Commission, Coventry will be expected to play a leading role in the build-up to the Games, especially the IOC’s dialogue with the local Organising Committee.
“It is a great honour to be chosen to lead the Coordination Commission for Brisbane 2032,” Coventry said.
“As a five-time Olympian and former Chair of the Athletes’ Commission, I will always put athletes at the heart of these Games.
“Brisbane 2032 has an exciting concept which will deliver a great legacy for the region and the country, but most importantly it will deliver great Games for the athletes and for the fans.
“Working with such a dynamic Coordination Commission, we can help the organisers with our energy and experience to bring their ideas to life.”
Twelve IOC members have been named to the Coordination Commission, eight of them women.
American Anita DeFrantz is vice-chair.
Baklai Temengil from Palau, and Papua New Guinea’s Auvita Rapilla are the body’s two members from Oceania.
World Rowing President Jean-Christophe Rolland from France, the Brazilian International Paralympic Committee President Andrew Parsons, Italian swimmer Federica Pellegrini, Mikaela Cojuangco Jaworski of the Philippines from the Philippines, Paraguay’s Camilo Pérez López Moreira, Ethiopian member Dagmawit Girmay Berhane, Saudi Arabian Princess Reema Bandar Al-Saud and Ugandan William Blick complete the Coordination Commission.
Coventry, is already chair of the IOC Coordination Commission for the Dakar 2026 Youth Olympic Games, and was a member of the Tokyo 2020 Coordination Commission.
Also Zimbabwe’s Sports Minister, Coventry has been an IOC member since 2013.
It is the second significant appoint related to the 2032 Olympic and Paralympics to be announced today, after Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk named herself Minister for the Olympics.
Brisbane was confirmed as the 2032 Games host at the IOC Session in Tokyo on July 21.
It was the sole candidate presented to the Session, having already been approved by the IOC Executive Board.
It is the first time that Olympic hosting rights have been awarded under the new system, whereby a traditional bid race has been replaced by the IOC Future Host Commission identifying and proposing hosts to the Executive Board.
The Olympics Games Brisbane 2032 are the first to have been elected under, and to have benefited from, the new flexible approach to electing Olympic hosts.
The new approach encourages sustainable Olympic projects that fit into long term regional and national strategies while delivering the best possible games experience.
With an average age of 48, and with the addition of more recently-elected IOC members, the Commission members will bring a fresh perspective to the preparations.
IOC president Thomas Beach said: “Kirsty Coventry is leading an exciting new generation of IOC members in this commission.
“As a double Olympic gold medallist and a former IOC executive board member, she has all the experience for this important task.
“The commission will cooperate closely with the organising committee to deliver together sustainable and economically responsible Olympic games.
These will be an exciting experience for the athletes and the fans, and have a solid legacy fully aligned with the IOC reforms of Olympic Agenda 2020+5.”
Coventry also spoke about her appointment saying she will always put athletes at the core of the Olympic games.
“It is a great honour to be chosen to lead the coordination commission for Brisbane 2032.
“As a five-time Olympian and former chair of the Athletes Commission, I will always put athletes at the heart of these games.
“Brisbane 2032 has been an exciting concept which will deliver a great legacy for the region and the country, but most importantly it will deliver great games for the athletes and for the fans.
“Working with such a dynamic coordination commission, we can help the organisers with our energy and experience to bring their ideas to life,” she said.
The commission will be made up of other IOC members who are not on the executive board, with representatives of the athletes, international federations, national Olympic Committees and the International Paralympic Committee. In addition to the chair and vice chair, there are two members from each continent.
Other members might be added to the current core composition over the next 11 years until the games.