World Champion Jitske Visser has been accepted to run as a candidate for the IPC Athletes’ Council elections that will take place during the postponed Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games later this year.

Netherlands’ Visser, who has competed in three Paralympic Games (Beijing 2008, London 2012 & Rio 2016) and won two Paralympic Bronze medals (2012 & 2016), is one of 22 athletes who are standing for election.

The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) announced that athletes from every continent will run for the IPC Athletes’ Council elections at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games. A record-equalling 22 athletes have been accepted as candidates

The IPC Athletes’ Council is a group of elected athlete representatives who act as the voice of the Para athlete community to the IPC. The chairperson of the IPC Athletes’ Council is also one of the members of the IPC Governing Board.

The IPC Athletes’ Council elections will take place from 19 August to 3 September during the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games in the Proud Paralympian area in the Main Dining Hall. There will also be additional voting booths for Para Cycling athletes at the lzu La Foret hotel from 22 to 25 August and at Fuji International Speedway from 27 to 30 August. The 22 candidates are:

  •     Martina Caironi (Italy, Para Athletics)
  •     Louzanne Coetzee (South Africa, Para Athletics)
  •     Carol Cooke (Australia, Para Cycling)
  •     Daniel Dias (Brazil, Para Swimming)
  •     Omara Durand Elias (Cuba, Para Athletics)
  •     Lucy Ejike (Nigeria, Para Powerlifting)
  •     Alena Kanova (Slovakia, Para Table Tennis)
  •     Irma Khetsuriani (Georgia, Wheelchair Fencing)
  •     Vladyslava Kravchenko (Malta, Para Swimming)
  •     Stephen Miller (Great Britain, Para Athletics)
  •     Joanna Mendak (Poland, Para Swimming)
  •     Lurii Nozdrunov (RPC, Para Table Tennis)
  •     Sherif Osman Khalifa (Egypt, Para Powerlifting)
  •     Susana Rodriguez Gacio (Spain, Para Triathlon)
  •     Michelle Schiffler (Germany, Sitting Volleyball)
  •     Takayuki Suzuki (Japan, Para Swimming)
  •     Tom Vanhove (Belgium, Goalball)
  •     Katalin Eszter Varga (Hungary, Para Canoe)
  •     Jitske Visser (Netherlands, Wheelchair Basketball)
  •     Tony Walby (Canada, Para Judo)
  •     Yanzhang Wang (China, Para Athletics)
  •     Zahra Nemati (Iran, Para Archery)

The IPC Electoral Commission will be chaired by Mark Copeland, chairperson of the IPC Legal and Ethics Committee. Further information on the elections’ campaign rules will be shared in the coming weeks.

The Athletes’ Council acts as the liaison between athletes and decision-makers and influences how Paralympic sport and the Movement grow and develop. All Aa accredited athletes competing in the Paralympic Games are encouraged to vote in the elections to ensure their voice is heard and their sport and region is represented.

All candidates are active Paralympic athletes. This means he or she must compete in the current edition of the Paralympic Games at which the election is taking place, or have competed in either of the previous two editions of the Paralympic Games (London 2012 and Rio 2016). There were a record 22 candidates for the IPC Athletes’ Council elections in Rio 2016.

More information on the IPC Athletes’ Council is available on

Image Courtesy of Eike Michler