Kirsty Coventry (ZIM) celebrates after winning the finals of the 200m backstroke at the National Aquatics Center during the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.
Courtesy of: Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports
LAUSANNE, Switzerland, July 3. OLYMPIC gold medalist Kirsty Coventry was sworn-in as an International Olympic Committee member as part of the IOC Athletes' Commission.

Coventry joined three other athletes to be sworn in as Slovakian shooter Danka Bartekova, Australian rower James Tomkins and French canoe-kayaker Tony Estanguet also took their oaths. This ceremony was in conjunction with nine new candidates being put forward as potential members of the International Olympic Committee.

Octavian Morariu of Romania, Bernard Rajzman of Brazil, Mikaela Maria Antonia Cojuangco-Jaworski of the Philippines, Alexander Zhukov of Russia, Paul Kibii Tergat of Kenya, Lawrence Probst III of the United States, Dagmawit Girmay Berhane of Ethiopia, Camiel Eurlings of the Netherlands and Stefan Holm of Sweden all have been approved by the Executive Board as potential candidates for inclusion into the IOC.

Coventry brings a pretty hefty resume to the commission. She's a two-time Olympic gold medalist, with a total tally of seven Olympic medals as the best swimmer ever produced out of Zimbabwe. In 2000, Coventry became the first Zimbabwean swimmer to even make semifinals of an Olympic event, then continued to haul in the superlatives throughout the next three Olympics.

"I am very proud of Kirsty and the path she has traveled," Coventry's long-time coach Kim Brackin told Swimming World. "From a young girl from Zimbabwe leaving home at the age of 16 to pursue her swimming goals at Auburn, to winning seven individual Olympic medals to now representing her fellow athletes on the IOC. She has always represented her country, which continues to experience political turmoil, with tremendous pride and loyalty; I think the athletes she will speak on behalf of will find that same fierce dedication to the issues that affect their ability to compete fairly. Kirsty is a hard worker, good listener and very personable...I predict similar success to what she has found in the pool."

Coventry will serve a term of eight years as part of the IOC.

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