Daniel Dias Among Four Swimmers Vying for Election to IPC Athletes’ Council

Daniel Dias; Photo Courtesy: Luc Percival

Four swimmers are among the record-tying 22 candidates for the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) Athletes’ Council, announced Tuesday.

The IPC Athletes’ Council serve as the voice of the IPC athlete community in deliberations with the IPC, as a “the liaison between athletes and decision-makers.”

Members are elected by athletes, then as a council will select a chairperson. The candidates are vying to fill six spots for summer Games representatives. They will be selected during the Tokyo Paralympic Games this summer. All are active para-athletes, meaning they are eligible to compete in Tokyo or have competed in either of the last two Paralympics.

Among the athletes in the running are Brazilian paraswimmer Daniel Dias, Malta’s Vladyslava Kravchenko, Poland’s Joanna Mendak and Takayuki Suzuki of Japan. The full list of candidates is below. The 22 candidates equals the number that ran for the position in Rio in 2016.

The IPC will publish more details about the election process via its legal and ethics commission. The IPC Athletes’ Council is currently chaired by Canadian paraswimmer Chelsey Gotell. South Africa’s Natalie Du Toit is also on the council.

Also Tuesday, Dias was named one of the newest members of the Laureus World Sports Academy. The exclusive club, which counts only 71 members, honors athletes who use sport to improve the lives of young people.


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The 24-time Paralympic medalist Dias is joined in this year’s class by retired skiier Lindsey Vonn, British runner Jessica Ennis-Hill and squash player Nicol David.

“I am delighted to become a Member of the Laureus Academy today, although it will be a few months before I can take up my role, as first I hope to complete my swimming career with a successful Paralympic Games in Tokyo,” Dias said in a press release. “I have been lucky to win three Laureus Awards in my career, and I can tell you what an honour they are for an athlete. I am really looking forward to being able to help young people in the future and do my best to change the world.”

IPC Athletes Council Candidates

  • 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)

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