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Parsons re-elected International Paralympic Committee President for second term

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Bonn (Germany), Dec 12 (IANS) Brazilian Andrew Parsons has been re-elected for a second four-year term as President of International Paralympic Committee (IPC), getting elected unopposed at the 20th IPC General Assembly which was held virtually on Sunday. He received 156 yes votes (98 percent) of the 159 valid votes.

Parsons, the former President of the Brazilian Paralympic Committee and Americas Paralympic Committee, has served various roles within the Paralympic Movement over the last 24 years since starting out as an intern at the Brazilian Paralympic Committee. He was elected as IPC President in September 2017, succeeding Sir Philip Craven who stepped down after 16 years, the IPC said in a release on Sunday.

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“I would like to thank the IPC membership for your support, it is an absolute honour to be re-elected as President of the International Paralympic Commit”ee,” Parsons was quoted as saying in the release. “I started as an intern in the Brazilian Paralympic Committee 24 years ago so to be re-elected after, what I think was a successful first four years, is fantastic, I am so over the moon.

“I also want to congratulate all of the Board members who have been elected, including our Vice President Duane Kale who did a very good job over the last four years chairing the working group on the governance review.

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“It’s a very interesting and new Board; we have more women than ever before and, with the Chair of the athletes’ Council, we have eight former Para athletes or Paralympians. This will help us a lot over the next four years,” he said.

During his first four-year term Parsons transformed the culture within the IPC to make it a more membership-focussed, athlete-centered organisation and oversaw the safe and successful delivery of the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games. He strengthened the IPC’s relationship with the International Olympic Committee (IOC), signing a new agreement between the two organisations which provides financial stability for the IPC and maintains the “one city, two Games” model through to 2032. By adding a third strategic pillar to the IPC activities focusing on advancing the human rights of persons with disabilities, he has also redefined the IPC’s purpose, the release said.

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In addition to Parsons’ re-appointment, New Zealander Duane Kale was also re-elected for a second four-year term as IPC Vice President. Standing unopposed, the four-time Paralympic swimming champion received 154 yes votes from the 159 valid votes.

Having competed at the Atlanta 1996 Paralympic Games, Kale served as the New Zealand Chef de Mission for the Beijing 2008 and London 2012 Paralympic Games. Since election as IPC Vice President in 2017, he has chaired and led the IPC governance review process and chaired the IPC Audit & Finance Committee.

On Sunday, the IPC membership also elected 10 Members at Large following three rounds of voting. Overall, the IPC Governing Board now includes a record six female Board members, including IPC Athletes’ Council Chairperson Jitske Visser. The Board also includes a record eight Para athletes and Paralympians.

All Board members elected on Sunday will serve four-year terms through to the 22nd IPC General Assembly which will be held in late 2025. With the approval of a new IPC Constitution by IPC members on Saturday, the First Vice-Chair o’ the IPC Athletes’ Council, will also serve on the IPC Governing Board alongside Visser. The First Vice-Chair will be elected by their follow IPC Athletes’ Council members post the Beijing 2022 Paralympic Winter Games.

–IANS

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