Bonn, Germany – From 28 to 29 January, members of the IPC Athletes’ Council gathered at the IPC Headquarters in Bonn, Germany, for their first meeting after the IPC Athletes’ Election held at the ATHENS 2004 Paralympic Games. During this meeting Rutger Sturkenboom was elected Vice-Chairperson and
Carme Garcia Rigau Secretary. The position of Chairperson remains undecided due to a tie between the two candidates running, Robert Balk and Ljiljana Ljubisic. Therefore, Vice-Chairperson Rutger Sturkenboom will act as interim Chairperson until the Athletes’ Committee meets again in late April for new elections.

Other items on the agenda were: the budget for 2005, the approval of the renaming of the Athletes’ Committee to Athletes’ Council, reports from Paralympic Games (2004-2012) and presentations by the IPC Heads of Departments.

Currently, the Athletes’ Council consists of the following members: Robert Balk (USA), Konstantinos Fykas (Greece), Ana Garcia-Arcicollar Vallejo (Spain), Carme Garcia Rigau (Spain), Beatrice Hess (France), Tanja Kari (Finland), Ljiljana Ljubisic (Canada) and Rutger Sturkenboom (The Netherlands). Rania Elwani (Egypt) is the new IOC Representative to the Athletes’ Council.

In Athens, Greece, a record number of 1,829 athletes (47,67%) took the opportunity to vote for six Summer Representative for the IPC Athletes’ Committee. Together with the Winter Representatives, the Summer Representatives will act as the link between the IPC and Paralympic athletes, thus ensuring that the IPC’s priorities maintain an athlete-centered focus.

For further information, please contact Miriam Wilkens, IPC Media and Communication Director on +49-228-2097-180, e-mail: or

The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) is the international governing body of sport for athletes with a disability. It supervises and co-ordinates the Paralympic Summer and Winter Games and other multi-disability competitions, of which the most important are World and Regional Championships. The IPC, situated in Bonn, Germany, also supports the recruitment and development of athletes at a local, national and international level across all performance levels.