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24 Oct 2016

Five sailors, including London 2012 Gold Medallist and Rio 2016 Silver Medallist Jo Aleh, have been elected to World Sailing's Athletes' Commission following a vote by sailors' competing at the Rio 2016 Olympic Sailing Competition.

Jo Aleh (NZL), Sofia Bekatorou (GRE), Maayan Davidovich (ISR), Juan Ignacio Maegli (GUA) and Vasiliij Zbogar (SLO) join existing members Sarah Gosling (GBR) as well as Lijia Xu (CHN) and Yann Rocherieux (FRA).

The Athletes' Commission report directly to the World Sailing Board of Directors with the Chair a permanent voting member of the Board. Rocherieux has been elected Chair of the Athletes' Commission for this term with Bekatorou as Vice-Chair. The Commission represent the interests of Olympic sailors, encouraging open communication and feedback.
The incoming members will serve a term of eight years from 2016 to 2024 and include some of the most successful sailors of recent times:
Jo Aleh (NZL)
Aleh won gold at the London 2012 Olympic Games and silver at Rio 2016, sailing in the Women's 470 with Polly Powrie. Aleh sailed at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games in the Laser Radial.
Sofia Bekatorou (GRE)
Bekatorou is a four-time Olympian, winning gold at Athens 2004 in the Women's 470 and bronze in the Yngling at Beijing 2008. She further demonstrated her dynamic skillset within the sport at Rio 2016 where she sailed the Nacra 17, a mixed multihull. Bekatorou is a two-time recipient of the Rolex World Sailor of the Year Award.
Maayan Davidovich (ISR)
Davidovich is a two-time Olympian in the Women's RS:X, winning multiple medals at World Championships and Sailing World Cup regattas.
Juan Ignacio Maegli – (GUA) elected by the President of World Sailing in accordance with Regulation 8.9.2(e)
The Guatemalan is a two-time Olympian in the Laser and a 2015 Pan American Games gold medallist. He won his nations only Youth Sailing World Championships medal, a bronze, in the Hobie 16 at the 2004 edition of the event.
Vasilij Zbogar (SLO)
Zbogar is a four-time Olympian, winning medals at three editions. His first, a bronze, came at Athens 2004 in the Laser with a silver following at Beijing 2008. He made the switch to the Finn for London 2012, finishing sixth before claiming silver at Rio 2016.
They join three existing members, who will serve through to 2020:
Sarah Gosling (GBR)
Gosling won Yngling gold at the Athens 2004 and Beijing 2004 Olympic Sailing Competitions. In addition, she is a two-time Yngling World Champion.
Yann Rocherieux (FRA)
Beijing 2008 Olympian, Rocherieux is one of the most experienced 49er sailors in the fleet and is a former European Champion.
Lijia Xu (CHN)
Bronze medallist at Beijing 2008, China's Xu won a four-way shootout for gold at the London 2012 Olympic Games. She won the Rolex World Sailor of the Year Award the same year.
World Sailing Athletes' Commission
The World Sailing Athletes' Commission represents the interests of the sailors in the Olympic events and reports directly to World Sailing Board of Directors. The Athletes' Commission is composed of athletes representing Olympic events, and is elected by the athletes themselves.
The Athletes Commission elect members to sit on Events, Equipment and Race Officials Committees as well as receiving invites to Working Parties considering Olympic sailing matters, and selection of World Championships venues.

The Athletes' Commission Terms of Reference are:

  • be a non-political consultative body to offer advice and assistance to ISAF on matters and issues of relevance to athletes and act as a link between the Olympic athletes and ISAF;
  • present the Olympic athletes' points of view to the Executive Committee through recommendations and proposals;
  • promote respect of the rights of the athletes within the sport and draw up recommendations to that effect;
  • promote high standards of sportsmanship and ethical performance when competing and participating;
  • reflect the views of the Olympic athletes competing and participating at the highest level and establish relationships to promote feedback to the Executive Committee on matters concerning Olympic athletes; and
  • liaise with the Executive Committee on ISAF Events to help ISAF respond to the needs of the Olympic athletes.

Source: World Sailing