Celebrated High Jumper Blanka Vlašić Elected to EOC Athletes’ Commission

Daniela Rogulj

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It is the epilogue of the 6th General Assembly of European Athletes, held on Saturday at the Dubrovnik Palace Hotel. Estonian athlete Gerd Kanter, the owner of Olympic gold (2008) and bronze (2012) in the discus throw, remained the president of the Commission for another term, reports HRT.

More than 70 athletes and representatives of the National Olympic Committees (NOCs) arrived in Dubrovnik over the weekend, and some of them followed the event online.

As part of the 6th General Assembly of European Athletes, eight members of the EOC Athletes’ Commission were elected from 17 candidates. Apart from Blanka Vlašić, celebrated water polo representative Maro Joković also represented Croatia at the assembly session.

The Assembly was opened by the President of the Croatian Olympic Committee (COC), Zlatko Mateša, in the role of host, and those present were greeted on behalf of the Ministry of Tourism and Sports of the Republic of Croatia by Special Sports Advisor Josip Pavić.

With gratitude to “beautiful Dubrovnik” for the hospitality, EOO President Spyros Capralos expressed his delight at the athletes’ interest in membership in the sports committee of the continental association of national Olympic committees.

The assembly was also attended by the President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Athletes’ Commission, Emma Terho, a Finnish hockey player with two Olympic medals in the trophy collection (bronze medals from 1998 and 2010), and was accompanied by a member of the same IOC commission, the legendary Russian Jelena Isinbayeva (Olympic pole vault gold in 2004 and 2008 and bronze in 2012).

In addition to the report on the work of the Commission in the previous term (2017-2021), the agenda also included a report on the Tokyo Olympic Games, which was an opportunity for athletes to share experiences and interesting views on the recent Games in very specific circumstances.

After the election process, Blanka Vlašić was very pleased with the outcome.

“This is a good start and the right place if I want to be a part of positive changes in sports, which is my wish since I finished my active sports career. This is a great step forward for us, for Croatian sport, and for women’s sport in general. It is a completely new experience in relation to the competitive part of my career, incomparable with the high jump. These are some different waters and I will learn to swim in those waters. It’s a lot more relaxed when it comes to socializing, sharing experiences, because we’re all former athletes. The commission is diverse and it is not important that we all think the same, but that we all want the best for our sport. I see that everyone is ambitious and I believe that we will have a successful mandate,” said Vlašić.

In the new EOC Athletes Commission for the 2021-2025 term, there are six representatives from summer and two from winter sports (plus two members to be subsequently appointed by the EOC Executive Board in agreement with the President of the Commission). After the Dubrovnik Assembly, the composition of the Commission is as follows: Gerd Kanter (athletics / Estonia) – President, Jonathan Guerriero (skating / Russia) – Vice President, Blanka Vlašić (athletics / Croatia), Viktor Knoch (short track skating / Hungary), Alexandra Longova (archery / Slovakia), Pavlos Kagialis (sailing / Greece), Gwladys Epangue (taekwondo / France) and Alistair Brownlee (triathlon / United Kingdom).

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