One of Namibia’s decorated athletes and former shottist Gaby Ahrens said it would be beneficial for Africa as a whole if she is elected to serve as a member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
It was revealed over the weekend during the Athletics Ambassadors’ Workshop, held at Droombos in Windhoek, that Ahrens has been nominated to serve on the IOC Athletes’ Commission alongside 29 other candidates from across the world.
If elected, Ahrens, who competed at the 2008, 2012 and 2016 Olympics in the Women’s trap shooting event, will become only the second Namibian after the legendary Frank Fredericks to serve on an IOC sub-committee.
Speaking to New Era Sport on the side lines of the workshop, Ahrens said it would be a dream come true to serve on the IOC Athletes’ Commission.
“It would be a great platform for me to spread my wings and to become a voice not only for athletes in Namibia but Africa. As a Namibian athlete, I know what African athletes need, and I think it’s really important that the African voice is also heard on these international committees. That means I would be the voice for the African athletes if elected,” she said.
Ahrens added that former Namibian sprinter Fredericks, who won two silver medals at the Olympics in 1992 in 100m and 200m, respectively, and repeated the feat in 1996, left a huge footprint through what he achieved nationally and internationally, and being part of the IOC at the highest level.
“Those are the goals that I would also like to achieve. So, to follow in his footsteps would mean a lot to me. I think it’s important for Namibia to have somebody on that international level representing our country in Africa – someone who can convey the message from the top down and start implementing it in our country,” she said.
The elections are set to take place during this year’s Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan, and all athletes participating in the Games will be eligible to vote. The elected athletes will replace the current members whose terms come full circle at this year’s Olympics.
The IOC AC is composed of a maximum of 23 members. Twelve members are directly elected by their peers, and there is a maximum of 11 appointed members to ensure a good balance between regions, gender and sport.
The chair and vice-chair of the commission are elected by the commission and must be from among elected members of the commission.
There is a vote at every Olympic Games, with four members elected at each Olympic Summer Games, and two at each Olympic Winter Games.