Athletes’ Commission Representatives from Europe Gather in Ireland
Irish Olympians Recognised on Opening Day of the Forum
This weekend the Olympic Federation of Ireland’s Athletes’ Commission host 100 delegates at the European Olympic Committees (EOC) Athlete’s Forum in Dublin. Athletes’ Commissions representatives and Olympians are attending the three day conference, where topical issues will be discussed from the 6-8 December. Speaking at today’s welcome was EOC Vice-President Niels Nygaard, OFI President Sarah Keane, IOC Athletes’ Commission member Danka Bartekova, and EOC Athletes’ Commission Chair Gerd Kanter.
The EOC Athletes’ Commission are running the forum and are using it as an opportunity to open dialogues regarding issues relevant to athletes, with Irishman David Harte representing Ireland as Secretary of the EOC Athletes’ Commission. Speaking at the event Harte said,
“We are incredibly pleased to bring it to Ireland, and of course as an Irishman, I’m incredibly proud to have it here in Dublin. Over the coming days we will be discussion important points from simple breakout sessions into what does an athletes’ commission do, its roles and functions, how it can be improved upon, as well as Rule 40 from an Olympic Games side of things.”
Using the opportunity of having so many Olympians in one room from around Europe, including CEO of the World Olympians Association (WOA), Mike Miller, Irish Olympians Association (IOA) President and Olympic Gold Medallist Ronnie Delany attended the opening day as an observer along with John Bouchier-Hayes, Vice-President of the IOA, and presented eight Irish Olympians with their OLY pins and certificates. OLY was introduced by the WOA in 2017 as an honorary title, bestowed upon Olympians, recognizing the hard work, dedication and perseverance it takes to compete on sport’s greatest stage.
Several Irish Olympians received their OLY pins and certificates of recognition tonight from Ronnie Delany. Irish Olympic Medallists Michael Carruth (Boxing Gold, Barcelona 2012) and David Wilkins (Sailing Silver, Moscow 1980) were recognised, as well as Michael Ryan (Fencing, Tokyo 1964, Mexico 1968), Phil Conway (Shot Putt, Munich 1972), Grainne Murphy (Swimming, London 2012), Natalya Coyle (Modern Pentathlon, London 2012, Rio 2016), and Athletes’ Commission members David Harte (Hockey, Rio 2016) and Shane O’Connor (Alpine Skiing, Vancouver 2010).
Speaking at the event Delany spoke about how the Olympians present represented Irish athletes spanning many Olympiads and a wide range of sports, “These Irish Olympians present represent the Olympic family here in Ireland. I am incredibly humbled to be an Olympian and to have represented my country at the Olympics, competing at a Games remain some of the proudest moments of my life.”
The EOC Athlete’s Forum resumes tomorrow, with OFI Athletes’ Commission Chair Shane O’Connor addressing the delegates, having been asked to discuss the OFI Athletes’ Commission, which has been described as an example of how an effective Athletes’ Commission can function. The Athlete’s Forum continues until Sunday 8 December.