Dubrovnik, 2 October 2021 - Celebrated Croatian athlete Blanka Vlašić has been elected to the European Olympic Committees (EOCs)Athletes' Commission for the next four-year term. It is the epilogue of the 6th General Assembly of European Athletes, held on Saturday at the Dubrovnik Palace Hotel in Dubrovnik. Estonian athlete Gerd Kanter (Olympic gold medal in 2008 and bronze in 2012 in Discus Throw) remained the President of the Commission for another term.
More than 70 athletes and representatives of the National Olympic Committees (NOCs) arrived in Dubrovnik this weekend and some of them followed the event online. As part of the 6th General Assembly of European Athletes, eight members of the European Olympic Committees Athletes' Commission were elected out of 17 nominated candidates. Besides Blanka Vlašić, trophy water polo player Maro Joković also represented Croatia at the Assembly session.
The Assembly was opened by the President of the Croatian Olympic Committee (NOC Oof Croatia) Zlatko Mateša in the role of the host, and the attendees were greeted on behalf of the Ministry of Tourism and Sports of the Republic of Croatia by Special Adviser for Sports Josip Pavić. With gratitude to the "beautiful Dubrovnik" for hospitality, the EOC President Spyros Capralos expressed his delight for the athletes' interest in membership in 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 won in 1998 and 2010), accompanied by a member of the same IOC Commission, the legendary Russian Jelena Isinbajeva (Olympic gold medal won in Pole Vault in 2004 and 2008 and bronze in 2012).
In addition to the Commission's Report on its work in the previous term (2017-2021), the agenda also included the Report on Tokyo Olympics, which was an opportunity for athletes to exchange 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 part of positive changes in sports, which has been my wish since I finished my active sports career. This is a great step forward for us, for Croatian sports and for women's sport in general. It is a completely new experience in relation to the competitive part of my career, incomparable with high jump. These are some different waters and I will learn to swim in those waters. It's much more relaxed, in terms of socializing, exchanging experiences, because we're all ex-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 everyone is ambitious and I believe we will have a successful mandate. In the
new European Olympic Committees Athletes' Commission 2021-2025, there are six representatives from summer and two from winter sports (plus two members who will be subsequently appointed by the EOCs 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 (Speed Skating/Hungary), Alexandra Longova (Archery/Slovakia), Pavlos Kagialis (Sailing/Greek), Gwladys Epangue (Taekwondo/France) and Alistair Brownlee (Triathlon/United Kingdom). COC/VK