22 Aug 2016

Walker NZ's latest IOC member

9:07 am on 22 August 2016

Rio 2016 Olympics - New Zealand Olympic silver medallist Sarah Walker has become an International Olympic Committee member having been appointed to the IOC's Athletes Commission.

BMX star Sarah Walker

BMX star Sarah Walker Photo: PHOTOSPORT

The BMX cyclist was elected at an IOC session in Rio today.

The New Zealand Olympic Committee had nominated Walker but she missed out on being elected for one of the four initial positions by just 27 votes.

However IOC President Thomas Bach appointed her anyway to ensure a balanced representation of athletes.

New Zealander Barbara Kendall's term with the IOC and on the Athletes Commission ends when the Rio Games finish.

Walker, who had missed qualifying to compete in Rio after an injury-plagued build-up to Rio, was delighted with her appointment.

"It will be such a huge honour to be involved with the IOC and the Olympic Movement and I will be doing everything I can to represent all Olympic athletes as well as contribute my own perspective that I have gained through my Olympic journey.

"As I have done with the UCI BMX Commission, I'm looking forward to challenging the IOC Athletes Commission with questions, ideas and solutions."

The news had been a surprise for Walker who was woken in the middle of the night by a phone call from the IOC.

"I usually sleep with my phone on silent, but I wanted to make sure I was available for Eliza (McCartney) if she needed me," added Walker who mentors the 19-year-old silver medal winning pole-vaulter. Instead, it was a call from the IOC.

Meanwhile, double Olympic pole vault champion Yelena Isinbayeva was elected to the International Olympic Committee despite a third of the votes going against her.

-RNZ

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