The USA’s para-swimmer Ilena Rodriguez has won the election to act as the athlete representative to the Americas Paralympic Committee (APC) Executive Board by just four votes from her closest rival.
The 30-year-old polled 201 of the 931 votes cast during the election which was held in the Toronto 2015 Athletes Village between 5-13 August to coincide with the Parapan American Games which conclude on Saturday (15 August).
Rodriquez will replace Brazilian sprinter Terezinha Guilhermina who was elected to the Executive Board four years ago in Guadalajara, Mexico.
Just four votes behind Rodriguez was Mexican powerlifter Perla Barcenas.
Ilena Rodriguez said: “I would like to thank the athletes, they have trust me to represent them in the Americas Paralympic Committee. It is a great honour for me to serve in the committee and be an ambassador for the Paralympic Movement. I want to contribute to the development of the sport and its recognition in the region.”
The final results were as follows:
– 201 Ileana Rodriguez, USA, swimming
– 197 Perla Barcenas, Mexico, powerlifting
– 177 Jason Dunkerley, Canada, athletics
– 152 Rodrigo Lugrin, Argentina, football 7-a-side
– 149 Francisca Mardones, Chile, wheelchair tennis
– 55 Paul Polo, Ecuador, table tennis
Candidates were originally nominated by their respective National Paralympic Committees (NPCs), which searched for strong qualities of leadership, accomplishment, knowledge and respect, both on and off the field of play.
To be eligible, candidates had to be an active athlete, having competed in the Guadalajara 2011 Parapan American Games or intending to compete at August’s Parapan American Games.
The election was overseen by the Toronto 2015 Para-pan American Games Athletes Election Task Force which was made up of Bob Balk, Daniela Luchina and Josh Vander Vies.