The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) announced today that Canada’s Chelsey Gotell has been elected as Chairperson of the IPC Athletes’ Council for the next four years.
She is the second consecutive Canadian to gain the role. The 31-year-old from Antigonish, N.S. succeeds Todd Nicholson, elected to the Council in 2013. Nicholson was recently named Canada’s Chef de Mission for the 2018 Paralympic Winter Games.
“It’s a huge honour to be the IPC Athletes’ Council Chairperson,” said Gotell, a 12-time Paralympic Games medallist in swimming over three Games from 2000 to 2008. ”At the same time it is a little daunting because I think Todd has done an excellent job in engaging Athlete Representatives [for the sports] and building the Council to the level it is at now.
“It has come a long way since he has gotten involved.”
Since retiring as an athlete, Gotell has remained involved in sport. Along with being part of Team Canada’s mission staff at the London 2012, Sochi 2014 and Rio 2016 Paralympic Games, she worked in communications as well as sport and athlete relations with the Toronto 2015 Organizing Committee for the Pan/Parapan American Games.
“I think this is the next progression in what I have done in the past and what I would like to do in the future, which is creating a voice for the athletes and athlete advocacy. That is a huge passion of mine.”
Earlier this year, she was named new Chair of the Canadian Paralympic Committee’s Athletes’ Council.
”Chelsey brings a wealth of experience from both the athlete and administrative perspective,” said Karen O’Neill, the Canadian Paralympic Committee’s CEO. ”Along with her energy and enthusiasm, the IPC Athlete’s Council has a stellar representative on the international stage.
”We are so proud that two Canadians in a row have earned this position. It just another great example how our athletes thrive to be great ambassadors for the Paralympic movement.”
The IPC Athletes’ Council is made up of nine athletes – six from summer sports and three from winter sports.