ABU DHABI: Andrew Parsons of Brazil has become new president of the International Paralympic Committee’s after a decisive single round of voting at the IPC General Assembly in Abu Dhabi.
Parsons, the third president in IPC history and who succeeds Sir Philip Craven, defeated Patrick Jarvis, John Petersson and Haidi Zhang.
His initial challenge will be to rebuild relations with the International Olympic Committee which became strained over the Russian doping scandal when the IPC barred Russia, in its entirety, from the Rio 2016 Games.
Parsons said: “I am absolutely delighted. Throughout my campaign I think I have explained what I plan to do as IPC President and the membership understood and gave me their support. Now it is time to roll up the sleeves and work really hard with the membership and the new governing board.
“I think the election, winning in the first round, shows strong support from the membership. It shows they trust me and I am really delighted.
“Going forward the relationship with the IOC is going to be key. We have some very important decisions ahead; sport is at a difficult moment at this time and we have many things in common that we have to fight for.
“It is fundamental that we work together, co-operate and I am sure we will do that.”
Parsons paid tribute to Craven who stood down after 16 years in the role, saying: “Sir Philip is a legend, a mentor, an example and an absolute colossus, it’s impossible to describe him with just words. I have very big shoes to fill but I think I learned a lot from him and I will try to pay tribute to him by following in his footsteps.”
The new president was elected by secret ballot amng the IPC membership comprising national paralympic committees, international federations, international organisations for the disabled and regional organisations.
A total of 163 members, plus the Americas Paralympic Committee, attended the election and were eligible to vote.
In the first round 162 members voted and Parsons secured 84 votes having needed an absolute majority of 82 to win. New Zealand’s Duane Kale was elected vice-president ahead of Petersson.
Patrick Jarvis 12
Andrew Parsons 84*
John Petersson 19
Haidi Zhang 47
Duane Kale 81*
John Petersson 79
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