Estonian NOC Athletes Commission for 2020–2024 is announced


Voting on the new composition of the Athletes Commission of the Estonian Olympic Committee ended at midnight on Wednesday. For the next four years, the views of athletes’ in the Athletes Commission of the umbrella organization for Estonian sports will be represented by nine of 22 nominated athletes who have received the largest number of votes.

Composition of the Estonian NOC Athletes Commission for 2020–2024:

  • Gerd Kanter (track and field)
  • Allar Raja (rowing)
  • Saskia Alusalu (skating)
  • Ott Kiivikas (bodybuilding and fitness)
  • Johanna Talihärm (biathlon)
  • Kert Toobal (volleyball)
  • Matz Topkin (para swimming)
  • Liis Kullerkann (volleyball)
  • Annika Sakkarias (track and field)

Urmas Sõõrumaa, president of the NOC, thanked the previous composition of the Athletes Commission for the work it has done and wished the new composition good luck in its endeavors. “It is important that athletes’ representatives in The commission should be elected by the athletes themselves, not appointed. We want athletes’ voices to be louder in decision-making. Athletes have been involved in decision-making in the NOC for years, and we also believe every sports federation should adopt this model and involve athletes in making decisions. An athlete's commission provides an excellent opportunity to do so,” Sõõrumaa said.

NOC’s project manager Natalja Inno says competition for the Athletes Commission was tougher than before. “There were many more candidates than the previous time, and well-informed choices were made in standing for the commission and in voting alike: the candidates pointed out the issues they would like to address while working in the commission, and the athletes who voted, in their turn, could make their choice on the basis of the these platforms. All the members of the previous composition of the commission who had run for the new one were elected, which is a sign of recognition, and it good to see that the new commission combines experienced members of the Athletes Commission and completely new faces. We would like to thank everyone who nominated themselves and wish good luck to the new composition of the Athletes Commission,” Inno said.

To run for the NOC Athletes Commission, the athletes had to be members of the national Olympic team, to stand for the principles of fair play and to have never been punished for violating anti-doping rules. All sports federations could nominate their candidates, the novelty being that, should they choose to do so, the federations could nominate two candidates, one female and one male athlete. In total, 22 candidates representing 18 sports were nominated. This number is one third higher than during the previous election for the Athletes Commission in 2016, when there were 14 candidates, and 17 athletes voted.

The composition of the Commission was elected by 26 athletes representing different sports and authorized to vote by their federations. Each could choose seven to nine candidates to vote for, and, for the first time, voting was held in the electronic format.

The members of the NOC Athletes Commission are elected for a term of four years. The chair of the Commission is an ex officio voting member of the NOC Executive Committee, and the Athletes Commission is represented at the General Assembly of the NOC by two voting members. The first regular meeting of the Athletes Commission will be held on 5 June.

The NOC Athletes Commission aims to represent the athletes’ interests and as well as to present their suggestions and recommendations to the NOC. The Commission actively engages in protecting the rights of athletes who act in accordance with the principles of fair play and initiating projects for the latter. The NOC Athletes Commission establishes and maintains relationships with the Athletes Commissions of the EOC and IOC and makes suggestions for the nomination of arbitrators to the International Council of Arbitration for Sport.

The NOC Athletes Commission of 2016–2020 comprised chairman Gerd Kanter (track and field), Allar Raja (rowing), Johanna Allik (skating), Karl-Martin Rammo (sailing), Keit Jaanimägi (para swimming), Kert Toobal (volleyball), Ott Kiivikas (bodybuilding and fitness) and Raio Piiroja (football).