Olympic Gold Medallist, Dame Valerie Adams of New Zealand has made history alongside World pole vault record-holder Renaud Lavillenie. Both are becoming the first active athlete to join the World Athletics Council as full voting members, following the governance reforms introduced in 2016.

The newly elected Athletes’ Commission today selected Lavillenie as the new Chairperson and Adams as the deputy chairperson, and they will become the two athlete representatives on the Council for the next four years.

Adams, who is serving her second term on the Athletes’ Commission, said she completely supported Lavillenie as chair and was delighted to see two athletes included in the Council.

“Honoured to be elected Deputy Chairperson for the World Athletics Athletes Commission and to have a seat in Council alongside our chair Renaud Lavillenie. This is a step in the right direction in making sure the athletes are being heard”

The importance of athletes to decision-making within World Athletics was recognised and enshrined in legislation as part of the governance and integrity reforms approved in December 2016.

Under the 2019 Constitution, the Chairperson and one other member of the Athletes’ Commission – one male and one female – become full voting members of the IAAF Council.

World Athletics president Sebastian Coe welcomed Lavillenie and Adams to the 26-member Council, saying he expected they would make a substantial contribution to the sport’s decision-making body.

Athletes’ Commission

Renaud Lavillenie (FRA) pole vault – chairperson
Valerie Adams (NZL) shot put – deputy chairperson
Kevin Borlee (BEL) 400m
Milcah Chemos Cheywa (KEN) steeplechase
Kim Collins (SKN) sprints
Majd Eddin Ghazal (SYR) high jump
Inaki Gomez (CAN) race walk
Adam Kszczot (POL) middle distance
Bernard Lagat (USA) distance
Aisha Praught-Leer (JAM) middle distance
Thomas Rohler (GER) javelin
Olga Rypakova (KAZ) triple jump
Akani Simbine (RSA) sprints
Ivana Spanovic (SRB) long jump
Katerina Stefanidi (GRE) pole vault
Su Bingtian (CHN) sprints
Marie-Josee Ta Lou (CIV) sprints
Benita Willis (AUS) distance