Olympic silver medallist Sarah Walker has become an IOC Member after she was appointed to the International Olympic Committee Athletes’ Commission.
The BMX cyclist was elected as an IOC Member at the Session in Rio yesterday.
The New Zealand Olympic Committee nominated Walker for the Athletes' Commission as part of its international advocacy programme which aims to ensure New Zealand voices are heard within international sports.
Walker missed being elected by Rio 2016 athletes for one of the four initial positions by just 27 votes but was called upon by the IOC President to ensure a balanced representation of athletes on the IOC.
There are currently two New Zealanders on the IOC. Triple Olympic medallist Barbara Kendall will end her term as the Rio 2016 games come to a close today.
Kendall had also been an Athletes’ Commission Member. Barry Maister remains an IOC member.
Walker was delighted with the news, after not qualifying for her third Olympic Games due to injury.
"It will be such a huge honour to be involved with the IOC and the Olympic Movement and I will be doing everything I can to represent all Olympic athletes as well as contribute my own perspective that I have gained through my Olympic journey.
As I have done with the UCI BMX Commission, I’m looking forward to challenging the IOC Athletes’ Commission with questions, ideas and solutions."
New Zealand Olympic Committee CEO Kereyn Smith says she is excited for Walker.
"New Zealand has historically been well represented within the IOC and it is vital that this continues. We have a strong commitment to high performance within an environment of integrity and respect. Sarah will continue this tradition."
Walker competed in BMX at both the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games, where she placed fourth, and London 2012. She has also used her Olympic experience to inspire young New Zealanders in her role as an Olympic Ambassador.