On 17 October 2023, at the 141st International Olympic Committee (IOC) Session held in Mumbai, India, Petra Sörling, President of the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF), was elected as a Member of the IOC.
Notably, Petra Sörling is the first President of the ITTF to ascend to the esteemed position of an IOC Member, marking a historic chapter for table tennis. With dedication and unwavering commitment, both President Sörling and the ITTF are poised to actively contribute to the Olympic Movement and the global community.
In response to her election, Sörling expressed, “I am deeply humbled and grateful to have been elected as a member of the International Olympic Committee. This is not just an honour but also a significant responsibility that I am ready to embrace.
“This is even more momentous as this is the first time for the International Table Tennis Federation to see its President become an IOC Member, making this a historic chapter for our sport as well. As I step into this new role, I am driven by my passion for sport. I grasp the magnitude of this role; I am committed to undertake the responsibilities it brings, and to dedicate myself every day to make a meaningful contribution to the Olympic Movement and our global community.
“I want to express my heartfelt thanks to President Thomas Bach, to fellow members of the IOC, the IOC Executive Board, the IOC Members Election Commission, and the table tennis community for their unwavering support. Together, we will work to strengthen the Olympic Movement, promote sustainability, champion diversity, and continue to inspire the next generations with the Olympic values. Let us make the world a better place and foster positive changes with sport.”
President Sörling’s distinguished career is rich with remarkable achievements and leadership roles.
In the realm of table tennis, she achieved a historic milestone in 2021 by becoming ITTF President, making her the first woman to attain this prestigious position. Prior to this, she served as Vice-President of ITTF from 2009 to 2013, before taking on the role of Vice-President Finance from 2013 to 2021. Outside of ITTF, Petra served as the Deputy President and Board Member of the Swedish Table Tennis Association (2003 – 2013), before serving as President of the Swedish TTA (2013-2022). Furthermore, she held the position of Vice-President of the European Table Tennis Union (2007-2009). These roles underscore her profound commitment to advancing the sport of table tennis.
Her contributions to the Olympic Movement include participation in the International Olympic Academy (IOA) Young Leader Programme (2002) and her current role as a Member of the IOC Gender Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion Committee (2022-). Beyond table tennis, Sörling contributes her expertise to the Swedish National Olympic Committee (NOC) as a Board Member since 2021. She also serves as an Executive Committee Member of the International Masters Games Association (IMGA) since 2022. In 2023, she added to her portfolio by joining the Board of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Foundation and becoming a Member of the Association of Summer Olympic International Federations (ASOIF) Council.
Her election comes after the IOC Executive Board proposed eight new IOC Members on 8 September 2023, following the recommendation of the IOC Members Election Commission.
Photos of President Petra Sörling, her full biography, and additional information are available to media here.