30 Nov 2023

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has officially announced the candidates for the upcoming IOC Athletes’ Commission, with two eminent table tennis players, Chuang Chih-Yuan (TPE) and Olufunke Oshonaike (NGR), in the spotlight.

The election, scheduled during the Olympic Games Paris 2024, will allow all participating athletes to cast their votes.

Chuang Chih-Yuan, a seasoned athlete hailing from Chinese Taipei, boasts an impressive career spanning over two decades. With a debut at the World Championships in 2000, Chuang has consistently showcased his prowess, maintaining a Top 50 ranking at the age of 42. A five-time Olympian, Chuang’s breakthrough in 2002 saw him rise to the top 10. His legacy in Chinese Taipei’s table tennis is cemented with four World Tour titles and a memorable victory at the 2013 World Championships in men’s doubles.

Olufunke Oshonaike, a revered Nigerian table tennis player, has etched an illustrious career marked by unparalleled success. Commencing her Olympic journey at Atlanta 1996, Oshonaike’s dedication led her to a historic seventh Olympic appearance in Tokyo 2020, becoming the first African woman to achieve such a feat. Notably, she carried Nigeria’s flag at the Rio 2016 Games. As a beacon of inspiration, Oshonaike has not only elevated the global prominence of African table tennis but has also served as a role model for aspiring athletes across the continent.

The International Table Tennis Federation expressed its satisfaction with the nominations, extending best wishes to both candidates.

ITTF President Petra Sörling commented, “Chuang Chih-Yuan and Olufunke Oshonaike embody the spirit and excellence that the IOC Athletes’ Commission seeks. Their dedication to the sport, their passion for the Olympic Games, and their outstanding achievements make them exemplary candidates, and we wish them the very best in this endeavour.”

A total of 32 athletes, nominated by their respective National Olympic Committees (NOCs), will run for the four positions available on the IOC Athletes’ Commission. The IOC Executive Board approved the list of candidates in its meeting held today.

The IOC Athletes’ Commission comprises a maximum of 23 members serving an eight-year term. It serves as a link between the athletes and the IOC, ensuring that the athletes’ viewpoint remains at the heart of the Olympic Movement decisions. Athens 2004 gold medallist and President of the Korea Table Tennis Association, Ryu Seung-Min, currently holds the position of first Vice-Chair of the IOC Athletes Commission.

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