January 27 - Norwegian Eskil Hagen, who won ice sledge hockey gold at Nagano 1998, is one of only three winter sport nominations received by the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) for its Athletes' Council, it has been announced today.
The five-time Paralympian, who already serves on the Council, joins Finnish Alpine skier Katja Saarinen and Russian Nordic skier Mikhail Terentiev as the only athletes put forward for nomination for the three winter sport places on the body.
Terentiev won gold at the Salt Lake City Winter Games in 2002 and currently serves as a member at large on the European Paralympic Committee (EPC) and is secretary-general of the Russian Paralympic Committee.
Saarinen is a three-time Paralympian in Alpine skiing.
As a result, the IPC has announced it will not be conducting Athletes' Council elections during the upcoming Sochi 2014 Paralympic Games and will put forward the three nominated athletes for formal endorsement by its Governing Board when it convenes ahead of the Games in Sochi on March 5.
The IPC Athletes' Council is the collective voice of Paralympic athletes within the Paralympic Movement and its role is to provide feedback and advice as well as to report to the IPC Governing Board on behalf of the athletes.
The current Council is made up of nine athletes, six from summer sports and three from winter sports.
Hagen, Polish Nordic skier Katarzyna Ragowiec and Turin 2006 gold medal winner Todd Nicholson of Canada - chairman of the IPC Athletes' Council - are the current winter sport representatives.
The six summer sport members are sitting volleyball player Elvira Stinnissen of the Netherlands, track athlete Arnaud Assoumani of France, archer Gizem Girismen of Turkey, American seven-a-side foobtaller Jon McCullough, Spanish swimmer Teresa Perales and wheelchair fencer Yu Chui Yee of Hong Kong.
During Sochi 2014, members of the IPC Athletes' Council - Stinissen and McCullough - will offer various activities for athletes to gather and voice their questions and concerns.
Athletes will also be encouraged to visit the #ProudParalympian areas in the Paralympic Villages, which promote the Movement as an athlete-centred organisation.
The IPC has also announced the next edition of its magazine, The Paralympian - due out in mid-February - will feature a guest column from Stinissen.
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May 2013: Nicholson elected new chair of IPC Athletes' Council