By Gary Anderson

Ukrainian athletes have elected a new Athletes' Commission in Kiev ©NOCUTen athletes have been newly elected to the National Olympic Committee of Ukraine (NOCU) Athletes Commission following an Assembly at the National Olympic Training Centre in Kiev.

Six of the ten athletes hold Olympic gold medals while two have tasted bronze medal success at Olympic level.

Weightlifter Olexiy Torokhtiy and boxer Oleksandr Usyk are reigning Olympic champions after winning gold at London 2012.

Valery Gontcharov won parallel bars gold at Athens 2004 while at the same Games shooter Olena Kostevych and wrestler Iryna Merleni also topped the podium.

Olga Kharlan was part of the Ukrainian fencing team that secured team sabre honours at Beijing 2008.

Meanwhile, London 2012 bronze medal winning triple jumper Olga Saladukha has also been elected along with fellow Olympic bronze medallist, gymnast Anna Bessonova who came third in the individual all-round competitions at both Athens 2004 and Beijing 2008.

Nordic skier Andriy Deryzemlya, who is a double World Championship bronze medal winner and Sochi 2014 Alpine skier Dmytro Mytsyk complete the line-up.

Around 40 Olympic medallists took part in the elections.

They had to have competed at a minimum of two summer or winter Olympic Games and they were selected by their respective National Federations.

They will serve for a period of four years up until 2018.

London 2012 gold medallist Oleksandr Usyk is one of ten athletes elected to the NOCU Athletes' Commission ©Getty ImagesLondon 2012 gold medallist Oleksandr Usyk is one of ten athletes elected to the NOCU Athletes' Commission ©Getty Images



Addressing the athletes following the elections, NOCU President and member of the Executive Board of the International Olympic Committee and vice-president of the International Association of Athletics Federations, Sergey Bubka said:  "Athletes [are] the essence of sport.

"But we should also be aware that the role of athletes in society is enormous nowadays.

"There is no doubt that athletes' opinion should be considered [during] the process of making every significant sport decision.

"NOCU [does] its best to delegate as [much] power as possible to the athletes, to use their knowledge, experience and their own vision for the sake of sports."

Pole vault world record holder Bubka, who is a former chairman and current honorary member of the International Olympic Committee Athletes' Commission, thanked outgoing chairman and Atlanta 1996 hammer bronze medallist  Oleksandr Krykun for his leadership over the past four years.

"I was happy to see that the Commission members demonstrated their active position for promoting Olympic values, taking part in the NOC projects and supporting their fellow athletes in the National Federations," added Bubka.

The Ukraine Athletes' Commission is set to meet for the first time later this month where it will elect a replacement for Krykun and set out its plans for the future.

Contact the writer of this story at [email protected]


Related Stories
July 2014: 
National Olympic Committee of Ukraine pledges support for athletes from disrupted regions
May 2014: Ukraine receive $100,000 donation from European Olympic Committeeskraine receive $100,000 donation from European Olympic Committees
May 2014: IOC sets up emergency fund to support Ukrainian athletes as Bach urges "dialogue" in crisis