Finnish ice hockey player Emma Terho, right, and American cross-country skier Kikkan Randall, left, have been elected members of the IOC Athletes' Commission ©IOC

Finnish ice hockey player Emma Terho and American cross-country skier Kikkan Randall have been elected members of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Athletes' Commission, it was announced here today.

Terho received the most amount of votes with 1,045 and 831 athletes voted for Randall during an election held at the Winter Olympic Games here.

They are due to serve eight-year-terms on the Athletes' Commission.

Terho and Randall, part of the American team which won the team sprint gold medal here yesterday, replace outgoing chair Angela Ruggiero of the United States and Britain's Adam Pengilly.

Norwegian cross-country skier Astrid Uhrenholdt Jacobsen polled the next highest amount with 808, followed by Chinese speed skater Zhang Hong with 787.

Italian luge legend Armin Zöggeler received 761 votes and Spanish skeleton athlete Ander Mirambell secured 664.

The newly-elected members of the Commission are scheduled to be officially sworn in as IOC members at the Closing Ceremony of Pyeongchang 2018.

They must first, though, be officially voted in as members at the IOC Session.

It is still not yet known whether the Session will take place as planned as significant numbers of the membership have already left Pyeongchang 2018. 

Emma Terho of Finland comfortably secured the most amount of votes in the election ©ITG
Emma Terho of Finland comfortably secured the most amount of votes in the election ©ITG

Yang Yang of China is also due to stand down from the Athletes' Commission.

It remains possible that her replacement will be chosen at the Session but the third-placed athlete will not necessarily be the competitor who is selected.

All accredited athletes competing at Pyeongchang 2018 were eligible to vote.

Out of the 2,919 athletes here, 2,448 cast their vote in the election, representing a turnout of nearly 84 per cent.

Terho and Randall will serve under chairperson Kirsty Coventry of Zimbabwe, who is taking over at the helm of the Commission from Ruggiero for the next two years.

Slovakian Danka Bartekova will serve as vice-chair.

Terho was part of the Finland teams which clinched ice hockey Olympic bronze medals at the 1998 Games in Nagano and 12 years later in Vancouver.

It is the third consecutive IOC Athletes' Commission election at the Winter Olympics that a female ice hockey player has been voted in following Ruggiero at Vancouver 2010 and Canada's Hayley Wickenheiser at Sochi 2014. 

Terho, 36, is already a Board member of the Finnish Olympic Committee and Finnish Ice Hockey Federation.

"I want to make sure things that we continue to move in the right direction from the things that have been done," she said.

"We want to give athletes the opportunity to look after their career but also take care and give support to them outside of the sporting world."

The 35-year-old Randall was a member of the American squad which won the team title at the 2013 World Championships in Val di Fiemme.

Randall joins fellow Americans Anita DeFrantz and Larry Probst on the IOC. 

"I have so much passion and energy to put toward the Olympic Movement and it feels so good to have the athletes put their faith in me," said Randall.

"I look forward to representing the athletes and making the Olympic Movement strong in the future. 

"This is going to be a really fun ride."

Terho will be the second member from Finland alongside Sari Essayah, who joined the IOC in 2016. 

Terho and Randall join the likes of Olympic high jump gold medallist Stefan Holm of Sweden, Russian former pole vaulter Yelena Isinbayeva and Wickenheiser on the Commission.