Alpine skier Marie Bochet of France is among the seven candidates vying to be elected as one of the three winter sport representatives on the IPC Athletes' Council ©Getty Images

Voting has today opened for the election of three winter sport representatives on the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) Athletes' Council.

All accredited athletes are entitled to vote until March 16 and they must do it for three of the seven candidates.

They can do so here during Pyeongchang 2018 at the Proud Paralympian space of the athletes' dining hall at the Paralympic Village.

Among the candidates are Alpine skiers Zsolt Balogh of Hungary, Marie Bochet, a four-time Paralympic gold medallist, of France and two-time World Cup champion Claudia Lösch of Austria.

Also vying for election are Nordic skiers Rudolf Klemetti of Finland, Yuanyuan Peng of China, Birgit Røkkum Skarstein of Norway and Witold Skupień of Poland.

The list of nominees was announced in December.

The three winning candidates will replace Norwegian ice hockey player Eskil Hagen, Finnish Alpine skier Katja Saarinen and Russia's Mikhail Terentiev, a seven-time Paralympic medallist in cross-country skiing and biathlon and current secretary general of the Russian Paralympic Committee.

They are stepping down from their positions this month.

Nordic skier Rudolf Klemetti of Finland is also in contention ©Getty Images
Nordic skier Rudolf Klemetti of Finland is also in contention ©Getty Images

The IPC Electoral Commission is composed of Linda Mastandrea, the IPC Legal and Ethics Committee chairperson, and Mark Copeland, an IPC Legal and Ethics Committee member.

The IPC Athletes' Council is the collective voice of Paralympic athletes within the IPC and the greater Paralympic Movement.

As the liaison between IPC decision-makers and Paralympic athletes, the IPC Athletes' Council works to provide effective input into decision-making at all levels of the organisation.

To this end, the IPC Athletes’ Council works to ensure effective athlete representation on all IPC committees and commissions as well as to create other opportunities for athlete representation both within and outside the IPC.

Canadian swimmer Chelsey Gotell is the Athletes' Council’s chairperson, while Dutch sitting volleyball player Elvira Stinissen is the vice chairperson.

Members at large include American cyclist Monica Bascio, wheelchair racers Kurt Fearnley of Australia and Hong Suk-man of South Korea, Turkish archer Gizem Girismen, British cyclist Dame Sarah Storey and Singaporean boccia player Nurulasyiqah Mohammad Taha.

They are joined by International Olympic Committee Athletes' Commission representative Hayley Wickenheiser, a Canadian former ice hockey player.

The Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Paralympic Games are due to run between March 9 and 18.