Japan’s Mikako Kontani has been named as a WOA vice-president ©WOA

World Olympians Association (WOA) has announced Japan’s Mikako Kontani and Sweden’s Pernilla Wiberg will serve as vice-presidents for the organisation.

The WOA confirmed their appointments at the organisation’s first Executive Committee since their 2020 General Assembly, which was held online.

Kontani and Wiberg will serve four-year terms as WOA vice-presidents.

The first WOA Executive Committee meeting of the year was attended by new members Valerie Barlois of France, China’s Zhang Hong, Burundi’s Venuste Niyongabo, Carlos Santiago of Puerto Rico and Australia’s James Tomkins.

The five Olympians were appointed as International Olympic Committee (IOC) representatives by IOC President Thomas Bach, who serves as WOA Honorary President.

"Fostering the engagement with Olympians and their role as strong ambassadors of the Olympic values is very important for the IOC," Bach said.

"The WOA has and continues to play an important role in these areas.

"The appointment of IOC representatives to the WOA Executive Committee will guarantee that our collective effort to support the global Olympian community throughout their life is as impactful as possible."

The WOA Executive Committee also includes secretary general Anthony Ledgard Grimm and treasurer Patrick Singleton.

Senegal’s El Hadji Amadou Dia Ba and Egypt’s Abeer Essawy serve as Executive Committee members for Africa, while Guyana’s Aliann Pompey and El Salvador’s Salvador Enrique Salguero Goodall hold the Americas’ positions.

India’s Malav Shroff and Croatia’s Igor Boraska serve as members representing Asia and Europe, while Oceania is represented by Natalie Cook of Australia and Fiji’s Carl Probert.

The meeting committed to reviewing the WOA’s 2021-2024 strategic plan and further consultation with the global National Olympians Association community.

The WOA are expected to evaluate launching OLY Day.

The day would celebrate the day of the Olympic Opening Ceremony by signing up National Olympians Associations and individual Olympians to run Service to Society programmes that spread the Olympic values and benefit their communities.

"The first meeting of the new World Olympians Association Executive Committee was highly productive and set a positive tone and direction for our future," said Joël Bouzou, WOA President.

"During this period of uncertainty, WOA will continue to support Olympians at every stage of their lives and provide them with the tools to inspire their communities.

"I look forward to working closely alongside our new Executive Committee members and to continuing the significant work we have started alongside re-elected members.

"I am confident each member will make an important contribution to the ongoing development of WOA and support the crucial roles played by Olympians globally."