Birgit Skarstein is seeking re-election to the IPC Athletes' Council ©Getty Images

Eight candidates will stand for three positions on the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) Athletes’ Council at the Beijing 2022 Winter Paralympics.

Australia’s Mitchell Gourley, Canada’s Josh Dueck, China’s Sitong Liu, Norway’s Birgit Skarstein, Russia’s Akzhana Abdikarimova, South Korea’s Min Su Han, Pol Makuri Redolad Garcia of Spain and the United States’ Rico Roman are candidates in the election.

The IPC says all candidates are considered active Paralympic athletes, meaning they will either compete at Beijing 2022 or the two previous Winter Paralympics at Sochi 2014 and Pyeongchang 2018.

Three candidates come from Para Alpine Skiing, with Liu seeking election alongside competing at a home Paralympic Games.

Dueck, three-time Paralympic medallist and Sochi 2014 combined champion, and 2017 alpine combined world champion Gourley are also representatives from the sport.

Spain’s Pol Makuri Redolad Garcia is one of three candidates from Para Nordic skiing, alongside two-time Winter Paralympian Abdikarimova.

Skarstein, who is seeking re-election to the Council having joined the body at Pyeongchang 2018, competed at the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Paralympics in cross-country skiing events, while she also won gold at Tokyo 2020 earlier this year in the women’s single sculls rowing competition.

The final two candidates come from Para ice hockey.

Roman was a member of the Sochi 2014 gold medal-winning US team, while Han helped South Korea win bronze in front of a home crowd at Pyeongchang 2018.

Three-time Paralympic medallist Josh Dueck is one of the eight candidates ©Getty Images
Three-time Paralympic medallist Josh Dueck is one of the eight candidates ©Getty Images

The IPC says a candidate brochure will be published in the upcoming weeks to provide more information about the candidates and the election process.

The Athletes' Council elections will be held from February 25 to March 22, during the Beijing 2022 Paralympic Games.

Athletes will be able to vote in the main dining hall in each Paralympic Village at the Games.

The voting zones will be run alongside the IPC’s Proud Paralympian spaces.

Three candidates will be elected to the Council, joining the six summer representatives elected during Tokyo 2020.

The Netherlands’ Jitske Visser, Italy’s Martina Caironi, Brazil’s Daniel Dias, Cuba’s Omara Durand Elias, Japan’s Takayuki Suzuki, and Iran’s Zahra Nemati were elected in the Japanese capital city.

Visser serves as the chairperson of the Council, with the Dutch wheelchair basketballer also serving on the IPC Governing Board.

The IPC said the Athletes’ Council acts as the liaison between athletes and decision-makers, helping to influence how the Paralympic Movement develops.

The organisation said the eight candidates represent an increase on the seven that stood for election at Pyeongchang 2018.

Skarstein, France’s Marie Bochet and Finland’s Rudolf Klemetti were elected as winter representatives at Pyeongchang 2018.