Table Tennis Legend Saive Elected as Chair

Porec, Croatia, Oct 7, 2013: Table tennis legend Jean-Michel Saive has been elected Chair of the European Olympic Athletes’ Commission during the 4th European Athletes’ Assembly held in Porec, Croatia on Saturday 5 October 2013.

Jean-Michel Saive, who is also a member of the International Table Tennis Federation Athletes Committee, received 32 votes of the 34 votes cast to win his place on this prestigious committee.

The 37 year old who has competed in every Olympic Games since table tennis was introduced in 1988 stated: “I am very proud of being elected President of the European Olympic Athletes Commission.

It is great honor for me and I am also proud for my country and my sport. I would like to thank the representatives form the different NOC who had voted for me. As I was already member of the previous commission for the last 4 years I know how huge the task is.

I will try my best as I do behind the table and I hope with the new members we can continue the work to help all European athletes.”

The European Olympic Athletes Commission was created in 2001 when Jacque Rogge was President of the European Olympic Committee (EOC). The Commission comprises eight members, six from the sports that appear on the agenda of the Summer Olympic Games and two from the Winter Olympic Games.

Alongside Jean-Michel Saive, Ukraine’s Natalia Dobrynska from heptathlon was elected as the Vice Chair, with the further members from the summer sports being Great Britain’s Kate Walsh (field hockey), Hungary’s Daniel Gyurta (swimming), Italy’s Alessandra Sensini (sailing/windsurfing) and Russia’s Tatiana Lebedeva (athletics/long jump).

Meanwhile, the representatives from winter sports are: Finland’s Mikko Ronkainen (freestyle skiing) and Poland’s Luiza Zlotkowska (speed skating).

The election of the new Commission was the highlight of the Assembly, where over one hundred participants from 34 National Olympic Committees attended. A range of topics was covered, high on the agenda being how to plan a sports career and the continued fight against doping. —- ITTF / Photo by European Olympic Committee

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