Singleton honoured to be able to give back
Patrick Singleton has been named to an influential commission within the International Olympic Committee.
The Bermuda Olympian will take over as the World Olympians Association representative on the IOC athletes’ commission for an initial term running through to the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo when Amadou Dia Ba, who presently holds the post, finishes his term after the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.
Singleton, a three-time winter Olympian, who represented the island in luge in 1998 and 2002, and in skeleton in 2006, was the sole representative for Bermuda at the Nagano, Japan, Salt Lake City and Torino Olymic Games, and was the first Bermudian to win medals in any winter event.
He also serves as the treasurer on the WOA’s executive committee and credits his successful athletic career for his latest appointment.
“This is a real honour and I would just like to say a big thank you to the IOC president Thomas Bach, and the WOA president Joël Bouzou, and to all the people in Bermuda who have helped support me as an athlete over the years,” Singleton said.
“Without their support to get to the World Championships, to get to the Olympic Games, to be able to compete and win medals at elite competitions I wouldn’t have been able to get to where I am today in sports administration. Now it’s my time to give back to athletes.
“I’ve been working very hard with the World Olympians Association over the past five years to restructure the organisation. We have rebuilt their finances and now the WOA is in an extremely strong position where they are full integrated with the International Olympic Committee.
“I think we are now a shining example to other international sports organisations on how to get it right, do good administration and do good governance.
“We’ve fixed an organisation that was broken and now Olympians around the world have a fantastic organisation that works well for them.”
The commission, in essence, looks out for the interests of the athletes.
“This appointment to the IOC athletes’ commission is the icing on the cake,” Singleton said. “We worked so hard over the past few years to fix the WOA and this is the reward, but what it means is more hard work to come.
“The IOC athletes’ commission is the top sports commission for athletes in the world, and it is an honour to be among the best sports administrators.
“Most were the best athletes in the world, because they have that drive and desire to play by the rules and to get things done. I look forward to learning from my colleagues on the athletes’ commission.”
Singleton competed in seven World Championships and claimed fourteen medals in both luge and skeleton during his career. He was re-elected last year as the WOA treasurer after his successful re-engineering of the WOA’s financial administration and accounting.
The move comes as part of an ongoing strategy to strengthen the working relationship between the IOC and the WOA, and also sees the IOC name five high-profile former athletes to represent the IOC on the WOA’s executive committee, and the WOA has named Singleton, and two new members on the WOA Board to strengthen its continental representation.
“As we forge ever closer relationships with the IOC it is important that we continue to integrate ourselves within the IOC structures while retaining our independence, which is why we have chosen our treasurer, Patrick Singleton, a very experienced and well-respected administrator and recent Olympic Games competitor, as our next representative on the IOC athletes’ commission,” Bouzou said.
Angela Ruggiero, from the United States, Frank Fredericks, from Namibia, Pernilla Wiberg, from Sweden, Natalie Cook, from Australia, and Li Lingwei, from China, have each been selected to serve on the WOA Board due to their extensive experience and great respect within the Olympic movement.
According to a statement from the IOC and WOA, the appointments by Bach “marks a historic milestone for both organisations and underlines the close bond between the IOC and WOA.”
Bouzou has also appointed Willie Banks and Mikako Kotani to extend the WOA Board’s continental representation.
“Following the successful World Olympians Forum in Moscow and the approval of the new WOA Constitution in October, I am very pleased to see that the integration of the WOA with the IOC is in its final stage,” Bach said. “Protecting and supporting clean athletes is one of the main pillars of Olympic Agenda 2020. “In this respect, the WOA’s integration with the IOC is another implementation of the recommendations of Olympic Agenda 2020, it is athletes and Olympians who should and will benefit from this close collaboration.”
The WOA Executive Committee: Joel Bouzou, President (Modern Pentathlon, France); Anthony Ledgard, Secretary General (Cycling, Peru); Patrick Singleton, Treasurer (Luge/Skeleton, Bermuda); Alper Kasapoglu, Vice-President (Athletics, Turkey); Amadou Dia Ba, Vice-President (Athletics, Senegal); Willie Banks, Board Member (Athletics, USA); Natalie Cook, IOC Appointed Board Member (Beach Volleyball, Australia); Nadia Cruz, Board Member (Swimming, Angola); Frank Fredericks, IOC Appointed Board Member (Athletics, Namibia); Mikako Kotani, Board Member (Synchronised Swimming, Japan); Tatyana Lebedeva, Board Member (Athletics, Russia); Li Lingwei, IOC Appointed Board Member (Badminton, China); Freida Nicholls, Board Member (Athletics, Barbados); Angela Ruggiero, IOC Appointed Board Member (Ice Hockey, USA); Malav Shroff, Board Member (Sailing, India); Pernilla Wiberg, IOC Appointed Board Member (Alpine Skiing, Sweden).