Six-time Paralympian Bob Balk (Long Beach, Calif.) has been elected as Chairman of the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) Athletes' Council.
Balk's term as chairman runs until 2012 and the position also makes him an ex oficio member of the IPC Governing Board and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Athletes' Commission.
"I am very pleased to have been asked to lead the IPC Athletes' Council for the next four years. I want to see the Athletes' Council have more opportunities to interact with athletes around the world. We need to listen to what is happening with the athletes so we can do our job in representing their needs and interests," said Balk.
Balk first became an athletes' advocate when he was elected to the U.S. Olympic Committee's (USOC) Athletes' Advisory Council in 2002 and he also served on the USOC's Governance and Ethics Reform Task Force in 2003.
Balk served his first term on the IPC Athletes' Council from 2004-2008 and was re-elected to that position at the 2008 Paralympic Games in Beijing, China.
He is a two-sport star, having competed in two Paralympic Games in track & field (1996, 2000) and four consecutive Paralympic Winter Games in Nordic skiing. He is currently training for the 2010 Paralympic Winter Games in Vancouver.