The International Olympic Committee elected nine new members on Tuesday – one of which is an Afghan woman, Samira Asghari.
Asghari, 24, has been a member of the Athletes’ Entourage Commission since 2014 and is the first Afghan to ever be elected to the IOC.
Asghari, who hails from Wardak province, has a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science, International Relations - Diplomacy and Negotiation and has a long history of playing sport.
She was the goalkeeper of the girls’ soccer team at her primary school; captain of the girls’ basketball team at middle school and was selected for the national youth basketball team while still at school.
She also played for the adult national basketball team and was selected as team captain by the national basketball federation and the National Olympic Committee.
Asghari has not only been a keen basketball player but she has also taken part in Kungfu events and football tournaments.
Professionally, Asghari has worked for the Women and Sport Department of the Physical Education and Sport Directorate in Afghanistan; for the International Relations Department of the National Olympic Committee and has represented the Afghanistan NOC abroad.
She was head of the Finance Department of the NOC in 2012 and has been an ongoing member of the NOC Executive Board, until being elected as deputy secretary.
In 2016 she become general of the NOC and Honorary Secretary General of the Afghanistan National Cycling Federation.
Asghari is also a member of numerous committees including the Women and Sport Committee, the OCA Cultural Commission, and Afghanistan National Basketball Federation Executive Board member.
In addition, Asghari is a volunteer at the ARCS (Afghanistan Red Crescent Society), Peace and Sport Council in Afghanistan; and an administrative staff member at the Audit Department of the CEO’s Office.
Asghari is now one of five new members (three women and two men) elected as individual members to the committee.
The others include Daina Gudzineviciute from Lithuania, the President of the Lithuanian Olympic Committee and five-time Olympian.
· Felicite Rwemarika from Rwanda, First Vice-President of the Rwandan Olympic Committee.
· Camilo Pérez López Moreira from Paraguay, President of the Paraguayan Olympic Committee.
· Giovanni Malagò from Italy, President of the Italian Olympic Committee – effective from 1 January 2019.
Three Members were re-elected after eight years of membership and four, who are finishing their mandate, will become IOC Honorary Members.
The IOC members, natural persons, are representatives of the IOC in their respective countries, and not their country's delegate within the IOC.
As stated in the Olympic Charter: "Members of the IOC represent and promote the interests of the IOC and of the Olympic Movement in their countries and in the organizations of the Olympic Movement in which they serve". Jacques Rogge is the Honorary President of the IOC.