Maria Gretzer, the Swedish jumping rider who has competed at three Olympic Games and three FEI World Equestrian Games™, has been appointed as athlete representative on the FEI Executive Board. She replaces Kevin Staut (FRA), who made history by becoming the first athlete representative on the FEI Executive Board in May 2011.
Gretzer, who is now the jumping trainer for the Swedish eventing team, competed at the Barcelona 1992, Atlanta 1996 and Sydney 2000 Olympic Games, and at the FEI World Equestrian Games™ in 1990 (Stockholm), 1998 (Rome) and 2006 (Aachen). The 54-year-old is now retired from international competition.
The FEI President HRH Princess Haya informed the FEI Bureau about Gretzer's appointment to the role of athlete representative yesterday. She will hold the position until 2014. The Bureau had earlier been informed about the resignation of Kevin Staut, who was originally appointed for a three-year term.
"I am very honoured to be appointed onto the FEI Executive Board as the athlete representative and I will take the responsibility very seriously," Maria Gretzer said. "I hope I can make a real difference and that the athletes, across all the disciplines, will have confidence that their voice will be heard at the highest level."
Kevin Staut wished his successor well in the post. "I wish Maria all the best in her new role and I'm sure she will do a really great job," he said. "I have given as much of myself as I could to the FEI Executive Board, but my main focus is obviously my international career and that has meant that I have not been able to devote as much time as I would have liked to the FEI. I believe that the post could be better filled by someone who has recently retired from the sport and Maria is a perfect fit."
"We are sorry to be losing Kevin from the Executive Board," FEI President HRH Princess Haya said yesterday, "but we do understand that he needs to focus on his international competition career. We are grateful to him for bringing a new perspective to our Executive Board and for representing the athletes' point of view across all the disciplines. But while it's sad to see Kevin go, we are very much looking forward to working with Maria, who also has so much to offer us in terms of strengthening our links with athletes, the riders groups and the National Federations."
Maria Gretzer will now join FEI President HRH Princess Haya; First Vice President John McEwen (GBR); Second Vice President Pablo Mayorga (ARG); Chair of the FEI Jumping Committee John Madden (USA), representing Group IV; Sheikh Khalid bin Abdulla Al Khalifa (BRN) Chair of Group VII; and FEI Secretary General Ingmar De Vos (BEL) on the Executive Board.
Source: Press release from the FEI
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