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Alpine skiier Gourley elected to Paralympics Australia Athlete Commission

The Alpine skiier was elected by his Paralympics Australia winter sports peers and replaces Toby Kane on the 11-person body. Kane has stepped down for personal reasons.

A three-time Paralympian, Gourley won a gold medal at the 2017 World Para-Alpine Skiing Championships in the men's super combined standing. Gourley was also co-captain of Australia's team for the Pyeongchang 2018 Paralympic Winter Games.

"It was nice to get the call [when elected]," Gourley said.

"Obviously I have a huge amount of respect for the people who are on the Commission and also for Toby, who has done a really good job representing the winter athletes since the Commission was established."

"One of the main ways I want to work with the Commission is to help with how we can improve the pathway for developing athletes in winter sport here in Australia, as well as supporting their ongoing development as people, more than anything.

"In the winter team, we spend a lot of time overseas - more than most Paralympic athletes - which comes at a huge financial and personal commitment to make it to the top in winter sport, especially coming from Australia."

Mitchell Gourley has previously served as chairman of the World Para-Alpine Skiing Athlete Advisory Group ©Getty Images

Swimmer Annabelle Williams chairs the Athlete Commission, which has only one winter representative among its 11 members.

"The goal for me is to, first and foremost, represent all of the winter athletes and that includes not just Alpine and snowboard but the other emerging winter sports where we want to be developing athletes and finding new avenues to broaden the winter team," Gourley added.

The 29-year-old has previously served as chairman of the World Para-Alpine Skiing Athlete Advisory Group and the athlete representative to the International Paralympic Committee’s Sport Technical Committee for Alpine skiing.

Williams added: "We are delighted to have Mitch join our Commission. "This is an incredibly passionate group of people who are excited about representing and advocating for the rights of Para-athletes."

“I know Mitch will be an outstanding contributor. "He has been a leader of the winter team and more generally within the Paralympic Movement for a long time and we are excited to work with him and all the wonderful winter athletes as they prepare for Beijing 2022."

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