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Markus Salcher appointed Chair of European Paralympic Committee Athletes’ Council

Austria’s double Paralympic alpine skiing champion Markus Salcher has been appointed Chairperson of the first European Paralympic Committee (EPC) Athletes’ Council, following a vote by fellow athletes and a decision by the EPC Board.

Salcher will lead the Council – which was launched earlier in 2024 - with Spanish Paralympian Lorenzo Albaladejo as the Deputy Chair.

As part of his role as Chair, Salcher will also sit on the EPC’s Executive Board.

“As the first chairman of the Athletes' Council, I see my task as integrating the committee into the structures of the EPC,” Salcher said. “It is important to me that we are close to the athletes and thus understand their concerns and discuss them with those responsible in the EPC. I would also like to focus on the perception of Paralympic sport in society.” 

Salcher is the current Vice athletes’ spokesperson for the Austrian Paralympic Committee. He is also preparing for his fourth winter Paralympics at Milano-Cortina 2026.

London 2012 Paralympian Albaladejo Martinez is the current President of the Spanish Paralympic Committee’s Athletes’ Council. A retired T38 sprinter, he has experience of developing the athlete voice within an organisation having helped set-up a national version in Spain.

"It is an honour for me to be deputy of the EPC Athletes Council,” Albaladejo said. “Personally, I believe that we have the challenge of working hand in hand with the EPC to generate the necessary sporting, social and political impact both in institutions and in society to place Paralympic athletes as social references within the scope of society.”

The EPC Athletes’ Council as a whole is formed of eight active or retired summer and winter Paralympians from across Europe.

As well as Salcher and Albaladejo, other members are Dutch alpine skier Barbara van Bergen; British former wheelchair basketball player Ayaz Bhuta; Ukrainian wheelchair fencer Arten Manko; Italian Para equestrian rider Sara Morganti; swimmer Karolina Pelendritou of Cyprus; and Swedish former wheelchair curler Ronny Persson.

More information about each of the Council members can be found here.

The EPC Athletes’ Council was formed earlier in 2024 as part of the organisation’s strategy, formed by its Members, to further embed the athlete voice in decision making. An athlete representative previously sat on the EPC Board alongside a number of other Board Members who are also Paralympians. More information about the formation of the Council can be found here.

Five of the eight Council members of the current group put themselves forward for the Chair and Deputy Chair positions and Council Members took part in a vote. Due to a tie in the results, the EPC Board had the casting vote having reviewed the submissions made by each candidate.

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