By Duncan Mackay

Kate McLoughlin  has stepped down as Australia's Chef de Mission for Sochi 2014November 8 - Kate McLoughlin has stood down as the Chef de Mission of Australia's team for the Winter Paralympics in Sochi next year, she has announced.

McLoughlin, the first ever female appointed by Australia to the role, has blamed family commitments for her decision. 

She is currently expecting her second child and there is also an illness in her family. 

"I'm very proud to have been named as Chef de Mission of the Australian team, but my personal circumstances have changed since my appointment at the start of the year, which is why I have notified my APC (Australian Paralympic Committee) colleagues and the Australian team of my intention to stand down," said McLoughlin, who had been appointed in March. 

McLoughlin, general manager of teams and events at the APC, claimed the decision is best for her family and team ahead of the Games.

"We completely respect the decision Kate has made," said Jason Hellwig, chief executive of the APC.

"We also understand how difficult it was to make it, given that she has worked so hard to oversee the fantastic preparation of the Australian Paralympic winter team to this point.

"She will leave the role with the team in a very strong position, and when the new Chef de Mission takes on the duty, they will do so knowing that everything is in very good shape."

The APC hpes to name a replacement next week.

Contact the writer of this story at [email protected]

Related stories
March 2013: Australia appoints first female Chef de Mission for Sochi 2014 Paralympics