Voting to find two new members representing winter sports on the IOC Athletes' Commission has closed at Beijing 2022 ©Getty Images

Polls have closed at Beijing 2022 in the vote to find two new members of the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) Athletes’ Commission.

The ballot paper had included 16 candidates drawn from all five continents in the Olympic Movement. 

Amongs those standing were Beijing 2022 gold medal winnning  speed skater Ireen Wüst from the Netherlands and France’s five-time biathlon gold medallist Martin Fourcade, who is here covering the Games for television.

The two successful candidates will replace Canadian ice hockey player Hayley Wickenheiser, who has completed her term on the Athletes' Commission, and Norwegian biathlete Ole Einar Bjørndalen, who stepped in 2016, two years after being elected at Sochi 2014, after he abandoned plans to retire from competing. 

The Athletes' Commission is currently chaired by Finnish ice hockey player Emma Terho.

Those standing were nominated by the Athletes’ Commissions of their respective National Olympic Committees.

All accredited athletes taking part in Beijing 2022 were eligible to vote.

Only candidates over 18 and without any pending disciplinary action were eligible to stand.

There were required to be "active athletes" which was defined in the regulations as an athlete "who participates in the Olympic Games at the time of the electionor participated in the previous edition of the corresponding Olympic Games".

The successful candidates in the election are due be ratified by the IOC session this weekend, before a formal introduction on stage is made as part of the Closing Ceremony on Sunday (February 20). 

Voting stations had been at "Athlete 365 spaces" in all three Olympic Villages close to the main dining halls.

During voting, athletes were asked to observe COVID-19 counter measures.

They were told "acrylic boards would be  placed between the athletes and the staff operating the election".

These elections mark 40 years since an IOCAthletes' Commission was first constituted by members, including current Thomas Bach, the current President of the organisation. 

It was not until 1996 that athletes were first given a vote to choose their own Athletes' Commission members.

Reforms introduced in 1998, following the Salt Lake City 2002 bribery scandal, saw the introduction of athlete seats on the IOC.