IWAS Board Member, Karl Vilhelm Nielsen, stands down


After 22 years on the International Wheelchair and Amputee Sports Federation (IWAS) Executive Board, Member at Large, Karl Vilhelm Nielsen has stepped down.

Karl leaves a 51-year legacy of contributions to the Paralympic Movement through his work nationally and internationally from an athlete through to the Chairman of Parasport Denmark and Vice President of IWAS.

Karl’s involvement began in 1971 when he attended his first Stoke Mandeville Games.

“This event inspired me a lot. I brought back to Denmark inspiration about how to develop new sports and I created a wheelchair basketball team which I returned to the Stoke Mandeville Games with in 1974.”

Karl’s passion then carried over from the basketball court to the board room, where he was elected as one of four Vice Presidents of the International Stoke Mandeville Wheelchair Sports Federation (ISMWSF) in 1982. By 1989, Karl made up on of the three ISMWSF members of the International Coordinating Committee founding the International Paralympic Committee (IPC), returning to serve on the IPC Executive Committee from 2009 to 2013.

Karl was elected as Vice President of IWAS alongside President Emeritus, Paul DePace in 2000 and has since held the roles of Secretary General and Member at Large.

Karl Vilhelm Nielson (left) is pictured with fellow Executive Board Members Paul DePace (right) and Tariq Sultan Almansouri (middle)

IWAS President, Rudi Van den Abbeele said, “Karl is a much admired and respected member of the Paralympic Movement, both in Denmark and internationally. His contributions throughout his 51 years of involvement will continue to be felt for many years to come.”

“Karl has always been an avid supporter of the merge between IWAS and CPISRA and has been instrumental in getting the two organisations to this point. I am pleased he saw this goal come to fruition during his time on the IWAS Executive Board. On behalf of the IWAS Members, staff and Executive Board, we wish Karl all the very best in his retirement,” Rudi Van den Abbeele added.

The IWAS President, alongside Honorary Treasurer, Bob Paterson, closed the IWAS General Assembly held on 29th November, with an official vote of thanks to Karl Vilhelm Nielsen which was met with applause from the Members in recognition of his dedication and commitment throughout his years of service.