The International Paralympic Committee will elect a new governing board for the organization on Friday as part of the ongoing IPC General Assembly in Abu Dhabi.
Zhang Haidi from China is in a four-way race with Brazil's Andrew Parsons, Denmark's John Petersson and Canada's Patrick Jarvis for the top IPC post, replacing the current president, Philip Craven of Britain.
Zhang is the first Chinese candidate to vie for the job of IPC President. The 61-year-old is the Executive Chairperson of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Organizing Committee, as well as the head of China's National Paralympic Committee.
In 2008, Zhang was first elected as Chairperson of the China Disabled Persons Federation, taking over from Deng Pufang. She would be re-elected five years later.
In 2014, Zhang was chosen as the Chairperson of Rehabilitation International and, while serving as Vice President of the Bid Committee, she helped Beijing win the rights to host the 2022 Winter Olympics and Paralympics the following year.
Zhang then steered China's delegation to a successful showing at the 2016 Rio Summer Paralympics. Her candidacy to succeed Philip Craven as the head of the IPC was officially launched in June.
Zhang Haidi has long been an inspirational figure in China. Her story of overcoming her disability and helping improve others' lives is required reading in primary school textbooks across the country.
Zhang taught herself multiple foreign languages from a young age including English, German, and Japanese.
As a writer and novelist for nearly 35 years, her popular works include reportage and translations.
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