The 6th IOC International Athletes’ Forum, held in Singapore from 27 to 29 June 2013, resulted in a series of recommendations for the Olympic Movement to take action in a number of areas affecting athletes. In the presence of IOC President Jacques Rogge, athletes’ representatives from the IOC, a number of International Federations (IFs), Continental Associations, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) called in particular for improved communication between each other, including more efficient use of social media to engage athletes, and an enriched Games-time experience.
Jacques Rogge, himself a three-time Olympian in sailing, told the participants during the event: “Olympians are influential role models, especially for young people. And as the leading voice for athletes within the Olympic Movement, the Athletes’ Commission and this Forum have influence far beyond this meeting room. With your help, we have made significant progress on some important issues that directly affect athletes.” He added: “I look forward to hearing your thoughts on how we can better serve the athletes who are the heart and soul of the Olympic Movement.”
Three plenary sessions and various breakout groups focused on the important questions of athletes’ commissions, their current structure, best practice and how to improve their functioning; communications, given the important role of social media and dialogue among athletes during Games-time and beyond; and Games-time experience, with a special focus on the opening and closing ceremonies, as well as life in the Olympic Village.
The full set of recommendations resulting from these discussions will be presented to the IOC Executive Board and subsequently published on www.olympic.org.
Claudia Bokel, Chair of the IOC Athletes’ Commission and as such a member of the IOC Executive Board, praised those present for their hard work and welcomed the recommendations. “There was a good buzz during the entire event, and the recommendations are the tangible result of very constructive and lively debates. It is great seeing all these different athletes’ representatives coming together, being so committed and sharing their ideas on topics that vitally impact them and their peers.”
The Forum was a first for the four new members of the IOC Athletes’ Commission, Danka Bartekova, James Tomkins, Kirsty Coventry and Tony Estanguet, who were elected by their fellow athletes during the London 2012 Olympic Games and will be up for election as IOC members at the Extraordinary Session in Lausanne on 3 July 2013.