A special session devoted to Olympic Agenda 2020, the International Olympic Committee (IOC)’s strategic roadmap for the future of the Olympic Movement, was one of the highlights of the second annual Smart Cities & Sport Summit, running from 13 to 14 October in Lausanne.
IOC Director General Christophe De Kepper presented to the 200 participants on the 40 reform proposals that make up Olympic Agenda 2020, in particular those aimed at improving the Olympic Games candidature process. Associate Director of Olympic Candidatures Jacqueline Barrett and Youth Olympic Games Associate Director Antoine Goetschy also contributed to the presentation on Wednesday.
De Kepper quoted IOC President Thomas Bach when he launched Olympic Agenda 2020: “We opened the windows to let fresh air in. And we have also opened our minds.” The IOC started implementing the 40 recommendations of Olympic Agenda 2020 shortly after its unanimous approval by the IOC Session in December 2014.
One of the key outcomes of Olympic Agenda 2020 was the reshaping of the Olympic Games candidature process to make it more flexible. This has allowed more cities to aspire to become an Olympic host city, has decreased the costs associated with being a candidate for and staging the Games, and has ensured that the Olympic Games will deliver sustainable legacies. Importantly, Olympic Agenda 2020 has allowed the IOC to enter into a dialogue with interested cities about how the Games could fit into their long-term development plans.
The Smart Cities & Sport Summit is open to any city interested in hosting an edition of the Olympic Games, Youth Olympic Games or other major sporting event. It is also offered to cities, regions and countries wishing to learn more about how sport can be used as a tool for development. The two-day Summit featured a number of interactive sessions featuring experts from the world of sport and Olympic Movement, including former CEO of the Olympic Winter Games Vancouver 2010 John Furlong, who gave a keynote speech entitled “Sport and the City.”
All five Candidate Cities for the Olympic Games 2024 – Budapest (HUN), Hamburg (GER), Los Angeles (USA), Paris (FRA), and Rome (ITA)*– said the reforms brought about by Olympic Agenda 2020 were a major incentive to becoming a candidate for the Games.
*Cities listed in alphabetical order. The IOC Executive Board will carry out an official drawing of lots in December 2015. The order of drawing of lots will then be used until the election of the host city.