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XIII OLYMPIC CONGRESS Copenhagen, 3 - 5 October 2009









The XIII Olympic Congress, entitled “The Olympic Movement in society”, was held from 3 to 5 October 2009 in Copenhagen (Denmark) and brought together more than one thousand participants.

The Congress provided a rare opportunity for the entire Olympic Family (i.e. IOC members, representatives of National Olympic Committee (NOCs), International Federations (IFs), the Organising Committees of the Olympic Games (OCOGS), athletes, coaches, media, sponsors and other stakeholders)  to meet and discuss issues of importance to the entire Movement.

In his keynote speech to the Congress, UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon paid tribute to the excellent collaboration between the United Nations (UN) and the IOC. (The IOC was granted UN observer status at the end of 2009).

In his concluding remarks, he declared: “If you asked me to jog around this conference room, I would probably run out of breath. But when it comes to fighting for our shared global goals – for a world that is cleaner, healthier, more peaceful and more prosperous – I will sprint like an Olympian. I will ski the steepest trail. I will run and run and never stop until we reach the first line. I am counting on all of you to join me. We must go for the gold.”

Over the course of the three day Congress, participants heard from many respected speakers and had interesting discussions on the following themes:

1. the Athletes
2. the Olympic Games
3. the Structure of the Olympic Movement
4. Olympism and Youth and
5. the Digital Revolution.

Each of these themes was further subdivided into three subthemes.

A half day was devoted to the discussions of each of the five themes at the Congress. The plenary sessions were followed by three simultaneous breakout sessions on the respective subthemes. (The texts of the speeches can be found under the relevant themes).

All the sessions were livecast over the internet to allow the general public to hear the discussions as they happened. (The videos of the plenary and discussion sessions of each theme can be found under the related tabs).

The breakout session on each of the subthemes began with presentations from a panel of speakers. The moderators of each panel were then responsible for the ensuing discussion period, which gave participants the opportunity to voice their opinions on the issues. The main points from each breakout session were carefully recorded by rapporteurs who informed the Editorial Committee of the discussions at the end of each day. The final document reflects the main ideas to come out of the proceedings in Copenhagen as well as information collected through the Virtual Olympic Congress.  The Virtual Olympic Congress allowed the Olympic Family and the public to submit written contributions on the five themes during the preparatory phase.  

The XIII Olympic Congress was a great success and has left the Olympic Movement with a blue print for the future. It is now time to translate words into action and implement the 66 recommendations. (See below for a PDF version of the recommendations)