On behalf of the IOC Athletes’ Commission, I am delighted to announce that the 9th International Athletes’ Forum will be held in Lausanne from 13 to 15 April 2019.
I am particularly excited because, for the first time, our Commission is able to extend its invitation to representatives from all National Olympic Committee (NOC) Athletes’ Commissions.
NOC Athletes’ Commission representatives will join an invitation list that includes representatives from each Olympic Summer and Winter International Federation (IF), the Continental Associations of NOCs, the Association of National Olympic Committees (ANOC), Organising Committees for the Olympic Games (OCOGs), the International Paralympic Committee (IPC), the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and the World Olympians Association (WOA).
For this event, we are expecting to welcome nearly 350 athlete representatives from across the whole Olympic Movement, which will make the 2019 International Athletes’ Forum by far the largest athlete representatives gathering for the Olympic Movement ever.
An effective strategy
We launched the IOC Athletes’ Commission Strategy at the 8th International Athletes’ Forum in November 2017. At the heart of our Strategy was the desire to further strengthen athlete representation in decision-making bodies, and to make sure the athletes’ viewpoint is heard at the highest level across all Olympic Movement stakeholders.
Building on the successes of the previous eight editions, this exciting event will provide an excellent opportunity to further unite the voice of the global community of Athletes’ Commissions. But most importantly, it will give us a chance to listen to each other, have open and constructive discussions on critical topics, and learn collectively from our experiences.
The Strategy also set out to maximise the scope and impact of the IOC International Athletes’ Forum, in order to increase the effectiveness of direct communication with Athletes’ Commissions worldwide.
Increasing the NOC representation will ensure that viewpoints from every corner of the Olympic Movement are expressed during our Forum – which also highlights the importance of our solidarity as the global network of athlete representatives.
Building on the historic adoption of the Athletes’ Rights and Responsibilities Declaration by the IOC Session on behalf of the Olympic Movement in Buenos Aires last month, this is another unprecedented and ground-breaking step for athlete representation, underlining our ‘all in’ approach to ensure that the athletes’ voice is an effective and valued voice at every level of the sports movement.
It is also evidence of how our Strategy has opened the door to increased funding for athletes, with the IOC covering all costs associated with each representative’s attendance. This year, successful Continental Athletes’ Forums have also been held in Harare, Miami and Tokyo, funded by Olympic Solidarity and delivered in close collaboration with the Continental Associations Athletes’ Commissions and the IOC Athletes’ Commission.
We look forward to building on our engagement with our fellow athletes for the success of athletes at this historic event.
IOC Athletes’ Commission Chair