Last week’s IOC Session in Lima, Peru, once again demonstrated how the International Olympic Committee (IOC) is keeping athletes’ interests at the heart of the Olympic Movement.

Perhaps most significantly for athletes, the IOC Athletes’ Commission presented a new focused, action-orientated, and engaging strategy, which includes initiatives to empower athlete participation in the Olympic Movement decision-making process and support athlete development in their sporting and non-sporting careers, as well as plans for a Charter of Athlete Rights and Responsibilities. To read more about this, visit https://www.olympic.org/athlete365/news/ioc-athletes-commission-strategy-news/.

In addition to the new strategy, there were also several other athlete-focused topics that were addressed at the Session…

Athletes central to both Paris 2024 and LA 2028
One of the most significant moments of the Session saw the Olympic Games 2024 and 2028 officially awarded to Paris and Los Angeles respectively, ensuring the stability of the Olympic Games for the athletes of the world for the next 11 years.

IOC President Bach called the historic, simultaneous awarding of the 2024 and 2028 Games as, “something extraordinary”.

“These are two great cities from two great countries with a great Olympic history,” he said. “Both cities are very enthusiastic about the Games and are promoting the Olympic spirit in a fantastic way.”

Athletes have played a key role in the candidature teams of both cities, with triple Olympic gold medallist and IOC Athletes’ Commission vice-chair Tony Estanguet leading Paris 2024 and IOC Athletes’ Commission chair Angela Ruggiero working as Chief Strategy Officer for LA 2028.

Their efforts, in addition to those of the many other Olympians who will be involved in the preparations, will ensure that both the 2024 and 2028 Games are delivered in the best interests of athletes.

Tokyo 2020 to stage athlete-oriented Games

Last week, the IOC Session heard how that is also the approach of the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee, with Olympian and Executive Director of Sport at Tokyo 2020 Koji Murofushi highlighting how Olympic Agenda 2020 is helping his organisation deliver a better experience for the athletes at the Games.

“The athletes’ experience is the key to the success of the Games in Tokyo,” he said. “I am delighted that the IOC’s strategic direction on the central importance of the athletes’ experience is fully aligned with Tokyo 2020’s vision to create a stage where the athletes can perform at their best.

“Olympic Agenda 2020 strengthens the role of the athletes, helps us to build stronger ties with the athletes and will help us find the best way of delivering a Games that works for the athletes.”

Protecting clean athletes

In addition to the plans of future Olympic host cities, the IOC Session also highlighted once again how the protection of clean athletes is a top priority for the IOC. Members heard the latest reports into recent doping allegations and discussed how the IOC can combat cheating and hold accountable anyone responsible for using or providing doping products.

Athletes’ voice at heart of Olympic Movement decisions

Athletes can also be confident that their best interests will continue to be represented within the IOC, following the election of new IOC Members, a new Vice-President and new members of the IOC Executive Board during the IOC Session.

Of the newly elected Members, Jean-Christophe Rolland, President of World Rowing, competed in three editions of the Olympic Games, winning gold and bronze medals in the coxless pair, while Baklai Temengil was a member of the Palau women’s canoe team at the 1998 Micronesian Games and the 1999 South Pacific Games.

Meanwhile, Olympic rowing bronze medallist Anita L. DeFrantz was elected as an IOC Vice-President, while Denis Oswald – another Olympic medallist in rowing – and synchronised swimming Olympian Nicole Hoevertsz were both elected to the IOC Executive Board.

With athletes occupying so many decision-making positions within the IOC, athletes all over the world can be confident that their voices will continue to be heard within the Olympic Movement.

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