In the final instalment of a four-part series, IOC Athletes’ Commission Chair Angela Ruggiero outlines the fourth pillar of the commission’s new Strategy: to ensure athlete representation in Olympic Movement decision-making

Dear Athletes,

Over the past few weeks, I’ve been explaining in this column how we plan to empower you, support you and promote your involvement in all decisions that impact athletes. And now, with the IOC International Athletes’ Forum only days away, it’s time to break down the fourth and final pillar of our new Strategy: to ensure athlete representation in Olympic Movement decision-making.

This key responsibility is actually the first one we’ll discuss at the Forum, with a particular focus on anti-doping. Having the viewpoint of athletes represented in all Olympic Movement stakeholders – whether it’s National Olympic Committees, International Federations or the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) – is the ultimate goal of our Strategy, and we are working on a number of priorities to make this happen.

Increasing awareness
We have to raise awareness of the athletes’ viewpoint among those in sports leadership positions, and a clear communication stream between our commission and athletes around the world is key to this. Soon, we will be developing feedback tools and conducting surveys – both digitally, on our Hub platform, and in-person in PyeongChang – so that we can more accurately get your views, and follow up on any outcomes with the relevant Olympic Movement stakeholders.

Collaborating with key stakeholders
We’re really aiming to build our commission’s relationship with each stakeholder, and we’ll be initiating more regular in-person and virtual meetings with them to promote collaboration on the key issues facing athletes. In time, we’d love to create an alliance of Olympic Movement stakeholders to develop governance structures that support athlete representation – something that would be extremely beneficial in the fight against doping.

Strengthening athlete input
As part of this enhanced collaboration effort, we will have IOC AC members actively represented among all relevant stakeholders. With at least one of us on each IOC commission, five of us on the WADA Athletes’ Committee, and the World Olympians Association offering their full support to our Strategy, this process is already underway – and the more embedded we become within the Olympic Movement, the greater input we will have in future decisions.

I really hope you’ve found these columns useful in the run-up to the Forum on 11-13 November, where we’ll be inviting athletes to join balanced, in-depth discussions around each of the Strategy’s four key pillars. The feedback we receive will be critical in shaping our next steps.

Keep visiting our platform to stay up-to-date with all the key talking points from the Forum, and make sure you engage with us on Twitter using the hashtag #athlete365. I can’t wait to welcome athletes’ representatives from around the world as we begin to turn our ground-breaking new Strategy from paper into practice.

In the Olympic spirit,

Angela Ruggiero Signature




Angela Ruggiero