In the first of a four-part series, IOC Athletes’ Commission Chair Angela Ruggiero outlines the first pillar of the Commission’s new strategy: to empower athletes in Olympic Movement decision-making processes

Dear Athletes,

After the launch of our focused, action-orientated and – we hope – engaging new Strategy in Lima, the next step is putting paper into practice – with your help – at the 8th IOC International Athletes’ Forum (in Lausanne) from 11 to 13 November. 


In the run-up to the Forum, I will be running you through each of the four key pillars that make up the Strategy, starting with our responsibility to Empower Athletes in Olympic Movement decision-making processes – which we hope to fulfil by building up a worldwide network of effective athletes’ commissions.

After they played such a key role in developing the Strategy with their feedback over the last 10 months, we are delighted to welcome many athlete representatives – including the chairs of International Federations (IFs) and Continental Associations –  to this  Forum, where we will discuss our priorities to strengthen the engagement, communication and support we offer to athletes’ commissions worldwide. The opportunity to meet face-to-face with fellow athlete representatives from across the sporting landscape is a truly exciting prospect, and one I know both I and our commission have been looking forward to for a long time.

Strong engagement

Want to discuss an athlete-related issue, or find out about how your commission can work with us? We’re going to have dedicated IOC AC members to liaise with IFs, Continental Associations and other Olympic Movement stakeholders to offer them specific advice and a direct point of contact. We represent all corners of the globe and a whole range of Olympic sports, and want to make our members as accessible as possible to really support other athletes’ commissions. That way, everyone’s voice has a way of getting to us.

More resources

We’ll also be providing better resources to help other commissions become as effective as possible, building on the great work of our predecessors, who produced the ‘IOC Guide to Developing an Effective Athletes’ Commission’. Now, we want to add to this by having a dedicated space for all athletes’ commission resources on the Olympic Athletes’ Hub. Here, you’ll be able to get in touch with any queries, find out about the work of other commissions, and keep track of events and elections for athlete representatives.

Better communication

A big ambition for us is to facilitate and improve communication between athletes’ commissions worldwide – both in-person and on virtual channels. The video conferences we hosted to obtain feedback on the Strategy were an important step in getting these conversations started, and we now want to host multiple video conferences per year to discuss important topics and ensure the network is informed and empowered. 

Recently, we secured funding through Olympic Solidarity to have a Continental Forum, which will enable athlete representatives to assemble every two years on each continent. If we can empower this global network of commissions, I know  we’ll be that much more effective as a group, and I look forward to continuing this process at next month’s International Athletes’ Forum, our biggest engagement opportunity this year.

In the Olympic spirit,




Angela Ruggiero