What to expect at the International Athletes’ Forum

Here’s everything you need to know ahead of the 9th International Athletes’ Forum

The International Athletes’ Forum is a bi-annual event bringing together athlete representatives from across the Olympic Movement to discuss the most important and topical issues affecting athletes, with a focus on working together to develop recommendations designed to promote change. The first IOC International Athletes’ Forum was held in 2002, and the most recent (8th) edition was staged at The Olympic Museum in November 2017.

When and where is it taking place?

The 2019 Forum will be held for the first time at the SwissTech Convention Centre in Lausanne, from Saturday 13 to Monday 15 April.

Who will be there?

Hosted by the IOC Athletes’ Commission (AC), this will be the largest-ever gathering of its kind, with almost 350 athlete representatives expected to attend. In addition to representatives from every International Federation (IF), as well as Continental Associations of National Olympic Committees (NOCs), the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) and the World Olympians Associations (WOA), the IOC has this year extended the invitation to every NOC, making this a truly universal gathering.

What’s the format?

The main plenary sessions, including panel talks on key issues and a Q&A session with IOC President Thomas Bach, will take place in the main auditorium; but there will also be smaller, focused break-out sessions in other rooms of the state-of-the-art conference centre. In addition, there will be a marketplace where participants can learn more about a range of Athlete365 tools and services, and where WADA, the Olympic Channel and Olympic Games Organising Committees will also have activations. If you attended the Olympism in Action Forum in Buenos Aires in October 2018, you can expect a similar format.

Which key topics are on the agenda?

The Forum will cover the most pressing issues for athletes today, including the fight against doping, the IOC’s financial model and support to athletes, and athlete mental health. There will also be a focus on the implementation of the IOC AC Strategy and the Athletes’ Declaration.

How can I get involved?

If you’re not attending the Forum yourself, then contact your NOC or IF to check who will be representing you, and get in touch with them to put forward any points you’d like raised. The main plenary sessions will also be live-streamed on the Athlete365 website so that you can keep up to speed with developments, and you can join the conversation yourself on @Athlete365’s social media platforms.