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Lausanne, 7 décembre 1999 - The second General Assembly of the World Olympians Association (WOA) meeting today in Lausanne elected Mr. Pál Schmitt the new President of the Association.

“It is a great honor and a great responsibility to be elected President of the WOA and I can assure you that I will do my best to serve the interests of the Association” said Pál Schmitt. “Today, we have 45 members in the WOA and my immediate goal as President will be to increase the number of members in order to achieve a universal representation of national associations of Olympic athletes in the WOA.
We also need to stimulate the involvement of Olympians in Olympic activities in their own countries to educate young people, promote Olympic Ideals and strengthen the Olympic Movement.”
“Finally, we are the only body recognized by the IOC as representing Olympians around the world and today, after four years of action, I think the WOA is becoming the fourth pillar of the Olympic Movement along with the three pillars so often referred to – the IOC, the International Federations and the NOC.”

Currently Ambassador of Hungary in Switzerland, H.E. Mr. Pál Schmitt is a former Olympic champion, President of the Hungarian Olympic Committee and IOC member since 1983.

The second General Assembly was composed of 35 member countries, each represented by Olympic athletes which together participated 80 times in the Olympic Games and won a total of 50 medals (19 Gold; 18 Silver and 13 Bronze). The General Assembly elected the following members to the Executive Committee.

Honorary President : Mr. Juan Antonio SAMARANCH, Spain
President: Mr. Pál Schmitt, Hungary
Vice Presidents: Dr. Elizabeth A.E. Ferris, Great Britain; Mr. William A. Toomey, USA
Secretary General: Dr. Liston D. Bochette, Porto Rico
Executive Committee Members: Mr. Herb Elliot, Australia; Mr. El Hadj Amadou Dia
BA, Senegal, and Mrs. Irena Szewinska, Poland.

Founded in 1995, the WOA is an independent non-profit organization headquatered in Lausanne, Switzerland. The WOA is composed of National Associations of Olympic Athletes (“NAOAs”) from 45 countries.

The objectives of the WOA are the following:

to further the development of communication across the world between Olympic athletes in order to encourage and promote the Fundamental Principles of Olympism and the Olympic Movement, as established in the Olympic Charter;

to promote the establishment of NAOAs across the world; and

to encourage contact between NAOAs in order to promote the objectives of the WOA.

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