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23 Dec 2010
IOC News

The 2011 Agenda: Safeguarding the Integrity of Sport

by Jacques Rogge, President of the International Olympic Committee

By any measure, 2010 was a good year for the International Olympic Committee and the Olympic Movement. The success of the Vancouver Olympic Winter Games in February got the year off a strong start. As always, we witnessed some remarkable performances, but the Vancouver Games may be most remembered for the festive atmosphere in the competition venues and on the streets of the host city.

We will always remember Nodar Kumaritashvili, as his tragic death cast a sad shadow on these Games. Measures have been taken to avoid this type of tragedy in the future.

The year’s other major event, the inaugural Youth Olympic Games, exceeded expectations. More than 3,000 young people came to Singapore for a global celebration of sport, education and culture.

With the new year on the horizon, we are fast approaching the final countdown to the 1st Winter Youth Olympic Games in Innsbruck and then to the Games of the XXX Olympiad in London.  As those preparations enter the final phase, the IOC will be looking further into the future to select the host city for the 2018 Olympic Winter Games.

The candidate cities will make a technical presentation to the IOC in May, with the final decision at the IOC Session in Durban in July. The New Year will also bring more opportunities to expand and strengthen our relationship with the United Nations, building on our status as a UN Observer and the success of the first UN-IOC Forum last May. The Secretary-General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-Moon, will visit the IOC in January 2011.

One project we hope to replicate is the new Olympic Youth Development Centre that opened in Lusaka, Zambia, in May. The centre, a collaborative effort of the IOC, the government of Zambia, the Zambian NOC and six International and National Federations, offers sports, education and health services. In 2011, we will move ahead with plans for another youth centre in Haiti.

We will also redouble our efforts to safeguard the integrity of sport. We have made great progress in the fight against doping. We must equally vigilant against the corrupting influence of illegal betting.

We closely monitor betting during the Games and have found no evidence of corruption, but we should not delude ourselves into thinking that it cannot happen. Ensuring that it doesn’t will be near the top of the 2011 agenda.

Finally, any review of 2010 would be incomplete without recalling the loss of Juan Antonio Samaranch.  His impact on the Olympic Movement will last far beyond his time on Earth. May his devotion to our cause inspire us all in the year ahead.

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