5th International Athletes’ Forum set for lift-off in Colorado Springs
The 5th International Athletes’ Forum gets under way on 8 October in Colorado Springs, with some 100 athletes from five continents taking part in three days of discussions on topics ranging from the International Olympic Committee (IOC)’s Athlete Career Programme to athletes’ entourage, betting and gambling and anti-doping.
Jointly organised by IOC’s Athletes’ Commission and the United States Olympic Committee (USOC), the 5th edition of the Athletes’ Forum will feature meetings, plenary sessions and working groups designed to give athletes a platform to exchange ideas of greatest concern to them, both on the field of play and off. For the first time, a day of joint meetings has been organised with the Athletes’ Council of the International Paralympic Committee (IPC), WADA’s Athletes Committee, Continental Associations and athletes’ commission representatives from the International Federations. The meeting will be held at the USOC Training Centre, where the athletes will engage in sports activities.
30 years on
The biennial Forum takes on added significance this year, coming as it does on the 30th anniversary of the creation of the Athletes’ Commission, currently chaired by Olympian Frank Fredericks. The Commission was set up by former IOC President Juan Antonio Samaranch following the recommendations of the influential XI Olympic Congress in Baden-Baden, Germany, in 1981.
Athletes have always been the heart of the Olympic Games, but it wasn’t until the formation of the Athletes’ Commission 30 years ago that they were truly given a voice within the Olympic Movement. The Commission serves as a consultative body and is the link between active athletes and the IOC. It organises the Athletes’ Forum every two years for athletes and representatives from International Federations, National Olympic Committees and the Olympic Movement to gather to discuss pressing issues.
The first two editions of the Athletes’ Forum were held in Lausanne (2003, 2005), followed by Dubai (2007) and Marrakech (2009).