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06 Sep 2010
IOC News , Athletes' space

IOC welcomes Olympic champion Vincent Defrasne

Vincent Defrasne, an Olympic gold medal winner in biathlon, has set his sights on a new target, joining the IOC administration on a one-year internship as part of the IOC Athlete Career Programme. The Frenchman, who took gold in the 12.5 km pursuit at the 2006 Olympic Winter Games in Turin, and bronze in 2002 in Salt Lake City and is a multiple World Championship winner, is the first top athlete to take on the role, which will see him learn the responsibilities and work processes of three IOC departments as well as undergo various IOC training courses.

“At the age of 33, and as a father of two, I am currently planning for my life after my sporting career,” Defrasne said. “I would love to stay connected to sport at a professional level, and the IOC internship is a great opportunity to learn more about the international organisation of sport, to experience a multicultural working environment and develop valuable working relationships.” Defrasne holds a degree in sport sciences and is fluent in three languages.

Frank Fredericks, Chairman of the IOC Athletes’ Commission, says it is a natural progression for the IOC to open its doors to top athletes: “When we set up the IOC Athlete Career Programme in 2005, we thought immediately that the IOC should play an active role not only in the strategic planning, but also in the implementation. It is a win-win situation for both sides. For athletes like Vincent, who are seeking a career in the sports world, the IOC provides a great learning environment; and for the IOC it is also a chance to profit from his first-hand experience as an athlete. Because in the end, everything we do should serve the athletes — they are the heart of the Olympic Movement.”

About the IOC Athlete Career Programme

The IOC Athlete Career Programme was set up to provide elite athletes with guidance and tools to help them successfully balance training and competition with the challenges and opportunities of day-to-day life. It focuses on three fields: education, life skills and employment.

The employment pillar is designed to provide support to elite athletes like Vincent Defrasne with their transition into the labour market. In an elite athlete’s life, one change is certain: they will retire from elite-level competition and need to take on a new career. The support available includes outreach training seminars, personalised career development plans and networking opportunities for job placement.


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