The Executive Board (EB) of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the IOC Athletes’ Commission held their annual joint meeting today in Lausanne. As part of the agenda, the Commission presented the key achievements of 2018 and the milestones for 2019, including the International Athletes’ Forum, to be held from 13 to 15 April 2019 in Lausanne.
Communication with athletes:
The IOC maximised its communication effort at the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018 and at the Youth Olympic Games Buenos Aires 2018. This led to record participation in the IOC Athletes’ Commission election of 83.9 per cent at the Olympic Winter PyeongChang 2018.
The Athlete365 online platform is proving to be a very successful electronic communication tool for the IOC Athletes’ Commission to engage and communicate with athletes from all around the world. It has had more than 410,000 unique users and three million page views since it was launched in February 2016.
The regular conference calls with the global network of Athletes’ Commissions from all around the world and all sports have been hugely helpful to keep athletes updated on the relevant issues and topics. The IOC Athletes’ Commission held five conference calls with the global network in 2018.
IOC Career+ (formerly known as the IOC Athlete Career Programme):
IOC Career+ was founded in 2005 to support athletes with dual careers and career transition. The programme has been delivered with The Adecco Group since the outset. It has supported more than 45,000 athletes in 189 countries since it started.
Statistics from 2018:
4,062 athletes took part in the programme through their NOC
415 athletes received jobs through their participation
172 people became certified outreach trainers through the new train-the-trainer programme
33 Outreach workshops took place (29 by NOCs and 4 by International Federations).
Olympic medal reallocation update:
Seven medal reallocation ceremonies were held in 2018, 13 are already scheduled for 2019, and athletes from 19 NOCs will announce their choices in the course of the next few months.
Athletes’ Rights and Responsibilities Declaration:
The wide range of organisations that have adopted the Athletes’ Rights and Responsibility Declaration shows the relevance of the document, both in terms of content and timing for the Olympic Movement. After it was adopted by the 133rd IOC Session in Buenos Aires in October 2018, it was:
Endorsed by the ASOIF General Council;
Adopted by the ANOC General Assembly in Tokyo;
Given the full support of the PanAm Sports Athletes’ Forum and the OCA Athletes’ Forum;
Adopted by a number of International Federations and National Olympic Committees;
Emphasised by the Olympic Summit. All participants agreed to implement it in their own organisations.
2019 Milestone: 9th International Athletes’ Forum
The major milestone of 2019 will be the 9th International Athletes’ Forum organised from 13 to 15 April 2019 in Lausanne. For the first time, athlete representatives from all 206 NOCs are invited, as are those from all Olympic Summer and Winter International Federations, the Continental Associations of NOCs, the Association of National Olympic Committees, all Organising Committees for the Olympic Games and Youth Olympic Games, the International Paralympic Committee (IPC), the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and the World Olympians Association (WOA). Some 350 athlete representatives from across the Olympic Movement are expected to attend. It will be by far the largest athlete-representative gathering for the Olympic Movement ever.
The IOC EB and the IOC Athletes’ Commission (AC) also discussed the topic of anti-doping. Kirsty Coventry, Chair of the IOC AC, informed the EB about the statement the Commission had issued on 4 January 2019. The Commission is now awaiting the recommendation of the Compliance Review Committee (CRC) of WADA and the subsequent decision by the WADA Executive Committee. Currently the IOC AC is gathering feedback from the whole athlete community on this topic.
Mental Health: Toolkit for athletes and sports organisations
Another important topic of the discussion was the issue of mental health in sport. The joint meeting participants heard about the progress already made on this issue, particularly with the development of a consensus statement on mental health in sport by the IOC Scientific and Medical Commission and the IOC Athletes’ Commission. At the meeting it was decided that a toolkit should be developed with best practices for athletes, sports organisations and athlete entourages.
Kirsty Coventry said: “This toolkit is a first step in supporting athletes. We all care about athletes’ well-being and want to encourage athletes who may be going through these tough times to take the first courageous step of asking for help.”
The International Olympic Committee is a not-for-profit independent international organisation made up of volunteers, which is committed to building a better world through sport. It redistributes more than 90 per cent of its income to the wider sporting movement, which means that every day the equivalent of 3.4 million US dollars goes to help athletes and sports organisations at all levels around the world.
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