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14 Feb 2006

Olympic Solidarity, the dream accessible to every athlete

For the XX Olympic Winter Games in Turin this year, Olympic Solidarity once again offered technical and financial support for the final preparation and qualification stages to the eligible athletes and teams.
This programme  supplemented and optimised the National Olympic Committee (NOC) preparation programmes for these Winter Games, offering the NOCs an “à la carte” approach. This meant that Olympic Solidarity studied every proposal individually, in cooperation with the respective international winter sports federation.
Mission to help
The body responsible for administering and managing the share of the Olympic Games television rights revenue allocated to the NOCs, Olympic Solidarity fulfils its mission in line with the specific technical and financial assistance programmes approved by the IOC’s Olympic Solidarity Commission. It helps the NOCs and their respective continental associations with sports development, by means of varied programmes tailored to meet specific needs and priorities.
Budget and programmes
Under the terms of the Olympic Charter, the aim of Olympic Solidarity is to organise assistance to NOCs, in particular those which need it most. This assistance takes the form of programmes devised jointly by the IOC and the NOCs, with the technical assistance of the International Federations, if necessary. The quadrennial plan in force determines all the programmes. For the 2005-2008 period, the budget allocated is USD 244,000,000 for 21 world programmes covering varied and complementary areas which meet the specific needs of the NOCs.
Subsidies for the Olympic Games Outside the framework of the world programmes, the "subsidies for the Olympic Games 2005-2008" are aimed at helping the NOCs to take part in the Games. This financial assistance has two different yet complementary aims: to guarantee the universality of the Olympic Games by ensuring that all the NOCs can take part, and to provide additional support to the NOCs which contribute proportionally to the development and success of the Games.
Divided into four areas - athletes, coaches, NOC management and special projects, the programmes help each NOC to find the right response to its needs and provide assistance adapted to its own level and that of its athletes. These programmes form a whole, each being closely linked and providing an essential complement to the others. For example, an Olympic scholarship enables an athlete to make use of high level sports facilities, with specialised coaches, either in his own country or abroad. The financial assistance that goes with the scholarship also helps the athletes to take part in the Olympic qualifying competitions.
The initial impetus
The idea of the IOC providing assistance was first mooted in the 1960s parallel to the progressive decolonisation around the world. In 1961, Count Jean de Beaumont suggested creating an assistance committee for countries in Africa and Asia. This proposal received unanimous support, and led to the creation of a committee which later became Olympic Solidarity.
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