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06 Oct 2008
Olympic News , Press Release

Rogge on Olympic Congress with one year to go

With exactly one year to go until the opening of the 13th Olympic Congress in Copenhagen,  International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Jacques Rogge spoke today of his expectations for the event as the Congress logo, a stylised heart reflecting the Congress motto, ”Taking the Pulse”, was unveiled.
“There is a Congress very infrequently, and for a very good reason,” said the President. “Because this is a time to reflect on the past and have a debate on the future. Traditionally, the Olympic Congress has been the catalyst for significant and meaningful developments, and I believe Copenhagen will be no different.”
Congresses change the Olympic Movement
Past Congresses have resulted in fundamental changes to the Olympic Movement. Amateurism gave way to the acceptance of professionalism at the 10th Congress in Varna, Bulgaria, in 1973. The Athletes’ Commission was created in 1981 at the 11th Congress in Baden-Baden, and the environment was the focus of the 12th Congress in 1994 in Paris.
“This is why I want to encourage everyone to contribute their thoughts, ideas and best thinking,” continued the President. “This is our opportunity to take on bold new directions and set the tone for the Olympic Movement for years to come.”
Young people and the digital revolution
The President is clear about his priorities: “I believe that, first of all, we need to address our responsibility to better engage with young people and to combat inactivity and obesity. I am also eager for us to fully embrace the digital revolution, which affects the way the world experiences the Olympic Games, whether via the internet or on mobile phones.
New ways of engaging and involving as many people as possible in the debate are reflected in the virtual Olympic Congress website – – which has been live throughout 2008. This has been successfully used to solicit contributions under five themes: Athletes, Olympic Games, Structure of the Olympic Movement, Olympism and Youth and The Digital Revolution.
Open to everyone’s ideas
It is a sign of this desire for new ideas that, for the first time, the process has been opened up and the general public encouraged to submit contributions. “We have already had more than 1,000 written submissions from the public and the Olympic family, and I am hoping for many more,” said the President.  
“This is a great opportunity for us all to participate in creating the future of the Olympic Movement,“ the President concluded. “Today, we are faced with the challenge of building on our past success and ensuring the Olympic Movement remains relevant into the rest of the 21st century. For this, we are going to need everyone’s best thinking.”.
For more information please contact the IOC Communications Department, Tel: +41 21 621 60 00, email: , or visit our website at
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