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04 Feb 2010
Olympic News

The Olympic Movement And The Olympic Games

Most people have heard of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and believe that it organises the Olympic Games but preparing an event like the Olympics requires a team effort from numerous different members of the Olympic Movement in order to make it a reality.

Like a top level sports team, the Games need everyone involved to perform at their best to have a chance of achieving great Games. The key players from the Olympic Movement are the IOC, the National Olympic Committees (NOCs), the International Federations (IFs) and the Organising Committee for the Olympic Games (OCOG).

The International Olympic Committee

The IOC is the guardian of the Olympic Games and the ultimate authority on any question relating to the Games. It is responsible for electing the host city through a vote at its Session and follows the progress of Games preparations through its Coordination Commission. A year out from the Games, the IOC invites the NOCs of the world to participate in that edition of the Olympics. Once the Games get underway, the IOC’s Medical Commission is responsible for implementing the World Anti-Doping Code and all other IOC Anti-Doping Rules. The IOC also runs a comprehensive transfer of knowledge programme that allows host cities to learn from the experiences of previous OCOGs.

The National Olympic Committees

There are currently 205 NOCs recognized by the IOC and they represent the Olympic Movement within their respective countries and territories. The NOCs are responsible for selecting and putting forward a city from their territory - if they wish to submit a bid for a Games. It is then up to the NOC and the host city to create the OCOG should their bid see them elected. However, perhaps the most important role of an NOC for the Games is to constitute, organize and lead their teams to the Games. The NOC is also responsible for selecting the media to be accredited for the Games from their territory and will work closely with the OCOG on a number of areas related to the Games and the athletes.

The International Federations

The role of the IFs is a primordial one because it is the IFs that run their respective sports at Games time. They set the rules for their sport and are responsible for the technical control and direction of their sports. IFs also decide the eligibility criteria for the competitions at the Games and may also organize qualifying events for athletes or teams looking to take part in the Games. In addition, the IF will also appoint the referees, judges and other technical officials for their sport, as well as establishing the final results and ranking of each event – this is the ranking that the IOC will use when awarding the medals. During the bid phase of the Games, the federations are also heavily involved, as they are required to express their opinions on the different candidatures, particularly concerning the technical aspects of the proposed venues for their sports. Once a city is elected, the IF will work very closely with the OCOG concerning the technical facilities and sports equipment to be used in the venues. The IF must also validate the competition schedule for their events during the Games.

Organising Committee for the Olympic Games

The OCOG is the organisation established by the host NOC and city in order to organize the Games. Once founded, it reports directly to the IOC’s Executive Board. It is responsible for creating functions and services for all aspects of the Games, such as sports planning, venues, finance, technology, accommodation, catering, media services, etc. The OCOG will plan and prepare for seven years to host the Games and must then coordinate all of the different elements to ensure that the Games operate successfully during the 16 days of competition and also during the Olympic Torch Relay, which it will run ahead of the start of the Olympics.

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