The 136th International Olympic Committee (IOC) Session, held virtually for the first time ever this Friday, approved the recommendation from the IOC Executive Board (EB) to organise two IOC Sessions in 2021.
This recommendation was based on discussions during consultation calls in May 2020, in which several IOC Members suggested that the IOC presidential election should take place on a separate occasion from the IOC Session taking place immediately before the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020.
For this reason, the 137th IOC Session, which will include the presidential election on the agenda, will be held in spring 2021, and the 138th IOC Session will take place before the Tokyo 2020 Games, which are scheduled from 23 July to 8 August.
The IOC Chief Ethics and Compliance Officer informed the IOC Session that the elected President will take office only on 9 August 2021, in order to avoid any discontinuity during the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020.
The IOC EB was instructed by the IOC Session to determine the details and exact dates of the 137th IOC Session, taking into account all relevant parameters, in particular the position of the Hellenic Olympic Committee, which had been previously selected to host it in the Greek capital of Athens.
Olympic Charter changes
After the decision to hold the 136th IOC Session virtually, the IOC EB recommended modifying the Olympic Charter in order to address any similar needs in the future. The modifications are aimed at allowing for the possibility to hold remote meetings of the IOC Session and aligning the technology terminology related to the adoption of decisions by the IOC Session, the IOC EB and the IOC commissions.
The changes were approved by the IOC Session.
Athletes’ Commission election
The 136th Session also decided to accept the recommendation of the IOC EB following its review of the schedule of the IOC Athletes’ Commission (AC) election, considering the postponement of Tokyo 2020.
It decided to postpone the election scheduled to take place in July 2020 until the Games are held in 2021, and to extend the terms of the five IOC AC members who will be replaced, and of the Commission Chair and Vice-Chair for the same period. Chair Kirsty Coventry will also remain a member of the IOC EB until such elections.
The IOC Session confirmed that the candidates approved by the IOC EB in December 2019 will remain the only candidates for this election, and that the terms of the members to be elected in 2021 will expire on the day of the Closing Ceremony of the Olympic Games Los Angeles 2028 at the latest.
Finally, the candidature process for the AC election to be held at the Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022 will be announced in February 2021, but the nomination of candidates and subsequent approval process will be finalised only in November 2021, after the Tokyo 2020 election.