Vancouver 2010 Debrief Begins
The official International Olympic Committee (IOC) debrief of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games got underway today in Krasnaya Polyana, the area where the mountain events of the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games will be held. The debrief was opened by IOC President Jacques Rogge, who spoke of the importance of the debrief for ensuring that future host cities are able to benefit from the knowledge of those that have gone before them.
The attendees at the opening session also heard from IOC Coordination Commission Chairmen René Fasel and Jean-Claude Killy, as well as the IOC’s Executive Director for the Olympic Games, Gilbert Felli, and Organising Committee Chairmen John Furlong (Vancouver 2010) and Dmitry Chernychenko (Sochi 2014). The opening session also included thoughts from Olympic athlete Ivan Skobrev, who was interviewed by former Olympic athlete and IOC member Alexander Popov. Other key speakers during the day included the Deputy Prime Ministers of the Russian Federation Dmitry Kozak and Alexandr Zhukov; the Governor of Krasnodar, Alexander Tkachev; and the Mayor of Sochi, Anatoly Pakhomov.
Making the Games Better
The objective of the IOC Vancouver 2010 debrief is to allow future organisers to learn directly from those that have just put on a Games. This transfer of knowledge, which is invaluable given the unique and complex nature of an Olympic Games, is an opportunity for the up-coming hosts to ask in-depth questions in a relaxed atmosphere and thus maximise the amount that they can learn. The event is also held in the next host city of the equivalent Games (summer to summer or winter to winter), so that the greatest possible number of people can take advantage of the opportunity to ask questions and learn. For example, during the Vancouver 2010 debrief this week, Sochi 2014 will have around 200 people present. Generally speaking, the debrief allows organsiers to pick the brains of those with the latest experience, so that they can, in turn, make the plans for their own Games even better.
The IOC Games debriefs are a fantastic way for host cities to learn and improve their own projects, but it is important to note that future organisers are not expected to take what they find out and implement exactly what was done in the previous Games. They must also analyse what they learn and decide whether or not it fits with their own project’s goals and vision. In addition, they need to look at the cultural context of their Games and see if what worked well in another country would work in their own, or if they need to adapt it somehow in order for it to be advantageous to their operations. During the event this week, attendees will have the chance to understand how Vancouver 2010 approached areas as varied as athlete services and accreditation, and they will then need to go away and see what they can use in their own Games context and what is not appropriate for them to take on board.
The Vancouver 2010 debrief is a key part of a much larger transfer of knowledge programme run by the IOC, called Olympic Games Knowledge Management (OGKM). Set up during the preparations for the Sydney Games in 2000, OGKM is an integrated platform of services and documentation which assists Games organisers in their preparations; lets them evaluate their progress and success; and helps to define the future of the Games. The OGKM programme includes a number of different tools and services that organisers can draw upon, and these include a Games observer programme, expert workshops, technical manuals, a Games evaluation process, an extranet and a secondee programme. OGKM aims to help bid cities and Organising Committees develop their own vision and understand how a host city and its citizens can benefit from the long-lasting impact of the Games, while managing the opportunities and risks that such an event produces.