Vancouver Debrief Comes To An End
The International Olympic Committee (IOC)’s Vancouver 2010 debrief came to a successful conclusion today in the Russian city of Sochi – the future host of the 2014 Olympic Winter Games. The debrief, which is in its sixth edition, brought together a large number of Olympic stakeholders from 7 to 10 June in order to share their experiences and the lessons learnt from the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver.
The event was opened by IOC President Jacques Rogge, with the Deputy Prime Ministers of the Russian Federation, Dmitry Kozak and Alexandr Zhukov; Coordination Commission Chairmen René Fasel and Jean-Claude Killy; Organising Committee executives John Furlong and Dmitry Chernyshenko; and athletes Alexander Popov and Ivan Skobrev also addressing the assembled audience. In addition, a number of Russian Government Deputy Ministers participated in the debrief, showing the importance that the host nation is placing in the transfer of knowledge process put in place by the IOC.
Spirit of Team Work
Speaking at the close of the event, IOC Olympic Games Executive Director Gilbert Felli said he was impressed with both the quality of the discussions that took place and the spirit of teamwork in which they were delivered.“This is the sixth debrief we have held, and you can really see the positive evolution of the programme over the years,” Felli said. “I was particularly impressed with the openness of the Vancouver organisers and their willingness to share everything with their successors. Sochi has already been able to glean a lot of information from our transfer of knowledge programmes, but the debrief will no doubt have helped to cement the lessons that they learnt while observing the Vancouver Games, and will inspire them to strive for and achieve the very best in four years’ time.”
Vast Array of Olympic Knowledge
The IOC debrief is part of a broader transfer-of-knowledge programme initiated by the IOC at the time of the Sydney Games and which is today called Olympic Games Knowledge Management (OGKM). The programme gives future Games hosts access to a vast array of Olympic knowledge built up from previous organisers’ experience, and provides them with the opportunity to participate in observation and secondee programmes. Representatives of Sochi 2014, London 2012, Rio 2016 and the three applicant cities for 2018 (Munich, Annecy and PyeongChang), took part in the four days of workshops and seminars in the Black Sea resort, which provided a forum for all parties to hold constructive discussions and exchange information that will help them prepare for future Olympic Games.
The 32 debrief sessions revolved around five general themes — Inspire & Engage, Team-Up & Test, Embrace & Achieve, Experience & Learn and Innovate & Promote — and permitted frank, open, and detailed discussions on all the different services offered to Olympic stakeholders, including athletes, spectators, partners and the media. However, the aim of the debrief is not to provide a standard template for each future host to follow. Rather, it is intended to encourage future hosts to build on the successes of their predecessors while staying true to their own cultures and identities. It does not seek to impose solutions on other Games, but rather to show options and possibilities that up-coming organisers can analyse to see if they fit into their own unique context.
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; allows them to 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.