Vancouver passes know-how to Sochi
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 Vancouver Games.
The event was opened by IOC President Jacques Rogge, with the Deputy Prime Minsters 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.
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.”
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.
Sochi 2014 President and CEO Dmitry Chernyshenko said that the event had been incredibly useful for his team.
"Sochi 2014 will be an incredibly creative and innovative Games with a uniquely Russian flavour, while being firmly grounded in Olympic Movement best practice. Working with VANOC has allowed us to enhance our plans to ensure Russia's first Winter Games is a success," said Chernyshenko.
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.
The success of the debrief was also thanks to the openness and outstanding cooperation of the members of the Vancouver 2010 team, who attended the debrief led by their CEO, John Furlong. Furlong spoke about how important it was for his team to share their experiences and leave yet another legacy to the Olympic Movement.
“In our long-standing goal of leaving lasting legacies from our Games, this debrief has been a critical element,” said Furlong. “How well we remember that, four short years before our Games, every piece of experienced advice was invaluable. We hope our presentations and discussions this week have been helpful, and we have every confidence that the Sochi 2014 Games will celebrate Russia, the world's best winter sport athletes and the Olympic Movement. Our IOC and Sochi 2014 hosts have been warm and gracious hosts, and we thank them for giving us an unfettered view into their project over the past week."
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.