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Olympism is a philosophy of life, exalting and combining in a balanced whole the qualities of body, will and mind. Blending sport with culture and education, Olympism seeks to create a way of life based on the joy found in effort, the educational value of good example and respect for universal fundamental ethical principles.

The goal of the Olympic Movement is to contribute to building a peaceful and better world by educating youth through sport practiced without discrimination of any kind and in the Olympic spirit, which requires mutual understanding with a spirit of friendship, solidarity and fair play.

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Olympic Day, Taekwondo, Nigeria, 2012

Sport and Active Society

The mission of the IOC is to not only ensure the celebration of the Olympic Games, but to also encourage the regular practice of sport by all people in society, regardless of sex, age, social background or economic status. This is done in many ways, year round and on all five continents. We want to increase access to sport for all and provide everyone, in particular young people, with the educational and health values of sport.

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Olympic Refuge Foundation

68.5 million people in the world were reported to be displaced at the end of 2017, according to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). Meaning one in every 113 people worldwide was forced to leave their home.

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Refugee Olympic Team

At the UN General Assembly in October 2015, confronted with the global refugee crisis that has seen an estimated 65.3 million people in the world displaced, IOC President Thomas Bach announced the creation of the Refugee Olympic Team – the first of its kind – to take part in the Olympic Games Rio 2016. Ten months on from the announcement, the 10 athletes, who originally hailed from Ethiopia, South Sudan, Syria and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, were competing alongside 11,000 fellow athletes in Brazil, sending a message of hope and inclusion to millions of refugees around the world and inspiring the world with the strength of their human spirit.

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Women and Sport

Women In Sport

Gender equality is a top priority for the Olympic Movement. The two main aims are to make access to sport in general and the Olympic Games easier for female athletes, and to increase the number of women in sports administration and management.

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Olympic Day School Celebration 2015 - New Zealand

Education Through Sport

Pierre de Coubertin, the founder of the modern Olympic Movement, believed that sport contributed to the harmonious and well-balanced development of the body, personality and mind. As such, interaction between sport, education and culture is encouraged by the IOC. The aim is to promote Olympism and Olympic ideals throughout the world and reinforce cooperation with educational institutions and NOCs with projects especially targeting young people.

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Development through sport

Social Development Through Sport

To help build a better world through sport, the IOC devises programmes that offer concrete answers to social inequalities and poverty. The IOC supports numerous projects in cooperation with organisations specialising in humanitarian aid and development, including key NGOs, the United Nations and Olympic Movement stakeholders.

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IOC Sport for Hope Programme.  Port-au-Prince Haiti. 2016.

Sport for Hope

The Sport for Hope Programme is a joint initiative between the IOC, its Olympic Movement stakeholders and the local governments. In establishing Sport for Hope Centres in developing countries, the programme aims to provide young people and local communities with positive sports development opportunities, offer state-of-the-art training facilities to the National Federations and the athletes of the country, and spread the Olympic values of excellence, friendship and respect. In addition, the Sport for Hope Centres also serve as platforms for social development and innovative cooperation to contribute to a better and more peaceful world through sport.

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Sports for Hope Programme in Zambia 2010

Peace Through Sport

The IOC was founded in 1894 on the belief that sport can contribute to peace and to the harmonious development of humankind. The Olympic Movement continues to work on a daily basis to use sport to promote peace and the Olympic principles around the world.

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Olympic Truce Monument

Olympic Truce

The IOC revived the ancient concept of the Olympic Truce that allowed participants to travel to and from the Olympic Games in total safety with a view to protecting the interests of athletes and sport in general. The IOC encourages all UN Member States to sign the Olympic Truce and find peaceful and diplomatic solutions to conflicts around the world.

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President Bach at the UN

Cooperation with the UN

The United Nations has long recognised the contribution of sport for development and peace, and collaboration between the IOC and the UN has played a central role in spreading the acceptance of sport as a means to promote internationally agreed development goals.

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Olympic Studies Centre - Lausanne

Olympic Studies Centre

As the source of reference for Olympic knowledge, the Olympic Studies Centre is aimed at researchers and professionals interested in Olympism. Its mission is to share this knowledge by providing information, giving access to our unique collections, encouraging research and stimulating intellectual exchange.

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Olympic Foundation for Culture & Heritage

The Olympic Foundation for Culture and Heritage is the heart of the IOC’s cultural and educational activities, it is one of the driving forces behind the international promotion and dissemination of Olympism and it manages all forms of IOC’s heritage.

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Olympic Day - Thailand

Olympic Day

Olympic Day was introduced in 1948 to commemorate the birth of the modern Olympic Games on 23 June 1894 at the Sorbonne in Paris. Every year the IOC encourages everyone – regardless of age, gender or athletic ability – to get active on 23 June.

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