IOC INTERNATIONAL ATHLETES’ FORUM
The programme began with a Q&A session with IOC President Thomas Bach, addressing topics such as anti-doping, preparations for the upcoming Olympic Winter Games and athlete rights.
After that, the IOC AC presented an overview of the Commission’s new Strategy, introducing its four pillars to be discussed at the Forum. The pillars were: Empowering athlete participation in Olympic Movement decision-making; Supporting athlete development in their sporting and non-sporting careers; Promoting athlete involvement in decision-making across the Olympic Movement; and Ensuring athlete representation in decision-making across the Olympic Movement.
Development of a ground-breaking Athletes’ Declaration of Rights and Responsibilities was also a key priority, and the Declaration’s Steering Committee held a first productive meeting during the Forum. Key themes outlined within the Declaration included communication, governance, career transition and well-being.
The Forum ended with a presentation on the conclusions and outcomes of the weekend’s discussions, and the launch of a new resource dedicated to athlete support: Athlete365. A session expanding upon the different strands of Athlete365 with dedicated workshops on each of the areas of support concluded the Forum.
IOC President Thomas Bach joined over 100 athlete representatives from organisations across the Olympic Movement, including NOCs, IFs, Continental Associations, the IPC, WADA, and the WOA.
- The four pillars of the IOC AC Strategy
- The fight against doping
- Empowering ACs
- Athletes’ Declaration of Rights and Responsibilities
Outcomes and recommendations
Participants at the 8th International Athletes’ Forum united behind the newly launched IOC AC Strategy, and it was agreed that the four pillars it included would shape the IOC AC’s work in the coming years. IOC AC Chair Angela Ruggiero summed up the key priorities based on the feedback from athletes throughout the Forum, and these would be given extra attention in the implementation of the strategy. These were:
- Strong network: The Forum recognises the need for a strong network of athletes’ commissions across the globe that is united and connected.
- Clear communication: This network of athletes’ commissions and the IOC must work towards better, clearer, and more consistent communication, to keep athletes at the heart of the Olympic Movement.
- Credible commissions: Athletes’ commissions must strive to make themselves the true voice and an accurate representation of athletes, to ensure that they are a credible and reliable place for athletes to turn to for their opinions and needs to be heard.