Dear Athletes,

I’d like to take this opportunity to provide you with an update following the productive discussions at both the IOC Executive Board meeting and last week’s Olympic Summit.

On 30 November, I gave an update on the Athletes’ Rights and Responsibilities Declaration to the IOC Executive Board (EB), during our meeting in Tokyo. The Declaration was also at the top of the agenda at the 7th Olympic Summit on 8 December in Lausanne. The Olympic Summit participants emphasised the significance of the Declaration and agreed to implement it in their own organisations and to encourage all their stakeholders to do the same.

We are thrilled that the project has been welcomed so warmly since its official adoption in October, at the IOC Session in Buenos Aires; and the positive feedback we received from the EB and the Olympic Summit follows encouraging support from across the Olympic Movement.

Global endorsement

Last month, the Association of Summer Olympic International Federations (ASOIF) endorsed the Declaration at its Council meeting, and the Association of National Olympic Committees (ANOC) adopted and pledged to implement the Declaration at its General Assembly in Tokyo, where I was also invited to present it on behalf of the Steering Committee.

Receiving support and endorsement from ASOIF and ANOC underlines the importance of this historic document, which is developed by athletes, for athletes. It was also fantastic to have such vocal support from the IOC President during his keynote speech at the ANOC General Assembly.

Athletes mobilise behind Declaration

At a continental level, representatives from more than 80 NOC Athletes’ Commissions at the PanAm Sports Athletes’ Forum in October and the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) Athletes’ Forum in November fully supported the initiative, and included the adoption of the Declaration as one of their Forum recommendations. I was in Tokyo for the Asian Athletes’ Forum with other members of the IOC Athletes’ Commission, and it was great to feel the fresh energy coming from the athlete representatives there.

Other athlete organisations to fully support the Declaration include the ANOC Athletes’ Commission, all five Continental Associations’ Athletes’ Commissions, and the World Olympians Association. Others, like the Canadian Athletes’ Commission, have publicly expressed support, while the New Zealand NOC is starting the process of embedding the Declaration in its formal policies and processes. On an IF level, the FIS fully endorsed the Declaration at its Autumn Council meeting.

It is exciting to see these developments happening so quickly, and, on behalf of the Steering Committee, I would like to thank everyone from the global athlete community who has supported this ground-breaking initiative to this point. Our Commission looks forward to hosting nearly 350 athlete representatives from across the Olympic Movement at the 8th International Athletes’ Forum from 13 to 15 April, when we will discuss the Declaration in greater detail.

An improved strategy for engagement

At the IOC EB meeting, I was also delighted to obtain approval on another important, athlete-focused project: our Athlete Engagement Strategy 2.0.

A continuation of the increased support we have offered to athletes over the past two years – and in particular since the launch of Athlete365 a year ago – this is another key step towards enhancing our engagement with athletes worldwide, using three pillars: Empower, Excite and Inspire.

These pillars will be delivered in the build-up to Tokyo 2020, as we strive to increase our support and engagement with you in your preparation for the Olympic Games; in your career transition; in raising your profile and celebrating your achievements; and in empowering you to become visible ambassadors and role models for the Olympic Movement. Keep following @Athlete365 on social media for the next steps and don’t hesitate to get in touch with us by email via


In the Olympic spirit,

Kirsty Coventry,

IOC Athletes’ Commission Chair

I would like to thank everyone from the global athlete community who has supported this ground-breaking initiative to this point