Founding of the IOC Executive Board

The Executive Board (EB) of the International Olympic Committee manages the affairs of the IOC and makes recommendations to the IOC Session.

The Executive Board was formed in 1921 and was at that time known as the Executive Committee. Since becoming IOC President in 1896, Baron Pierre de Coubertin had basically run the IOC as a one-man shop. At the 1921 Olympic Congress, Coubertin announced that he was planning a long trip and would be unable to attend to the affairs of the IOC during that time, and suggested that an Executive Committee should be formed to help with the management. This proposal was passed unanimously by the Congress.

Portrait of Godefroy DE BLONAY IOC member (SUI) from 1899 to 1937
© IOC - Portrait of Godefroy de Blonay, IOC member (SUI) from 1899 to 1937

The Executive Committee originally consisted of only five members, with a President, Vice-President, Secretary and two members at large. The first President of the Executive Committee was Baron Godefroy de Blonay (SUI), who served from 1921 to 1923. Blonay had been the IOC Interim President during World War I while Coubertin was in the French military.

Meeting of the IOC Executive Board, Lausanne, 1949© IOC - Meeting of the IOC Executive Board, Lausanne, 1949

The Executive Board, renamed in 1955, stayed approximately that size until the mid-1960s, when Avery Brundage was IOC President. In 1966, the IOC formed two new positions, designating a 1st and 2nd Vice-President, and increased the size of the Board to nine members, with six members at large. A position of 3rd Vice-President was added in 1968, but the Board stayed at nine members.

Meeting of the IOC Executive Board in Calgary, 1985© IOC - Meeting of the IOC Executive Board in Calgary, 1985

In 1985, the Executive Board again increased in size to 11 members, and in 1989 the position of 4th Vice-President was added. The Board stayed that size until 2000, when four new positions were added, bringing the total number of Board members to 15. Those positions were for representatives of the NOCs, Summer IFs, Winter IFs and athletes, and the Board has remained that size, with those positions. Executive Board members are elected by the IOC Session. The Vice-Presidents and Board members are elected for four-year periods.

The EB meets just prior to IOC Sessions, and also several times per year. Generally, there are four EB meetings each year, usually spaced out about three months apart. The EB meetings prior to Sessions are held in the city hosting the Session, but most of the other yearly meetings are conducted at the IOC headquarters in Lausanne. Most EB meetings are well attended by the international sporting media, with press conferences usually held daily and the IOC Media team releasing multiple daily updates, especially now in the age of social media, on the meeting’s decisions, announcements and findings.

More information

Today's IOC Executive Board
The Executive Board consists of the International Olympic Committee President, four Vice-Presidents and ten other members. All the members of the Executive Board are elected by the Session, by secret ballot, by a majority of votes cast, for a four-year term.
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100th anniversary of the IOC EB celebrated in Ancient Olympia
IOC President Thomas Bach attends the ceremony to commemorate 100 years of the IOC Executive Board
The 100th anniversary of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Executive Board (EB) was celebrated in Ancient Olympia. With the President of the Hellenic Republic, Katerina Sakellaropoulou, in attendance, the IOC EB assembled for a ceremony at the Coubertin Grove, the place where the heart of the IOC’s founder, Pierre de Coubertin, is buried.
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Evolution of the IOC


More about IOC history

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