IOC launches a new online educational platform for athletes

31 Mar 2014
IOC News Athletes

Recognising that many athletes face the challenge of pursuing their education whilst focusing on their sporting career, the IOC has developed, in collaboration with a number of its commissions, including the IOC Athletes' and Entourage Commissions, an online platform delivering free, engaging, educational content to a worldwide athlete audience. Known as IOC Athlete MOOC (Massive Open Online Course), this platform goes live today!

Bringing together Olympic champions, world-renowned coaches, leading academics and inspiring leaders, the IOC Athlete MOOC features academic lectures delivered by prominent institutions from around the world, video insights, online live events, discussion forums and various learning resources. In addition to already existing sample lessons, those registered can now follow three new exclusive courses entitled Smarter Eating for Better Performance, Can Champions Be Made and Athlete Career Transition.

Smarter Eating for Better Performance
Exploring the fundamentals of nutrition for athletes, this course examines the impact diet can have on training and competition. Led by Professor Ron Maughan, Chair of the IOC Medical Commission’s Nutrition Working Group, this 70-minute lesson will provide athletes and their entourage with insights into what foods to eat, when, the purpose of protein and carbohydrate post-exercise, and how best to stay hydrated.

Can Champions Be Made?
How do we identify talent? Which is the greater influence: nature or nurture? Throughout the 70-minute lesson, Professor Craig Williams, Director of Children’s Health and Exercise Research Centre and Director of Postgraduate Studies in Sport and Health Sciences, delves into the theories and practices of taking raw talents and turning them into champions, ultimately addressing what is the best way to maximise a young talented athlete’s potential. 

Athlete Career Transition (coming soon)
As former biathlete and Olympic champion Vincent Defrasne outlines in the introduction: “at some point, every athlete has to retire” and find a new career outside the field of play. This two-hour course will look at the Athlete Career Programme (ACP), and how best to prepare for the transition from elite sport to a successful career post-competition.

Split into five instructional videos, from where to start to next steps, participants are given tools to identify their strengths, passions and the many transferrable skills they gained during their sports careers, receiving advice from employment professionals such as Adecco Senior Vice President Patrick J Glennon. It also features additional testimonials from IOC Athletes’ Commission Vice Chair, Olympian and Harvard graduate, Angela Ruggiero; former US boxing champion, Angel Bovee, hired in 2011 by Adecco and the United States Olympic Committee to manage the Team USA Career Programme; and Barbara Kendall, New Zealand’s boardsailing gold medallist and a member of the IOC Athletes’ Commission, and the IOC Commissions for Women and Sport as well as Sport and Environment.
“Focused on giving you an overview of each pillar of the ACP, this course will give you first-hand experience from Olympic athletes and help guide your way through education, life skills and employment”, remarks Defrasne. “As an elite athlete, this course will interest you for sure.”

Olympians give their seal of approval

Commenting on the IOC Athlete MOOC, Sergey Bubka, Chair of the Entourage Commission, said: “The lives of athletes are really busy. They travel all over the world; they spend a lot of time training; but when athletes start studying online, the can successfully combine sport and education.”

Chairwomen of the IOC Athletes’ Commission Claudia Bokel added: “Whether you’re an Olympian or aspiring athlete, this free, mobile and engaging platform will help you make the most of learning from the best in the world of sport!”

Find more information and to sign up for the IOC Athlete MOOC, click here: or go to the Athletes’ Space on


back to top