Nominations open for the fourth edition of the IOC Coaches Lifetime Achievement Awards

13 Sep 2022
IOC News Athletes

Acknowledging and celebrating the pivotal role of coaches in athletes’ lives on and off the field of play, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has opened the nominations for the latest edition of the IOC Coaches Lifetime Achievement Awards. 

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Now a well-established honour after three successful editions, the IOC Coaches Lifetime Achievement Awards are an opportunity for coaches who have gone above and beyond in assisting athletes on their Olympic journeys to be celebrated by those they work with. Run by the IOC Athletes’ Entourage Commission, the awards provide a platform to acknowledge coaches’ accomplishments and commitment to the Olympic values.

The nominations period is now open for the fourth edition of the awards and will close on 26 October 2022. Nominations can be made by Olympians, International Federations, National Olympic Committees, members of the IOC Athletes’ or Athletes’ Entourage Commissions, and IOC Members. Awards will be presented to one female coach and one male coach, either active or retired, whose athletes have participated in at least one edition of either the Olympic Summer or Winter Games and who have carried out exceptional work supporting athletes.

For information on how to nominate a coach, please visit IOC Coaches Award - Athlete365.

Celebrating a unique partnership

“Coaches are pivotal in helping athletes fulfil their potential and be at their best. Not only are they experts in their sporting fields, but they are also pillars of support and guidance throughout an athlete’s career, both on and off the field of play,” said Olympic champion Sergii Bubka, Chair of the IOC Athletes’ Entourage Commission and IOC Member. “The relationship between athlete and coach is fundamental to performance and fulfilment, and we are delighted to be able to celebrate it with these awards.”

Athletics coach Malcolm Arnold from Great Britain and artistic gymnastics coach Ulla Koch from Germany IOC

The winners will follow in the footsteps of athletics coach Malcolm Arnold from Great Britain and artistic gymnastics coach Ulla Koch from Germany, the most recent recipients of the awards. Arnold’s coaching career spanned almost 60 years, during which he trained three Olympic champions from three different countries. Koch, meanwhile, started coaching in 1975 and has been Germany’s artistic gymnastics head coach since 2005; last year she led the German team at Tokyo 2020 – her fourth Olympic Games.

This edition’s winners will be selected by a panel appointed by IOC President Thomas Bach and composed of two IOC Members from the IOC Athletes’ Entourage Commission; Sergii Bubka, the commission’s Chair; and two members of the IOC Athletes’ Commission.

Two-time Olympic medallist golfer Lydia Ko from New Zealand explained the comprehensive impact coaches can have on athletes’ careers. “My coach has helped me from a technical standpoint, but also to clear questions in my head. Every time I talk to him, I feel like I get a lot of his great energy and great advice. He's been much more than just a technical swing coach to me – he has been like a mentor and has helped a lot.”

Empowering coaches to pursue their dreams

Another illustration of the IOC’s commitment to supporting coaches and, more specifically, helping more women reach elite coaching positions, is the successful launch earlier in 2022 of the Women in Sport High Performance Pathway (WISH) programme. The four-year initiative, supported by
USD 1 million in Olympic Solidarity funding, will help around 100 high-potential women coaches progress to the highest levels of their sport.

The first two cohorts of coaches have already joined the programme, during which they will take part in a week-long residential with their cohort and receive one-to-one mentoring over a 21-month period to develop their leadership, problem-solving and self-assessment skills.

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