The biggest-ever International Athletes’ Forum (IAF) to take place in Lausanne from 13 to 15 April 2019

04 Apr 2019
IOC News Press Release

Building on a successful 2017 International Athletes’ Forum, the International Olympic Committee Athletes’ Commission (IOC AC) is pleased to announce the attendee list in 2019 will top 300.

All 206 National Olympic Committee ACs have been invited for the first time to the IAF. and will join the International Federation ACs, WADA AC, ACs of the Organising Committees for the Olympic Games, the Continental Athletes’ Association and International Paralympic Committee ACs, making the 2019 edition the biggest-ever.

During the meeting, participants will have open discussions, the opportunity to put questions to the IOC AC members and the IOC President, Thomas Bach, and go into detail on many topics through plenary sessions, breakouts and panel discussions.

The IOC Athletes’ Commission Strategy, launched in November 2017 at the 8th IAF, will be among the subjects discussed, as well as the Athletes’ Declaration of Rights and Responsibilities, a document conceived at the same time and endorsed by the IOC Session in October 2018. Other topics include athlete support from the IOC, anti-doping, athletes’ safeguarding and mental health.

“The athlete world is complex, facing different needs and issues in many areas. The 9th International Athletes’ Forum will give us a chance to listen to each other, have constructive discussions on critical topics and learn collectively from our experiences,” said Kirsty Coventry, Chair of the IOC Athletes’ Commission. “The athletes’ voices are invaluable, and having the NOC Athletes’ Commissions present, with all other participants, at this edition will ensure an even more diverse and effective exchange of views”.

The IAF will be an opportunity for athlete representatives to become more empowered to better run their AC and be more conscious about the influential role they can have on the sports movement.

The World Olympians Association (WOA) will welcome a further 148 participants from 110 National Olympians Associations (NOAs) to the Olympic Capital in the following days for the World Olympians Forum (WOF). It will kick off on 16 April after a joint day (15 April) with the IAF, organised to discuss the different but complimentary roles that the ACs and NOAs have in supporting athletes and Olympians in all stages of their lives, and opportunities for collaboration at a national level. The joint session is part of a wider commitment between the WOA and the IOC Athletes’ Commission to work in collaboration to ensure there is continuous support to athletes and Olympians at all stages of their lives.

Under the theme Olympians for Life, the WOF will focus on strengthening the capabilities of NOAs and celebrating Olympians within the Olympic Movement, highlighting their vital role as ambassadors for the Olympic ideals.

The Olympians present will be involved in workshops, a Grants Challenge and sessions all aimed at upskilling and providing the tools necessary for them to become effective ambassadors for the Olympic Movement and to fulfil their role supporting the needs of Olympians at all stages of their lives. IOC President Thomas Bach will also take part in a Q&A session at the World Olympians Forum.

Note for media:

  • Attendance at the IAF and WOF will be restricted to members of Athletes’ Commissions and National Olympic Associations.
  • All the plenary sessions of the IAF on 13 and 14 April will be live-streamed on the IOC media YouTube channel.
  • The IAF agenda can be found here, including the time schedule of the live-streamed sessions.


The International Olympic Committee is a not-for-profit independent international organisation made up of volunteers, which is committed to building a better world through sport. It redistributes more than 90 per cent of its income to the wider sporting movement, which means that every day the equivalent of 3.4 million US dollars goes to help athletes and sports organisations at all levels around the world.


For more information, please contact the IOC Media Relations Team:
Tel: +41 21 621 6000, email:, or visit our web site at

Broadcast quality footage

The IOC Newsroom:




For an extensive selection of photos available shortly after each event, please follow us on Flickr.

To request archive photos and footage, please contact our Images team at:

Social media

For up-to-the-minute information on the IOC and regular updates, please follow us on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.

back to top