Olympic values

The three values of Olympism are excellence, friendship and respect. They constitute the foundation on which the Olympic Movement builds its activities to promote sport, culture and education with a view to building a better world.

The original values of Olympism as expressed in the Olympic Charter were to “encourage effort”, “preserve human dignity” and “develop harmony”.

Over time, they have evolved and are now expressed in more contemporary terms as:

  • Striving for excellence and encouraging people to be the best they can be.
  • Celebrating friendship, which is quite unique to the Olympic Games – an event that brings people together every few years.
  • Demonstrating respect in many different manners: respect towards yourself, the rules, your opponents, the environment, the public, etc.

This is the idea of setting your rivalries aside. There is more that unites us than divides us.

Olympism is a philosophy of life, exalting and combining in a balanced whole the qualities of body, will and mind. Blending sport with culture and education, Olympism seeks to create a way of life based on the joy found in effort, the educational value of good example and respect for universal fundamental ethical principles.

The goal of the Olympic Movement is to contribute to building a peaceful and better world by educating youth through sport practiced without discrimination of any kind and in the Olympic spirit, which requires mutual understanding with a spirit of friendship, solidarity and fair play.

More information

IOC principles
A phoenix is suspended over the Olympic Cauldron at the Closing ceremony at London 2012
The IOC is at the very heart of world sport, supporting every Olympic Movement stakeholder, promoting Olympism worldwide, and overseeing the regular celebration of the Olympic Games. The IOC is also committed to promoting sport in society, strengthening the integrity of sport and supporting clean athletes and other sports organisations.
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The IOC as an organisation
Established in on 23 June 1894, the International Olympic Committee is a not-for-profit independent international organisation. Based in Lausanne, Switzerland, the Olympic Capital, it is entirely privately funded and distributes 90 per cent of its revenues to the wider sporting movement, for the development of sport and athletes at all levels.
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