Courtesy: International Olympic Committee
The IOC Athletes’ Commission is set to invite the largest ever contingent of international athlete representatives to Lausanne, Switzerland, from 13 to 15 April 2019 for the bi-annual IOC International Athletes’ Forum.
Athlete representatives from all 206 National Olympic Committee athletes’ commissions will be added to the list of invitees for the first time, increasing the expected participation to around 350 athlete representatives and making this the biggest ever gathering of its kind.
Other participants on the IOC Athletes’ Commission’s invitation list include the athletes’ commissions of all the Olympic Summer and Winter International Sports Federations, the Association of National Olympic Committees (ANOC), the Continental Associations of National Olympic Committees, the Organizing Committees for the Olympic Games, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) and the World Olympians Association (WOA).
“The 9th International Athletes’ Forum will provide an excellent opportunity to further unite the voice of the global community of athletes’ commissions,” said Kirsty Coventry, Chair of the IOC Athletes’ Commission. “But most importantly, it gives us a chance to listen to each other, have constructive discussions on critical topics and learn collectively from our experiences.”
IOC President Thomas Bach said: “The Athletes’ Commission has come a long way since the 1981 Olympic Congress in Baden-Baden, when I, together with my then fellow athletes, started this journey. Now, it is clearly the legitimate voice of the elected athletes from around the world. Through Olympic Agenda 2020, the IOC has taken significant measures to strengthen support to athletes through our solidarity model. The International Athletes’ Forum is an invaluable opportunity to ensure that the athletes’ voice is effective and valued at every level of sports administration.”
The IOC Athletes’ Commission Strategy was launched at the 2017 International Athletes’ Forum. At its core is the desire to further strengthen athlete representation in decision-making bodies, to make sure that the athletes’ viewpoint is heard at the highest level across all Olympic Movement stakeholders, and to empower athletes’ commissions and their members to become effective leaders.
“I’m very proud to announce that the IOC Athletes’ Commission is able, for the first time, to extend the invitation to representatives from all National Olympic Committee athletes’ commissions,” continued Coventry. “Increasing the NOC representation will ensure that viewpoints from every corner of the Olympic Movement are expressed during our Forum, which also highlights the importance of our solidarity as the global network of athlete representatives. I am particularly excited that the 2019 International Athletes’ Forum will be by far the largest-ever gathering of athlete representatives for the Olympic Movement.”
Part of the implementation of the IOC Athletes’ Commission Strategy, approved during the 2017 IOC International Athletes’ Forum, is the development and delivery of the Athletes’ Rights and Responsibilities Declaration (Athletes’ Declaration), officially adopted at the IOC Session in Buenos Aires in October 2018.
“Building on the historic adoption of the Athletes’ Declaration, this is another unprecedented and ground-breaking step for athlete representation, underlining our ‘all in’ approach to ensure that the athletes’ voice is an effective and valued voice at every level of the sports movement,” Coventry added.
About the IOC
The International Olympic Committee is a not-for-profit independent international organization 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 organizations at all levels around the world.