2-4-2014 IOC Opening Session

February 4 2013


The IOC Session, which is the general meeting of the members of the IOC and is its supreme decision-making body, will feature discussions about the future of the Olympic Movement and a strategic roadmap, the so-called Olympic Agenda 2020, reports from different areas of the IOC’s activities, a presentation by Sochi 2014 on the final preparations for the Games, the election of new IOC members, and votes on positions on the IOC Executive Board.


In his presentation formally opening the IOC Session, President Thomas Bach spoke of a very deliberative process which will culminate in decisions at an Extraordinary IOC Session in Monaco in December.


Reading between the lines, a fair observation is that final decisions on softball and baseball vis the 2020 Tokyo Games may not be taken until December.


Moreover, there has been public expression that softball and baseball may be approved only for Tokyo.


As enthusiastic as softball partisans were vis Bach’s remarks about eliminating the seven-year waiting rule, it behooves people to remember that the IOC would also have to increase the number of Olympic venues, now set at 26, and that the IOC Executive Board in Nanjing opened the door to let sports like skate boarding, climbing, and roller sports  make presentations – which could also benefit from a relaxation of the seven-year rule.


Excerpts from President Bach’s speech:


The 126th IOC Session whose work will start tomorrow offers us a great opportunity to look to the future of the Olympic Movement as we prepare our strategic roadmap, the Olympic Agenda 2020. Some people asked me why I started this dialogue for change immediately after my election, not yet five months ago…


And I would like to encourage you, my dear friends and colleagues, to contribute even more in the general debate which has been scheduled in our Session for one and a half days.


We should not expect any immediate decisions


First we want to have an open, transparent discussion about the future of the Olympic Movement. We want to collect even more ideas and positions. After this Olympic Winter Games working groups and commissions including representatives of our stakeholders will have the task of transforming all these debates into recommendations for decisions.


These decisions we will take all together at an Extraordinary IOC Session from the 7th to 9th December this year in Monaco, establishing our Olympic Agenda 2020.


After my many conversations and meetings I expect this debate to be mainly around three major topics.

There is the topic of sustainability. We need to ensure the uniqueness and relevance of the Olympic Games by devising an over arching concept of sustainability. In this context we can address questions about restructuring the bidding procedure by giving more room for creativity and diversity to the candidate cities, by focusing more on sustainability and legacy from the very beginning. We can discuss the composition of the programme, the management, the cost and the legacy of the Olympic Games.


There is the topic of credibility. This is extremely important for our future.  Here we should speak about the credibility of the sports competitions as well as about the credibility of the sport organizations.

With regard to the sports competitions we should focus on our ultimate goal, on our ultimate responsibility: It is all about the clean athletes. The fight for the clean athletes this should be our motto in the Olympic Agenda 2020. Fighting for the clean athletes means we have to protect them from doping, any kind of manipulation and related corruption. Therefore the IOC has already before this Olympic Games increased the number of pre-competition anti-doping tests by 57% compared to Vancouver 2010.


We have also created two funds of 10 Million Dollars each, to improve anti-doping research and to better fight against match fixing. We invite the governments of the world, with whom we share equally the responsibility for the World Anti-Doping Agency to match this additional contribution of the IOC. This is on top of the world-wide investment in the fight against doping which represents about 300.000 anti-doping tests per year and an overall financial investment estimated by experts to be around half a billion dollars per year.


With regard to strengthening the fight against match-fixing and related corruption, the IOC signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Interpol just a couple of days ago.


As far as the credibility of sports organizations is concerned we will discuss how we can improve our good governance, how we can create more transparency, how we can protect our responsible autonomy which we need to accomplish our global mission.


There is the topic of youth. There will be no Olympic future without an Olympic youth. Therefore we have to consider how we can convince the youth of the world not only to watch, but to play sport.

We have to find ways to get the “couch potatoes” off the couch.


In this context we should speak about education, about the Olympic athletes as role models and also about the development of the Youth Olympic Games. Already for theiredition in Nanjing the IOC Executive Board last December opened the door to some young sports and disciplines like climbing, skateboarding and rollersports to make a presentation.


For making the dreams of the Olympic Athletes come true, for turning our

anticipation into reality, these topics of Sustainability, Credibility and Youth are key.

Let us address these topics with an open mind, let us think “out of the box” whenever necessary, let us undertake to shape our future, let us create “Unity in Diversity.” end



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *