International Olympic Committee

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Coordinates: 46°31′5″N 6°35′49″E / 46.51806°N 6.59694°E / 46.51806; 6.59694

International Olympic Committee
Comité International Olympique
Olympic rings without rims.svg
Motto Citius, Altius, Fortius
(Latin: Faster, higher, stronger)
Formation 23 June 1894; 123 years ago (1894-06-23)
Type Sports federation
Headquarters Lausanne, Switzerland
Membership
105 active members, 32 honorary members, 2 honour members (Senegal and United States)
Official language
English, French
and the host country's official language when necessary
Honorary President
Dr. Jacques Rogge[1]
Dr. Thomas Bach [1]
Vice Presidents
Mr. Yu Zaiqing
Mr. J.A. Samaranch
Prof. Dr. Uğur Erdener
Ms. Anita DeFrantz[1]
Website www.olympic.org

The International Olympic Committee (IOC; French: Comité International Olympique, CIO) is the supreme authority of the worldwide Olympic movement. Based in Lausanne, Switzerland, IOC is a non-profit independent international organisation made up of volunteers, which is committed to building a better world through sport. It redistributes more than 90 percent of its income to the wider sporting movement, which means that every day the equivalent of US$ 3.4 million goes to help athletes and sports organisations at all levels around the world. Its mission is enshrined in the Olympic Charter: to support the development of competitive sport by ethical and environmentally sustainable means.

History[edit]

The IOC was created by Pierre de Coubertin, on 23 June 1894 with Demetrios Vikelas as its first president. As of June 2017, its membership consists of 95 active members, 41 honorary members, an honorary president (Jacques Rogge) and one honour member (Henry Kissinger).[2] The IOC is the supreme authority of the worldwide modern Olympic movement.

The IOC organises the modern Olympic Games and Youth Olympic Games, held in summer and winter, every four years. The first Summer Olympics organised by the IOC was held in Athens, Greece, in 1896; the first Winter Olympics was in Chamonix, France, in 1924. Until 1992, both Summer and Winter Olympics were held in the same year. After that year, however, the IOC shifted the Winter Olympics to the even years between Summer Games, to help space the planning of the two events from one another, and improve the financial balance of the IOC, which receives greater income on Olympic years. The first Summer Youth Olympics were in Singapore in 2010 and the first Winter Youth Olympics were held in Innsbruck in 2012.

In 2009, the UN General Assembly granted the IOC Permanent Observer status. This decision enables the IOC to be directly involved in the UN Agenda and to attend UN General Assembly meetings where it can take the floor. This has provided the possibility to promote sport at a new level. In addition, in 1993, the UN General Assembly approved a Resolution that further solidified IOC–UN cooperation with the decision to revive the Olympic Truce, by adopting a Resolution entitled “Building a peaceful and better world through sport and the Olympic ideal,” which calls upon Member States to observe the Olympic Truce before every iteration of the games, and to cooperate with the IOC and the International Paralympic Committee in their efforts to use sport as a tool to promote peace, dialogue and reconciliation in areas of conflict during and beyond the period of the Olympic and Paralympic Games.[3]

During each proclamation at the Olympics, announcers speak in different languages, French is always spoken first followed by an English translation and the dominant language of the host nation.

Mission and role[edit]

The stated mission of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) is to promote Olympic throughout the world and to lead the Olympic Movement.[4]

  • To encourage and support the organisation, development and coordination of sport and sports competitions;
  • To ensure the regular celebration of the Olympic Games;
  • To cooperate with the competent public or private organisations and authorities in the endeavour to place sport at the service of humanity and thereby to promote peace;
  • To act against any form of discrimination affecting the Olympic Movement;
  • To encourage and support the promotion of women in sport at all levels and in all structures with a view to implementing the principle of equality of men and women;

IOC Executive Board[edit]

Designation Name Country
Honorary President Dr. Jacques Rogge  Belgium
President Dr. Thomas Bach  Germany
Vice-Presidents Mr. Yu Zaiqing  China
Mr. Juan Antonio Samaranch, Jr.  Spain
Prof. Dr. Uğur Erdener  Turkey
Ms. Anita DeFrantz  United States
Executive Members Mrs. Gunilla Lindberg  Sweden
Mr. Wu Ching-kuo  Chinese Taipei
Mr. Gian-Franco Kasper   Switzerland
Mrs. Angela Ruggiero  United States
Dr. Sergey Bubka  Ukraine
Mr. Ng Ser Miang  Singapore
Mr. Willi Kaltschmitt Luján  Guatemala
Dr. Robin E. Mitchell  Fiji
Mrs. Nicole Hoevertsz  Aruba
Dr. Denis Oswald   Switzerland
Director General Mr. Christophe De Kepper  Belgium

IOC Commissions[edit]

Commission Chairman/Chairperson Country
IOC Athletes' Commission Mrs. Angela Ruggiero  United States
IOC Athletes' Entourage Commission Dr. Sergey Bubka  Ukraine
IOC Audit Committee Mr. Pierre-Olivier Beckers-Vieujant  Belgium
IOC Communication Commission Mr. Camiel Eurlings  Netherlands
IOC Coordination Commission Beijing 2022 Mr. Alexander Zhukov  Russia
IOC Coordination Commission Pyeongchang 2018 Mrs. Gunilla Lindberg  Sweden
IOC Coordination Commission Tokyo 2020 Mr. John Coates  Australia
IOC Coordination Commission Buenos Aires 2018 (YOG) Ms. Li Lingwei*  China
IOC Coordination Commission Lausanne 2020 (YOG) Ms. Danka Barteková  Slovakia
IOC Culture and Olympic Heritage Commission Mr. Wu Ching-kuo  Chinese Taipei
IOC Digital and Technology Commission Dr. Gerardo Werthein  Argentina
IOC Ethics Commission Ban Ki-moon  South Korea
IOC Evaluation Commission Paris 2024/Los Angeles 2028 Mr. Patrick Baumann   Switzerland
IOC Finance Commission Mr. Ng Ser Miang  Singapore
IOC Members Election Commission HRH Anne, Princess Royal  United Kingdom
IOC Legal Affairs Commission Mr. John Coates  Australia
IOC Marketing Commission Mr. Tsunekazu Takeda  Japan
IOC Medical and Scientific Commission Prof. Dr. Uğur Erdener  Turkey
IOC Olympic Channel Commission Mr. Larry Probst  United States
IOC Olympic Education Commission Mr. Barry Maister  New Zealand
IOC Olympic Programme Commission Mr. Franco Carraro  Italy
IOC Olympic Solidarity Commission HE Sheikh Ahmed Al-Fahad Al-Ahmed Al-Sabah  Kuwait
IOC Commission for Public Affairs and Social Development Through Sport Mr. Mario Pescante  Italy
IOC Sport and Active Society Commission Mr. Sam Ramsamy  South Africa
IOC Sustainability and Legacy Commission HSH Albert II, Prince of Monaco  Monaco
IOC Women in Sport Commission Ms. Lydia Nsekera  Burundi

(*) Interim Chairperson

Organization[edit]

IOC Session[edit]

The IOC Session is the general meeting of the members of the IOC, held once a year in which each member has one vote. It is the IOC’s supreme organ and its decisions are final.

Extraordinary Sessions may be convened by the President or upon the written request of at least one third of the members.

Among others, the powers of the Session are:

  • To adopt or amend the Olympic Charter.
  • To elect the members of the IOC, the Honorary President and the honorary members.
  • To elect the President, the Vice-Presidents and all other members of the IOC Executive Board.
  • To elect the host city of the Olympic Games.

Honours[edit]

In addition to the Olympic medals for competitors, the IOC awards a number of other honours:

  • the IOC President's Trophy is the highest sports award given to athletes who have excelled in their sport and had an extraordinary career and created a lasting impact on their sport.
  • the Pierre de Coubertin medal is awarded to athletes who demonstrate a special spirit of sportsmanship in Olympic events
  • the Olympic Cup is awarded to institutions or associations with a record of merit and integrity in actively developing the Olympic Movement
  • the Olympic Order is awarded to individuals for particularly distinguished contributions to the Olympic Movement, and superseded the Olympic Certificate.
  • the Olympic Laurel is awarded to individuals for promoting education, culture, development, and peace through sport.[5]

IOC members[edit]

The first IOC, at the 1896 Athens Games

For most of its existence, the IOC was controlled by members who were selected by other members. Countries that had hosted the Games were allowed two members. When named, they did not become the representatives of their respective countries to the IOC, but rather the opposite, IOC members in their respective countries.

Cessation of membership[edit]

The membership of IOC members ceases in the following circumstances:[6]

  1. Resignation: any IOC member may cease their membership at any time by delivering a written resignation to the President.
  2. Non re-election: any IOC member ceases to be a member without further formality if they are not re-elected.
  3. Age limit: any IOC member ceases to be a member at the end of the calendar year during which they reach the age of 80.
  4. Failure to attend Sessions or take active part in IOC work for two consecutive years.
  5. Transfer of domicile or of main center of interests to a country other than the country which was theirs at the time of their election.
  6. Members elected as active athletes cease to be a member upon ceasing to be a member of the IOC Athletes' Commission.
  7. Presidents and individuals holding an executive or senior leadership position within NOCs, world or continental associations of NOCs, IFs or associations of IFs, or other organisations recognised by the IOC cease to be a member upon ceasing to exercise the function they were exercising at the time of their election.
  8. Expulsion: an IOC member may be expelled by decision of the Session if such member has betrayed their oath or if the Session considers that such member has neglected or knowingly jeopardised the interests of the IOC or acted in a way which is unworthy of the IOC.

International federations recognised by IOC[edit]

There are currently 73 sport federations recognised by IOC.[7] These are:

Olympic marketing[edit]

In the early 1980s, the Olympics were highly dependent on revenues from a single source – its contracts with US television companies for the broadcasts of the Olympic Games. Upon his election as President of the IOC in 1980, Juan Antonio Samaranch recognised this vulnerability and in consultation with Horst Dassler, a leading member of the Adidas family, the decision to launch a global marketing programme for the IOC was made. Samaranch appointed Canadian IOC member Richard Pound to lead the initiative as Chairman of the "New Sources of Finance Commission".

In 1982 the IOC drafted ISL Marketing a Swiss sports marketing company, to develop a global marketing programme for the Olympic Movement. ISL successfully developed the programme but was replaced by Meridian Management, a company partly owned by the IOC in the early 1990s.

In 1989, one of the staff members at ISL Marketing, Michael Payne, moved to the IOC and became the organisation's first marketing director. However ISL and subsequently Meridian, continued in the established role as the IOC's sales and marketing agents until 2002.[12][13] In 2002 the IOC terminated the relationship with Meridian and took its marketing programme in-house under the Direction of Timo Lumme, the IOC's managing director of IOC Television and Marketing Services.[12] During his 17 years with the IOC,[12] in collaboration with ISL Marketing and subsequently Meridian Management, Payne made major contributions to the creation of a multibillion-dollar sponsorship marketing programme for the organisation which, along with improvements in TV marketing and improved financial management, helped to restore the IOC's financial viability.[14][15][16]

Revenue[edit]

The Olympic Movement generates revenue through five major programmes. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) manages broadcast partnerships and The Olympic Partner (TOP) worldwide sponsorship programme. The Organising Committees for the Olympic Games (OCOGs) manage domestic sponsorship, ticketing and licensing programmes within the host country under the direction of the IOC. The Olympic Movement generated a total of more than US$4 billion, €2.5 billion in revenue during the Olympic quadrennium from 2001 to 2004.

Revenue distribution[edit]

The IOC distributes some of Olympic marketing revenue to organisations throughout the Olympic Movement to support the staging of the Olympic Games and to promote the worldwide development of sport. The IOC retains approximately 10% of Olympic marketing revenue for the operational and administrative costs of governing the Olympic Movement.[17]

Organising Committees for the Olympic Games (OCOGs)[edit]

The IOC provides The Olympic Partner (TOP) programme contributions and Olympic broadcast revenue to the OCOGs to support the staging of the Olympic Games and Olympic Winter Games:

  • TOP programme revenue to OCOGs; the two OCOGs of each Olympic quadrennium generally share approximately 50% of TOP programme revenue and value-in-kind contributions, with approximately 30% provided to the summer OCOG and 20% provided to the winter OCOG.
  • Broadcast revenue to OCOGs; the IOC contributes 49% of the Olympic broadcast revenue for each Games to the OCOG. During the 2001–2004 Olympic quadrennium, the Salt Lake 2002 Organizing Committee received US$443 million, €395 million in broadcast revenue from the IOC, and the Athens 2004 Organizing Committee received US$732 million, €690 million.
  • Domestic programme revenue to OCOGs; the OCOGs generate substantial revenue from the domestic marketing programmes that they manage within the host country, including domestic sponsorship, ticketing and licensing.

National Olympic Committees (NOCs)[edit]

The NOCs receive financial support for the training and development of Olympic teams, Olympic athletes and Olympic hopefuls. The IOC distributes TOP programme revenue to each of the NOCs throughout the world. The IOC also contributes Olympic broadcast revenue to Olympic Solidarity, an IOC organisation that provides financial support to NOCs with the greatest need.

The continued success of the TOP programme and Olympic broadcast agreements has enabled the IOC to provide increased support for the NOCs with each Olympic quadrennium. The IOC provided approximately US$318.5 million to NOCs for the 2001–2004 quadrennium.

International Olympic Sports Federations (IFs)[edit]

The IOC is now the largest single revenue source for the majority of IFs, with its contributions of Olympic broadcast revenue that assist the IFs in the development of their respective sports worldwide. The IOC provides financial support from Olympic broadcast revenue to the 28 IFs of Olympic summer sports and the seven IFs of Olympic winter sports after the completion of the Olympic Games and the Olympic Winter Games, respectively.

The continually increasing value of Olympic broadcast partnership has enabled the IOC to deliver substantially increased financial support to the IFs with each successive Games. The seven winter sports IFs shared US$85.8 million, €75 million in Salt Lake 2002 broadcast revenue. The contribution to the 28 summer sports IFs from Athens 2004 broadcast revenue has not yet been determined, but the contribution is expected to mark a significant increase over the US$190 million, €150 million that the IOC provided to the summer IFs following Sydney 2000.

Other organisations[edit]

The IOC contributes Olympic marketing revenue to the programmes of various recognised international sports organisations, including the International Paralympic Committee, and the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).

Environmental concerns[edit]

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) recognizes that the Olympic Games demand tremendous environmental resources, activities, and construction projects that could be detrimental to a host city’s environment.[18] In 1995, IOC President Juan Antonio Samaranch stated, “the International Olympic Committee is resolved to ensure that the environment becomes the third dimension of the organization of the Olympic Games, the first and second being sport and culture.”[19] Acting on this statement, in 1996 the IOC added the ‘environment’ as a third pillar to its vision for Olympic games.[20] The IOC requires cities bidding to host the Olympics to provide a comprehensive strategy to protect the environment in preparation for hosting, and following the conclusion of the Games.[21] This initiative was most notably acted upon in 2000, when the “Green Olympics” effort was developed by the Beijing Organizing Committee for the Beijing Olympic Games. The Beijing 2008 Summer Olympics effort to host environmentally friendly games resulted in over 160 projects meeting the goal of “green” games through improved air quality and water quality, implementation of sustainable energy sources, improved waste management, and environmental education. These projects included industrial plant relocation or closure, furnace replacement, introduction of new emission standards, and more strict traffic control.[22] Most of these measures were adopted on a temporary basis, and although real improvements were realized (particularly in air quality), most of these improvements had disappeared one year following the Games. Although these improvements were short lived, IOC’s inclusion of environmental policies in evaluating and selecting host cities demonstrates a corporate responsibility that may be built upon in years to come. Detailed frameworks for environmental sustainability have been released for the 2018 Winter Olympics, and 2020 Summer Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea, and Tokyo, Japan, respectively.[23][24]

International Olympic Committee approaches[edit]

The IOC has 4 major approaches to addressing environmental health concerns during the construction and competitions of the Olympic Games. First, the IOC Sustainability and Legacy Commission focuses on how the IOC can improve the strategies and policies associated with environmental health throughout the process of cities hosting the Olympic Games.[25] Secondly, every candidate city must provide information to the IOC on environmental health issues like air quality and environmental impact assessments. Thirdly, every host city is given the option to declare “pledges” to address specific or general environmental health concerns of hosting the Olympic Game. Fourthly, the IOC has every host city collaborate with the United Nations to work towards addressing environmental health objectives.[26] Ultimately, the IOC uses these four major approaches in an attempt to minimize the negative environmental health concerns of a host city.

Venue construction effects on air[edit]

Cities hosting the Olympic Games have two primary concerns: traffic congestion and air pollution, both of which can result in compromised air quality during and after Olympic venue construction.[27] Research at the Beijing Olympic Games identified particulate matter - measured in terms of PM10 (the amount of aerodynamic diameter of particle≤10 μm in a given amount of air) - as a top priority that should be taken into consideration.[28][29] The particulate matter in the air, along with other airborne pollutants, cause both serious health problems, such as asthma, and contribute to the deterioration of urban ecosystems. Black Carbon is released into the air from incomplete combustion of carbonaceous fluids contributing to global climate change and human health effects. The black carbon concentrations are highly impacted by the truck traffic due to the traffic congestion during the massive construction. Additionally, secondary pollutants like CO, NOx, SO2, benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, and xylenes (BTEX) are also released during the venue construction, resulting in harmful effects to the environment.[30]

Methods to measure particulates in the air[edit]

Environmental magnetic methods have been established as a successful way of measuring the degree of pollution in air, water and soil. Environmental magnetism is sensitive to particle size, and has proven effective even at low detection levels. For these reasons, it is becoming more widely used.

Measures undertaken to improve the air quality[edit]

Various air quality measures are undertaken before and after the Olympics Games. Research studies demonstrate that the primary method to reduce concentrations of air pollutants is traffic control, including barring heavy vehicles from the roads. For the Beijing Olympics, vehicles not meeting the Euro 1 emission standards were also banned from the roads, and the odd-even rule was implemented in the Beijing administrative area. Additional air quality improvement measures include replacing coal with natural gas, suspending construction and/or imposing strict dust control on construction sites, closing or relocating the polluting industrial plants, building long subway lines, using cleaner fluid in power plants, and reducing the activity by some of the polluting factories. These were several air quality improvement measures implemented by the Beijing government. There, levels of primary and secondary pollutants were reduced, and good air quality was recorded during the Beijing Olympics on most of the days.

Venue construction effects on soil[edit]

Soil contamination can occur during the process of constructing the Olympic venues. In the case of the 2006 Winter Olympic Games in Torino, Italy, negative environmental impacts were observed, including impacts on soil. Before the Games, researchers studied four areas which the Games would likely affect: a floodplain, a highway, the motorway connecting the city to Lyon, France, and a landfill. They performed an extensive analysis in the types of chemicals found in the soils in these areas both before and after the Games. Their findings revealed an increase in the number of metals in the topsoils post-Games, and indicated that soil was capable, as part of an ecosystem, of negating, or “buffering,” the effects of many heavy metals. However, their findings also revealed that this was not the case for all metals, and that mercury, lead, and arsenic may have been transferred into the food chain on a massive scale.[31] One of the promises made to Londoners when they won the right to host the 2012 Olympic Games was that the Olympic Park would be a “blueprint for sustainable living.” However, residents of the allotments of Manor Road were relocated, due to the building of the Olympic stadium, and would later disagree that the Olympics had had any positive effect on their lives. Allotments, originally, were intended to provide low-income residents with a plot of land on which to grow their own food, thus receiving the dual health benefits of a supply of fresh food and outdoor work. Many of these sites were lost as a result of the Olympic venue construction, most notably the Manor Road site. Residents were promised that the allotments would be returned, and they eventually were. However, the soil quality would never be the same. Crops tended by allotment residents were the result of years of careful cultivation, and thus, those years of care and attention were destroyed by a bulldozer. Further, allotment residents were exposed to radioactive waste for five months prior to moving, during the excavation of the site for the Games. Other local residents, construction workers, and onsite archeologists faced similar exposures and risks.[32] In contrast, the Sydney Olympic Games of 2000 provided an opportunity to improve a highly contaminated area known as the Homebush Bay site. A study commissioned by the New South Wales Government Olympic Coordination Authority, which was responsible for the Games’ site preparation, looked at soil contamination prior to the Games. The work assessed soils that had been previously impacted by waste and identified areas that could pose a risk to the environment. Soil metal concentrations were found to be high enough to potentially contaminate groundwater. After risk areas were identified, a remediation strategy was developed. Contaminated soil was consolidated into four containment areas within the site, which left the remaining areas available for recreational use. Also, the contained waste materials no longer posed a threat to surrounding aquifers. Sydney’s winning Olympic bid provided a catalyst to undertake the “greenest” single urban remediation ever attempted in Australia.[33]

Venue construction effects on water[edit]

The Olympic Games can affect water quality in the surrounding region in several ways, including water runoff and the transfer of polluting substances from the air to water sources through rainfall. Harmful particulates come from both natural substances (such as plant matter crushed by higher volumes of pedestrian and vehicle traffic) and man-made substances (such as exhaust from vehicles or industry). Contaminants from these two categories lead to elevated amounts of toxins in street dust. Street dust then reaches water sources through runoff, facilitating the transfer of toxins to environments and communities that rely on these water sources.[27] For example, one method of measuring the runoff contamination of water sources involves magnetism. Magnetism measurement systems allow specialists to measure the differences in mineral magnetic parameters in samples of water, air, and vegetation. Unlike traditional methods of measuring pollutants, magnetism is relatively inexpensive, and can identify smaller particle sizes.[34] Another method used to assess the amount and effects of water pollutants is to measure the amount of PM2.5 in rainfall. Measuring PM2.5 (the amount of aerodynamic diameter of part