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International Olympic Committee sets new strategic agenda

IOC President Thomas Bach, 67, from Germany, was re-elected unopposed at the organisation’s 137th Session, held virtually, last week. PHOTO IOC MEDIA

Olympic Agenda 2020+5 
⏩ Solidarity
⏩ Sustainable development
⏩ Digitalisation
⏩ Credibility
⏩ Economic and financial resilience

Rome, Italy | THE INDEPENDENT & IOC MEDIA | The International Olympic Committee(IOC) has outlined a new strategic roadmap for the next five years that is aimed at galvanizing its activities worldwide in a post-COVID new normal.

At their historic 137th IOC session held virtually last week, Thomas Bach was also re-elected for an additional four-year term as President of IOC.

“The coronavirus crisis has changed our world in fundamental ways. The world will never again be like it was before. Even once we have finally overcome the health crisis, we will face the far-reaching social, financial, economic and political consequences,” IOC President Bach told members from across the world via video conferencing at the sessions held Wednesday March 10 to Friday March 12, 2021.

He continued: “As leaders of the Olympic Movement, we must prepare ourselves for this new world. In order to shape our future, we need a vision of how this new world will look like.”

After a lively debate, the IOC Session unanimously approved Olympic Agenda 2020+5 as the new strategic roadmap of the IOC and the Olympic Movement through to 2025. Consisting of 15 recommendations, the new roadmap builds on the achievements of Olympic Agenda 2020, and will guide the work of the IOC and the Olympic Movement for the next five years.

The IOC Member and First Vice-President of the Rwanda Olympic Committee Felicite Rwemarika had the honour to present recommendation 11 of the 15 for the Olympic Agenda 2020+5.

Uganda was represented by IOC member, and until recently President of the UOC William Blick. Blick has since handed over the top job at the UOC to Don Rukare, but remains on the powerful club of 103 committee members that run activities of the Olympic movement across the world.

Blick is the second Ugandan to get to the top of the IOC after Maj Gen Francis Nyangweso. The IOC members, are representatives of the IOC in their respective countries, and not their country’s delegate within the IOC.

Nyangweso (RIP) spent 28 years (1981-2009) at the head of his country’s National Olympic Committee before Blick took over.

What is Olympic Agenda 2020+5

The IOC said in a statement last week that the 15 recommendations that make up Olympic Agenda 2020+5 have been developed though an inclusive and collaborative process.

They are based on five key trends (solidarity, digitalization, sustainability, credibility, Economic/financial resilience) that have been identified through robust research as likely to be decisive in the post-coronavirus world. They are also areas where sport and the values of Olympism can play a key role in turning challenges into opportunities.

Bach leads a virtual session March 12 above, and earlier March 10, thanks delegates for re-electing him for another term. Bach, who won gold in with the German foil fencing team at the Olympic Games Montreal 1976, was elected as IOC President at the IOC Session in 2013 in Buenos Aires for a first eight-year term. This term will finish on the closing day of the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 on 8 August this year, as decided by the IOC Executive Board. His second term as IOC President will start immediately after, and will conclude in 2025. PHOTOS IOC MEDIA

“Olympic Agenda 2020+5 as our vision for the future of the Olympic Movement addresses these overarching trends. The aim is to build even more solidarity, to harness the positive potential of digitalisation, to be the impactful enabler to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals, to strengthen the credibility of the constituents of the Olympic Movement, and to join forces with other values- or purpose-driven organisations,”IOC President Back remarked.

“The 15 recommendations have been developed in a collaborative initiative, involving all stakeholders of the Olympic Movement, but especially with input and feedback from all of you, the IOC Members, in particular through your work and contribution in the different IOC Commissions. Olympic Agenda 2020+5 has been developed by all of us and therefore belongs to the entire Olympic Movement.”

At the session, just the second ever held remotely in Olympic history, Bach emphasized the urgent need for the IOC to digitalise, a trend he said is accelerating exponentially.

This new digital world comes with great potential – and great risks. If these changes are managed responsibly, it could usher in a new era of prosperity, connectivity and cooperation. If not, it could exacerbate existing social, economic and technological divisions.

“Here is our opportunity to exploit the great positive potential we have. Digitalisation is a huge opportunity for us to address people more directly, engage with youth, and promote our Olympic values,” said Bach at the  Panathenaic Stadium in Athens, home of the first modern Olympic Games in 1896.

📌 The 15 recommendations:

✳ Strengthen the uniqueness and the universality of the Olympic Games

✳ Foster sustainable Olympic Games

✳ Reinforce athletes’ rights and responsibilities

✳ Continue to attract best athletes

✳ Further strengthen safe sport and the protection of clean athletes

✳ Enhance and promote the Road to the Olympic Games

✳ Coordinate the harmonisation of the sports calendar

✳ Grow digital engagement with people

✳ Encourage the development of virtual sports and further engage with video gaming communities

✳Strengthen the role of sport as an important enabler for the UN Sustainable Development Goals

✳Strengthen the support to refugees and populations affected by displacement

✳ Reach out beyond the Olympic community

✳ Continue to lead by example in corporate citizenship

✳ Strengthen the Olympic Movement through good governance

✳ Innovate revenue generation models

📌 CLICK TO READ Olympic Agenda 2020+5 

📌 CLICK TO READ The full speech by the IOC President on 2020+5

📌 Acceptance speech after being re-elected

VIDEO – Post conference press briefing


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