A message from Claudia Bokel, IOC Athletes’ Commission Chair
Now that we are well into 2015, excitement is really beginning to build for the Olympic Games in Rio next year.
I was fortunate enough to travel to Rio in February for the IOC Executive Board meeting, which followed the Coordination Commission’s eighth visit to the 2016 Games host city, and was able to learn more about the Organising Committee’s exciting plans.
While there is still much work to be done, things are progressing well and I have no doubt that Rio will host an amazing Olympic Games next year. I am also sure that you, the athletes, will be pleased with their plans. Of particular interest will be the ticketing programme for friends and families of athletes, which the Organising Committee is intending to introduce to ensure that all of you have your loved ones supporting you in the venues.
As always, the plans for the Athletes’ Village are also very important, as this will be your home away from home during the Games, while the transport and training venues will also be key components for athletes. I am sure that the Rio team will do all they can to get them right and make sure you are as happy as possible. This year, the city will be hosting 21 test events in a variety of Olympic sports, which will play a vital role in Games preparations. The test events will give many of you the chance to experience the host city and the Olympic venues for yourselves, ahead of the Games next year, while also providing the Organising Committee with an opportunity to make any necessary adjustments to its plans.
Within the IOC Athletes’ Commission, we have also been pushing ahead with some exciting plans. We will soon be releasing the results of our Athlete Engagement Survey, which will help us implement some of the recommendations from Olympic Agenda 2020, while we will also soon be launching the election process for the IOC Athletes’ Commission, with the vote due to take place at the Olympic Games in Rio next year. We are all very excited about that and we look forward to receiving some great candidatures.
As always, everyone in the Commission has been working hard on behalf of you, the athletes. I recently led a ‘Train the Trainer’ session for the Athletes’ Commission of FISA, the international rowing federation, to enable them to educate all their athletes on the IOC Athlete Career Programme. These sessions are another way of trying to reach as many athletes as possible and tell them about the benefits of the programme. We have already been working with National Olympic Committees and conducting outreach programmes in a variety of countries, but we believe that partnering with the International Federations and their athletes’ commissions gives us even more opportunities to reach out to athletes and let them know about the resources that are available to them.
In February, I also attended the Japanese Olympic Committee’s first Entourage Forum, which addressed a number of significant issues, including harassment of athletes, and also highlighted the concept of “Athletes First”.
These and many other important issues will also be discussed later this year at the International Athletes’ Forum in Lausanne, which will give representatives from the athletes’ commissions of International Federations, Continental Associations, the IPC and WADA the chance to set our agenda for the next two years.
If you have any thoughts on this, please remember that you can contact us at any time by emailing us at email@example.com. We are here to represent you, so please get in touch if you have any issues you want to highlight or if you have any questions to ask. I hope that you enjoy this issue of For The Record.
With my best wishes,