A message from Claudia Bokel, IOC Athletes’ Commission Chair
As we approach the end of the year, there is much for athletes to look forward to in 2016 – most notably the Winter Youth Olympic Games in Lillehammer and the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.
Most recently, we hosted the 7th IOC International Athletes’ Forum, which brought together more than 100 athletes from 40 countries, with 100 Olympic medals and 200 Olympic appearances between them. They included Athletes’ Commission representatives from the IOC, the International Paralympic Committee (IPC), International Federations and Continental Associations and, for the first time, athlete representatives from the Organising Committees for the Olympic Games and the Olympic Agenda 2020 roundtable group.
With athletes being central to the framing of many of the reforms, the Forum provided a great opportunity to exchange ideas and discuss the IOC Athletes’ Commission’s role in the implementation of the recommendations.
We also discussed measures to ensure that athletes remain at the very heart of the Olympic Movement, with our full set of recommendations due to be presented to the IOC Executive Board in December.
In addition to the International Athletes’ Forum, we have also been participating in Continental Athletes’ Forums around the world throughout 2015. Europe, Asia Oceania and, for the first time, Africa have all hosted forums this year, while the Americas Forum will take place early next year. These continental forums ensure that the concerns of athletes all over the world can be discussed, and it is interesting to see how their worries can sometimes differ.
One issue that we hear no matter where we are in the world, however, is what athletes can do once their sporting career is over. This is why the Athlete Career Programme (ACP) remains one of our most important initiatives. We have been running the ACP since 2005 to help Olympic athletes successfully manage the difficult transition from sport to a new career through professional development and job placements. This year, we have been running outreach programmes around the world to help spread the work of the ACP even further. We want as many athletes to benefit from the ACP as possible, so we try to pass on as much information as we can about what education and work experience options are available to them. A key element of this is the new Athlete Learning Gateway – a free electronic platform that gives athletes, wherever they may be in the world and at whatever stage of their athletic career, access to educational material produced by leading academics and athletes.
Looking ahead to 2016, I am sure that athletes all over the world are looking forward to the Olympic Games in Rio as much as I am! The Games are particularly significant for the IOC Athletes’ Commission, as we will be holding our election in the Athletes’ Village during the Games. I would encourage all those who are competing in Rio to come and make your voice heard by voting, and you can also visit us in the Athletes’ Space, where you can learn more about what we are doing and get to know us all a little bit better.
We will also be very active during the Winter Youth Olympic Games in Lillehammer in February, which will give us a chance to hear the concerns of young athletes and for them to also learn more about the Olympic values, the IOC and the issues that may affect them in their lives.
If we haven’t had a chance to meet you at any of this year’s athlete forums or other events, please remember that you can contact us at any time by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
We are here to represent you, so please get in touch if you have any concerns or if you have any questions to ask. I hope that you enjoy this issue of For The Record.
With my best wishes,