International Olympic Committee
International Olympic Committee
Comité International Olympique ( French )
International Olympic Committee ( English )
|Organization and supervision of
the Olympic Games
|Lausanne , Switzerland
|June 23, 1894
|Christophe De Kepper (General Manager)
(as of May 2021, excluding honorary memberships)
The International Olympic Committee (short IOC ; English International Olympic Committee ( IOC ), French Comité International Olympique ( CIO ) and the German generally use the acronym IOC ) is a non-governmental organization in the legal form of an association based in the Swiss Lausanne . The purpose of the committee, which consists of up to 115 regular members, is to organize and support in the spirit of the modern Olympic Games . It holds the patronage of the Olympic movement and claims all rights to theOlympic symbols , such as flags, mottos and hymns , as well as on the games themselves. His main responsibility is to look after and organize the summer and winter games . The common languages are French and English.
The educator Baron Pierre de Coubertin , who was convinced by his studies of the educational and socializing effects of sport, saw in the revival of the Olympic Games of antiquity an opportunity to bring the peoples and nations of the world closer together, in order to overcome national egoisms and to achieve peace and internationality To contribute to understanding. The increasing internationalization of society at the time with increasing technology reinforced his plan.
At the international sports congress from June 16 to 23, 1894 at the Sorbonne in Paris , which was later referred to as the first Olympic congress , a commission formed by Coubertin dealt with the resumption of the Olympic Games. On the last day of the congress it was decided to host the First Modern Olympic Games in Athens in 1896 . A Comité International Olympique (CIO) should be set up to implement and disseminate the resolutions . June 23, 1894 is therefore officially regarded as the founding date of the International Olympic Committee. In terms of the composition of the CIO, Coubertin was based on the Jockey Club in England ( Newmarket ), since this club had survived all crises, had become more and more important and was oriented towards the classes that Coubertin preferred. About half of the members should come from the sports movement, the other half outstanding personalities with an interest in sports. The congress therefore also took place during the week of the Derby of France , since many sports fans of Adel were in Paris at that time anyway.
It was left to Coubertin to implement the resolution passed at the Paris Congress to found a committee. Coubertin was keen to arouse a great deal of interest in the Olympic Games in order to be able to give them the aura of greatness and fame , as Coubertin himself put it. The first members of the International Olympic Committee, who were personally appointed one month after the Coubertin Congress, should therefore come from all parts of the world and, because of their reputation and relationships, spread the Olympic idea there.
The 13 founding members of the IOC, most of whom were in personal contact with Coubertin, were:
|Pierre de Coubertin
|Mario Adinolfo Lucchesi-Palli
|Kingdom of Italy
|Arthur Russell, 2nd Baron Ampthill
|William Milligan Sloane
|José Benjamin Zubiaur
It was noticeable that Coubertin had not appointed a representative from Germany to the committee. Here Coubertin, a Frenchman and child of his time, reached his limits. So he could hardly escape the hostile attitude of his compatriots towards the Germans, deepened by the Franco-Prussian War (1870/71). It was only during the preparations for the Olympic Games in Athens in 1896, when a National Olympic Committee was founded in Germany at the instigation of the chemist and entrepreneur Willibald Gebhardt , that the appointment of a German to the IOC could no longer be avoided. However, it was IOC President Vikelas who appointed Willibald Gebhardt as an IOC member in January 1896. Coubertin, whose privilege it was to nominate the IOC members, did not give his approval until two months later.
Even before Gebhardt was accepted into the IOC, there were already two changes. The Italian Count Lucchesi-Palli, who only wanted to represent his country temporarily in the IOC, left the IOC just three months after the Paris Congress and was replaced by the Italian Duke of Andria Riccardo Carafa della Stadera . Coubertin also appointed the Belgian Count Maxime de Bousies to the IOC.
At the time of the Olympic Games in Athens in 1896, the International Olympic Committee consisted of 15 members. Seven of them were present at the games.
The management, all resolutions and all decisions of the IOC are distributed over three organs .
- IOC Executive Board
- IOC Session (General Assembly)
The administration is headed by the General Director (currently Christophe De Kepper (as of August 2020)), who is appointed by the IOC Executive Board on the proposal of the President. Around 500 people work in the administration of the IOC.
The IOC's initial statutes stipulated that the President should come from the country where the next Olympic Games would be played. Dimitrios Vikelas from Greece had already been the incumbent president, so this rule only came into force one day after the Olympic Games in Athens in 1896, when Pierre de Coubertin took over the presidency, as the following games were to take place in Paris.
After the Paris Olympics in 1900 were a disappointment for Coubertin and there was disagreement about the venue for the 1904 Games in the United States ( New York , Chicago or St. Louis ), Coubertin inevitably had to continue the presidency.
As a result, the IOC fell into a crisis in 1904. Since only the Games in Athens had been a success so far, Greece proposed to establish the Games permanently in the country, and in 1906 the unofficial Olympic Intermediate Games were held in Athens. Rome , the venue planned for 1908, was unable to host the games. Coubertin's determination was again asked to determine what had effectively tied the presidency to him. Also, the statutes have not yet provided for an election for the office of president.
When the First World War broke out in 1914, Coubertin offered his support to his home country by giving propaganda lectures for the army in schools. The impending consequences of the war in France prompted him to move the headquarters of the IOC from Paris to Lausanne in 1915. In addition, he could not reconcile it with his dignity as IOC President to wear a French army uniform. Therefore, on a provisional basis, he transferred the presidency to his vice-president, the Swiss Godefroy de Blonay .
In 1925 Coubertin resigned and was made honorary president for life.
|Pierre de Coubertin
|Godefroy de Blonay (acting)
|Pierre de Coubertin
|Henri de Baillet-Latour
Michael Morris, 3rd Baron Killanin
|Juan Antonio Samaranch
The election of the president is now clearly regulated in the statutes. The IOC members vote by secret ballot at an IOC session. The first term of office lasts eight years. Re-election for a second term of office is possible for four years. As a rule, there is no provision for a third term of office.
The President presides over all activities of the IOC. As a person, he represents the IOC on all official occasions. As an expense allowance, the President receives the fixed sum of 225,000 euros annually (as of 2015).
IOC Executive Board
The Executive Board consists of the President, four Vice Presidents and ten other IOC members. The members of the Executive Board are elected by secret ballot from all IOC members at an IOC session. The majority of the votes cast decides on the cast. The members of the Executive Board are elected for four years and can be elected for another four years at the next IOC session.
The Executive Board has existed since 1921. It has overall responsibility for all administrative tasks, finances, internal regulations and, in particular, for the IOC's actions. It has the right to propose new members who can be elected to the IOC by the IOC session. The selection of cities that can stand for the Olympic Games is also made by the Executive Board.
One of the most important tasks of the Executive Board is to oversee compliance with the Olympic Charter.
The IOC session is the annual ordinary meeting of all members of the IOC. From a legal point of view, it is the supreme body of the IOC, because not only the President and Executive Board are elected here, but in principle all members of the IOC, its honorary members and honorary presidents. Resolutions on changes or additions to the Olympic Charter are also made by the IOC session.
However, the IOC Session's most widely publicized task is to choose the host cities for the Olympic Games. Every IOC member has one vote. The members from the countries from which candidate cities for the Olympic Games have stood for election may not take part in the election until the cities have been eliminated from the respective ballots.
In addition to the ordinary meeting, an extraordinary meeting can be called by the President, or upon written request from a third of the members.
The IOC membership
In the early years of the IOC, it was left to Pierre de Coubertin alone to nominate the members. Mainly he chose personalities with whom he had private contacts and who had a respected status in their home countries. They alone are in a position to promote the Olympic idea in their countries, although according to Coubertin's idea all athletes could only be men of honor. In Coubertin's opinion, the athletes who only took part in competitions for the sake of money were an abuse of the principles of sport, which for him were merely educational and socially oriented.
Later, new members were elected ( co-opted ) by the existing members , this process still applies today. Coubertin spoke of a self-recruitment that was only able to preserve the independence of the IOC. Members were not considered to represent their country in the IOC, but were supposed to act as IOC representatives in their home countries.
The predominant election of aristocrats , dignitaries and academics led to a sharp increase in the average age of the members, which rose from 38.1 years in the founding year 1894 to 67.1 years in 1980. This soon earned the IOC the nickname of old men’s club with outdated views . In 1999 the IOC introduced an age limit of 70 years. At the end of the calendar year in which a member turns 70, they must terminate their membership. There are exceptions for members who were elected before December 11, 1999 and who have an age limit of 80 years. There is no age limit for members elected before 1966, but this rule has been meaningless since the resignation of João Havelange , the last IOC member elected for life, in December 2011.
Today the number of IOC members is limited to 115 (rule 16.1.1 of the Olympic Charter). The composition of the committee is regulated in various ways. So is z. For example, the number of active athletes or the number of people who hold a leading position in another international sports organization is limited to 15 each (Rule 188.8.131.52–184.108.40.206). The right to make nominations lies exclusively with the Executive Board, which is advised by a nomination committee ( By-Law to Rule 16: BLR 16.2.3–16.2.5). The regular term of office is 8 years, multiple re-election is possible. The election takes place in a secret ballot with a simple majority by the general assembly (session), all ordinary IOC members are entitled to vote (BLR 16.2.6). Former IOC members can be elected Honorary President or Honorary Member . For deserving personalities outside the IOC, there is also a special honorary membership as an honor member . The only Honor Member is currently Henry Kissinger, who was elected in 2000 . Honorary members and presidents have no voting rights (BLR 16.4).
All members take an oath upon admission , in which they commit themselves to the contents of the Olympic Charter and assure their support for the Olympic movement.
Principles, tasks and role of the IOC
The public often sees the role of the International Olympic Committee only as the organizer and supervisor of the Olympic Games. However, the tasks and principles of the IOC are broader and more fundamental.
The Olympic Charter
The basis for the actions of the IOC was initially set out in simple statutes and regulations. In 1908 attempts were made for the first time to define the goals of the Olympic movement in writing and to lay down the customs for the IOC meetings. But it was not until 1924, after an IOC session in Rome, that the resolutions and customs were systematically summarized. It was the first set of rules that contained binding specifications for the international sports associations and organizing committees and dealt with the course of the Olympic Games. The term Olympic Charter was used for this set of rules back then.
Over time, the charter evolved into a five-chapters and 61-article writing, written in French and English. Translations into other languages are carried out for the IOC sessions, including German. If there are difficulties in interpreting the text, the French version always has priority.
The Olympic Charter is not just a binding set of rules according to which the IOC designs and carries out its actions. It is more like a manifesto than a charter, a basic reference document for the Olympic movement.
The charter lays down a general code of conduct and defines the very decisive ethical principles of conduct that the members of the IOC must adhere to. The Charter also provides the framework for behavior in society in which sport, the Olympic Games and the Olympic movement should be an integral part.
The Olympic Movement
Pierre de Coubertin coined a new term with which he used to express the essence of his Olympic thoughts, Olympism . The term is associated with philosophical approaches. Olympism is supposed to lead the physical strength, the willpower and the creative spirit of the human being to the highest perfection. Only in a real sporting spirit, during peaceful competitions with the participation of all peoples and nations, could this perfection be expressed.
With these philosophical thoughts as a basis, the International Olympic Committee set itself the task of spreading and promoting an Olympic movement right from the start. The aim is to use this movement to make a contribution to the building of a peaceful and just world by bringing the young people of the world together in a spirit of friendship, solidarity and fair play without any discrimination.
A number of organizations have joined this Olympic movement, led by the Olympic Charter and recognized by the IOC as the supreme body. These include:
- International Sports Associations (IFs)
- National Olympic Committees (NOCs)
- Olympic Games Organizing Committees (OCOGs)
The Olympic movement is expressed in a multitude of activities to which the individual organizations are obliged. The most important tasks include:
- Promotion of women's sport in all areas and at all levels with the aim of equality between men and women
- Fight against all forms of discrimination
- Fight against doping
- Cooperation with public and private organizations to integrate sport as a benefit for humanity
- Support of ethical values in sport and fair play
- Mediation between national and international sport organizations to support general sport and competitions in particular
- Resistance to all forms of commercial exploitation of sport and athletes
One does not always do justice to these tasks, some crises of the IOC stand in clear contradiction to the Olympic movement. Nevertheless, despite the change in times, the IOC has retained the core idea of Pierre de Coubertin and is striving to implement it in a contemporary manner.
According to Coubertin's ideal Olympic image, on the other hand, only adult, male lone fighters should take part, similar to the model of the ancient Olympic Games. In the long run, however, he could not enforce the exclusion of women from participating in the games. The 1914 Olympic Congress in Paris later decided, against Coubertin's declared will, that the Olympic medals of women should have the same value in the national ranking as those of men.
Commissions have been formed to carry out the many tasks and activities of the IOC. As a rule, they not only consist of IOC members, but, depending on the task of the commission, also include representatives of the sports organizations affiliated to the IOC, representatives of the National Olympic Committees, athletes, technical experts and other advisors.
The following commissions can be named as examples:
- Athletes Commission
- Ethics committee
- Finance Commission
- Olympic Program Commission
- Commission for the Coordination of the Olympic Games
- Media Rights Commission
- Medical Commission
The commissions are set up by the President of the IOC. The reports and recommendations of the commissions are presented to the Executive Board.
The Association of National Olympic Committees (ANOC) has been giving awards to athletes of the year every year since 2014 : a woman and a man are honored for their sporting successes for each of the five continents.
The winners will be selected from a shortlist presented to a jury by the Continental Olympic Associations. Most recently, the ANOC Award was presented in Prague on November 2, 2017 .
|Chad Le Clos
|4 × 400 team
|Mutaz Essa Barshim
|Marie-Josée Ta Lou
Every two years athletes and teams are honored for special achievements at the Olympic Games.
Olympic Winter Games 2018
( Pyeongchang )
|Arianna Fontana - short track
|Shaun White - snowboard
2016 Summer Olympics
( Rio de Janeiro )
|Mónica Puig - Tennis
|Wayde van Niekerk - Athletics
Olympic Winter Games 2014
( Sochi )
|Ireen Wüst - speed skating
|Ole Einar Bjørndalen - biathlon
Olympic Summer Games 2012
( London )
|Li Xiaoxia - table tennis
|David Rudisha - Athletics
Crises and criticisms
The IOC has been threatened by crises since its early years. These consisted mainly of the negative attitude of many nations towards the Olympic movement.
In 1906 the IOC was on the verge of insignificance after the Games of 1900 and 1904 turned out to be disappointing and Greece, encouraged by the success of the Interim Games in 1906, permanently claimed the Olympic Games for itself. This is the only way to understand why Coubertin had stubbornly viewed the games of 1906 as "unofficial games". Otherwise the IOC would have lost its raison d'etre. At the Olympic Games of 1908, the American President Theodore Roosevelt interfered in the decisions of the judges. What was actually a scandal helped the games to gain international attention as the issue of national prestige came up. For this purpose, the Swedes invented the state amateur for the 1912 Games, and for the 1916 Games in Berlin, many nations upgraded top-class sport with considerable resources in the run-up to the First World War.
The First World War threatened to smash the IOC, which advocated international understanding through peaceful international gatherings. It was only thanks to Coubertin's farsightedness, who moved the headquarters of the IOC to neutral Switzerland, that the IOC survived.
1936 Summer Olympics
The 1936 Summer Olympics were held in Berlin from August 1 to 16, 1936 . In addition to its sporting importance, the 1936 Games were particularly notable for the fact that the ruling National Socialists successfully misused them as a propaganda forum in order to present the Nazi regime in the world as positive.
“A regime that relies on forced labor and mass slavery; a regime that prepares for war and only exists through mendacious propaganda, how should such a regime respect peaceful sport and free sportsmen? Believe me, those of the international athletes who go to Berlin will be nothing but gladiators, prisoners and jesters of a dictator who already feels himself to be the master of this world. "
In May 1936 , Adolf Hitler granted a so-called honorary gift of 10,000 Reichsmarks to the founder, long-term president and then honorary president for life of the IOC, Coubertin, who was in financial need . When asked by a French journalist why he supported the “ Nazi Games ”, Coubertin said that the most important thing was “that they would be celebrated in a grand way, regardless of whether they were used as a tourist advertisement for Southern California as in 1932 or as an advertisement for a political one Use system as in 1936 ”.
The Olympic Games came more and more into the focus of political interests. Especially during the Cold War , which was associated with various boycotts of the Olympic Games by individual states, the IOC felt unable, but also unwilling, to exert influence on the various parties. With this neutrality, the Olympic movement was to be protected. This corresponded to the position of Coubertin, who had already praised the Nazi Games in 1936 as a celebration that promoted the spread of the Olympic Games.
Olympic Winter Games 2002
Much more dangerous for the IOC than the external crises was an internal crisis that culminated in late 1998 when it became public that several IOC members had been bribed by the Organizing Committee of the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City to participate in the Choice of venue to receive the votes of these members.
In previous years, there was already criticism that under the presidency of the Spaniard Juan Antonio Samaranch, the IOC was being led too autocratically and corruption was hardly being stopped. After the 1998 scandal, Samaranch finally had to act. He appointed a commission to investigate the corruption affair. The first guilty members were punished just six weeks later. In the end, six members were expelled for life, four members resigned and ten official warnings were issued. This was the first corruption sanction in the IOC's more than 100 years of existence. Although nothing specifically illegal had been done, it was felt that accepting the gifts was morally questionable.
A modernization of the IOC was inevitable. In fact, the following year the IOC meeting from December 11 to 12, 1999 brought radical decisions: Stricter rules for future applications were passed. In particular, limits were set on what IOC members could accept from candidate cities. They were generally banned from visiting candidate cities. In addition, new age limits were set for IOC members, the need for re-election after eight years of membership, and fifteen former Olympic athletes were inducted into the committee. An ethics committee was established. This has played a major role ever since.
In 2010 the IOC was nominated for the Public Eye Award , as it would contribute to the expulsion of the indigenous population in the periphery of Vancouver by awarding the Winter Games to Canada, because the Games would be played on indigenous land that has not been assigned. This has devastating consequences for people and the environment: Huge areas of natural landscapes and retreats for wild animals have been sacrificed for the expansion or new construction of motorways, winter sports centers and other infrastructure. Homelessness in the Vancouver region has tripled since the Games were awarded, affecting the First Nations (that is, the indigenous peoples) in particular .
2012 Summer Olympics
2016 Summer Olympics
Olympic Winter Games 2018
In December 2017, the International Olympic Committee decided to suspend Russia from the 2018 Winter Games in Pyeongchang . The decision of the IOK is based on the findings and recommendations of the investigative commission, which was headed by former Swiss Federal Councilor Samuel Schmid .
From this report it emerged that there was systemic doping in Russia for which the Russian Ministry of Sports and the Russian Olympic Committee were responsible. Consequently, these are sanctioned for this.
Individual Russian athletes, on the other hand, can take part in Pyeongchang under strict conditions and without national emblems and anthems.
"This is a strong signal from the IOC for clean sport and against doping ... It is not a political, but a sporting fair judgment."
In September 2018, the Swiss Federal Prosecutor's Office confirmed to the Tages-Anzeiger that criminal proceedings had been ongoing since 2017 on suspicion of political intelligence in connection with cyber attacks on WADA and the IOC in Lausanne. According to the Tages-Anzeiger, connections to 2018 from the Netherlands could be shown from creating Russian agents.
Summer Olympics 2020
On March 24, 2020, the postponement of the 2020 Summer Games was announced due to the coronavirus crisis and it is criticized that the IOC had put off this decision for so long.
- Tolerance ring of the European Academy of Sciences and Arts 2015
- List of members of the International Olympic Committee
- List of National Olympic Committees
- List of international associations recognized by the IOC
- List of IOC country codes
- Olympic Sports
- Negative price for the sealed oyster , 2008 winner
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- 225,000 euros: IOC makes expense payments to Bach publicly spiegel.de April 2, 2015
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- Olympic Charter (PDF, English; 2.6 MB) in the version valid since February 11, 2010, accessed on August 8, 2012.
- Arnd Krüger (1997): Forgotton Decisions. The IOC on the Eve of World War I. Olympika , 6 (1), pp. 85-98.
- WATCH THE ANOC AWARDS 2017 CEREMONY LIVE ON THE ANOC WEBSITE AND ANOC YOUTUBE CHANNEL (November 1, 2017)
- Best athletes from five continents announced at ANOC Awards 2017 (November 3, 2017)
- Hirscher is Europe's Sportsman of the Year (October 30, 2017)
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- Arnd Krüger (2004). 'What's the Difference between Propaganda for Tourism and for a Political Regime?' What the 1936 Olympics the first Postmodern Spectacle? In: J. BALE & M. KROGH CHRISTENSEN (eds.): Post-Olympism? Questioning Sport in the Twenty-first Century. Oxford: Berg 2004, 33-50
- Arnd Krüger (2004). 'What's the Difference between Propaganda for Tourism and for a Political Regime?' What the 1936 Olympics the first Postmodern Spectacle? In: J. BALE & M. KROGH CHRISTENSEN (eds.): Post-Olympism? Questioning Sport in the Twenty-first Century. Oxford: Berg 2004, 33-50.
- on the practice of "gifts" to IOC members see Douglas Booth: Gifts of Corruption? Ambiguities of Obligation in the Olympic Movement, OLYMPIKA: The International Journal of Olympic Studies Volume VIII - 1999, pp. 43–68, online (PDF; 103 kB)
- IOC 110th SESSION, AMENDMENTS TO THE OLYMPIC CHARTER (PDF; 38 kB)
- Nomination of the IOC for the Public Eye Award 2010 ( Memento from July 25, 2010 in the Internet Archive )
- heise.de: Olympic Committee wants to require "positive" linking of the Games
- Tages-Anzeiger - Samuel Schmid, from retirement to the world stage
- Antidoping Switzerland on the decision of the IOC regarding Russian participation in the Olympic Games (December 6, 2017)
- Putin's spies attacked Swiss doping hunters Tages-Anzeiger, September 15, 2018, pages 1 and 5
- Relocation of the Olympics - summer without games (March 24, 2020)
- The IOC is out of this world (March 24, 2020)