Modern Olympics had its first edition in 1896. To conduct such a marvelous event every four years at different cities without failure (except for the hiatus during world wars) for more than a century, imagine how solid the entity behind the Olympics is. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) was established in 1894 during the Congress of Paris. It is an indispensable part of the Olympic Movement which spreads the values of Olympism to make the world a better place. Let’s get to know about the organizers of the grandest sporting event in the world.
IOC Olympic History
International Olympic Committee established on 23rd June 1894, Paris, France
The founder of the International Olympic Committee was Baron Pierre de Coubertin, a French educator who reformed education and sports in France. His dream of revitalizing ancient Olympics in the modern-day had its roots back in the Paris Universal Exposition of 1889 where he organized the first-ever Congress on Physical Education and Scholar Competition. The very next year, he met the founder of Wenlock Games, Dr. William Penny Brooks. Wenlock Games also known as British Olympics started in 1866 was a huge success and Coubertin’s idea of reviving the Olympics was seconded by Brooks. Coubertin had great hopes on his idea and he set the big date on November 25, 1892, to announce his dream of having the international sporting festival. He delivered a speech proposing the return of the Olympic Games at the Union des Sports Athletiques in Paris but the audience wasn’t convinced. But he didn’t give up.
On June 23, 1984, Coubertin invited 79 sports delegates from 49 organizations across nine countries to a Congress at Sorbonne and created the International Olympic Committee. The first two Olympic Games were also announced that day, the 1896 Olympics at Paris and the 1900 Olympics at Greece. Demetrius Vikelas of Greece was selected as the first IOC president.
International Olympic Committee members
Starting with just 15 members including President Dimitrios Vikelas and Baron Pierre de Coubertin, as the number of competing countries expanded, so did the personnel at the IOC. Now the executive board comprises 102 members and 43 honorary members. There is at least one member from every country who shows allegiance to the Olympic values. These members are the IOC representatives at their respective countries and the organization or federation they are a part of. Nita Ambani is an IOC representative of India.
Propagation of Olympic values and conducting the games at the fixed interval is the main function of the International Olympic Committee. It is the center of all National Olympic Committees, Organizing Committees, International federations, Broadcasters, United Nations wing, and the athletes. Educating youth through sports and thereby building a peaceful and better world is the goal of the Olympic movement. The head of the International Olympic Committee is the President. Current President Thomas Bach is the ninth IOC President who got elected at the 125th IOC session on September 10, 2013. An elected President can serve for 8 years after which he has an option to renew for another four years. The role of the President is to moderate all activities of the committee and decide the rules for the election of other members except for the Presidential election.
President of International Olympic committee
The first president of IOC: Demetrius Vikelas, Greece, 1894-1896
|1.||Demetrius Vikelas||Greece||1894 – 1896|
|2.||Pierre de Coubertin||France||1896 – 1925|
|3.||Henri de Baillet-Latour||Belgium||1925-1942|
|4.||J. Sigfrid Edstrom||Sweden||1946-1952|
|7.||Juan Antonio Samaranch||Spain||1980-2001|
|9.||Thomas Bach||Germany||2013 onwards|
Apart from the President, the current IOC executive board has an honorary President, Jacques Rogge, 4 vice presidents, 10 executive members, and one director-general.
IOC Olympic movement
These are the major missions of the International Olympic Committee:
- Make sure that the Olympic Games is celebrated over years
- Ensuring action against any discrimination against the Olympic Movement
- Protecting the integrity of sports by standing against corruption, doping etc…
- To curb any political or commercial interventions in sports
- Promotion of the legacy of Olympics to different regions of the world by finding new host cities
- To include sports in the common culture of any country
- Establish unity and peace between nations and organizations
The IOC is at the center of the world sporting arena. It supports every Olympic Movement stakeholder, promoting the spirit of Olympism globally, and monitors the regular celebration & organization of the Olympic Games.
The IOC is also committed to encouraging the sport in society, strengthening the integrity of sport, and supporting sportspersons and organizations associated with them.
International Olympic Committee Values
The three fundamental values of Olympism are excellence, friendship, and respect. They constitute the foundation on which the Olympic Movement builds its activities to promote sport, culture, and education with a view to building a better world.
The original values of Olympism as expressed in the Olympic Charter were to “encourage effort”, “preserve human dignity” and “develop harmony”.
Over time, they have evolved and are now expressed in more contemporary terms as:
- Striving for excellence and encouraging people to be the best they can be.
- Celebrating friendship, which is quite unique to the Olympic Games – an event that brings people together every few years.
- Demonstrating respect in many different manners: respect towards yourself, the rules, your opponents, the environment, the public, etc.
How the International Olympic Committee is funded
The Olympiad longing from 2013 to 2016 produced an amount of 5.7 billion US dollars. Broadcasting rights solely contribute 73 percent of this revenue followed by program marketing rights and other revenues. The IOC splits this revenue and only 10 percent is utilized for the IOC operations while 90 percent of it is used for upcoming Olympic events and athlete development. Such a ratio makes the International Olympic Committee a non-profit organization.
In order to facilitate the host cities and not affect the economic stability of the countries, the IOC provides around 2.5 billion U.S dollars. A fair amount of funds is spent on the expense of Youth Olympics as well. After every edition of the Olympics (both summer and winter) the revenue hits a record amount of money. Summer Olympics earns more revenue for the IOC than Winter Olympics and therefore, IOC’s contribution to each year’s Summer Olympics expenditure is nearly double than the latter. Apart from these, a chunk of the funds goes for Olympic Solidarity, scholarships for athletes, aid for refugee athletes etc… We just know the Olympics as a spectacular quadrennial event costing billions of dollars. But what we know less about is the goal-oriented welfare activities powered by the International Olympic Committee.
Oath of the International Olympic Committee
“Granted the honor of becoming a member of the International Olympic Committee and declaring myself aware of my responsibilities in such a capacity, I undertake to serve the Olympic Movement to the very best of my ability; to respect and ensure the respect of all the provisions of the Olympic Charter and the decisions of the International Olympic Committee which I consider as not the subject to appeal on my part; comply with the code of ethics to keep myself free from any political or commercial influence and from any racial or religious consideration; to fight against all other forms of discrimination; and to promote in all circumstances the interests of the International Olympic Committee and those of the Olympic Movement.”