Olympic Solidarity assists National Olympic Committees (NOCs) in carrying out their mission and fulfilling their obligations to the Olympic Movement. This is achieved through programmes that promote the main principles of Olympism. The support is aimed at athletes that are in preparation for competitions, coaches who are willing to improve their professional skills, and National Olympic Committees that improve their administrative structure and promote Olympic values.
Olympic Solidarity has its roots in the Committee for International Olympic Aid, which was established in 1962. Its main purpose was to provide support to Asian and African countries that had just obtained their independence. Later this Committee was merged with a similar institution that had been established by the Association of National Olympic Committees (ANOC). Thus the Committee for Olympic Solidarity was created which in 1981 was renamed as the Olympic Solidarity Commission.
Although the funding of NOCs needs was started in 1972, it was very limited at first.
From the Los Angeles 1984 Olympic Games and onwards, the increased levels of income generated by television rights made it possible to administer the income according to distribution parameters established by the IOC.
Operational structure and funding
The Olympic Solidarity Commission is chaired by Robin E. Mitchell and is composed of individual members appointed by the IOC President. The commission is responsible for defining the main directions and courses of action, and managing the activities of Olympic Solidarity by approving programmes and their related budgets and by monitoring their implementation.
All the Commission’s decisions are implemented, executed, monitored and coordinated by the Olympic Solidarity international office in Lausanne. This office collaborates with the five continental associations of NOCs and ANOC and is responsible for all the operational aspects of implementing the plans.
The total Olympic Solidarity budget for 2017-2020 is USD 509 million, which is a 16 per cent increase compared to the 2013-2016 plan. The sole source of funding for Olympic Solidarity’s operations and programmes is the NOCs’ share of the revenue from the sale of Olympic Games broadcast rights.
Since 2001, Olympic Solidarity has been offering programmes to NOCs at global and continental levels. It also manages the IOC Subsidies for Participation in Olympic Games programme. For 2017-2020, the programmes for NOCs managed by Olympic Solidarity fall within these five main areas:
In addition to the World Programmes, Continental Programmes offer NOCs access to technical, financial and administrative resources for addressing their specific needs and priorities. They complement the World Programmes in accordance with the particular needs and specificities of each continent.
IOC subsidies aim to help NOCs to participate in the Olympic Games and to achieve two different but complementary wider goals: to help foster the universal spirit of the Games by guaranteeing the participation of all NOCs, and to provide financial contributions to NOCs that play a key role in ensuring the success of the Games.