The International Olympic Committee (IOC) was founded on the initiative of Pierre de Coubertin on 23 June 1894, during the Olympic Congress. At first Pierre de Coubertin planned to discuss amateur sport during the congress, however, by the time the invitations for the delegates to gather at the Sorbonne University in Paris were being sent, he changed both the programme and the title of the congress. The event, which was eventually called the “Congress on the Revival of the Olympic Games”, served as an opportunity for de Coubertin to present his proposal to revive the Olympic Games. And thus the International Olympic Committee was founded.
The 1894 Sorbonne congress was attended by 79 participants from 12 countries and its Opening ceremony featured musical pieces, songs, and poems.
This was not the first time that Pierre de Coubertin had proposed his idea of reviving the Olympic Games. Unlike the time when his proposal did not receive much approval during a conference dedicated for education in the Great Britain, the participants in the Sorbonne expressed support and enthusiastically adopted the proposal.
Thus, on 23 June 1894, the decision to revive the Olympic Games was made, as well as the plan to hold the Games every 4 years in different cities. The participants also set the date and location for the first modern Olympic Games, the 1896 Summer Olympics in Athens, Greece.
Demetrios Vikelas was elected as the IOC’s first President, and the IOC’s headquarters were established in Lausanne, Switzerland.
Currently the Olympic Games is the most important sports event in the world and the International Olympic Committee – the most influential sports organization.
The IOC promotes cooperation among national Olympic committees, international sports federations, athletes, organizing committees of the Olympic Games, sponsors, and the United Nations organizations, thus ensuring the continuity of the Olympic Games and the propagation of Olympic values throughout the world. In 2009, the UN General Assembly granted the IOC the status of Permanent Observer. The mission of the IOC is to promote Olympism throughout the world and to lead the Olympic Movement. The Olympic Charter is the guiding document for the IOC and the entire Olympic Movement.
to encourage and support ethical conduct in sport as well as education of youth through sport and to dedicate its efforts for ensuring that, in sport, the spirit of fair play prevails and violence is banned;
to encourage and support the organization, development and coordination of sport and sports competitions;
to ensure the regular celebration of the Olympic Games;
to cooperate with the competent public or private organizations and authorities in the endeavor to place sport at the service of humanity and thereby to promote peace;
to take action to strengthen the unity of the Olympic Movement and to ensure the autonomy of sport;
to act against any form of discrimination affecting the Olympic Movement;
to encourage and support the promotion of women in sport at all levels and in all structures with a view of implementing the principle of equality of men and women;
to lead the fight against doping;
to encourage and support measures relating to the medical care and health of athletes;
to oppose any political or commercial abuse of sport and athletes;
to encourage and support the efforts of sports organizations and public authorities to provide for the social and professional future of athletes;
to encourage and support the development of sport for all.
For more information on the International Olympic Committee, visit the official IOC website.
The European Olympic Committees (EOC) was established in 1968. It unites 50 National Olympic Committees from the continent of Europe. The EOC headquartes is in Rome, Italy.
The EOC’s goal is to spread throughout Europe the Olympic ideals as defined by the IOC Charter, in close collaboration with the International Olympic Committee (IOC), the Association of National Olympic Committees (ANOC) and the Olympic associations of the other continents, to educate youth through sport, to promote respect for the environment, thus contributing to the shaping of a better world, to promote the co-operation between the European NOCs by study of common interests, research, exchange of information and the defense of common attitudes, and to develop the Olympic Solidarity programmes of the IOC in Europe. The EOC organizes the European Youth Olympic Festival, the European Games, and the Games of the Small States of Europe.
Find out more about the EOC and its activities at the official website.
The Association of National Olympic Committees (ANOC) was established on June 26, 1979, in Puerto Rico. This international organization affiliates 206 National Olympic Committees and is recognized by the International Olympic Committee (IOC). ANOC’s headquarters are in Lausanne, Switzerland.
The organization’s goal is to manage the general affairs for the National Olympic Committees, to give them its support, advice, cooperation, and recommendations for their development.
The initiative of Fair Play was inspired by a tragic event that took place at the 1960 Summer Olympics in Rome where the attitude of “winning by all means” took its first toll on an athlete’s life. Danish cyclist Knud Jensen died as a result of using prohibited performance enhancing substances. This shocking case awakened the sports world and pushed it to take severe measures against doping, chauvinism, and violence in sport. As a result, on December 5, 1963, representatives of UNESCO, AIPS, ICSSPE, and the International Federations of Basketball, Football, Rugby and Wrestling established the International Committee for the Organization of the Pierre de Coubertin Fair Play Awards. In 1973, the organization changed its name to International Committee for Fair Play (CIFP).
The aim of the CIFP is to preserve and promote respect for the spirit of fair play and the values it represents, not only in elite sport and sport for all but also in daily life. The CIFP conducts annual Fair Play awards to honor athletes and teams that demonstrate the spirit of fair play.
On the initiative of the IOC, the CAS was established in 1984 as an independent body. Since 1994, the CAS has been placed under the administrative and financial authority of the International Council of Arbitration for Sport. The CAS’s headquarters are in Lausanne, Switzerland.
The CAS resolves sport-related disputes submitted to it through ordinary arbitration or through appeals against decisions made by sport bodies or organizations. It makes rulings and awards that are as enforceable as ordinary court judgments It can also help parties resolve disputes through mediation when possible and give advisory opinions about sport-related legal questions. The CAS also establishes temporary tribunals with special rules and regulations for such major events as the Olympic Games.
Official website of the International Court of Arbitration for Sport – www.tas-cas.org.