International Olympic Committee
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) is a non-governmental organization based in Lausanne, Switzerland. This organization aims to organize the Summer and Winter Olympics every four years. From 2010, under the auspices of the IOC, the Youth Olympic Games will also take place, which, like the Adult Olympic Games, are divided into summer and winter games.
The founder of the IOC was the Frenchman and Baron Pierre de Coubertin, along with the Greek Demetrius Vikelas. During a sports conference at the Sorbonne in Paris, from 16 to 23 June 1894, they decided to revive the classical Olympic Games after 1500 years. This congress was later designated as the first Olympic Congress. Coubertin hoped to fraternize countries and peoples through sport and thus lend a helping hand to world peace. In order to organize the Games, it was decided to set up the Comité International Olympique (CIO) (English: International Olympic Committee): the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
Coubertin felt that the members of the committee should come from all parts of the world if possible, so that they could spread the Olympic idea. The table below lists the IOC members who were appointed at the time of its establishment. The lack of a German member was striking. The hostile attitude of the French people towards Germany could hardly be overlooked by Coubertin. During the preparations for the Games of 1896, the German Olympic Committee was founded, after which the IOC could no longer ignore Germany. Chairman Vikelas appointed Willibald Gebhardt as a member in January 1896. The right to appoint new members, however, belonged to Coubertin, who only gave his consent two months later.
The original Olympic Games were held at Olympia in Greece, in honor of the supreme god Zeus who lived there. The Roman Emperor Theodosius I, as part of his campaign against paganism, banned the Games in 393. On June 23, 1894, it was decided to organize the first modern Olympic Games in Athens in 1896. Coubertin wanted to hold the Games at the same time as the 1900 World's Fair in Paris. Because a six-year period would diminish interest, Athens was ultimately chosen as the host city for the 1896 Games because of its Greek Olympic past.
The reactions to the Athens Games were very positive, to the extent that the Greeks suggested that the Games should always be held in Greece from now on. But this plan fell through and Paris was designated for the 1900 Olympic Games. In 1921, the IOC Congress decided to organize an International Winter Sports Week, which would be organized by the country where the Summer Games were held. The event took place in Chamonix-Mont-Blanc, France. It was not until 1926 that it was decided to officially designate this 'week' (which actually lasted 11 days) as the Winter Olympics.
The day-to-day management of the IOC is exercised by the following bodies:
The president represents the IOC and has been elected for an eight-year term since 1972, by secret ballot by all IOC members. After its first term, it can be extended for another four years. Jacques Rogge was chosen on July 16, 2001 to succeed Juan Antonio Samaranch. His eight-year term ran until 2009, after which he was re-elected, with no opposing candidates. Samaranch was named honorary president for life for his extraordinary work for the IOC.
On September 10, 2013, the German Thomas Bach was elected as the ninth president of the IOC, succeeding Jacques Rogge.
The presidency of Pierre de Coubertin was interrupted by the First World War. When he enlisted in the French army, his place was