IPC Athletes’ Council meets IOC Athletes’ Commission

Athlete representatives are attending the 7th IOC International Athletes’ Forum. 09 Oct 2015
IPC logo

Official logo of the International Paralympic Committee

By IPC and IOC.

Members of the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) Athletes’ Council met with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Athletes’ Commission on Thursday (8 October) at the IOC headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland.

The aim of the meeting was to strengthen the ongoing relationship between athletes from both Movements, who are responsible for representing the views of all the world’s Olympians and Paralympians.

The meeting is being held as part of the 7th IOC International Athletes’ Forum, which runs until Sunday (11 October), and was opened by IOC President Thomas Bach.

Todd Nicholson, the Chairperson of the IPC Athletes’ Council, is an ex-officio member of the IOC Athletes’ Commission, whilst their Chairperson Claudia Bokel fulfils the same role for the IPC.

“Much of the IPC Athletes’ Council success and leadership is because of the support and guidance we have received from the IOC Athletes’ Commission,” Nicholson said. “The members of the IPC Athletes’ Council that are attending the IOC Athletes’ Commission I’m sure will go home with some great contacts and understanding on how an Athletes Council, Athlete Focus Group or Commission can help open the lines of communication between the decision makers and the athletes within the Paralympic Movement.”

Nicholson attended the meeting alongside Paralympians Tim Prendergast, Yu Chui Yee, Gizem Girismen, Eskil Hagen and Katja Saarinen. The group spoke about the structure of the IPC Athletes’ Council and how it is working to support para-athletes, and will also attend the Forum.

The Forum, which takes place every two years, kicked off on Thursday with a practical session on the IOC’s latest initiatives for athletes, including the IOC Athlete Learning Gateway and the Olympic Athletes’ Hub. The participants had the exclusive opportunity to test drive and provide feedback on the revamped Olympic Athletes’ Hub, which is a one-stop shop for athletes to find relevant IOC and Games-specific information and services, prior to its launch ahead of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

During the Opening Session on Friday, IOC President Thomas Bach will give a presentation on Olympic Agenda 2020, the IOC’s strategic roadmap for the future of the Olympic Movement, and outline the progress made on the athlete-related recommendations. An update on the series of recommendations and calls to action formulated at the previous Forum in Singapore will be given by Bokel.

In 2013, the Forum called for a strengthening of links between the various Athletes’ Commissions, and further clarification of their structures, roles and responsibilities; integration of practical information sessions within the Forum’s programme; exploration and promotion of the use of digital platforms to communicate to and connect with athletes, in particular outside Games-time; and exploration of how to optimise athletes’ experience during the opening and closing ceremonies at the Games as well as in the Olympic Village.

The three-day event will cover a number of matters affecting athletes – from effective leadership and Athletes’ Commission management to athletes’ services and welfare, communication and experiences during Games time and beyond. Over 100 athletes are in attendance at the Forum, including Athletes’ Commission representatives from the IOC and IPC, International Federations, Continental Associations and, for the first time, athlete representatives from the Organising Committees for the Olympic Games. The event is an invaluable platform for athletes to exchange ideas and discuss topics that concern them, both on and off the field of play.