International Olympic Committee

کمیته بین المللی المپیک

ID:16086 Section: Sports

Updated:Monday 13th October 2014

International Olympic Committee Definition

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Coordinates: 46°31′5″N 6°35′49″E / 46.51806°N 6.59694°E / 46.51806; 6.59694

International Olympic Committee Comité international olympique Motto Formation Type Headquarters Membership Official language PresidentWebsite
Citius, Altius, Fortius (Latin: Faster, Higher, Stronger)
23 June 1894; 120 years ago (1894-06-23)
Sports federation
Lausanne, Switzerland
105 active members, 32 honorary members
French, English and host country''s official language when necessary
Thomas Bach

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) (French: Comité international olympique, CIO) is a Swiss non-profit, non-governmental organisation based in Lausanne, Switzerland, created by Pierre, Baron de Coubertin, on 23 June 1894 with Demetrios Vikelas as its first president. Today its membership consists of 100 active members, 33 honorary members, and 1 honour member. The IOC is the supreme authority of the modern Olympic movement.

The IOC organises the modern Olympic Games and Youth Olympic Games, held in summer and winter, every four years. The first Summer Olympics organised by the IOC was held in Athens, Greece, in 1896; the first Winter Olympics was in Chamonix, France, in 1924. Until 1992, both Summer and Winter Olympics were held in the same year. After that year, however, the IOC shifted the Winter Olympics to the even years between Summer Games, to help space the planning of the two events from one another, and improve the financial balance of the IOC, which receives greater income on Olympic years. The first Summer Youth Olympics were in Singapore in 2010 and the first Winter Youth Olympics were held in Innsbruck in 2012.

  • 1 History
  • 2 Mission and role
  • 3 Organisation
    • 3.1 The IOC Session
    • 3.2 The IOC Executive Board
  • 4 Honours
  • 5 Museum
  • 6 IOC members
    • 6.1 Membership
    • 6.2 Cessation of membership
    • 6.3 International federations recognised by IOC
  • 7 Olympic marketing
    • 7.1 Revenue
    • 7.2 Revenue distribution
    • 7.3 The Organising Committees for the Olympic Games (OCOGs)
    • 7.4 National Olympic Committees (NOCs)
    • 7.5 International Olympic Sports Federations (IFs)
    • 7.6 Other organisations
  • 8 Controversies
    • 8.1 Salt Lake bid scandal
    • 8.2 Other controversies: 2006–2013
  • 9 See also
  • 10 References
  • 11 External links

HistoryThe headquarters of the IOC in Lausanne, Switzerland.

The committee was established by Pierre de Coubertin, on 23 June 1894. The committee was housed at the Mont-Repos villa in Lausanne, Switzerland.

Mission and role Further information: Olympic Charter

The stated mission of the IOC is to promote Olympic throughout the world and to lead the Olympic Movement.

The IOC''s role is to:

To encourage and support the promotion of ethics in sport as well as education of youth through sport and to dedicate its efforts to ensuring that, in sport, the spirit of fair play prevails and violence is banned; To encourage and support the organisation, 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 organisations and authorities in the endeavour to place sport at the service of humanity and thereby to promote peace; To take action in order to strengthen the unity and to protect the independence of the Olympic Movement; 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 to implementing the principle of equality of men and women; To lead the fight against doping in sport; To encourage and support measures protecting the health of athletes; To oppose any political or commercial abuse of sport and athletes; To encourage and support the efforts of sports organisations and public authorities in order to provide social and professional future of athletes; To encourage and support the development of sport for all; To encourage and support a responsible concern for environmental issues, to promote sustainable development in sport and to require that the Olympic Games are held accordingly; To promote a positive legacy from the Olympic Games to the host cities and host countries; To encourage and support initiatives blending sport with culture and education; To encourage and support the activities of the International Olympic Academy (IOA) and other institutions which dedicate themselves to Olympic education.

OrganisationInternational Olympic Committee logoThe IOC Session

The IOC Session is the general meeting of the members of the IOC, held once a year in which each member has one vote. It is the IOC’s supreme organ and its decisions are final.

Extraordinary Sessions may be convened by the President or upon the written request of at least one third of the members.

Among others, the powers of the Session are:

  • To adopt or amend the Olympic Charter.
  • To elect the members of the IOC, the Honorary President and the honorary members.
  • To elect the President, the Vice-Presidents and all other members of the IOC Executive Board.
  • To elect the host city of the Olympic Games.
The IOC Executive Board

The IOC Executive Board consists of the President, four Vice-Presidents, and ten other members. All members of the IOC Executive Board are elected by the Session, in a secret ballot, by a majority of the votes cast. The IOC Executive Board assumes the general overall responsibility for the administration of the IOC and the management of its affairs.

The IOC Session elects, by secret ballot, the IOC President from among its members for a term of eight years renewable once for a term of four years. The current IOC President, Thomas Bach, was elected for an eight-year term on 10 September 2013. Bach will be eligible for re-election to one additional four-year term in 2021.


In addition to the Olympic medals for competitors, the IOC awards a number of other honours:

  • the IOC President''s Trophy is the highest sports award given to athletes who have excelled in their sport and had an extraordinary career and created a lasting impact on their sport.
  • the Pierre de Coubertin medal is awarded to athletes who demonstrate a special spirit of sportsmanship in Olympic events
  • the Olympic Cup is awarded to institutions or associations with a record of merit and integrity in actively developing the Olympic Movement
  • the Olympic Order is awarded to individuals for particularly distinguished contributions to the Olympic Movement, and superseded the Olympic Certificate.
MuseumMain article: The Olympic MuseumIOC members Further information: List of members of the International Olympic CommitteeThe first IOC, at the 1896 Athens Games

For most of its existence, the IOC was controlled by members who were selected by other members. Countries that had hosted the Games were allowed two members. When named, they did not become the representatives of their respective countries to the IOC, but rather the opposite, IOC members in their respective countries.

For a long time, members of royalty have been members of co-option, such as Prince Albert II of Monaco, as have former athletes. In addition King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands (then crown prince) has served as a member since 1998. These last 10 years, the composition has evolved, in order to get a better representation of the sports world. Members seats have been allocated specifically to athletes, International Federations leaders, and National Olympic Committees leaders. There are currently 100 members of the IOC, 33 honorary members, and 1 honour member.


The total number of IOC members may not exceed 115. Each member of the IOC is elected for a term of eight years and may be re-elected for one or several further terms.

  • A majority of members whose memberships are not linked to any specific function or office; their total number may not exceed 70; there may be no more than one such member national of any given country;
  • Active athletes, the total number of whom may not exceed 15, elected for eight years by their peers during the Olympic Games;
  • Presidents or persons holding an executive or senior leadership position within IFs, associations of IFs, or other organisations recognised by the IOC, the total number of whom may not exceed 15;
  • Presidents or persons holding an executive or senior leadership position within NOCs, or continental associations of NOCs, the total number of whom may not exceed 15; there may be no more than one such member national of any given country within the IOC.
  • Cessation of membership

    The membership of IOC members ceases in the following circumstances:

  • Resignation: any IOC member may cease their membership at any time by delivering his written resignation to the President.
  • Non re-election: any IOC member ceases to be a member without further formality if they are not re-elected.
  • Age limit: any IOC member ceases to be a member at the end of the calendar year during which they reach the age of 80.
  • Failure to attend Sessions or take active part in IOC work for two consecutive years.
  • Transfer of domicile or of main center of interests to a country other than the country which was theirs at the time of their election.
  • Members elected as active athletes cease to be a member upon ceasing to be a member of the IOC Athletes'' Commission.
  • Presidents and individuals holding an executive or senior leadership position within NOCs, world or continental associations of NOCs, IFs or associations of IFs, or other organisations recognised by the IOC cease to be a member upon ceasing to exercise the function they were exercising at the time of their election.
  • Expulsion: an IOC member may be expelled by decision of the Session if such member has betrayed their oath or if the Session considers that such member has neglected or knowingly jeopardised the interests of the IOC or acted in a way which is unworthy of the IOC.
  • International federations recognised by IOC

    There are currently 68 sport federations recognised by IOC. These are:

    • The 28 members of Association of Summer Olympic International Federations (ASOIF)
    • The 7 members of Association of International Olympic Winter Sports Federations (AIOWF)
    • The 35 members of Association of IOC Recognised International Sports Federations (ARISF)
    • And 2 of the members of SportAccord (Federation Internationale de l''Automobile and International Softball Federation)
    Olympic marketing1985 German Democratic Republic stamp

    In the early 1980s, the Olympics were highly dependent on revenues from a single source – its contracts with US television companies for the broadcasts of the Olympic Games. Upon his election as President of the IOC in 1980, Juan Antonio Samaranch recognised this vulnerability and in consultation with Horst Dassler, a leading member of the Adidas family, the decision to launch a global marketing programme for the IOC was made. Samaranch appointed Canadian IOC member Richard Pound to lead the initiative as Chairman of the "New Sources of Finance Commission". In 1982 the IOC drafted ISL Marketing a Swiss sports marketing company, to develop a global marketing programme for the Olympic Movement. ISL successfully developed the programme but was replaced by Meridian Management, a company partly owned by the IOC in the early 1990s. In 2002 the IOC terminated the relationship with Meridian and took its marketing programme in-house under the Direction of Timo Lumme, the IOC''s managing director of IOC Television and Marketing Services. In 1989, one of the staff members at ISL Marketing, Michael Payne, moved to the IOC and became the organisation''s first marketing director. However ISL and subsequently Meridian, continued in the established role as the IOC''s sales and marketing agents until 2002. During his 17 years with the IOC, in collaboration with ISL Marketing and subsequently Meridian Management, Payne made major contributions to the creation of a multi-billion dollar sponsorship marketing programme for the organisation which, along with improvements in TV marketing and improved financial management, helped to restore the IOC''s financial viability.


    The Olympic Movement generates revenue through five major programmes. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) manages broadcast partnerships and The Olympic Partner (TOP) worldwide sponsorship programme. The Organising Committees for the Olympic Games (OCOGs) manage domestic sponsorship, ticketing and licensing programmes within the host country under the direction of the IOC. The Olympic Movement generated a total of more than US$4 billion, €2.5 billion in revenue during the Olympic quadrennium from 2001 to 2004.

    Revenue distribution

    The IOC distributes some of Olympic marketing revenue to organisations throughout the Olympic Movement to support the staging of the Olympic Games and to promote the worldwide development of sport. The IOC retains approximately 10% of Olympic marketing revenue for the operational and administrative costs of governing the Olympic Movement.

    The Organising Committees for the Olympic Games (OCOGs)

    The IOC provides The Olympic Partner (TOP) programme contributions and Olympic broadcast revenue to the OCOGs to support the staging of the Olympic Games and Olympic Winter Games:

    • TOP Programme Revenue to OCOGs; the two OCOGs of each Olympic quadrennium generally share approximately 50% of TOP programme revenue and value-in-kind contributions, with approximately 30% provided to the summer OCOG and 20% provided to the winter OCOG.
    • Broadcast Revenue to OCOGs; the IOC contributes 49% of the Olympic broadcast revenue for each Games to the OCOG. During the 2001–2004 Olympic quadrennium, the Salt Lake 2002 Organizing Committee received US$443 million, €395 million in broadcast revenue from the IOC, and the Athens 2004 Organizing Committee received US$732 million, €690 million.
    • Domestic Programme Revenue to OCOGs; the OCOGs generate substantial revenue from the domestic marketing programmes that they manage within the host country, including domestic sponsorship, ticketing and licensing.
    National Olympic Committees (NOCs) Further information: National Olympic Committee

    The NOCs receive financial support for the training and development of Olympic teams, Olympic athletes and Olympic hopefuls. The IOC distributes TOP programme revenue to each of the NOCs throughout the world. The IOC also contributes Olympic broadcast revenue to Olympic Solidarity, an IOC organisation that provides financial support to NOCs with the greatest need.

    The continued success of the TOP programme and Olympic broadcast agreements has enabled the IOC to provide increased support for the NOCs with each Olympic quadrennium. The IOC provided approximately US$318.5 million to NOCs for the 2001–2004 quadrennium.

    International Olympic Sports Federations (IFs)

    The IOC is now the largest single revenue source for the majority of IFs, with its contributions of Olympic broadcast revenue that assist the IFs in the development of their respective sports worldwide. The IOC provides financial support from Olympic broadcast revenue to the 28 IFs of Olympic summer sports and the seven IFs of Olympic winter sports after the completion of the Olympic Games and the Olympic Winter Games, respectively.

    The continually increasing value of Olympic broadcast partnership has enabled the IOC to deliver substantially increased financial support to the IFs with each successive Games. The seven winter sports IFs shared US$85.8 million, €75 million in Salt Lake 2002 broadcast revenue. The contribution to the 28 summer sports IFs from Athens 2004 broadcast revenue has not yet been determined, but the contribution is expected to mark a significant increase over the US$190 million, €150 million that the IOC provided to the summer IFs following Sydney 2000.

    Other organisations

    The IOC contributes Olympic marketing revenue to the programmes of various recognised international sports organisations, including the International Paralympic Committee, and the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).

    Controversies Olympic Games Main topics Games
    • Bids
    • Ceremonies
    • Charter
    • Host cities
    • IFs
    • IOC
    • Medal
    • Medal tables
    • Medalists
    • NOCs
    • Scandals and controversies
    • Special medals
    • Sports
    • Symbols
    • Torch relays
    • Venues
    • Summer
    • Winter
    • Summer Deaflympic
    • Winter Deaflympic
    • Summer Paralympic
    • Winter Paralympic
    • Ancient
    • v
    • t
    • e
    Salt Lake bid scandal Main article: 2002 Winter Olympic bid scandal

    A scandal broke on 10 December 1998, when Swiss IOC member Marc Hodler, head of the coordination committee overseeing the organisation of the 2002 games, announced that several members of the IOC had taken bribes. Soon four independent investigations were underway: by the IOC, the USOC, the SLOC, and the United States Department of Justice.

    Before any of the investigations could even get under way both Welch and Johnson resigned their posts as the head of the SLOC. Many others soon followed. The Department of Justice filed charges against the two: fifteen charges of bribery and fraud. Johnson and Welch were eventually acquitted of all criminal charges in December 2003.

    As a result of the investigation ten members of the IOC were expelled and another ten were sanctioned. This was the first expulsion or sanction for corruption in the more than a century the IOC had existed. Although nothing strictly illegal had been done, it was felt that the acceptance of the gifts was morally dubious. Stricter rules were adopted for future bids and ceilings were put into place as to how much IOC members could accept from bid cities. Additionally new term and age limits were put into place for IOC membership, and fifteen former Olympic athletes were added to the committee.

    Other controversies: 2006–2013

    In 2006, a report ordered by the Nagano region''s governor said the Japanese city provided millions of dollars in an "illegitimate and excessive level of hospitality" to IOC members, including $4.4 million spent on entertainment alone.

    International groups attempted to pressure the IOC to reject Beijing''s bid in protest of the state of human rights in the People''s Republic of China. One Chinese dissident who expressed similar sentiments was arrested and sentenced to two years in prison for calling on the IOC to do just that at the same time that IOC inspectors were touring the city. Amnesty International expressed concern in 2006 regarding the Olympic Games to be held in China in 2008, likewise expressing concerns over the human rights situation. The second principle in the Fundamental Principles of Olympism, Olympic Charter states that The goal of Olympism is to place sport at the service of the harmonious development of man, with a view to promoting a peaceful society concerned with the preservation of human dignity. Amnesty International considers the policies and practices of the People''s Republic as failing to meet that principle, and urged the IOC to press China to immediately enact human rights reform.

    In August 2008, the IOC issued DMCA take down notices on Tibetan Protest videos of the Beijing Olympics hosted on YouTube. YouTube and the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) both pushed back against the IOC, which then withdrew their complaint.

    In 2010, the International Olympic Committee was nominated for the Public Eye Awards. This award seeks to present "shame-on-you-awards to the nastiest corporate players of the year".

    Before the start of the 2012 Olympic Games, the IOC decided not to hold a minute of silence to honor the 11 Israeli Olympians who were killed 40 years prior in the Munich Massacre. Jacques Rogge, the then-IOC President, said it would be "inappropriate" to do so. Speaking of the decision, Israeli Olympian Shaul Ladany, who had survived the Munich Massacre, commented: "I do not understand. I do not understand, and I do not accept it".

    In February 2013, the IOC did not include wrestling as one of its core Olympic sports for the Summer Olympic program for the 2020 Olympics. This decision was poorly received by the sporting and wrestling community. Wrestling will still be part of the program at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. This decision was later overturned, and wrestling will be a part of the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.

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