One of the biggest challenges likely to face the Olympic Movement - that of reducing the cost and complexity of the Olympic Games - has been addressed at a two day meeting (12th and 13th July) at the International Olympic Committee headquarters in Lausann
With the operating cost of hosting the Olympics now in the region of $2billion (Summer Games) and $1.5billion (Winter Games), and the number of accredited participants totalling over 200,000, IOC President Dr Jacques Rogge set up the Olympic Games Study Commission to undertake a comprehensive review of all aspects of the Games and to propose changes that will make the world's greatest sporting event more manageable for future host cities and countries.
Chaired by Canadian IOC Member Mr Richard Pound, the Commission began its review of data relating to such matters as accredited participants, finance, technology, marketing, sports venues and facilities, press and broadcasting, which had been studied over the past months since the Commission first met earlier this year in Salt Lake City, prior to the Olympic Winter Games. Particular attention was given to the suggestions received via the IOC web site www.olympic.org where, since May, ideas have been submitted by, amongst others, athletes, sports fans, sports officials and scholars.
A full report from the Olympic Games Study Commission will be concluded in time for the 115th IOC Session in Prague, July 2003, with an interim report to be presented at the IOC Executive Board meeting in August this year. Structural and Olympic Charter issues will be discussed at the 114th IOC Session in Mexico in November. Whilst it is possible that some service level ideas could be implemented as early as the Games of the XXVIIIth Olympiad in Athens 2004, most of the Commission's recommendations will take effect starting with the Winter Games of Turin 2006, and beyond.
Commenting on the Commission's work, Dr Rogge said, ' The Olympic Games Study Commission has undertaken a big challenge but it is crucial that we, together with our partners in the Olympic family, have the courage to take the decisions needed to ensure the Olympic Games, whilst remaining the world's greatest sporting event, are manageable. ' Commission Chairman Richard Pound added, ' Reducing the cost and complexity of the Olympic Games, especially those not yet awarded, is certainly the challenge of the next decade, which we must begin to impliment now. Our two days in Lausanne were most productive, and have more than set us off in the right direction. I encourage all those who have the same passion for the Olympics as we do to send us their suggestions via the interactive web site and I take this opportunity to thank those who have already participated. '