Past Congresses have resulted in fundamental changes to the Olympic Movement. Amateurism gave way to the acceptance of professionalism at the 10th Congress in Varna, Bulgaria, in 1973. The Athletes' Commission was created in 1981 at the 11th Congress in Baden-Baden, and the environment was the focus of the 12th Congress in 1994 in Paris.
"This is why I want to encourage everyone to contribute their thoughts, ideas and best thinking," continued the President. "This is our opportunity to take on bold new directions and set the tone for the Olympic Movement for years to come."
Young People and the Digital Revolution
The President is clear about his priorities: "I believe that, first of all, we need to address our responsibility to better engage with young people and to combat inactivity and obesity. I am also eager for us to fully embrace the digital revolution, which affects the way the world experiences the Olympic Games, whether via the internet or on mobile phones."
New ways of engaging and involving as many people as possible in the debate are reflected in the virtual Olympic Congress website - www.2009congress.olympic.org/en - which has been live throughout 2008. This has been successfully used to solicit contributions under five themes: Athletes, Olympic Games, Structure of the Olympic Movement, Olympism and Youth and The Digital Revolution.
It is a sign of this desire for new ideas that, for the first time, the process has been opened up and the general public encouraged to submit contributions. "We have already had more than 1,000 written submissions from the public and the Olympic family, and I am hoping for many more," said the President.
"This is a great opportunity for us all to participate in creating the future of the Olympic Movement," the President concluded. "Today, we are faced with the challenge of building on our past success and ensuring the Olympic Movement remains relevant into the rest of the 21st century. For this, we are going to need everyone's best thinking."
Make Your Contribution?
Making a contribution to the Virtual Olympic Congress is easy! Simply click on the banner below will give you access to the virtual Olympic Congress site. Click on the banner, register and contribute online to two of the five Congress themes.
The themes are as follows:
Theme 1: The athletes
- Relationship between the athletes, the clubs, federations and the NOCs
- Health protection in training and competition
- The social and professional life of athletes during and after elite competition
Theme 2: The Olympic Games
- How to keep the Games as a premier event
- The Olympic values
- Universality and developing countries
Theme 3: The structure of the Olympic Movement
- The autonomy of the Olympic Movement
- Good governance and ethics
- The relationships between the Olympic Movement and its stakeholders
Theme 4: Olympism and Youth
- Moving towards an active society
- Is competitive sport still appealing?
- Youth sports events
Theme 5: The digital revolution
- A new management of sports rights
- How to increase the size of the sports audience
- Communication with stakeholders in the digital age
Basis of discussion
The Virtual Olympic Congress is an important component of the preparatory process leading up to the 13th Olympic Congress in Copenhagen. The information gathered through the virtual Congress will form the basis of discussions at the 13th Olympic Congress held in Copenhagen, Denmark, in October 2009.
More information on the Congress Regulations, the Call for Contributions and the competition rules can be found at www.2009congress.olympic.org.