If the Olympic movement does not believe deeply in what it is doing and what it stands for, then its slide into irrelevance is only a matter of time.
The Olympic movement, and I dare say the rest of sport, are eagerly anticipating the release of the 40 proposed recommendations coming out of the year-long agenda 2020 discussions and consultations following over 40,000 submissions, the final stage of the reform process started by International Olympic Committee (IOC) president Thomas Bach following his election in 2013.
Calls for governance reform aren’t limited to the world of sport.
Around the world people are saying governments, once elected, no longer work for the people—only for the rich and powerful. In almost every country, people want effective, efficient and accountable government. They want to avoid repeating the mistakes of the past and elect governments to make their everyday life better.
The same can be said for sport in addition to the growth and development of their respective sport or organisations. Add to that the use of sport for social objectives. Sport leaders also have to focus on providing athletes with what they need to give them the best chance to be their best and to be the healthiest and fittest when it matters most.
It is therefore going to be very interesting to see what the IOC agenda 2020 will produce and how far-reaching and transformative it is.
There are many issues that the Olympic movement must address.
• How can the Olympic movement build on the foundations and make the IOC and the Olympic movement fit for purpose for a rapidly and constantly changing world
• How can the IOC and the Olympic movement be more inclusive?
• How can the IOC be more vibrant, dynamic and relevant in its efforts to propogate Olympism, Olympic values and the Olympic ideals to the youth and young people of today’s world and a projection as to what will be required in the near future.
The ongoing challenges for all Olympic sport leaders continue to be the enormous demands and changes.
The Olympic movement must ensure that all stakeholders who agree to the Olympic charter align with the charter. It can’t be one rule for some and a different rule for others.
There are too many people getting involved in the movement who don’t seem to have any sincere interest in furthering the purpose, mission and values of the Olympic movement.
Those who are seeking to be in the leadership of the Olympic movement need an increased knowledge and appreciation of the Olympic ideals. They need greater commitment to the Olympic goal of sport contributing to building a peaceful and better world by educating youth through sport and enthusiasm to promote equal opportunity for females in sport.
Agenda 2020 will address some core issues including finding a way to improve the attitude of the Olympic movement about the relevance of the Olympic movement.
The truth be told is that when you sit around the table at Olympic movement meetings it is clear that not everyone shares the same belief system and commitment towards the Olympic values and ideals.
The time for talk is over. Now is the time for decisions. If the Olympic movement and the IOC want to remain in the driver’s seat decisive action is required.
Brian Lewis is the president of the T&T Olympic Committee. The views expressed are not necessarily those of the Olympic Committee.