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Posted by Equestrian Australia on 27/06/2019.

Australian Olympic Committee Welcomes Olympic Games Hosting Changes

The Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) has welcomed key changes approved by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) at its Session in Lausanne today, that increases the flexibility for electing future Olympic and Paralympic Games hosts.

The Session adopted the recommendations of the Working Group established last March and Chaired by IOC Member in Australia, John Coates.

The key changes will see the establishment of a permanent ongoing dialogue to explore and create interest among cities, regions, countries and National Olympic Committees to host Olympic Games.

Two permanent future Host Commissions - one for Summer Games and the other for Winter Games, will be created to oversee this interest. They will include representation from athletes, International Federations, National Olympic Committees and the International Paralympic Committee, as well as continental representation.

Mr Coates said the Commissions will not necessarily wait until interested hosts come to the IOC, but will be pro-active and open minded to innovative proposals.

“We have reached a significant milestone today with the IOC Session signing off on these changes.”

“The Olympic Charter has now been changed to allow candidatures from multiple cities, from regions and countries, focussed around existing sports venues. Similarly, instead of a single Olympic village, there can be Olympic villages to ensure that athletes are accommodated in close proximity to their competition venues.

“Priority must be given to the use of existing or temporary venues. The construction of new permanent venues for the purpose of the Games will only be considered if a sustainable legacy can be shown.”

The changes will also see the end of the requirement to determine a Games host seven years prior to that Games.

Cities will be able to propose a timetable that aligns with their own growth and development plans – things that are not Games driven.

“This flexibility follows the special changes made to enable Los Angeles to be selected 11 years before their Games in 2028. This flexibility is now enshrined,” Mr Coates said.

The new process will continue to reduce the cost of bidding, following the steps taken before the election of the 2026 Host City which saw the candidates spend $US 5-7 million each as compared with the $US30+ million spent by candidates for the 2018 and 2022 Winter Games.

Mr Coates emphasised that the magic of the Games should not be lost - with the coming-together of athletes from countries, cultures and different sports, a central feature that makes the Olympic Games so special - and differentiates them from individual world championships.

“We must continue to offer athletes the chance to mix and share their experiences. That is at the heart of our Olympic movement. That can still happen, balanced with the requirement to give every athlete the chance to perform at their best with the ease of access to their training and competition venues.”

Mr Coates says Working Group’s role in the reforms is now concluded with today’s IOC Session, with the implementation process a matter for the Chairs of the two Future Host Commissions and the IOC Executive Board.

The full membership of the IOC will continue to elect the hosts.

“The IOC President Thomas Bach has made it clear that the Olympics must change, or be changed. These measures will deliver on his vision of ensuring the Games themselves adapt to those who wish to host.”

“The independence and transparency of the Future Host Commissions from this point will ensure there is confidence that the IOC can deliver on its Olympic Agenda 2020 ambitions. Today is an important step in the process we call the New Norm,” Mr Coates concluded.


* Media Release supplied by the AOC


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