What is IOC?
Sport has always been an important part of human life in every part of the world. Sports have been a social part of humanity and are one of the ways through which the history and development of man can be traced. As man became more advanced so did the sports that he was involved in. Today we have various sports disciplines with about 33 of them being part of the Olympics. The Olympics are the most prestigious and second most popular global sporting event. Winning an Olympic medal is a lifelong dream of many sports people and an unforgettable experience for any individual.
The first Olympic Games were held in Greece, way back in 776 BC. From that time on, the games were held every four years in a wooded valley called Olympia. At these games, the sports that took place included the stadium race, double stadium race, pentathlon, wrestling, chariot racing among others. This continued up to 393AD when the games were banned by Emperor Theodosius I. Modern Olympics came into being on March 24, 1896 thanks to the efforts of a Frenchman by the name Baron Pierre de Coubertin. He is credited as the founder of the Olympic Games as we know them today.
Two years before the inaugural modern day Olympics of 1896, the IOC or International Olympic Committee was formed. This was done at a meeting held in Paris where a 14 member team was tasked with the organizing the games that took place in Greece in 1896. Demetrios Vikelas was the first president of the IOC and led this team on its mission to organize a successful first Olympics. By the standards of the time the games were a huge success with more than 400 athletes from 13 countries participating. Following this success, the IOC established itself as a credible body that could manage and organize the Olympic Games. The IOC has progressed from these humble beginnings to a highly regarded organization that comprises more than 200 National Olympic Committees.
The IOC’s mission is to provide leadership and promote the principals of the Olympic Movement. This movement comprises of the IOC, National Olympic Committees, Organizing Committees of host countries and International Federations. It is also the final level of arbitration in case of disputes that may arise among members at any level. The IOC is also at the forefront of fighting unethical practices in sports such as doping and other forms of cheating. The IOC is also responsible for choosing the host city for the games. Once this host city has been chosen, the IOC works with its organizing committee to ensure proper planning and preparation for the games.
The IOC is led by a president who is assisted by an executive board that comprises 4 vice presidents and 10 other members. These are the people charged with the management and administration of the IOC, its assets, copyrights, trademarks and other properties of the organization. The excellent sports displays that we continue to enjoy at the summer and winter Olympics are a result of the hard work of the IOC and the Olympic Movement.