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Historic address to AOC AGM by IOC President Thomas Bach OLY

4 May 2019

AOC: In an historic day for the Australian Olympic Committee (AOC), its Annual General Meeting has been addressed by the President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), Thomas Bach OLY.

This is the first time an IOC President has attended an AOC Annual General Meeting.

In marking the occasion, AOC President John Coates AC presented Mr Bach with the AOC President’s Trophy which recognises long serving leadership in the Olympic movement.    

In his address to the meeting, President Bach stressed the importance of the new IOC approach to make the Olympic Games more sustainable and affordable for host cities and regions.

Mr Bach pointed to the significant savings made by Tokyo which will host the Olympic Games in 2020 as evidence of the success of measures adopted under the Olympic Agenda 2020 arrangements.

He wants this process made even more streamlined, establishing a working party to be led by John Coates to create even greater flexibility for hosting cities.

Mr Bach stressed that the IOC distributes 90 percent of its income to Organising Committees of Olympic Games to run the event, to the Olympic Teams, the National Olympic Committees, and the International Federations to support athletes and the development of sport.

He also confirmed the importance of the Olympic movement’s commitment to the principle of political neutrality – a commitment that allows sport to be truly autonomous.

In a wide-ranging speech, Mr Bach emphasised the great importance of the influence and participation of athletes in decision making through elected Athletes’ Commissions within National Olympic Committees and the IOC itself. He said athletes’ rights have been hard-fought for and must be maintained.   

In his State of the Olympics Address, AOC President John Coates stressed the importance of the Olympic movement remaining independent of government and adhering to the Olympic Charter.

Mr Coates rejected any singular focus on picking winners and medal chances in favour of the AOC’s commitment to sending full teams including sports and disciplines that receive no government funding.

He said the AOC would continue to remain financially independent of Government in order to pursue its own purpose and goals.

The AOC Constitution was also amended to harmonise it with the Olympic Charter in respect of the Athletes’ Rights and Responsibilities Declaration that was adopted by the IOC Session on September 10 last year.

Mr Coates was pleased to announced that Allianz Australia had joined the family of partners supporting the Australian Olympic Team.

The partnership will see Allianz Australia support the Olympic movement in Australia in a range of ways, including providing insurance to the AOC, Australian Olympic Teams and athletes as they travel across the globe to compete in the Games.

Mr Coates said the partnership will cover the Olympic Summer Games Tokyo 2020, Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022, the Olympic Games Paris 2024, the Olympic Winter Games 2026 and the Olympic Games LA 2028. 

“Without the generous support from all of our partners, the AOC would not be in a position to realise the Olympic dreams of our athletes and promote Olympism.”

Olympic sprinter Raelene Boyle AM MBE was also presented with the AOC Order of Merit at this year’s meeting.

While this award was originally announced in 2018, Raelene was overseas and unable to accept the award in person.

An Order of Merit is awarded to a person who in the opinion of the Executive has achieved remarkable merit in the sporting world, either through personal achievement or contribution to the development of sport.

Thomas Bach’s Address can be found HERE

John Coates’ Address can be found HERE


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