Philip Barker: Giving athletes a voice – the birth and growth of the Athletes' Commission

Apr 20, 2019

The latest International Olympic Committee (IOC) Athletes' Forum held in Lausanne this past week was claimed to be the biggest ever with some 350 participants drawn from across the world of sport.

IOC President Thomas Bach told the group: "You are the decision makers. You know best what the athletes need. You are in a much more powerful decision than just commenting from the outside."

In common with those in other sports, Olympic competitors had to fight for representation. It was not until the 1981 IOC Congress in Baden Baden that athletes were invited to participate for the first time.

Organising Committee chairman Willi Daume welcomed them to the Congress: "I hope sincerely that our young athletes use the opportunity this Congress has given them and will therefore have a genuine right to express their views in future."


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