December 8, 2014, Monaco – The International Olympic Committee (IOC) kicked off its two-day meeting of its general assembly in Monaco, with IOC President Thomas Bach providing a high-level review of the so-called “40-point program”. Also referred to as the “Olympic Agenda 2020”, the plan serves as an important model for future Olympic Games and will be voted on by full IOC membership in Monaco this week.
- Perhaps the primary proposed guideline that may potentially impact the sport of swimming in particular, is the IOC’s notion of shifting the Games from a sport-focused competition to more of an event-focused enterprise. The proposal is to drop its current cap of 28 sports in the Games and instead impose a limit of events to 310. Not only would this change in parameters potentially allow such previously shut-out sports such as baseball, surfing, and rock climbing (just to name a very few) to enter the Olympic realm, we could quite possibly see existing sports – read swimming – see its number of events pared down for its contribution to the overall 310 event limit.
- Another point of the program is the possibility of certain events/venues to be held outside of the actual host city or country. Planners believe this option could lower the cost of bidding on Olympic Games by potentially increasing the likelihood of joint bids.
- Agenda 2020’s plans also feature a digital Olympic Channel in order to “offer young people better access to Olympic history and values.” IOC President Bach indicates that “[The channel] would give athletes and sports the ‘world-wide media exposure they deserve’ in the period between the games”, according to AP writer Stephen Wilson. The cost of such a channel, whose goal is to be active by the end of 2015 in just an initial digital format? A cool $600 million over the first seven years, with funding sources from national Olympic committees, TV, and sponsorship venues. (NPR.org)
- Revised wording is being requested to be infused to Principle 6 of the Olympic Charter, to include specific non-discrimination verbiage, “based on sexual orientation.” On this point Bach indicates, “This strengthened wording will help us ensure the respect for all of these rights for all participants during the Olympic Games.” (Stephen Wilson, AP).
- One additional item of note within the outlined within the context of triggering more women’s participation in sport in general, is for “the IOC to encourage the inclusion of mixed-gender team events.” Might this come into play in determining whether the mixed relays of the likes we just witnessed in Doha transition into the Olympic Schedule come 2020?
Click HERE to view the entire proposed Agenda 2020 recommendations.