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  • What is Olympic Agenda 2020?
    • Olympic Agenda 2020 is a strategic roadmap for the future of the Olympic Movement that was launched by IOC President Thomas Bach after his election in September 2013.

      A year of open, transparent and widespread debate and discussion has resulted in 40 recommendations – made public on 18 November 2014 – that were discussed and unanimously approved by the full IOC membership at the 127th IOC Session on 8 and 9 December 2014 in Monaco.

      The 40 recommendations that make up Olympic Agenda 2020 stem from the thousands of contributions received from members of the Olympic Movement, public and civil society.

      More than 40,000 submissions were received, from which 1,200 concrete ideas were produced. These ideas were then further refined into the 40 recommendations by the IOC Executive Board, the 126th IOC Session, 14 Working Groups, the IOC Commissions, and  two Olympic Summits.

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  • What is the process for cities wanting to host the Olympic Games?
    • An overview of the process is available in the "Olympic Games Candidature Process" section.

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  • Who chooses the host city for future Olympic Games?
    • It is the members of the IOC, meeting at their Session, who choose the host city. Electing the host city for the Olympic Games is one of the powers of the Session.

      The host city is elected by a majority of the votes cast by secret ballot. Each active member has one vote. The members who are nationals of the countries with a Candidate City are not allowed to vote when their city remains in contention.

      The honorary members, honour members and suspended members are not allowed to vote. If a majority is not achieved in the first round of voting, the Candidate City with the fewest votes is eliminated, and a further round or rounds of voting are held until a majority is obtained by one city.

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  • What were the results of previous elections of the host city?
    • Results of the latest elections (since 1988) are available through the following document:

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  • When was Tokyo chosen as the host city of the 2020 Summer Games?
  • When was PyeongChang chosen as the host city of the Olympic Winter Games 2018?
    • On 6 July 2011, the IOC members at their Session in Durban elected PyeongChang as the host city of the XXIII Olympic Winter Games by 63 votes out of 95 over Munich (Germany) and Annecy (France).

      The Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018 will be the first Winter Games to be held in the Republic of Korea. The Republic of Korea hosted the Olympic Summer Games Seoul 1988.

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  • Who organises the Olympic Games?
    • The host city’s Organising Committee for the Olympic Games (OCOG) is in charge of organising this great event.

      When the International Olympic Committee (IOC) selects a city to stage the Games, the city and the National Olympic Committee (NOC) of the host country create the OCOG which will organise the Games.

      From the moment it is created, seven years before the Games, the OCOG works closely with the IOC.

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  • Who organises the Paralympic Games?
    • The Paralympic Games are organised by the International Paralympic Committee (IPC), which is one of the organisations recognised by the Olympic Movement.

      The Paralympic Games are always held in the same year as the Olympic Games.

      Since the 1988 Summer Games in Seoul and the 1992 Winter Games in Albertville, the Paralympic Games have been held using the same venues as the Olympic Games.

      Since the 2002 Winter Games in Salt Lake City, the same organising committee has been responsible for staging both the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

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  • What is the role of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in organising the Olympic Games?
    • The IOC entrusts the honour and responsibility of hosting the Games to a city elected by the IOC Session. The organisation for the Games is based on a partnership between the IOC and the Organising Committee for the Olympic Games (OCOG).

      The Olympic Games are the exclusive property of the IOC, which is the supreme authority for all matters concerning the Games. Its role is to supervise, support and monitor the organisation of the Games; ensure that they run smoothly; and make sure that the rules of the Olympic Charter are respected.

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  • How are the Olympic Games financed?
    • The budget for the Olympic Games has naturally evolved over time and varies for each edition depending on the current context of the host city. However, the basic principles of financing the Games remain broadly the same and can be broken down into two distinct budgets:

      The Organising Committee for the Olympic Games (OCOG) Budget

      This is mainly privately financed with a large contribution from the IOC that comes from its different revenue sources, including The Olympic Partner (TOP) programme and the sale of broadcast rights for the Olympic Games.

      The IOC contributes a large part of the finances needed to stage an Olympic Games. It will contribute, for example, more than 1.5 billion USD to the success of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. For the 2022 Olympic Winter Games, we will invest 880 million USD in addition to providing other benefits. The IOC also provides the possibility to the Games organisers to commercialise the Olympic rights in their territory as well as to manage the ticketing of the event. Another revenue source for the local organisers is a national partnership programme.

      As part of its contribution, the IOC pays for the host broadcast operation, Olympic Broadcast Services (OBS), and provides various forms of Games support to the OCOG including through its “Transfer of Knowledge” programmes.

      The most recent editions of the Olympic Games and Olympic Winter Games have all either broken even or made a profit.

      The Non-OCOG Budget:

      This budget is generally under the control of the local authorities and comprises several elements:

      Capital Investment budget (Competition and Non-Competition venues) - This is directly related to the construction of the permanent competition and non-competition venues which must have a long term legacy. The financing of such investments are usually undertaken by the public authorities and/or the private sector.

      Operations budget - This includes the operational services of public authorities in support of the Games (such as security, transport, medical services, customs and immigration, etc.).

      In addition, each city/region/country has a long-term investment plan for general infrastructure which deals with wider infrastructure investments that the host country and city are making independently of the Games, such as investments in roads, airports and rail ways. How this is funded and the scope of this investment plan very much depend on what already exists in the city and the long term development vision of the city and country.

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  • What measures are taken to fight doping at the Olympic Games?
    • The fight against doping is a priority for the IOC. It works in close collaboration with the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), with an aim to applying a “zero tolerance” policy.

      The IOC’s Medical Commission has been fighting doping since 1967. Its field of action expanded after the creation of WADA in 1999. The role of this independent Agency is to promote and coordinate, on an international level, the fight against all forms of doping.

      At the Games, the IOC requires the Organising Committee to apply all practical methods of collecting urine and blood samples. It sets the number of tests to be performed in collaboration with the IFs concerned, the Games Organising Committee and the laboratory accredited for the Games, which works solely under the authority of the IOC.

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  • What role does the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) play?
  • What is the role of the International Sports Federations (IFs)?
  • What is a National Olympic Committee (NOC)?
    • National Olympic Committees (NOCs) exist in the different countries of the world. They are one of the three constituents of the Olympic Movement, alongside the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the International Sports Federations (IFs).

      The NOCs’ mission is to develop, promote and protect the Olympic Movement in their respective country, in accordance with the Olympic Charter. There are currently 206 NOCs.

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  • What is the Olympic Movement?
    • The Olympic Movement is composed of three main constituents: the International Olympic Committee (IOC), the International Sports Federations (IFs) and the National Olympic Committees (NOCs).

      In addition to these three constituents the Olympic Movement is made up of all the organisations which recognise the IOC’s authority: the Organising Committees for the Olympic Games (OCOGs), the athletes, judges and referees, associations and clubs, as well as all the IOC-recognised organisations and institutions.

      As is clearly defined in the Olympic Charter, “The goal of the Olympic Movement is to contribute to building a peaceful and better world by educating youth through sport practised in accordance with Olympism and its values.” (Olympic Charter, Chapter 1, Rule 1.1)

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  • What is the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and what is its mission?
    • The International Olympic Committee is the supreme authority of the Olympic Movement. Its job is to promote Olympism around the world and lead the Olympic Movement.

      The IOC is the catalyst for all the Olympic family members: National Olympic Committees, International, Federations, athletes, Organising Committees for the Olympic Games, TOP partners and broadcasters, plus United Nations agencies. The IOC cultivates its success through a series of programmes and projects which give life to the Olympic values. Its role is to ensure the regular celebration of the Olympic Games, support all the organisations affiliated to the Olympic Movement and encourage the promotion of the Olympic values.

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  • How does one become an IOC member?
    • To become an IOC member, it is necessary to be elected by the IOC Session by a majority of the votes cast. The IOC recruits and elects its members from among the people it deems qualified.

      The IOC’s members include active athletes, former athletes and the presidents or senior leaders of the International Sports Federations (IFs) or international organisations recognised by the IOC.

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  • Who can become IOC President?
    • To become President, it is first necessary to be an IOC member.

      Among its members, the IOC has active and former athletes, as well as presidents or high-level leaders of National Olympic Committees (NOCs), International Sports Federations (IFs) and international organisations recognised by the IOC.

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  • How is the IOC President elected and what is his role?
    • The IOC President is elected by secret ballot by the IOC members at the Session.

      The President’s term of office is eight years, and can be renewed once, for four years.

      The ninth IOC President Thomas Bach was elected on 10 September 2013 at the 125th IOC Session in Buenos Aires.

      The role of the President is to represent the IOC and to preside over all its activities. He establishes election rules, except for the election of the President.

      He can also take a decision on behalf of the IOC, when circumstances dictate that the IOC Session or Executive Board cannot do so.

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  • Who has been IOC President since 1894?
    • To date, the IOC has had nine Presidents. In chronological order:

      • Demetrius Vikelas (Greece), President from 1894 to 1896
      • Pierre de Coubertin (France), President from 1896 to 1925
      • Henri de Baillet-Latour (Belgium), President from 1925 to 1942
      • J. Sigfrid Edström (Sweden), President from 1946 to 1952
      • Avery Brundage (USA), President from 1952 to 1972
      • Lord Killanin (Ireland), President from 1972 to 1980
      • Juan Antonio Samaranch (Spain), President from 1980 to 2001
      • Jacques Rogge (Belgium), President from 2001 to 2013
      • Thomas Bach (Germany), President from 2013

      The ninth IOC President was elected on 10 September 2013 at the 125th IOC Session in Buenos Aires

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  • What is the Executive Board of the International Olympic Committee (IOC)?
    • The Executive Board is the executive body of the IOC. It assumes the general overall responsibility for the administration of the IOC and monitors compliance with the Olympic Charter. The Board is made up of the IOC President, four vice-presidents and 10 other members, all elected by the Session.

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  • What is the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Session?
    • The Session is the general assembly of the IOC’s members. The supreme body of the IOC, its decisions are final. An ordinary Session is held once a year. Extraordinary Sessions may be convened by the President or upon the written request of at least one-third of the members.

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  • What powers does the Session have?
    • The Session has the following powers:

      1. To adopt or amend the Olympic Charter
      2. To elect the members of the IOC, the Honorary President, honorary members and honour members
      3. To elect the President, the Vice-Presidents and all other members of the IOC Executive Board
      4. To elect the host city of the Olympic Games
      5. To elect the city in which an ordinary Session is held, the President having the authority to determine the city in which an extraordinary Session is held
      6. To approve the annual report and accounts of the IOC
      7. To appoint the IOC’s auditors
      8. To decide on the awarding or withdrawal by the IOC of full recognition to or from NOCs, associations of NOCs, IFs, associations of IFs and other organisations
      9. To expel IOC members and to withdraw the status of Honorary President, honorary members and honour members
      10. To resolve and decide upon all other matters assigned to it by law or by the Olympic Charter

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  • Why does the International Olympic Committee have its headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland?
  • Which are the Commissions of the International Olympic Committee (IOC)?
  • What is the role of women in the Olympic Movement?
    • For the IOC, the participation of women in sports activities, the Olympic Games and sports administration structures is a major preoccupation.

      Indeed, it is committed to gender equality. It is written in the Olympic Charter that the role of the IOC is “to encourage and support the promotion of women in sport at all levels and in all structures with a view to implementing the principle of equality of men and women” (Olympic Charter, Chapter 1, Rule 2.7).

      For this, a women and sport working group was set up in December 1995, and became, in March 2004, a fully-fledged Commission. It advises the IOC Executive Board on the policy to implement in terms of promoting women in sport.

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  • How does the Olympic Movement contribute to the fair development of sport?
    • Through Olympic Solidarity, a Commission of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), assistance is provided to all of the National Olympic Committees (NOCs), particularly to those which are in greater need, so that they can develop their own structures to favour the expansion of sport in their countries.

      World and continental programmes are set up to increase global assistance to the athletes, strengthen the structure of the NOCs and maintain assistance to training for coaches. Athletes can also obtain subsidies to help them train with a view to qualifying for the Olympic Games.

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  • What is the role of the Ethics Commission?
    • Its mission is to ensure respect, within the Olympic Movement, of the ethical principles set out in the Olympic Charter. To do this, it establishes a Code of Ethics which contains the applicable rules.

      In the event of a violation of the Code, it recommends measures to the IOC Executive Board. These range from a reminder of the rules to sanctions such as suspension of an NOC. The Ethics Commission also seeks to avoid breaches of the Code of Ethics by advising all the members of the Olympic Movement.

      This independent Commission is composed of nine members, the majority of whom are personalities from outside the Olympic Movement.

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  • Who can refer cases to the Ethics Commission?
    • Anyone concerned by a violation of the ethical principles in the IOC Code of Ethics can make a complaint to the Ethics Commission, provided that the complaint is against one of the bodies required to comply with the Code of Ethics - namely the IOC members, the Organising Committees for the Olympic Games (OCOGs), National Olympic Committees (NOCs), the cities bidding to host the Olympic Games and anyone taking part in the Olympic Games. The complaint will be sent to the IOC President for analysis and a recommendation by the Commission if the situation warrants it.

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  • Who is concerned by the Ethics Commission’s recommendations?
    • The Ethics Commission can recommend measures or sanctions against people or organisations who are required to respect the Olympic Charter and the Code of Ethics: the IOC administration and members, the Organising Committees for the Olympic Games (OCOGs), the National Olympic Committees (NOCs), the cities bidding to host the Olympic Games or Youth Olympic Games and all the Olympic Games participants, including athletes and their entourage members, NOC delegations, and the International Federations (IFs) and their referees, judges, etc.

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  • How can I report suspicious activity related to competition manipulation or an infringement of the IOC Code of Ethics?
    • You can report suspicious approaches, activities related to competition manipulation, infringements of the IOC Code of Ethics or other matters, including financial misconduct or other legal, regulatory and ethical breaches over which the IOC has jurisdiction, by using the IOC Integrity and Compliance Hotline.

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  • What is Olympic Solidarity?
    • Olympic Solidarity is one of the International Olympic Committee (IOC)’s commissions. Its job is to organise the assistance the IOC gives to the National Olympic Committees (NOCs) to help them develop sport in their respective countries.

      Through Olympic Solidarity, athletes can benefit from the “Olympic scholarships for athletes” programme, which allocates subsidies enabling athletes to train and qualify for the Olympic Games.

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  • How can I contact the IOC or an IOC Member ?
    • You can either send your message via this form or send your correspondence to the following address. Upon evaluation, your message will be forwarded to the appropriate service/person:

      International Olympic Committee
      Château de Vidy
      Case postale 356
      1001 Lausanne
      Switzerland

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  • What is the IOC standpoint on discrimination ?
    • The Olympic Charter  states, in the Fundamental Principles of Olympism, that “The enjoyment of the rights and freedoms [...] shall be secured without discrimination of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, sexual orientation, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status”.

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Olympic documents

Visit the Olympic.org documents repository to find a list of all documents published on this website. This section contains the major reports, studies, publications and information regarding the Olympic Movement.

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Olympic studies

The IOC Olympic Studies Centre is the world source of reference for Olympic knowledge. As an integral part of the IOC, we are uniquely placed to provide the most accurate, relevant and up-to-date information on Olympism.

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