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66OLYMPIC REVIEWOLYMPIC RESEARCH CORNERRESPONSIBILITY TOWARDS ATHLETESAt the Olympic Congress in Copenhagen in 2009, theIOC stressed the importance of increasing educationaland social responsibility towards athletes. This clearlyincludes the development of strategies to motivateathletes in developing a dual career by which transitioninto professional life after top level sport could besupported. The process of successful transition intopost-athletic life is often blocked by a single mindedfocus on sporting success on the part of athletes andtheir external reference groups. Under thesecircumstances, academic and vocational training isoften pushed to the side. Counter measures have to be developed to overcome these tendencies and topromote the profile of the Olympic athlete as a rolemodel who displays responsible behaviour suitable for a life after high level sport. CULTURAL POLICYBeyond the sports event, the Olympic Games is also a cultural phenomenon that can have considerableinfluence at local, national and international level. This cultural dimension tends to be represented by themedia via popular ceremonial events, such as theOlympic torch relay and the Opening and ClosingCeremonies. The ceremonies in particular are aneffective way of displaying national customs andopenly comparing them with those of other nations. By this it is hoped to stimulate multicultural learningprocesses which promote an increase in tolerance and respect. Beyond this, the Games also incorporatea cultural and arts programme that plays a growingrole defining or contributing to respective Olympic hostcities' cultural policies, the production of local symbolsand the reinforcement of cultural values. To date,however, the Cultural Olympiad has failed to attractsignificant media attention and has remained one ofthe least visible and most misunderstood aspects ofthe Olympic experience. The need to give the CulturalOlympiad greater prominence should be an importantgoal for the OM as it seeks to keep the Games as a"live" festival, strongly connected to people in theirlocal environment and not just as a global media event only accessible via broadcast feeds or in a virtual online environment.LEADERSHIP AND CORPORATESOCIAL RESPONSIBILITYThe values, strategies and decisions of Olympic leadershave been shaped by the concrete historicalcircumstances of their times. Decision makers within theOlympic Movement need to be aware of how challengeswere dealt with in the past. This is essential becausemuch recent Olympic history has merely repeated whathas come before, albeit in new contexts. But of courseeffective leadership must also take account of theprevailing modern conditions. This is of particularimportance for organisations like the IOC, who have toadminister a historically grown set of highly moral, socialand educational values. The credible transfer of thesevalues to modern times requires far-sightednesstowards prevailing situations and concept. The buzzword here is the call for increasing corporate socialresponsibility (CSR) which is echoing loudly throughoutthe world. The nature of CSR is consistent with thephilosophical basis of the OM. This provides a greatopportunity for the IOC to make Olympism morerelevant in a contemporary 21st century world thatvalues both CSR and the Olympic Games, but generallyhas not realised the link between the two.NEW WAYS OF MASSCOMMUNICATIONThe emergence of new media challenges the IOC to reconsider the historical paradigm of masscommunication. Previous patterns of communicationhave changed and communication activities which relyon global electronic devices and networks have movedto the forefront. Internet and mobile technologies arebecoming the core of communication of the OM. The IOC has to keep pace with the rapid changes incommunication and give careful consideration toopportunities and threats. Online electronic devicesand particularly social networking media have madethe Olympic Games and discussion on thedevelopment of Olympism more accessible to peoplearound the world. This is a clear boost in increasingthe global diffusion of core values of the OM and theirmeaning for everyday life. But the growing globalaccessibility and engagement brings with it arequirement that Olympic issues are managed withthe utmost credibility and integrity by the IOC and itsstakeholders. Shortcomings will quickly become public and will lead to unwanted discussions on thegovernance of the IOC and the OM.SPORT FOR ALLThe promotion of Sport for All was a high priority topicon Pierre de Coubertin's agenda. Nowadays, againstthe background of the deepening crisis of physicalactivity around the globe, the IOC has to strengthen its efforts to enhance Sport for All. But for sportparticipation to be beneficial, it must be fullyaccessible to the intended participants, relevant totheir needs and abilities, and be conducted in safe andsupportive circumstances by professional leadership.Research shows that some forms of sport participationdo not meet these requirements, and as a result,participants drop out, or end up disliking sport. Despiteseveral OM initiatives, the health and well-being ofathletes and children's rights in sport continue to because for concern. The OM can no longer afford toleave the extent and quality of participation to chance.It must ensure effective monitoring and evaluation with a view to bringing about greater, more beneficialparticipation throughout the world.YOUTH AND SPORTCoubertin's concept of Olympism is strongly linked to the aim to support a higher participation of youth in regulated sport. This target has lost none of its importance today. One certain strategyfor making sport more appealing to the youngergenerations is the creation of new and innovativeopportunities for competition, which take intoaccount the mainstream of youth culture andsporting interest. The inaugural Youth OlympicGames will provide the ideal opportunity to getfeedback from young people on these areas.Literature suggests that ensuring quality physicaleducation and Sport for All in schools, andstrengthening collaboration between school andsport systems are other ways which couldRightTheinaugural YouthOlympic Gameswill combinesport and youth culture Below rightOlympicCeremonies can promotetolerance andrespect of others'traditions andbeliefs

encourage participation in sport by young people.Once a young person is engaged, education has to belinked with a sporting career in which social, medical,ethical and psychological care is guaranteed. Anotherimportant way to encourage ongoing participation isby making use of Olympic champions as role models.Their example, displaying good standards of ethicalconduct, dedication to athletic achievement,orientation and responsibility towards planning a postathletic career is of great use. Future research shouldbe used in the development of sporting structures and programmes, which will allow the Olympic andsports movements to look to the future and create a sporting environment that meets the needs of theyoung people of the world.This analysis doesn't pretend to give a globalpicture but to provide a specific analysis based on the authors' academic background and experience.The guiding theme in all the full papers written by the Selection Committee members is to explain thehistorically grown concept of Olympism and theanalysis of strategies to make this concept applicablein modern contexts. Responsibility towards theconcept of Olympism and in applying it in varioussituations is analysed as a major challenge in thefuture. Even in Coubertin's day, Olympism wasdeveloped against the background of prevailingtendencies in society at the time. Coubertin is oftendescribed as a seismograph who observed processesof transformation in society to tailor his concept ofOlympism. The IOC has to do the same and has to linkthe concept of Olympism with the present day. ?THE IOC OLYMPIC STUDIESCENTRE SELECTIONCOMMITTEEThe Selection Committee of the IOC OlympicStudies Centre (OSC) has a threefold mission: toassess from an academic point of view theapplications to the Postgraduate Research GrantProgramme; to select the grant holders; and tocontribute to the enrichment of the Olympic-related academic works thanks to the articleswritten annually by its academic members. Thepresent Olympic Research Corner issue is a briefsummary of some of the key ideas written by the Selection Committee's academic members in 2009 on the common topic "Challenges andOpportunities for the Olympic Movement in future Decades". The full papers can be found on the IOCwebsite, www.olympic.org/universities. The scholars are members of the OSC GrantProgramme Selection Committee and are the following:Stephan Wassong(German Sport UniversityCologne, Germany) Kristine Toohey(GriffithUniversity Gold Coast, Australia) Gudrun Doll-Tepper(Freie Universität Berlin, Germany) BeatrizGarcía(University of Liverpool, Great Britain) BruceKidd(University of Toronto, Canada) Françoise Papa(Université Stendhal Grenoble 3, France)Alberto Reppold(Universidade Federale do Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil)OLYMPIC REVIEW67OLYMPIC RESEARCH CORNERNOTES ON AUTHORS