OLYMPIC SOLIDARITYOLYMPIC REVIEW59How important is the role of Olympic Solidaritywithin the Olympic Movement?In the last 20 years, the importance and role of OlympicSolidarity has progressively increased. The 205 NationalOlympic Committees (NOCs) worldwide receive thebenefits offered by the Olympic Solidarity World andContinental Programmes. For most NOCs, the supportprovided by Olympic Solidarity is a guarantee for theirparticipation in Regional, Continental and OlympicGames, as well as a fundamental factor to preservetheir autonomy and independence. I have no doubt thesuccess the Olympic Movement has today is closelyrelated to the work carried out by Olympic Solidarity.How has Olympic Solidarity met the aims it setout to achieve?The President of the IOC, Jacques Rogge, together withother leaders of the Olympic Movement, has definedthe road to follow as well as the scope of OlympicSolidarity and has supported the implementation of the Olympic Solidarity programmes. The strategicobjectives are clearly defined, their basis being toguarantee further support to athletes and NOCs. Thefinancial resources allocated annually to NOCs haveincreased significantly and progressively after eachedition of the Olympic Games. The preparation ofathletes and coaches, scholarships for athletes,organisation of courses and seminars, training ofhuman resources, promotion of Olympic Values andNOC legacy are, among others, the objectives of theOlympic Solidarity World and Continental Programmes.The application of quadrennial plans and theorganisation of Olympic Solidarity as a worldwidesystem, integrated by the headquarters in Lausanneand the five continental offices, is a guarantee toachieve those objectives.What have been the biggest challenges?I think the biggest challenges Olympic Solidarity hasfaced in the past 30 years have been to design asystem whose guiding principles include theapplication of a solidarity concept accepted byeveryone; to obtain the necessary financial resourcesfor their application; to train NOC representatives toobtain as much benefits as possible; to dedicatefurther efforts and resources to the preparation ofathletes and to successfully apply the decentralisationprocess that was put in place a decade ago. How do you assess the success of the Programme?The degree of satisfaction from athletes, coaches andNOCs with regards to the support provided by OlympicSolidarity is high. The sports achievement of OlympicSolidarity scholarship holders in Continental Gamesand in Beijing and Vancouver are genuine proof ofwhat it is possible to achieve with effort, dedicationand common goals.Will Olympic Solidarity change much over thecoming years?Ibelieve that, as has been the case until now, Olympic Solidarity will adapt to the demands of themoment. It will continue to strengthen the supportprovided to athletes and NOCs and look to achieveincreased efficiency and higher results in theapplication of World and Continental Programmes. What has been the most satisfactoryachievement to you personally?My greatest satisfaction is to be part of the workingteam that has headed Olympic Solidarity for more than30 years. To see the results achieved, to feel theundertaken efforts have been worth it and to believe it is possible to improve further makes us moreoptimistic and confident on the promising future ofsport and the Olympic Movement.