40OLYMPIC REVIEW OLYMPIC CONGRESS Olympic athletes, clubs, federations and NOCs involves important responsibilities on all sides. While athletes must ensure they fulfil their obligations to their clubs - not to mention act as role models to the next generation of Olympians - the various bodies are also bound by a duty of care to their athletes. While existing protocol already covers many key areas relating to those relationships, there is merit in re- evaluating such frameworks from time to time to ensure that the best interests of the athletes and the different organisations are adequately met. One way of doing this is to ensure that the health and general welfare of the athletes is paramount. Education and awareness about treatment, prevention and anti- doping policies are all important in ensuring the physical and psychological safety of athletes. All sporting organisations and personnel involved in the lives of amateur and professional athletes need to be equipped with the information to educate and advise athletes on health- related issues. Athletes must also be given access to continued education and training throughout their careers in order to ensure that they are successful in any field of their choosing after their sporting careers have come to an end. Special attention must be given to younger athletes who must be made aware of safety in training and competition. Parents have a significant role to play in protecting and nurturing their children's physical health. An athlete's social and professional welfare is also of the utmost importance. As such, athletes should be provided with the tools they need to both perform in, and prepare for life after, elite competition - ensuring as stable and seamless a transition as possible between these two very distinct experiences. The Olympic Movement has the duty to explore how existing structures and programmes can be further strengthened to assist athletes with the professional and social lives, both during and after their careers. ¦ Barrigue Pursuing your studies I have made a university professor my pacesetter!
OLYMPIC REVIEW41 OLYMPIC CONGRESS " WITHOUT THE ATHLETES, THERE WOULD BE NO OLYMPIC GAMES - NO SPORT. ATHLETES ARE THE NUMBER ONE PRIORITY FOR THE OLYMPIC MOVEMENT. THEIR VOICES ARE TAKEN INTO ACCOUNT THROUGHOUT THE WHOLE LIFE CYCLE OF THE GAMES" How do you see the role of the Olympic Movement in today's society? The role of the Olympic Movement is to educate young people through sport. I have always thought that sport can serve as an important catalyst in getting people, and in particular young people, to set their own goals, have a go, find their own place in society and achieve something. My career in athletics, as well as the experiences of many other athletes across the world, is testimony to what sport can do to help a young person achieve his or her goals. Indeed, through sport, young people are able to create a way of life that makes them valuable members of their communities. Sport teaches young people to make proper choices in life. Through sport and the Olympic Movement, we can successfully engage young people in a way that more traditional education and training projects do not. What responsibility does an athlete have in relation to their sport, their club, federation and NOC, and as a role model to the next generation? An athlete has a central role to play in raising the profile of sport and recreation across communities. The athlete, to do his or her job properly, needs the support of his or her club, federation and NOC. The sports movement, clubs, national and International Federations and NOCs, have an important role and responsibilities vis- à- vis the athlete, who has the same responsibilities. This is why, inside any sports body, it is important that athletes are in a position to influence development and decision- making. Today, being an athlete does not stop at an athletics track, a pool or a court. Like any other citizen, an athlete has the right and the duty to voice his or her concerns about his or her position and role within the sports movement at any level and within society in general. In today's evolving society, the athlete has in some way replaced the movie or pop star as a role model or hero for the young generation. For this reason, we have to try to make a difference to help these young people achieve their goals in life, teaching them at the same time how to practise sport whilst respecting themselves and others - their rivals, coaches, referees, etc. We have a responsibility to the young generation to let them know that taking part in sport is a wonderful life experience. How can the Olympic Movement ensure that the welfare of athletes is the primary concern in general and particularly in the organisation of the Olympic Games? Without the athletes, there would be no Olympic Games - no sport. Athletes are the number one priority for the Olympic Movement. Their voices are taken into account throughout the whole life cycle of the Games, from the bidding process to the choice of the host city, from the organisation of the Games to the debriefing. The athletes have representatives within all IOC commissions who are directly or indirectly key to the Games, such as the Programme, Radio and TV, Press, Sport and Environment and Medical commissions. The IOC has also encouraged all NOCs, IFs and National Federations to establish and, where necessary, reinforce the role of the athletes' commissions. What kind of continued education and training should athletes receive throughout their career in order to guarantee smooth development and form a career plan? To promote and optimise education of the athlete throughout his or her entire sporting life, and especially during elementary, secondary and university education, is one of our main objectives. The athlete also needs to understand, as soon as possible, the importance of pursuing a " dual career", and thus to recognise and endorse the importance of life skills. It's his or her own responsibility to take the necessary steps to prepare for life after sport and to succeed. All the stakeholders in sport - national sports organisations, governmental entities, etc. - and the athlete's entourage - family, coach - should also help the athlete. As President Rogge once said: " The sports movement has a moral responsibility to help athletes integrate into the labour market at the end of their sporting careers. Athletes dedicate their lives to sport and it is only right that sport should give them something back." This is the objective of the " The Athlete Career Programme": the athletes' re- integration, conversion and job placement after their sporting career to enable a smooth transition in life. What should be the role of an agent in sport today? The role of the agent should be to allow an athlete to concentrate on his or her performance on the field of play without the worry of how the athlete will pay the next rent or about what happens if the athlete breaks a racquet or another ski. The role of the agent is to make the athlete look professional with sponsors, the media, community and all other stakeholders. You do not need an agent to give you financial advice unless he is a qualified financial adviser. How would you like to see the role of the IOC Athletes' Commission evolve over the next decade? It is very important for me that the athletes continue to have a voice within the IOC and the Olympic Movement, express their concerns, and give the best of themselves inside and outside the sports arena. The Commission should continue to be a vehicle to advise the IOC to make sure that it makes the right decisions with the athletes in mind. My wish is to see more and more athletes involved in sports organisations at every level, starting from the clubs, because they are the members within the national federations, the IFs, the NOCs, the NOC Associations and the IOC. FRANK FREDERICKS, IOC ATHLETES' COMMISSION CHAIRMAN