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44OLYMPIC REVIEW OLYMPIC CONGRESS What is the role of the Olympic Movement in today's society? The Olympic Movement represents a philosophy which promotes sport as a means of creating harmony between people of different cultures. It is an extraordinary piece of good fortune to be engaged in such a noble mission. It is also a responsibility that we, too, should assume in our everyday lives, because we have freely chosen to adopt a philosophical approach that reaches far beyond rules, laws and commercial pressures. Above all, we have chosen to fire people's imaginations. All those involved, whether athletes or representatives of an International Federation, members of a National Olympic Committee, or Games organisers, must be willing to respect this splendid ideal and find the means to serve the Olympic cause. Do the Olympic Games still promote Olympism as a philosophy of life? More than ever! You know, I have been lucky enough to have lived with Olympism for nearly 50 years. It's clear to see, the Olympic Games are becoming increasingly important, not only to the host nation, but also to society as a whole. When I see the ambitions of Vancouver, London or Sochi - to take the most recent examples - gradually being fulfilled in fields as vast and varied as the environment, urban development, sports and even in the fight against social exclusion, I can't help thinking that we are adhering to the Olympic ideal. When I see the creative and intelligent ways in which candidate cities take advantage of the Olympic Games to shape a better future, I feel that they are making appropriate use of the Games for what they truly are: the greatest sporting event in the world. And then I meet athletes who tell me of their dreams of taking part in the Olympic Games, the absolute pinnacle of any sporting career. They are the ones who, through their words, actions and ultimately their achievements, continue to inspire us to be the best we possibly can in our daily lives. In the face of such evidence, there is no doubt that we are being true to the original Olympic spirit. How can the IOC ensure that the Games remain the premier sports event? As far as the event itself is concerned, everyone taking part, be they commercial partners, spectators or athletes, are looking simultaneously for powerful emotions and unique experiences. This is true of any sporting competition, but truer still when it comes to the Olympic Games. Every two years, alternating between summer and winter, the lives of a very large section of the world population revolve around the Games, regardless of the political, economic or cultural context in which they live. Obviously, the sporting programme is still the core of the Games. We have a process in place which lets them develop at a steady pace, and in the course of the most recent Games, some new disciplines and events have been introduced. Apart from the actual content of the programme, it is also important to consider how to stage the various sports. As we design both the shape and setting of events, we must also do the same for the cultural Olympic Games, including the Torch Relay, the various ceremonies and city- based activities. And then I also want to tackle the issues of image and perception. As I said before, if content is fundamental to success, the venue is quickly becoming as important. The IOC and the key players in the Olympic Movement present an image and in so doing they are promoting a classic way of living based on respect for certain traditions. It is probably this that has contributed to the success of institutionalised sport. At the same time, you have to question the relevance of this image in an environment that is perpetually redefining itself and where values are constantly changing. Within the framework of the Olympic Games, we have to reconsider every facet that goes towards creating the organisation's image and decide exactly what message we are trying to send. Finally, we have to communicate on a grand scale if we still wish to figure in the collective imagination. How big a role do culture and education play in today's Olympic Games? Earlier on, I mentioned the examples of London and Sochi, but in this case I'm referring to the recent past. At the Turin Games, which IOC President Jacques Rogge described as " truly magnificent", Italian culture, with all its warmth, creativity, grandeur and elegance, helped to shape our organisational planning from the outset. Lingotto, the heart of Turin's industrial heritage, was also the nerve centre of the Games. Moreover, thanks to the 2006 Olympic Games, the transformation of this splendid site, which had proved problematic after the closure of the car plant, was finally completed. Other public buildings in the grand tradition of Italian architecture were refurbished ready to welcome visitors from around the world in 2006. Then, during the Games, the whole of Piedmont and the rest of Italy got together to offer local produce, industrial design and artistic imagination to create a cultural Olympics that was as rich as it was varied. As for education, I think there have never been more ambitious schemes than those coinciding with the Beijing Games. As soon as Beijing was awarded the Games, the Chinese government launched an incredible campaign targeting all children of school age. Seven years on, around 400 million children had learnt about Olympic values and everything they stand for. And that means, 400 million children who are probably dreaming that they too might become heroes of a generation. It's quite extraordinary and it involved a great many children. In China's case, it is fascinating to note that education also embraced mutual understanding between different cultures. In other words, the world now understands more about China, while the Chinese probably have a much better understanding of the rest of the world. How do you put the concept of universality into practice? The concept of universality centres around several key aspects. The participation of athletes representing all the NOCs is one. It is crucial that every two years the Opening Ceremony sees sportsmen and women from all over the world parade under the banner of the Olympic rings. It is gratifying to see how the Olympic Village brings together the diverse cultures of the five continents, creating a terrific atmosphere which is a combination of fun, camaraderie and excellence. The sports on the Olympic programme that I mentioned earlier are also part of this universality, which comes about through the interests and styles of the athletes and of the people who enjoy watching them compete. There are so many things to be gained from this universality of styles! Then, when it comes to organising the Games, this increasingly means an international rather than a local effort. In order to meet the ultimate challenge of hosting an event as complex as the Olympic Games, you have to call upon the most advanced expertise and the most effective companies, often from beyond your own geographic borders. It is precisely because the effort is international that the Olympic Games strike such a chord with people. The Olympic Movement itself embraces universality, through the NOCs, of course, but equally in the composition of its governing bodies. What's more, the Olympic Congress will be the finest example of how we can meet in one place and at one time to discuss a wealth of ideas. I believe that universality is deeply rooted in the heart of the Olympic Movement because of the Movement's fundamental openness. After all, Olympism belongs to all those who love it. JEAN- CLAUDE KILLY, COORDINATION COMMISSION 2014 OLYMPIC WINTER GAMES CHAIRMAN Above Jean- Claude Killy has a wealth of experience of Olympic Games as both an athlete and an adminstrator

OLYMPIC REVIEW45 OLYMPIC CONGRESS THEME 3