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www. olympic. orgOLYMPIC REVIEW7 PRESIDENT ROGGE FOREWORD " The 2009 Olympic Congress in Copenhagen is the first Congress in 15 years and the first of this new millennium" A n Olympic Congress is a rare and special event. There have been just 12 Congresses in the past 115 years. The first met in 1894 to give life to Pierre de Coubertin's dream of reviving the ancient Olympic Games. Delegates from a dozen countries gathered at the Sorbonne in Paris to launch a movement that has spread across the globe. The Congresses since that initial meeting have helped the Olympic Movement thrive by improving the organisational structure, adjusting to societal changes or resolving significant internal debates. The convening of an Olympic Congress is a chance for the Movement to take stock - to consider where it has been and where it is going. The 2009 Olympic Congress in Copenhagen is the first Congress in 15 years and the first of this new millennium. It is already significant in a few important ways. The 2009 Congress will be a truly global affair. In addition to members of the International Olympic Committee, it will include representatives from National Olympic Committees, International Federations, Olympic Organising Committees, the Athletes' Commission, the Youth Olympic Games, TOP sponsors, coaches, referees and journalists. For the first time, members of the public with no direct connection to the Olympic Movement have contributed their ideas and suggestions. And, in another innovation that reflects the times, they were able to share their thoughts via the Internet as part of the " Virtual Olympic Congress," from January 2008 through to February 2009. Contributions to the online forum came from all parts of the world, offering advice, constructive criticism and commentary. I was particularly pleased by the high percentage of contributions from young people. The online contributions have been compiled and distributed to Congress delegates. The overarching theme of this year's Congress is " The Olympic Movement in Society." The five subthemes within that topic are " The Athletes," " The Olympic Games," The Structure of the Olympic Movement," " Olympism and Youth" and " The Digital Revolution." It is an ambitious agenda that reflects the many challenges and opportunities confronting the Olympic Movement in our rapidly changing world. Every topic is vitally important. The athletes are the heart of our Movement. We exist for them. The Games are our signature event. The organisational structure allows for a smooth operation that puts the interests of athletes first. Instilling Olympic values in the youth of the world is one of our core missions. The digital revolution will have a profound impact on how we communicate with our global audience. We have a lot to discuss. I'm looking forward to an open, honest and lively debate. We will not find all the answers or resolve every challenge. But I am confident that the 2009 Congress will contribute to a proud legacy and help strengthen and improve the Olympic Movement for generations to come. ¦ FOREWORDBY JACQUESROGGE PRESIDENT, INTERNATIONAL OLYMPIC COMMITTEE