This was the conclusion of the expert talk on the topic of the IOC and international sports policy: A possible German Olympic bid must do without the gigantism of past Games and, above all, fit Germany.
Frankfurt, 31 August 2023 – The third talk of the “YOUR IDEAS. YOUR GAMES.” dialog initiative intensively focused on the role of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the challenges posed by international sports policy.
One area of discussion centered around the reform processes that were initiated at the IOC many years ago as a result of Agenda 2020+5. The panelists agreed that the IOC’s reform process, which has already begun to yield results, deserves recognition, but is not yet well known in Germany. The fact that issues such as sustainability, efficiency, cost reduction, and human rights are now at the center of the awarding process plays into the hands of a possible German bid, which would also be primarily based on such factors.
The reforms that were introduced by the IOC in 2014 will be noticed and experienced for the first time at the Paris 2024 Games and will usher in a new era. Jacqueline Barrett, Director of Future Olympic Games Hosts at the IOC, summarized the outcome of the reforms in a previously published interview as follows: “The Games adapt to the hosts – the hosts don’t adapt to the Games.” Juliane Seifert, the state secretary responsible for sports at the German Federal Ministry of the Interior and Homeland Affairs (BMI), also sees this as an opportunity to rekindle enthusiasm for sports in one’s own country for major sporting events, such as the Olympic and Paralympic Games.
The guests had plenty to say on the subject:
Thomas Konietzko – President of the International Canoe Federation (ICF)
“Internationally speaking, we still have a long way to go, because the fact that Germany’s sports sector and those in the political arena have to work closely together – in a spirit of trust – has not quite sunk in yet.”
“Hosting the Olympic Games in Germany would be incredibly important in terms of re-establishing sports as an integral part of society.”
“The negative portrayal of the IOC and the Olympic Movement is a relatively isolated German point of view. We may not have always objectively appreciated the IOC’s efforts to change itself and the world of sports.”
Léa Krüger – Athleten Deutschland e.V.
“I really don’t think that we have to do a better job than others. We have to do things our own way and organize the Games in a manner that suits us and our country.”
“Most athletes have the impression that decisions made by the IOC take a very long time, are non-transparent, and do not take the athletes’ points of view into account.”
“We have to prove that leaving gigantism behind and relying on sustainable structures is possible. That’s precisely what we intend to do in terms of our prospective German bid – a bid that will not require any new construction.”
Felix Loch – Olympic Luge Champion
“We have to ensure that, if we submit another bid, we create structures that will stand the test of time – for both top-level and recreational sports, as well as for society as a whole.”
“Hosting the Winter Games in Germany will only be possible if it is done in cooperation with Austria and Switzerland, our neighboring countries.”
“I hope that the IOC will grant us, the athletes, more rights to use the Olympic Games as a stage for ourselves as well. In the past, the voice of each athlete was of too little significance.”
Juliane Seifert – State Secretary, BMI
“The German government will support a bid as long as it is sustainable, transparent, involves society in the process, and is supported by the public. That is the same strategic approach that the DOSB is taking, which we wholeheartedly welcome.”
“The IOC’s reform-related new awarding standards are a step in the right direction, incorporating sustainability in a comprehensive sense – in social and environmental respects. Cost reduction is also a part of the process. Paris will show us whether and how it all works.”
“Highlighting and countering human rights risks at major international sporting events is also essential. We cannot simply sit back and relax in the safety of our own country, which is why we have already begun to develop a human rights policy in preparation for EURO 2024, for example.”
Thomas Weikert – DOSB President
“The IOC is taking decisive action to counter the gigantism of past Olympic Games via Agenda 2020+5. In my opinion, that is a significant new development.”
“We want gigantic Games, but not gigantism. Gigantic Games, after all, can only be expected with a view to the general atmosphere and the participation of the public in the Games.”
Prof. Dr. Dr. Patricia Wiater – FAU (University of Erlangen-Nuremberg)
“When it comes to the heated issue of human rights in sports, Germany plays an important role. Not only do we educate others on the matter, but we also take a critical look at ourselves. This is our chance to help shape a German bid.”
“The IOC subscribes to the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, which is quite a high-level standard. As such, a number of the human rights-related problems that arose in the past should not rear their heads in the future.”
The entire “YOUR CRITIQUES. YOUR IDEAS. YOUR GAMES” talk can be found at: https://deine-spiele.de/deine-ideen/fachtalks/
The Next Expert Talk: YOUR ASSOCIATION. YOUR VOLUNTEERISM. YOUR GAMES.
The series of expert talks will continue at 7:00 PM next Thursday, 31 August. Recreational sports will be the issue of the day. Guests will include:
- Christopher Krähnert – Managing Director, Berliner TSC e.V.
- Katarina Peranić – Founding Board Member of the German Foundation for Commitment and Volunteerism
- Reinhard Rawe – Chairman of the Board, Lower Saxony State Sports Federation
- Michaela Röhrbein – Director of Sports Development, DOSB
- Boris Schmidt – Chairman of the Board, Freiburger Kreis
Additional information can be found on the initiative’s website and social media platforms: www.deine-spiele.de