The title of my contribution is exactly as requested of me by the International Olympic Academy (IOA). However, the methodology adopted and the contents of this paper may disappoint my hosts, as I am not going to focus solely on the role of the National Olympic Academies (NOA).
Let me give the reasons for the approach I have adopted. It is my view that Olympic education is a complex process and that, therefore, given the current text of the Olympic Charter, the institutional framework of an NOA is very dependent on the institutional architecture and intersection between the International Olympic Committee (IOC), the National Olympic Committees (NOC), and the IOA. Hence, I am of the opinion that any analysis must necessarily be holistic or transversal, and less sectorial.
This paper can accordingly be broken down into two separate steps. Once I have demonstrated the fundamental importance of the Olympic Charter (OC), I will identify and give a necessarily brief analysis of its main provisions that are expressly or tacitly related to Olympic education, in either material or, above all, institutional terms. Finally, and given the lacunae identified, I will take the liberty to suggest a new treatment of Olympic education in the OC by proposing some changes in its current text with the intention to facilitate the Olympic education chain.
### The Olympic Charter: Definition and Status
In the Introduction to the OC, its form and purpose are immediately made apparent: the codification of the Fundamental Principles of Olympism, Rules, and Bye-laws adopted by the IOC. The OC governs the organization, action, and operation of the Olympic Movement and sets forth the conditions for the celebration of the Olympic Games.
In the Introduction, the scope of the OC is also set forth, by referring to the three main purposes which, in essence, the OC aims to serve: (a) a basic instrument of a constitutional nature, which governs and recalls the fundamental principles and essential values of Olympism; (b) the statutes for the IOC; (c) the definition of the “main reciprocal rights and obligations of the three main constituents of the Olympic Movement, namely the IOC, IF (International Federations) and the NOC, as well as the Organizing Committees for the Olympic Games (OCOG).”
In legal terms, the Olympic Charter is just a document approved by corporate body under Swiss private law (IOC). However, “in the eyes of” the IOC as well as of the whole Olympic Movement, the OC amounts to a full fledged international treaty, with a universal legal nature, which is not a result of its legal nature, but arises rather by virtue of a moral authority, of an extra-legal element, that is, the social, economic, and sporting magnitude of the Olympic Games. Only this context can express a general acceptance of the legal primacy of the OC by states, international organizations, and different courts.
It follows from all of the above that despite being an atypical legal instrument, the OC has a unique, universal, inspiring, and powerful nature. Hence, all provided or silent in the text of the OC reveals what the CIO considers to be or not to be important for the Olympic Movement. That is the case of the existent and omitted provisions regarding Olympic education.
### “Olympic Education” at the Olympic Charter: an Overview of the Relevant Provisions
Olympic education is enshrined in the OC either explicitly or implicitly. The relevant Principles and Rules are identified and analyzed below.
First Fundamental Principle of Olympism:
> 1. Olympism is a philosophy of life, exalting and combining in a balanced whole the qualities of body, will, and mind. Blending sport with culture and education, Olympism seeks to create a way of life based on the joy of effort, the educational value of good example, and respect for universal fundamental ethical principles.
#### Rule 1 (Composition and General Organisation of the Olympic Movement)
> 1. Under the supreme authority of the International Olympic Committee, the Olympic Movement encompasses organisations, athletes, and other persons who agree to be guided by the Olympic Charter. The goal of the Olympic Movement is to contribute to building a peaceful and better world by educating youth through sport practised in accordance with Olympism and its values.
It follows from these provisions that the first priority of the Olympic Movement is much more than the periodic holding of the Olympic Games. The objective is clear: to contribute to World Peace. Olympic values are what the Olympic Movement has to offer in order to achieve this objective. Sport is the essential vehicle. The education of young people is the essential means. This is what Olympic education is.
Using the analogy of a major construction project, the IOC is both the architect and the entity that awards the contract for the works, and there are many organisations to which these contracts are awarded. According to the Tender Programme and the Works Specifications stipulated by the IOC, the works are carried out by the said organisations under the supervision of the IOC. The works, which must take place on a daily basis, are sports activity, which must be undertaken by all of the contractors. The cement, without which there can be no construction, is Olympic Education.
>1. For a comprehensive analysis of the status and content of the Olympic Charter, cf. Alexandre Miguel MESTRE, The Law of the Olympic Games, The Hague, Cambridge University Press & TMC Asser Press, 2009, pp. 9-20.
>2. The Fundamental Principles were introduced at the 1979 version of the OC. One of the aims of the Olympic movement was already to educate young people through sport.
>3. This is just a subjective interpretation. Unfortunately, the OC does not define the concept of Olympic education. In defence of the specificity of all things Olympic, we consider that the OC could go further, i.e. by defining what Olympic education is and what its distinguishing features are. This is because, for example, there is education via sport in non-Olympic sports. Moreover, even outside of sport, education is commonly linked with culture and youth and it makes sense that the preferred targets of educational processes are young people, because their character and personality are in the process of formation. There would certainly be more ethics in business or politics if those involved received an ethical education. It is therefore necessary to clarify the following: Are we dealing here with something that Olympism disseminates or with something, which is received from outside and is included in the OC?
> (…) The IOC’s role is:
> 1. to encourage and support the promotion of ethics in sport as well as education of youth through sport and to dedicate its efforts to ensuring that, in sport, the spirit of fair play prevails and violence is banned;
> 13. to encourage and support a responsible concern for environmental issues, to promote sustainable development in sport, and to require that the Olympic Games are held accordingly;
> 15. to encourage and support initiatives blending sport with culture and education;
> 16. to encourage and support the activities of the International Olympic Academy (IOA) and other institutions which dedicate themselves to Olympic education.
#### Rule 2 (Mission and Role of the IOC)
This outlines a rule with legal value, not a merely programmatic one, because it gives the IOC specific duties in the field of education. In fact, it recognizes a right of Olympic education with a legal value, which turns that right into an obligation, in casu, an obligation of the IOC. Rather than directly governing that obligation, the rule governs the role of the CIO in the context of that obligation. In other words, this rule gives some discretionary power to the IOC: there is an IOC obligation as to result – to encourage and support – not an obligation of means.
In our opinion, to encourage and support implies a generic mandate of action that is required from the CIO, which is ensured by necessary positive actions. It is expected that the CIO adopts its own actions and simultaneously encourages, enables, stimulates, and authorizes activities from third parties. In fact, what the OC seems to ask the IOC is to promote (Olympic) education through (Olympic) sport and to promote the activities carried out by academic institutions in the pursuit of their Olympic education goals.
The single academic institution which merits an express reference in the provision under analysis is the IOA, an institution that has emerged as a way to compensate for IOC’s lack of time to devote to Olympic education so that it fulfills “delegated” competences which originally belonged to the IOC. Contrary to the past, the legislator does not mention the IOA’s mission.
> 4. The first time the word education appeared in an Olympic regulation was in 1933. In the document entitled “The IOC and the Modern Olympic Games,” physical education was mentioned.
> 5. At the IOC Session in Athens in 1961, Avery Brundage said he expected the newly founded Academy to make decisive efforts to overcome the difficulties the Olympic movement had to face. The unexpected development of the Olympic Games did not leave enough time for the IOC to work equally for all Olympic principles. The gap was to be closed by the Olympic Academy, cf. Norbert MÜLLER. One Hundred Years of Olympic Congresses 1894-1994, Special Edition for Participants in the Centennial Olympic Congress, Paris/August/September 1994, p. 146.
> 6. The 1966 Olympic Regulations have introduced a reference to the IOA, describing its objectives as follows:(…) to create an international cultural centre at Olympia, site of the ancient Games where the high ideals of amateur
The provision under analysis also mentions the NOA. Inspired by the work of the IOA , there are hundreds of NOAs around the world which undertake Olympic education initiatives within NOAs own educational jurisdictions, complementing the IOA activities.
However, we must reflect on the following reality that neither the IOA nor the NOA are subject to an express reference in documents that govern or describe the Olympic Movement, which immediately casts doubt on their institutional role and recognition, as well as on their level of subjection to the rights and obligations that these documents provide. Here are some examples of those documents: the IOC Code of Ethics, which applies to Olympic parties; one publication of the IOC Olympic Museum , which describes the role of the Olympic Family in the framework of Education and Culture Through Sport; a factsheet about the Olympic Movement elaborated by the IOC; a publication of the International Olympic Truce Centre; the IOC Guide on Sport, Environment, and Sustainable Development.
This reality can be seen either as the motive or the consequence of the main problem faced nowadays in Olympic education. Kostas GEORGIADIS , Honorary Dean of the IOA, and Conrado DURANTÈZ, President of the Spanish Olympic Academy, there are still many more NOCs than NOAs; several of the NOAs are not always very active or independent. In this clear diagnosis, Kostas GEORGIADIS puts forward a solution: [t]oday, more than ever before, the International Olympic Committee is called upon to support the work of the International Olympic Academy and, thereby, of National Olympic Academies.
Competitive sport were first conceived and realized, and to study and to promote the social, educational, aesthetical, ethical, and spiritual values of the Olympic Movement.
> 7.Cf. Nikos FILARETOS, National Olympic Academies”, International Olympic Academy: 9th International Session for Presidents or Directors of National Olympic Academies and Officials of National Olympic Committees, 12-19 May 2008, Ancient Olympia, Greece, 12-19 May 2008.
> 8.Cf. Deanna BONDER, “The Legacy of the Olympic Games for Education, 1984-2000: A Paper presented to the 2002 IOC Symposium on the Legacy of the Olympic Games, Lausanne, Switzerland, November 2002, p. 8.
> 9.Cf. K. TOOHEY and A.J VEAL, The Olympic Games. A Social Science Perspective, 2nd Edition, London, Cabi, 2007, p. 55.
> 10. The Olympic Movement, 2nd edition, 2007.
> 11. Factsheet: The Olympic Movement Update- January 2006.
> 12. In a report made by DEMOS-Athens (Rachel Briggs, Helen McCARTHY and Alexis ZORBAS) to the International Olympic Truce Centre, a Figure with the “Institutional setting of the world of sport” makes no reference to the IOA or to the NOA – Cf. 16 Days: The role of the Olympic Truce in the toolkit for peace, London, International Olympic Truce Centre, 2004, p. 64.
> 13.Cf. National Olympic Academies”, International Olympic Academy: 9th International Session for Presidents or Directors of National Olympic Academies and Officials of National Olympic Committees, 12-19 May 2008, Ancient Olympia, Greece, 12-19 May 2008, pp. 1-3.
> 14.(…) we find ourselves in the disproportionate situation of having 205 officially recognized NOCs, nut only 137 NOAs with a large percentage of these being purely nominal and not engaged in any regular or ongoing activity, contrary to what should be the case. (…) we consider that the task of Olympic education lies fundamentally and almost exclusively with the NOCs (…) We cannot but admit that the NOCs, excessively centered on preparing their athletes for participation in the Olympic Games, have delegated their Olympic dissemination and education functions to the NOAs, hence the importance of the NOAs’ work, as the proper functioning of an NOA, with the necessary support of its NOC, implies that it can, as the specific educational driving force, promote and encourage all or part of the rich cultural areas of Olympism, cf. “Olympic Academies: official school of Olympic Education”, 6th World Forum on Sport, Education and Culture: Sport and Education for the new generation, IOC – International Cooperation and Development Department, Busan, 25 to 27 September 2008.
We can not agree more. Indeed, if one looks at the above mentioned Rule 2 of the Olympic Charter, we find that the leading role that is given to the IOC is not the organization of the Olympic Games, and, of course, this hierarchy of priorities is also shed in the NOC, namely the case of the British Olympic Association, which is explained by Jim PARRY .
Note the word used by Kostas GEORGIADIS- support – which is precisely the one provided by the OC. The question seems not to be limited to financial support, moreover, because it has been in existence through Olympic Solidarity, as the author points out in his other article, and as is demonstrated by the Director of the IOC International Cooperation and Development Department GANDA SITHOLE . In fact, mainly in Africa, besides the lack of financial and substantial resources, support is also needed to fight ordinary problems, such as lack of facilities, lack of teachers, lack of materials for education and teaching. Therefore other kinds of support are urgently needed. As far as we are concerned, that support could be the reinforcement of the IOA status within the OC, which would probably overcome its current lack of recognition by other relevant stakeholders in the framework of Olympic education.
The expression, educational institutions which dedicate themselves to Olympic education, is broad enough to include public and private institutions, governmental organizations dedicated to education, national or international. Fit here, therefore, institutions ranging from schools to the IOC Olympic Studies Centre; the Institutes of Higher Education and Olympic Study Centres across the world; the IPCC (International Pierre de Coubertin Committee); the International Olympic Truce Foundation, and the International Truce Centre, or the UNESCO .
We believe that what is essentially the scope of the CIO is to encourage and support not only through financial resources, but also by means of infrastructures – creation or lending of infrastructures, namely for research centres – or by the provision of services. The support can be also given through granting of honorific recognition for the objectives of general interest pursued by the IOA and the remaining institutions devoted to Olympic education. A broader interpretation of the word ‘support’ will lead to defend a stronger role of the IOC, that is, a support that goes through direct actions of intervention, including the dictation of organizational, structural, and regulatory aspects of the academic institutions at stake, i.e. mechanisms of ordinance and interventionism, something that does not seem to be the real intention of the legislator and of the bodies concerned.
> 15.Cf. “Olympic education in practice,” A paper prepared for the Centre d’Estudis Olímpics (CEO), Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB), November 2003, p.3.
> 16.Cf. “The endeavors for the IOC for the promotion of Olympic Education Programmes in developing countries,” Proceedings of the 8th Joint International Session for Presidents or Directors of National Olympic Academies and officials of National Olympic Committees, 23-30 May 2006, Ancient Olympia, International Olympic Academy, pp. 43-44.
> 17.Cf. Roland NAUL, Olympic Education, Oxford, Meyer & Meyer Sport, 2008, p. 83.
> 18. In the section dedicated to Pseudo Amateurs of the 1956 Olympic Regulations, one can find a reference to educational institutions.
> 19.Cf. paragraph 6 of the Le Havre Congress Final Declaration (1997).
> 20.Cf. the Preamble and Rules 2.3; 3.3; 10.1; 10.2; and 10.3 of the International Charter of Physical Education and Sport.
So far as the environment is concerned, it is noteworthy that contrary to the current version, the original version of paragraph 13 referred to the essential role of education in the promotion of the defence of the environment in the context of sport in general and the Olympic Games in particular. Only via education is it possible to create an overall awareness of the need to preserve the environment, i.e. in the context of major sport events, particularly the Olympic Games. The values shared between the areas of the environment and sport could be the starting points for this educational project which is a duty of all of us. The IOC has not only included the environment in the Olympic Charter, but has also produced information and held regional conferences and seminars.
We believe, however, that the legislator that is, the IOC members in the framework of the IOC Session – should have even opted for a more comprehensive formulation to give the greatest possible effect to a residual expression. One should bear in mind that there are some other and relevant institutions that are not, by nature, educational, but perform a significant educational role in the context of sport. We refer, for example, to organizations like the European Union , the Council of Europe , the IPC (International Paralympic Committee), WADA (World Anti-doping Agency), CIJM (The International Mediterranean Games Committee), Panathlon International and FISU (The International University Sports Federation).
Moreover, there are increasing public and private institutions not devoted to education and sport, but with which cooperation can be developed, namely at the level of sponsorship, patronage, concessions facilities, etc, as recent NOA experiences have demonstrated, particularly in France and in the USA.
Also noteworthy is the rules view, with which I agree, that education is not and cannot be a wholly isolated phenomena. Education always involves synergies, namely with young people, culture, and Olympism. That approach explains why the IOC is endowed with the Commission for Culture and Olympic Education, which resulted from the merger between the Commission for the Olympic Education and the Commission for the Olympic Culture, in 2000, under the then great reform undertaken in the IOC.
> 21. The text of the former Rule 2 (13) stated as follows: (…) the IOC sees that the Olympic Games are held in conditions which demonstrate a responsible concern for environmental issues and encourages the Olympic Movement to demonstrate a responsible concern in its activities and educates all those connected with the Olympic Movement as to the importance of sustainable development.
> 22.Cf., inter alia, the Manual on Sport and the Environment (1997) and Le Mouvement Olympique et l’Environment (1997) and Guide on Sport, Environment and Sustainable Development (2006).
> 23.Cf. Article 165 TFEU.
> 24.Cf. Articles 1(ii); 3 (2); 5; and 11 of the European Sports Charter; cf. the definition of fair-play provided in the Code of Sport Ethics; cf. Article 6 of the Council of Europe No. 135 Anti-Doping Convention.
> 25.Cf. Chapters 1.1 and 2.4 of the IPC Bye-laws.
> 26.Cf. World Anti-doping Code, namely its Fundamental Rationale and the Articles 10.10.1; 18.1; 18.2; 18.4; 19.1; 20.1.9; 20.2.8; 20.3.11; 20.4.9; 20.6.7 and 20.7.6.
> 27.Cf. Charte du CIJM: Principes Fondamentaux – 2; 3; and 9.
> 28.Cf. Article 2 (c); (e); and (h) of the Panathlon International’s Bye-laws.
> 29.Cf. Article 2 of the Statutes of FISU. Pursuant to Article 138 of the same statutes, the Committee for the Study of University Sport (CESU) – is one of the FISU Permanent Committees.
> 30.Cf. André LECLERCQ, “Postface: Culture sportive et education olympique”, in Les valeurs de l’Olympisme. Un modèle éducatif en débat, Edited by Michaël ATTALi, Jean SAINT-MARTIN, Simon LEVEQUE, Lucien BRUNETTI and Jean BIZET, L’Harmattan, 2009, p. 268.
> 31.Cf. Jeff HOWARD, “La creation d’une Académie Olympique aux États-Unis”, in Marketing des organizations sportives: construire les réseaux et les relations, Edited by Alain FERRAND, Scott McCARTHY and Thierry ZINTZ, Brussels, Éditions De Boeck Université, 2009, p. 181. The NOA is one of the main constituents of USOC; it is at the center and interacts with USOC, IOC, regular participants, athletes, and the general public – cf. p. 187.
Notwithstanding the fact that this amalgamation or consolidation into a single Commission merger aimed to add efforts to achieve greater accomplishments, and, at least theoretically, of trying to solve the contradictions behind the traditional Olympic sport, culture and education, the truth is that some consider that its action Commission still has a relatively low impact, hold doubts as to its functionality and have reservations about joining the educational and cultural agendas.
Contrary to the option in the past, this Commission is not explicitly mentioned in the OC, which leads us to conclude that this commission is not included among the groups of the most important ones.
#### Rule 5 (Olympic Solidarity)
The aim of Olympic Solidarity is.
> 6. to collaborate with organisations and entities pursuing such objectives, particularly through Olympic education and the propagation of sport. (Emphasis added)
Once again, the contours of Olympic education take priority, as a cement for works out of the CIO, in casu, the operation of the mechanism of Olympic Solidarity. Contrary to past versions of the OC (from 1991 to 1996 ), no mention is made in this rule to the interplay between the Olympic Solidarity and the IOC Commissions, namely the one which deals with Olympic education.
> 32. The symbiosis between education and culture within the Olympic domain was evidenced in Rule 25 of the 1954 Olympic Regulations by the inclusion of the expression, ‘cultural education,’ in the context of the NOC missions.
> 33.Cf. Juan Antonio SAMARANCH, Memorias Olímpicas, Barcelona, Planeta Singular, 2002, p. 131.
> 34.Cf. Beatriz GARCIA, “One hundred years of cultural programming within the Olympic Games (1912-2012): origins, evolution and projections,” in International Journal of Cultural Policy, Vol. 14, No. 4, November 2008, pp. 374-375.
> 35.Cf. Paulo DAVID, Human rights in youth sport: a critical review of children’s rights in competitive sports, London, Routledge, 2005, p. 254.
> 36.Cf. Beatriz GARCÍA, Towards a Cultural Policy for Great Events – Local and Global Issues in the Definition of the Olympic Games Cultural Programme: Lessons from the Sydney Olympic Arts Festivals 1997-2000, PhD Thesis, November 2002, pp. 46-51.
> 37. The Commission for the International Olympic Academy was expressly recognized in the IOC Regulation of 1975, as well as the 1979 and 1980 (Provisional edition) versions of the Olympic Charter, by being in the first place on the IOC Commission’s list, which demonstrated its “leadership.” Additionally, its aims were expressly indicated: to assist the Ephoria set up by the Hellenic Olympic Committee in the choice of its programme and speakers, and to promote the Olympic ideal. It also ensures that reports from the Academy which receive the patronage of the IOC are presented to the IOC.
> 38. Aunque, como acaba de decirse, no hay un numerus clausus de comisiones del COI, la Carta Olímpica contiene algunas previsiones respecto de las más importantes, cf. Carmen CHINCHILLA MARÍN:, Los Juegos Olímpicos: La elección de la sede y otras cuestiones jurídicas, Madrid, Civitas, 2009, p. 130.
> 39. In 1991, the Bye-law to Rule 8 stated as follows: The objectives of the programmes established by Olympic Solidarity are to contribute to: (…) 5. Collaborating with the various IOC Commissions, particularly with the Commission for the International Olympic Academy, the Medical Commission, the Sport for All Commission and the Commission for the Olympic Programme, as well as with the organizations and entities pursuing such objectives, particularly through Olympic education and propagation of sport.
#### Rule 27 (Mission and Role of the IFs within the Olympic Movement)
> 1.3 to contribute to the achievement of the goals set out in the Olympic Charter, in particular by way of the spread of Olympism and Olympic education.
Since the 1996 edition of the Olympic Charter (the then Rule 30, paragraph 1.3), the third mission allocated to the IF is Olympic education.
#### Rule 28 (Mission and Role of the NOCs)
> 2. The NOC’s role is:
> 2.1 to promote the fundamental principles and values of Olympism in their countries, in particular, in the fields of sport and education, by promoting Olympic educational programmes in all levels of schools, sports and physical education institutions and universities, as well as by encouraging the creation of institutions dedicated to Olympic education, such as National Olympic Academies, Olympic Museums, and other programmes, including cultural, related to the Olympic Movement.
As with the IOC, the primary mission of the NOC goes beyond competitive sport per se. This approach started in 1954, when the Rule 25 of the IOC Regulations clearly underlined that the NOCs are patriotic organisations not for pecuniary profit, devoted to the promotion and encouragement of the physical, moral, and cultural education of the youth of the nation for the development of character, good health, and good citizenship (Olympic education). Several subsequent regulations in the decades of 50 and 60 added that National Olympic Committees should encourage the development of Olympic spirit among the youth of their countries. They should promote a program of education for the public and the press on the philosophy of amateurism. There is a tendency to concentrate too much on performance and new records and not enough on the social, educational, aesthetic, ethical, and spiritual values of amateur sports.
Once again the legislator opts for demanding encouragement and not for mandatory or compulsory actions. This time the word ‘support’ is even absent. Therefore, an NOC seems not to be formally obliged to create an NOA. Moreover, no sanction is provided for NOC’s lack of initiative in this context. The same applies to Olympic Museums and/or cultural programmes.
#### Rule 10 (The Olympic motto)
The Olympic motto, “Citius – Altius – Fortius,” expresses the aspiration of the Olympic Movement.
Since 1966, the OC devotes a specific rule for the Olympic motto which means, “faster, higher, stronger.” The source of the motto was the famous Dominican priest, Henri Didon, a friend of Pierre de Coubertin, prominent educator, and an enthusiastic promoter of school sports in France at the end of the nineteenth century, who believed that the values which must be complied with in life are frequently learnt from sport.
> 40. This motto, introduced in 1981, was adopted by Pierre de Coubertin in 1894.
#### Bye-law to Rules 7-14
> 1. Legal Protection:
> 1.1 The IOC may take all appropriate steps to obtain the legal protection for itself, on both a national and international basis, of the rights over the Olympic Games and over any Olympic property.
> 1.2 Each NOC is responsible to the IOC for the observance, in its country, of Rules 7-14 and BLR 7-14. It shall take steps to prohibit any use of any Olympic properties which would be contrary to such Rules or their Bye-laws. It shall also endeavour to obtain, for the benefit of the IOC, protection of the Olympic properties of the IOC.
There can be no doubt that the IOC and NOC obligation to fight against ambush marketing can be based on a preventive approach, since it creates awareness among the public and potential offenders of the penalties for contravening the laws which protect the brand. Such awareness necessarily involves education, namely Olympic education, by which can be taught what the Olympic symbols, terminology, and images are, and how they may be used.
#### Bye-law to Rule 49
> 1. It is an objective of the Olympic Movement that, through its contents, the media coverage of the Olympic Games should spread and promote the principles and values of Olympism.
The content of this provision claims two different steps of Olympic education: firstly, media officials should have courses of Olympic education before covering the Olympic Games; secondly, they must promote Olympic education for the spectators and readers.
### Suggestions for Improving Olympic Education through Changes in the Text of the Olympic Charter
Bearing in mind the Olympic education framework supra described, in particular, the current problems faced by the IOA and the NOA, we shall now make some modest suggestions of changes that could be included in the OC in order to recognise the role of Olympic education in an integrated and coherent manner.
It would be definitely incorrect and unfair to state that the OC does not give priority and importance to Olympic education. In this context, the suggestions I am going to make do not fill in any supposed lacuna in the OC, or amount to any break with the current version. However, since it can, in fact, be concluded, as we did earlier, that Olympic Education is the cement of Olympism, we think that it is imperative to search for some alterations to the OC in order to give greater recognition to Olympic education, particularly with regard to its institutional framework.
> 41.Cf. IOC Regulations of 1966.
> 42.Cf. Michaela LOCHMANN, “Les fondaments pédagogiques de la devise olympique “citius, altius, fortius,” in Coubertin et l’Olympisme. Questions pour l’avenir, p. 95 and Fékrou Kidané, “The structure of Olympic Movement,” in World Olympians Association: What an Olympian should know – An Olympian is an Olympian forever…, WOA, 2003, p. 24.
> 43. Last updated on the 11th of February 2010.
I am not unaware that some of these suggestions are no more than a suggestion for the IOC Session to reduce to writing some ideas that have already been implemented in practice. In any event, the legal and extra-legal importance of the Olympic Charter demonstrated in the first part of this text lead us to the inevitable conclusion that in the Olympic field, one symbolic rule can be as important as one substantive legal provision. This is why it can make all the difference whether something is, or is not, included in the Olympic Charter. It makes, indeed, a difference whether the appearance of something in a rule is merely inferred or is clearly stipulated.
In the light of the above, I make the following suggestions:
1. To seek, as far as possible, to increase the specificity of the definition of the concepts that are intrinsic to the Olympic phenomenon, such as Olympism, Olympic Spirit, Olympic Ideal and Olympic Education – otherwise these concepts may be understood as a mere transposition to the context of the Olympic Games of concepts that are extrinsic to sport, such as tolerance, respect, ethics, non-discrimination, or as an adaptation to the context of the Olympic Games of concepts that are common to all sports phenomena and are not exclusive to Olympism, such as sporting spirit, fair play, or education through sport. Furthermore, this clarification could even strengthen the specificity of sport in general and of Olympism in particular, in the context of judicial decisions, in the knowledge that the Olympic spirit influenced a recent decision of the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Lausanne, and that sports ethics influenced a recent judgment of the EU Court of Justice, which was based on an anti-doping rule adopted by the IOC;
> 44.Cf. A paradigmatic case occurred in 1981, in the framework of the famous 11th Olympic Congress of Baden-Baden. M. V. RAÑA, in his capacity as President of both the ACNO and the Mexican Olympic Committee (… ) proposed that the IOC institutionalise the association of the NOCs (ACNO) in the IOC Charter and transfer financial and technical responsibility for Olympic Solidarity to the organization over which he presided. This proposal was obviously not a mere whim. The aim was to include an express reference in the Olympic Charter to an existing organisation, not only with a view to the recognition or configuration of its institutional importance, but, above all, with a view to the inclusion of a provision, which would enable the said organisation to receive (more) funds from Olympic Solidarity. Cf. Norbert MÜLLER, One Hundred Years of Olympic Congresses 1894-1994, Special Edition for Participants in the Centennial Olympic Congress, Paris/August/September 1994, p. 179.
> 45.Cf. also the recommendations issued for the XIII Olympic Congress by Sergio CAMARGO, from the Guatemalan Olympic Committee. Among several other recommendations put forward to help promote the development of Olympic Values, we underline the following: (i) A specific rule concerning the International Olympic Academy, its aims and objectives, as well as it fields of action, should be included in Chapter 1 of the Charter and would constitute the legal support for its functioning; (ii) A rule should be included in Chapter 4 of the Olympic Charter, making it obligatory for all National Olympic Committees to have a National Olympic Academy as a permanent body and ensuring that all its objectives and aims for which it is established are fulfilled; (iii) The establishment of the Olympic Academy should also be made an obligatory requisite for an NOC to participate in the Olympic Games, Continental, and Regional Games.
> 46.Cf. Opinion of the Economic and Social Committee on the Proposal for a Decision of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing the European Year of Education through Sport 2004, SOC/092, Brussels, 24 April 2002, CES 516/2002 FR/MEV/nm.
> 47.Cf. CAS 2008/A11622 FC Schalke 04 v. FIFA; CAS 2008/A/1623 SV Werder Bremen v./FIFA; CAS 20081A/1624 FC Barcelona v. FIFA; Decision reached 6 August 2008, Causa Sport 4/2008, p. 388).
> 48.Cf. Judgment of the Court of 18 July 2006, Meca-Medina, Case C-519/04 P, ECR 2006, p. I-6991.
2. To expressly identify the IOA and the NOA as parts of the Olympic Movement. I consider that, as Olympic education is the cement of Olympism, it would make sense for the IOA and the NOA to be considered one of the main parts of the Olympic Movement, as is already the case of the IOC, the NOC, and the IF. If this is not acceptable, a new solution should at least be adopted, which differs from the current position in which the IOA and the NOA are only part of the Olympic Movement when they are recognised by the IOC. Such recognition has already been granted to dozens of organisations, many of which have only a tenuous connection with Olympism;
3. To include the IOC Educational and Cultural Commission within the Permanent IOC Commissions that are expressly identified in the OC , thus giving it the status it deserves – and that was recognised in past OC’s editions – and sending a message both within the IOC and externally as to the substantive and inherently institutional importance of Olympic education. This solution could, as it were, put the Olympic academies “on the map.” Symbolism matters, and if the OC does not make the point, it will be more difficult to change the status quo that is marked by an absence of references to the Olympic Academies in the Bylaws and Regulations of many organisations involved in education through sport and even in Olympic education. This omission has evident practical consequences, e.g. the level of the involvement of the Olympic Academies in inter-institutional co-operation mechanisms is either non-existent or insufficient;
4. To reintroduce at the OC an explicit reference to the educational aspects related to environment protection;
5. To make the consideration of Olympic Education Programmes to be developed by the OGOC as obligatory a criterion for the selection of a city as are the organisers of the Olympic Summer Games, the Olympic Winter Games and the Olympic Youth Games;
6. To take into consideration the pedagogical features of the candidates in the rationale for being an IOC member and for including a sport, discipline, or event in the Programme of the Olympic Games.
> 49. Currently, the IOC has 26 Commissions. The Bye-law to Rule 21 of the Olympic Charter makes express reference just to the following: the IOC Athletes’ Commission; the IOC Ethics Commission; the IOC Nominations Commission; the Olympic Solidarity Commission; the Evaluation Commissions for Candidate Cities; the Olympic Games Coordination Commissions; the IOC Medical Commission.
> 50. One must remember the following text included in the “Information for cities which desire to stage the Olympic Games” (1957): The following requirements have to be met by the Organising Committee: The Olympic Games are a great festival of the youth of the world and the social, educational, esthetic, ethical and spiritual values as well as the athletic features must be emphasized. Cf. also Chistina TING KWAK, “An Olympic Education. From Athletic Colonization to International Harmony,” in Pathways: Critiques and Discourse in Olympic Research. Ninth International Symposium for Olympic Research, Edited by Robert K. BARNEY, Michael K. HEINE, Kevin B. WAMSLEY and Gordon H. MACDONALD, Bejing, International Centre for Olympic Studies, August 5-7, 2008, p. 527 as well as a recent position of the IOC President, Jacques ROGGE: Universities have often partnered the Organising Committees for the Olympic Games (OCOGs) by offering numerous volunteers from among their students, helping to train the OCOG staff and offering the use of their sports facilities. They have thus played an important role in the success enjoyed by the Games, “Preface by the President of the International Olympic Committee, Jacques Rogge”, Olympic Studies Reader Vol. 1, Edited by Hai REN, Lamartine DACOSTA, Ana MIRAGAYA and Niu JING.