THE BIG PICTURE: IOC’s Olympism in Action Forum is worth noting

The Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires (ARG) is getting set to blast off on Saturday (6th), but the International Olympic Committee has a lot of other action going on at the same time. One of its programs shows that the IOC is not as deaf as many believe.

A new project is the Olympism in Action Forum, which will be held on Friday and Saturday, which the IOC intends as “a platform for diverse voices to share thinking and ideas on the overarching trends that affect the future of sport. The Olympism in Action Forum is an invitation from the IOC to welcome more people into the conversation.”

The focus is around the IOC’s desire for, as it says, “ action and reform around the three pillars of credibility, sustainability and youth.” In that regard, it’s the list of speakers that could make this an interesting exercise. The list of invitees includes:

○ Vitaly Stepanov and Yuliya Stepanova, two of the key whistle-blowers in the Russian doping scandal from 2011-15; Zimbabwe’s new Minister of Youth, Sports, Art and Recreation, Kirsty Coventry, also the Chair of the Athletes Commission of the World Anti-Doping Agency (which supported Russian reinstatement) and a seven-time Olympic medalist in Swimming, and Guenter Younger, the chief of the WADA Intelligence & Investigations unit, all speaking on “Combatting Doping in Sport: A Battle Worth Fighting”

○ Vancouver 2010 chief executive John Furlong and London 2012 CEO Paul Deighton on a panel discussing “Hosting the Olympic Games: City Perspectives.” Also on the panel in American Chris Dempsey, a co-founder of the No Boston Olympics group that turned the city away from its role as the chosen candidate city of the U.S. for the 2024 Games (and was replaced by Los Angeles, which will host the 2028 Games).

There’s a lot more here, and the event will be live-streamed on YouTube. Who would have thought the Stepanovs and Coventry would be on the same stage, or to have Dempsey invited to an IOC event? Someone in Lausanne is thinking.