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  • Olympic Leaders Gather in Copenhagen for Congress Countdown


    Following the event launch in Copenhagen, a reception takes place in the concert hall foyer of Tivoli Garden. (ATR/M.Bisson)
    (ATR) IOC President Jacques Rogge opens the launch event of the 121st IOC Session and 13th Olympic Congress in Copenhagen Monday.

    HRH the Crown Prince of Denmark and Minister of Culture Carina Christensen will also speak at the event in Tivoli Garden. It marks the one year countdown to the Session and Congress in Copenhagen in October 2009.

    IOC member from Denmark Kai Holm, NOC President Niels Nygaard, Mayor of Copenhagen Ritt Bjerregaard and President of Sport Event Denmark, Lars Krarup, are other key participants.

    The event includes the launch of the official logo for next year’s Session and Congress and signposts the sports events and activities taking place all over Denmark in 2009 in what is designated the Danish Year of Sport.

    In his speech, Rogge is expected to underline the importance of next year’s 13th Olympic Congress to the future of the Olympic Movement.

    Rogge may even use his moment in the spotlight to formally announce his intention to stand for a second term as president of the IOC.

    The election of the 2016 Olympic host city is the decisive moment of the Session; IOC members will choose between Chicago, Madrid, Rio de Janeiro and Tokyo.

    The Olympic Movement is much changed since the previous Congress – the Centennial Olympic Congress held in Paris in 1994. Next year’s meeting will highlight the challenges and opportunities ahead for the Olympic Family.

    The main concern in Paris was to ensure the integration
    Copenhagen Harbor. (ATR/M.Bisson)
    of all the constituents into the Olympic Movement; the environment was also declared as an essential component of Olympism.

    In 2009, the role of the Olympic Movement in society and in all regions of the world is the guiding concept of the 13th Congress. Under this umbrella, the five themes are: the athletes; the Olympic Games; the structure of the Olympic Movement; Olympism and youth; and the digital revolution.

    This will include discussions and debates on the success of the Olympic Games, the Olympic values, the social and professional life of athletes during and after high-level sports participation, good governance, ethics of the world of sport, and youth and communication in the digital age.

    Information gathered through the virtual Olympic Congress will form the basis of discussions at the Congress. At the end of September, around 2,000 registrations and contributions from all continents had been recorded in the online consultation.

    The range of contributions covers IOC members, NOCs, International Sports Federations, athletes and the general public. The deadline for contributions is Dec. 31.

    Urs Lacotte, IOC director general, who is in charge of the Olympic Congress, is encouraged at the number of contributions from young people. “The overall mix is excellent,” he said.

    Written by Mark Bisson in Copenhagen

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