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The Olympic Charter is a set of rules and guidelines for the organisation of the Olympic Games, and for governing the Olympic movement. Its last revision was on the 17th of July 2020 during the 136th IOC Session, held by video conference. Adopted by the International Olympic Committee (IOC), it is the codification of the fundamental principles, rules and by-laws. French and English are the official languages of the Olympic Charter.
Throughout the history of the Olympics, the Olympic Charter has often decided the outcome of Olympic controversy. As expressed in its introduction, the Olympic Charter serves three main purposes:
With its 5 chapters and 61 articles, the Olympic Charter outlines in detail several guidelines and rules. This article highlights and summarises those items considered most important to governing the Olympic Games, the Olympic movement, and its three main constituents: the International Olympic Committee, the International Federations, and the National Olympic Committees.
Article 2: The mission of the IOC is to promote Olympism throughout the world and to lead the Olympic Movement. This includes upholding ethics in sports, encouraging participation in sports, ensuring the Olympic Games take place on a regular period, protecting the Olympic Movement, and encouraging and supporting the development of sport.
Article 6: The Olympic Games are competitions between athletes in individual or team events and not between countries.
Article 8: The Olympic symbol consists of five interlocking rings which, from left to right are blue, yellow, black, green and red.
This chapter outlines the membership, meetings, and guiding doctrines of the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
Chapter 3 discusses the role of International Federations (IFs) in the Olympic movement. IFs are international non-governmental organisations that administer to sports at the world level and encompass organisations administering such sports at the national level. For each sport that is part of the Olympic Games, an International Federation exists. These IFs work to ensure their sports are developed in a way that agrees with the Olympic Charter and the Olympic spirit. With technical expertise in its particular sport, an IF has control over eligibility for competition as well as details of the venue in which the athletic competition takes place.
Article 28: The mission of the National Olympic Committees (NOCs) is to develop, promote and protect the Olympic Movement in their respective countries. The role of NOCs within each country is to promote the spirit of Olympicism, ensure the observance of the Olympic Charter, and to encourage ethics in and development of sports. They are in charge of their country's representation at the Games, deciding on a host city for the Games, and cooperation with governmental and non-governmental bodies during the Games.
This chapter addresses the celebration of the Olympic Games, the selection of the host city, the eligibility code for participation in the games, those sports included in the Games, media coverage, publications, and propaganda allowed for the Games.
In addition, Section 3 of this chapter discusses applicable protocol for Olympic functions and events. This includes an outline of use of the Olympic flag, flame, and opening and closing ceremonies. The five rings of the Olympic games signify the five continents.
This chapter addresses (Measures and Sanctions, Disciplinary Procedures and Dispute Resolution)
The Olympic Charter is not simply a matter of unenforced policy for the Olympic Games. Throughout history, it has served as guidance for the proceedings of the Games. Below are a few of the most recent examples:
There has been a suggestion from Tom Heys, a Legal Analyst from Lewis Silkin that, in the UK, those with a strong belief in Olympism could benefit from protection against discrimination in exactly the same way that followers of Islam, Christianity, Judaism or any other religion are protected.This was after a recent decision on Grainger plc v Nicholson, where it was argued that someone couldn't be made redundant over their belief on Climate Change.
The Olympic Congress is organized by the IOC. The Congress include representatives of the constituents of the Olympic Movement. The date and place of the Olympic Congress is determined by the Session. The Session also determines the duties of the president of the Congress. The Olympic Congress' participants are the members, Honorary President, honorary members and honour members of the IOC, the delegates representing the IFs and the NOCs. The representatives of the organizations recognized by the IOC may also take place at the Congress.
The International Olympic Committee is a non-governmental sports organisation based in Lausanne, Switzerland. It is constituted in the form of an association under the Swiss Civil Code. Founded by Pierre de Coubertin and Demetrios Vikelas in 1894, it is the authority responsible for organising the modern Summer and Winter Olympic Games.
The modern Olympic Games or Olympics are leading international sporting events featuring summer and winter sports competitions in which thousands of athletes from around the world participate in a variety of competitions. The Olympic Games are considered the world's foremost sports competition with more than 200 nations participating. The Olympic Games are normally held every four years, alternating between the Summer and Winter Olympics every two years in the four-year period.
The Pan American Games is a continental multi-sport event in the Americas featuring summer sports, in which thousands of athletes participate in a variety of competitions. The competition is held among athletes from nations of the Americas, every four years in the year before the Summer Olympic Games. The only Winter Pan American Games were held in 1990. In 2021, there will be a Junior Pan American Games for young athletes. The Pan American Sports Organization (PASO) is the governing body of the Pan American Games movement, whose structure and actions are defined by the Olympic Charter.
The Court of Arbitration for Sport is an international body established in 1984 to settle disputes related to sport through arbitration. Its headquarters are in Lausanne (Switzerland) and its courts are located in New York City, Sydney and Lausanne. Temporary courts are established in current Olympic host cities.
The Canadian Olympic Committee is a private, non-profit organization that represents Canada at the International Olympic Committee (IOC). It is also a member of the Pan American Sports Organization (PASO).
A National Olympic Committee (NOC) is a national constituent of the worldwide Olympic movement. Subject to the controls of the International Olympic Committee, NOCs are responsible for organizing their people's participation in the Olympic Games. They may nominate cities within their respective areas as candidates for future Olympic Games. NOCs also promote the development of athletes and training of coaches and officials at a national level within their geographies.
The British Olympic Association (BOA) is the National Olympic Committee for the United Kingdom. It is responsible for organising and overseeing the participation of athletes from the Great Britain and Northern Ireland Olympic Team, at both the summer and winter Olympic Games, the Youth Olympic Games, the European Youth Olympic Festivals, and at the European Games.
An Olympic Congress is a large gathering of representatives from the different constituencies of the Olympic Movement, organised by the International Olympic Committee (IOC). As detailed in chapter 1, rule 4 of the Olympic Charter, the IOC President is responsible for convening a Congress, presiding over its proceedings and for determining its procedures. Olympic Congresses are not regular events in the IOC’s calendar. As the Olympic Charter states, "The Olympic Congress gathers representatives of the constituents of the Olympic Movement, at intervals determined by the IOC".
Olympism refers to the philosophy of the Olympic games. The fundamental principles of Olympism are outlined in the Olympic Charter.
Global Association of International Sports Federations (GAISF) is the umbrella organisation for all international sports federations as well as organisers of multi-sports games and sport-related international associations. It changed its name to SportAccord from March 2009 to April 2017 when it reverted to its former name. GAISF is an international sport organisation with 95 full members and 20 associate members.
The Olympic Federation of Ireland or OFI is the National Olympic Committee (NOC) of the island of Ireland. Athletes from Northern Ireland have the option of participating under its auspices or in the Great Britain Olympic Team. Its mission statement is "To manage and enhance the performance of Team Ireland at Olympic Games whilst developing the Olympic Movement in Ireland." In 2018 the Olympic Council of Ireland was renamed as the Olympic Federation of Ireland.
The Olympic Committee of Portugal is a non-profit organisation of public utility, which serves as the National Olympic Committee (NOC) for Portugal. It was founded on October 26, 1909, to ensure a timely, methodical and state-sponsored participation at the Games of the V Olympiad, in Stockholm. Thus, it was the 13th nation to join the Olympic Movement.
The National Olympic Committee of Ukraine is a non-profit all-Ukrainian public organization responsible for development, reinforcement, and protection of the Olympic movement. The committee has an exclusive right to represent Ukraine in the Olympic Games and other competitions of the International Olympic Committee.
The Olympic Committee of North Macedonia is the National Olympic Committee of North Macedonia. Members of the committee are 26 sports federations, which elect the Executive Council composed of the president and four members.
This narrow-focus article concerns Chinese Olympic politics only. This is the politics, historical and present-day, surrounding the participation in the Olympics of the Chinese Olympic Team, the Chinese Taipei Olympic Team and to a much lesser extent the Hong Kong Olympic Team. This article is not concerned with Sport.
Saudi Arabian Olympic Committee is the National Olympic Committee representing Saudi Arabia.
Saudi Arabia competed at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, from 27 July to 12 August 2012. This was the nation's tenth appearance at the Olympics, except the 1980 Summer Olympics in Moscow, because of its partial support to the United States boycott.
The South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC) is the National Olympic Committee (NOC) and National Paralympic Committee (NPC) for South Africa, and the responsible body for South Africa at the Commonwealth Games. It is also responsible for high-performance sport in the country and coordinates the relationship with various international sports federations.
South Africa did not compete at Olympic Games from 1964 to 1988, as a part of the sporting boycott of South Africa during the apartheid era. The South African National Olympic Committee (NOC) was expelled from the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in 1970. In 1991, as part of the transition to multiracial equality, a new NOC was formed and admitted to the IOC, and the country competed at the 1992 Summer Olympics held in Barcelona.
International Olympic Committee Athletes’ Commission is a majority elected body that serves as a link between athletes and the IOC. The mission of the IOC AC is to ensure that athletes’ viewpoint remains at the heart of the Olympic Movement decisions, representing future, current and recently retired Olympic athletes. The IOC AC aims to provide athletes with a platform to share their voice and experiences, and be part of change and decisions shaping the future of sport.