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The Olympic Charter: Updated September 9, 2013


Modern Olympism was conceived by Pierre de Coubertin, on whose initiative the International Athletic Congress of Paris was held in June 1894. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) constituted itself on 23 June 1894. The first Olympic Games (Games of the Olympiad) of modern times were celebrated in Athens, Greece, in 1896. In 1914, the Olympic flag presented by Pierre de Coubertin at the Paris Congress was adopted. It includes the five interlaced rings, which represent the union of the five continents and the meeting of athletes from throughout the world at the Olympic Games. The first Olympic Winter Games were celebrated in Chamonix, France, in 1924.

Mission of the International Olympic Committee

The mission of the IOC is to promote Olympism throughout the world and to lead the Olympic Movement. The IOC's role is:

  1. to encourage and support the promotion of ethics and good governance 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;
  2. to encourage and support the organisation, development and coordination of sport and sports competitions;
  3. to ensure the regular celebration of the Olympic Games;
  4. to cooperate with the competent public or private organisations and authorities in the endeavour to place sport at the service of humanity and thereby to promote peace;
  5. to take action to strengthen the unity of the Olympic Movement, to protect its independence and to preserve the autonomy of sport;
  6. to act against any form of discrimination affecting the Olympic Movement;
  7. to encourage and support the promotion of women in sport at all levels and in all structures with a view to implementing the principle of equality of men and women;
  8. to lead the fight against doping in sport;
  9. to encourage and support measures protecting the health of athletes;
  10. to oppose any political or commercial abuse of sport and athletes;
  11. to encourage and support the efforts of sports organisations and public authorities to provide for the social and professional future of athletes;
  12. to encourage and support the development of sport for all;
  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;
  14. to promote a positive legacy from the Olympic Games to the host cities and host countries;
  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.

Olympic Movement:

Under the supreme authority and leadership 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.


  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, social responsibility and respect for universal fundamental ethical principles.
  2. The goal of Olympism is to place sport at the service of the harmonious development of humankind, with a view to promoting a peaceful society concerned with the preservation of human dignity.
  3. The Olympic Movement is the concerted, organised, universal and permanent action, carried out under the supreme authority of the IOC, of all individuals and entities who are inspired by the values of Olympism. It covers the five continents. It reaches its peak with the bringing together of the world's athletes at the great sports festival, the Olympic Games. Its symbol is five interlaced rings.
  4. The practice of sport is a human right. Every individual must have the possibility of practising sport, without discrimination of any kind and in the Olympic spirit, which requires mutual understanding with a spirit of friendship, solidarity and fair play.
  5. Recognising that sport occurs within the framework of society, sports organizations within the Olympic Movement shall have the rights and obligations of autonomy, which include freely establishing and controlling the rules of sport, determining the structure and governance of their organisations, enjoying the right of elections free from any outside influence and the responsibility for ensuring that principles of good governance be applied.
  6. Any form of discrimination with regard to a country or a person on grounds of race, religion, politics, gender or otherwise is incompatible with belonging to the Olympic Movement.
  7. Belonging to the Olympic Movement requires compliance with the Olympic Charter and recognition by the IOC.

Mission and Role of National Olympic Committees

  1. The mission of the NOCs is to develop, promote and protect the Olympic Movement in their respective countries, in accordance with the Olympic Charter.
  2. The NOCs' role is:
    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;
    2. to ensure the observance of the Olympic Charter in their countries;
    3. to encourage the development of high performance sport as well as sport for all;
    4. to help in the training of sports administrators by organising courses and ensure that such courses contribute to the propagation of the fundamental principles of Olympism;
    5. to take action against any form of discrimination and violence in sport;
    6. to adopt and implement the World Anti-Doping Code.

The Olympic Village

With the objective of bringing together all competitors, team officials and other team personnel in one place, the OCOG shall provide an Olympic Village for a period determined by the IOC Executive Board.

Cultural Programme

The OCOG shall organise a programme of cultural events which must cover at least the entire period during which the Olympic Village is open. Such programme shall be submitted to the IOC Executive Board for its prior approval.

Eligibility Code

To be eligible for participation in the Olympic Games, a competitor, coach, trainer or other team official must comply with the Olympic Charter, including the conditions of eligibility established by the IOC, as well as with the rules of the IF concerned as approved by the IOC, and the competitor, coach, trainer or other team official must be entered by his NOC.

The above-noted persons must:

  • respect the spirit of fair play and non violence, and behave accordingly; and
  • respect and comply in all aspects with the World Anti-Doping Code.

Adapted from – Olympic Charter


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