PESHAWAR, (Pakistan Point News - APP - 11th Nov, 2016 ) : International Olympic Committee (IOC) has approved half billion US Dollars for sports and athletes for the next four-year Olympic Solidarity plan 2017-2020 with an increase of 16 per cent. The decision was approved by the Olympic Solidarity 2017-2020 quadrennial plan during a meeting held in Lausanne. The refugee athletes and National Olympic Committees will benefit from new sport development programs.
The Olympic Solidarity development and assistance budget approved amounts to USD 509,285,000 and corresponds to the share of the broadcast rights from the Olympic Games (Rio 2016 and Pyeong Chang 2018) which will be distributed to the National Olympic Committees (NOCs). This represents an increase of 16 per cent in comparison with the 2013-2016 Quadrennial Plan, whose budget amounted to USD 439,870,000. This increase shows that the athletes remain at the heart of all our activity.
The huge worldwide success of the Olympic Games Rio 2016 also means that the Olympic Movement continues to enjoy a sound financial situation. This enables us to distribute more than half a billion dollars over the next four years to the National Olympic Committees, said Pere Mir, Deputy DG for Relations with the Olympic Movement and Director of Olympic Solidarity. The aim of Olympic Solidarity is to organize assistance for all the NOCs, particularly those with the greatest needs, through a variety of world and continental programs prioritizing athlete development, training of coaches and sports administrators, and promoting the Olympic values.
Olympic Solidarity will propose 21 programs to NOCs across the world with a high focus on athlete development and education. The 2017-2020 Quadrennial Plan proposes two new programs - Refugee Athlete Support - building on the experience of the Olympic Games Rio 2016, where a Refugee Olympic Team competed for the first time, it was decided to create a dedicated program that would provide NOCs with the opportunity to identify and support a small number of refugee athletes living in their countries to prepare and participate in international competitions.
The aim of this program is to offer NOCs assistance to support athletes at various stages of their career through financial and supportive measures with a view to enjoying a successful post-athletic career. NOCs will be offered financial support to fund various Athlete Career Programs (ACPs) and encourage education for athletes. "All of the Olympic Solidarity program has been designed to take into account the recommendations of Olympic Agenda 2020, the strategic roadmap for the future of the Olympic Movement and puts athletes at the heart of our activity," indicated Pere Mir.
This is also demonstrated by the initiative that consists of building bridges between NOCs. NOCs will be encouraged to reach out to those with the greatest needs in order to see how they can provide them with assistance, either by offering training facilities to their athletes or by sharing working processes and experiences. Olympic Solidarity programs have been extremely successful over the past four years and have significantly helped NOCs to secure the participation of their athletes at the Olympic Games thus strengthening the concept of universal participation.
815 Olympic scholarship holders representing 171 NOCs and 22 sports participated in the Olympic Games Rio 2016. They won a total of 101 medals (33 gold, 26 silver and 42 bronze), as well as 163 Olympic diplomas. This included two NOCs winning their first ever Olympic medal and two NOCs winning their first ever Olympic gold medal. Also in Rio, 20 teams were supported through the Team Support Grant program and won eight medals (4 gold, 2 silver and 2 Bronze), as well as six Olympic diplomas.
Furthermore, Olympic Solidarity contributed significantly to the participation costs of all athletes and officials at the Olympic Winter Games Sochi 2014 and the Olympic Games Rio 2016. Over the past four years coaches from 172 NOCs benefited from 988 technical courses run by experts appointed by the International Federations, and 641 coaches received individual scholarships allowing them an opportunity to further their coaching skills and education. NOCs organized 429 courses for sports administrators in their countries and 230 NOC officials and managers received a scholarship to pursue a master in sports management. Through the five Olympic Values programs, Olympic Solidarity reached 94 per cent of the NOCs by funding 715 Olympic Values projects. Olympic Day celebrations were subsidized for around 135 NOCs each year.