Sunday , 3 December 2023

60 years of international Olympic Academy bid

Like today, sixty years ago, on June 16, 1961, the International Olympic Academy opened its doors to young people all over the world, inaugurating in the most obvious way the center of Olympic Education and Research envisioned by Baron Pierre de Coubertin.

It was the first day of 1ης International Meeting for Young Participants, in the area that currently hosts the facilities, in Ancient Olympia, with the presence of 31 students from 24 countries!

Since that day and for 60 consecutive years of action, the IAEA has been the main pillar of Olympic Education at international level, consistently spreading Olympic Values through its educational programs, creating every year new ambassadors of Olympicism throughout the world.

Former IOC President Avery Brundage, had called the IOC in 1967 the "Mecca of Olympism" and Juan Antonio Samaranch "... the special spiritual and educational center of Olympism", and Jacques Rogge, noting its successful multi-year action, declared "... this Academy has for years been a cornerstone for Olympic Education."

This year's 60th anniversary of the IAEA coincides with the completion of the radical renovation of the facilities, carried out with the financial support of the IOC and the start of a new era for this World Olympic Education Centre.

Modern places of residence, sports, catering and teaching, responding to the new demands of the major conference centers, will welcome from next year the zealots of Olympicism and young people all over the world to live a few days in the magical environment of the IAEA, next to the ancient stadium that gave birth to the Olympic Games 2,500 years ago.

New Olympic education programmes will be organised jointly with the IOC and the IA's action will be extended to all forms of Olympic knowledge provision.

Today'President IOC president Thomas Bach, referring to the work of the IOC, said in a recent speech in Pnyka: "The IOC in many ways is acting as the academic pillar of the Olympic Movement, implementing the educational and social principles of Olympicism. In this way, the IOC helps and supports the IOC to best pursue our sovereign mission of putting sport at the service of humanity."

As President of the International Olympic Academy, expressing the thoughts of the other members of the Ephorate, I would like to thank all those who, from any position, have so far offered their services so that the Academy enjoys this global recognition.

The future of the IA in the field of the Olympic Movement begins today, on the occasion of the celebration of the 60th anniversary of its founding.

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