Underlining that a strong Indian Olympic Association (IOA) would be needed to back the country’s future Olympic bid, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) on Thursday expressed its disappointment over the IOA for not appointing a full-time Chief Executive Officer (CEO) despite repeated reminders.
At a roundtable with Indian journalists, IOC’s Director of NOC Relations, Olympic Solidarity, and Olympism365, James Macleod said, “We have been continuing our dialogue with the IOA for that position to be appointed, and I must say that we’re quite disappointed with the fact that it hasn’t been done up till now, specifically with conversations around future hosting of the Games. You need a very strong National Olympic Committee to be able to back those kinds of bids.”
On three Indian wushu players from Arunachal Pradesh being forced to pull out of the Asian Games after not getting clearance from host nation China, Macleod highlighted the IOC’s principle of all athletes should have a free and unfettered access to sports competitions, regardless of their nationality and the passport they hold.
“It is a matter for the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) and we know that there are discussions between the OCA and the hosts of the Asian Games to hopefully try and resolve this situation,” said Macleod.
Future Olympic Games Hosts Director Jacqueline Barrett said even though there had been a lot of talk about India’s interest in hosting the 2036 Olympics, no formal discussion had taken place so far.
On the push being given to non-traditional sports including BMX, skateboarding and breaking, Olympic Games Executive Director Christophe Dubi said “it’s a matter of relevance” and these accessible sports would not threaten the existence of traditional sports on the Olympic programme.
“This is the time where you see every sport be traditional or the very new ones and the blend of it is what makes the magic of the Olympics,” said Dubi.
There was no confirmation of the participation of Russian and Belarusian athletes in the Olympic Games and the inclusion of cricket in the 2028 Games.
Olympic gold medallist Abhinav Bindra was happy to share his involvement in the Olympic Values Education Programme (OVEP), which made a difference to schoolchildren’s lives in Odisha and would be expanded to Assam.
About India hosting the IOC session in Mumbai next month, Bindra said, “It is the start of a process. The Olympic Movement is coming back to India after a gap of 40 years. As an Indian athlete and somebody who’s been involved in the movement for a long time, I would like to see a Games come to our own country for sure. Of course, the Mumbai session is a very important date.”
In a first of its kind initiative in India, IOC will show 33 official films dating back to 1912 and 10 specially made films by the Olympic Channel at NCPA in Mumbai from October 1 to 7 and at IIC in Delhi from October 8 to 14.
Asked about making the Olympics more accessible for countries around the world to bid, Jacqueline Barrett, Future Olympic Games Hosts Director, said, “The new approach to bidding actually (is) by us becoming a partner right from the word go. We can help share our expertise, share the expertise of the entire Olympic Movement.
She said the IOC wanted to help the aspiring countries “build a project that will really work for them in the first and foremost, but also result in sustainable Olympic Games working for the region that will leave a good legacy.
“Brisbane 2032 was the first future host elected under this new approach to bidding and hosting for future games. Through doing that, we have managed to reduce the cost of bidding for future hosts by over 80 percent, based on the last couple of bid procedures, and that is relevant both for summer games and also for winter games. So I think that partnership right from the beginning really is bearing fruit in ensuring better prepared projects for the future.”
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