The structure and governance of the Olympic Movement / by Ian Henry

Henry, Ian

Edited by The Olympic Studies Centre - 2024

This paper traces the development of the structure and governance of the Olympic system from its inception at the Sorbonne in 1894, and its subsequent evolution, and adaptation to global change in the 21st century. Core to the governance of the Olympic Movement has been the changing relationship between the IOC, the International Federations, and the National Olympic Committees as each of these entities has struggled to assert its interests on various issues. The paper traces the transition of the Olympic governance system from a ‘simple structure’ through a vertical hierarchical model with the IOC at its head; and subsequently to a horizontal network of organisations in which governing decisions are debated and negotiated between international sporting entities rather than necessarily imposed by a dominant IOC. Finally, the paper outlines the IOC’s criteria of good organisational governance produced to address issues of governance failings in contemporary international sport.

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