Olympic Values & Olympism

Pierre de Coubertin

CORE VALUES

The three core values of the Olympic Movement, which inspire us on individual and organisational levels, are:

Excellence: This value stands for giving one's best, on the field of play or in the professional arena. It is not only about winning, but also about participating, making progress against personal goals, striving to be and to do our best in our daily lives and benefiting from the healthy combination of a strong body, mind and will.

Friendship: This value encourages us to consider sport as a tool for mutual understanding among individuals and people from all over the world. The Olympic Games inspire humanity to overcome political, economic, gender, racial or religious differences and forge friendships in spite of those differences.

Respect: This value incorporates respect for oneself, one's body, for others, for the rules and regulations, for sport and the environment. Related to sport, respect stands for fair play and for the fight against doping and any other unethical behaviour.

THE PRINCIPLES OF OLYMPISM

The principles of Olympism, described below, amplify the Olympic values and allow them to be expressed in a way that drives far-reaching social change.

Non-Discrimination. The Olympic Movement strives to ensure that sport is practised without any form of discrimination whatsoever.

Sustainability. The Olympic Movement organises and delivers programmes in a way that promotes sustainable economic, social and environmental development.

Humanism. The Olympic Movement's activities place human beings at the centre of its attention, ensuring that the practice of sport remains a human right.

Universality. Sport belongs to everyone. In all its decisions and actions, the Olympic Movement takes into account the universal impact sport can have on individuals and society.

Solidarity. The Olympic Movement is committed to developing programmes that, together, create a meaningful and comprehensive social response to issues within its sphere of influence.

Alliance between sport, education and culture. The Olympic Movement is committed to promoting the spirit of Olympism, which emerges at the convergence of sport, culture and education.

 

The following articles appeared in Olympic Review  - the official publication of the Olympic Movement.

To read the articles in their original format, click here

 

THE OLYMPIC VALUES

STEVEN MAASS EXAMINES HOW THE OLYMPIC MOVEMENT DEFINES ITS CORE VALUES OF EXCELLENCE, FRIENDSHIP AND RESPECT AND HOW THESE VALUES UNDERPIN ALL OF ITS ACTIVITIES TODAY.

When Frenchman Pierre de Coubertin set out to revive the Olympic Games in 1894, his goal was to do more than establish a modern sporting competition. His ambition was to create an international movement that would promote an integrated culture of athleticism and education, position sport as a model for peace and harmony, and safeguard a set of values that extend well beyond the playing field. He saw these Olympic values as critical to distinguishing the Olympic Games from all other sporting events and, more importantly, to underpinning all of the Olympic Movement's activities.

Coubertin's foresight has paid off. Today, the Olympic values of excellence, friendship and respect are the heart and soul of the Olympic Movement. They permeate every action and decision. The sustainability of these actions over time has not only elevated the discipline of sport on a world stage, but has also played a major role in the Olympic Movement's long-term success. Above all, the values Coubertin espoused 113 years ago continue to shape a global dialogue on the role of sport in society today.

THE MAN BEHIND THE VALUES

That Pierre de Coubertin sought to infuse the Olympic Movement with long-lasting values should come as no surprise. He regarded himself, first and foremost, as an educational reformer. In that capacity, he had seen, first hand, how introducing students to values could change lives. In addition to his interest in educational reform, Coubertin is known for his published works in history, politics and sociology. Sport was central to his thoughts in this regard. He believed sport should play an important role in every child's learning and, in fact, enjoy the same degree of educational influence as science, literature and art. Coubertin's argument rested on the notion that sport can stimulate thinking and improve one's ability to concentrate. As he claimed in 1887, "Sport] makes for twice as quick learning and twice as good understanding".

Also important to Coubertin's philosophy of education was the role played by sport in setting a foundation for ethics. As he saw it, the personal code of conduct arising from one's sporting pursuits supported the development of morals and achievement of broader educational goals. Self-knowledge, self-control, generosity, observance of rules, respect for others and an appreciation for effort were equally valuable in guiding one's actions on the fields, in the classroom and throughout life.

BACK TO THE FUTURE

In shaping his vision for education, Coubertin drew inspiration from a philosophy that had flourished 3000 years earlier. In ancient Greece, sport was an integral part of general education and seen as critical to establishing an individual's proper physical and mental balance. Sport stood on equal footing with art, philosophy and music. Together, these disciplines formed the building blocks for the harmonious education of the body, character and mind.

The ancient Olympic Games, which can be traced back to 776BC, exalted this holistic system of education. Closely linked to religious festivals and dedicated to the gods of Olympus, the Olympic Games provided an opportunity for free men of Greek origin to compete every four years in foot races, discus and javelin throwing, wrestling, boxing, long jumping, equestrian events and pentathlon contests. The winner was awarded a crown of olive leaves, and was given the right to have poetic verses written of his accomplishments and a statue of himself erected in his hometown.

The sanctity of the ancient Olympic Games was reflected in the tradition of "Olympic Truce", or "Ekecheiria". For a certain period surrounding these Olympic Games, all hostilities amongst the ancient Greek cities ceased. The plains of Olympia became a place where no one carried arms. This meant the athletes, their families, artists and some 40,000 spectators were able to travel in complete safety to participate in or attend the event. The tradition of Olympus Truce persisted for 1,200 years, until Emperor Theodosius I decreed that the Games represented a "pagan cult" and should, therefore, be banned.

Coubertin was convinced that the ancient Greeks provided a model on which to base a modern Olympic Movement and modern Olympic Games. Like the ancient Greeks, he considered sport to be not only a critical component of a well rounded education, but also a vehicle for social harmony, understanding and peace. In fact, there was very little he felt sport could not accomplish. He once claimed, "Sport is Man's best way to achieve perfection in every respect".

TRANSLATING ANCIENT IDEALS IN A MODERN CONTEXT

When Coubertin officially launched the Olympic Movement and the International Olympic Committee at the Paris International Congress, his belief in the value of sport had not subsided. But his articulation of his position had become more mainstream. "Perfection" as the ultimate goal of sport was replaced by "effort". As Coubertin explained in what has become the creed of the Olympic Games, "The important thing in life is not the triumph, but the fight; the essential thing is not to have won, but to have fought well".

When asked why he decided to revive the Olympic Games and establish the Olympic Movement, Coubertin responded, "To ennoble and strengthen sports, to ensure their independence and duration, and thus to enable them better to fulfil the educational role incumbent upon them in the modern world". Over time Coubertin's ideas concerning the role of sports in education would become more detailed and those details would later influence the addition of four general aims in the Olympic Charter:

  • To promote the development of those physical and moral qualities that are the basis of sport.
  • To educate young people through sport in a spirit of better understanding between each other and of friendship, thereby helping to build a better and more peaceful world.
  • To spread the Olympic principles throughout the world, thereby creating international goodwill.
  • To bring together the athletes of the world for a sports festival every four years: the Olympic Games.

In these four goals was born the foundation of the values that, collectively, have become known as "Olympism". Olympism is a philosophy and a way of life based on the joy found in effort, the educational value of good example and respect for fundamental ethical principles. For the individual, Olympism blends sport, culture and education to promote the proper and well-balanced development of the body, the will and the mind. For society, Olympism places sport at the service of mankind by encouraging the establishment of a peaceful society that preserves and nurtures human dignity.

From the first modern Olympic Games in 1896 to today, the Olympic Movement has turned to its values to help define the role sport plays in the development of humans and humankind. It has also continually reassessed its Charter and developed programmes to ensure the relevance of sport in contemporary society. For example, over the years, it has expanded the scope of the Olympic Games to include summer and winter competitions, and now welcomes athletes from more than 200 countries. It has recognised (and funded) a network of National Olympic Committees, and worked with them, and with International Sports Federations to develop future Olympians and provide direct support for athletes and coaches around the world. It has launched initiatives that enhance the role of sport in society, and has recently entered into discussions with the United Nations to develop "sport for peace" projects. It has taken steps to promote health and human development, provide humanitarian assistance and advance women's participation in sport, the Olympic Games and sports administration. It has added environmental sustainability as one of its primary concerns, along with sport, education and culture. And it has taken a strong and visible stance against doping in sport.

The Olympic values have inspired and influenced each of these decisions, thereby playing a fundamental role in the Olympic Movement's notable success.

THE CHALLENGE OF COMMUNICATING VALUES

As the Olympic Movement widened its sphere of influence to achieve Coubertin's original vision of sport as a vehicle for individual and societal improvement, it strived to remain true to its original values, both in its actions and its words.

Values, as intellectual concepts, are difficult to define. They are thought of as universally accepted or absolute. Yet they may vary in importance from one stakeholder to another. They may mean different things to different people depending on the social or cultural context in which they reside. And they are interpreted through the unique lens with which each human being views the world. As elusive and somewhat vague abstractions, they are often easier to describe through example than through strict and agreed upon definition.

The Olympic values are no exception. The original values that Coubertin saw as most important in driving the Olympic Movement included respect, fair play, pursuit of excellence, joy in effort, and balance between mind, body and will. Yet, a definition of these five values was not always clear. As is often the case, the difficulties inherent in discussing values were disguised by the general ease with which they were named. On the surface, the elusive nature of value definitions may not appear to be problematic. After all, wouldn't everyone recognise the original Olympic values as good and worthy?

Indeed, they probably would. However, serious questions would remain. How, for example, was the value of respect upheld whilst women were excluded for so long from competing in the Olympic Games? Can joy in effort co-exist as a value alongside pursuit of excellence? Isn't one extolling the virtue of superior performance, whilst the other lauds simple participation? In achieving a balance in mind, body and will, how are the proportions of this ideal balance to be determined, measured, observed and attained? Has the value of fair play diminished in light of the use of performance-enhancing drugs? Is fair play, in fact, a value to which athletes should aspire, or a condition that must now be enforced via drug testing?

Simply accepting the values with no clear definition or adopting the position that claims "l'll know an Olympic value when I see it" do little to further the dialogue about values and the role they play in shaping better people and societies. The Olympic Movement, by belonging to everyone, is obliged to encourage discussion, debate and questioning about the relevance of its values in the contemporary world. This dialogue is made much more difficult when the Olympic values come to stand for many things. Multiple interpretations can dilute their power.

BACK TO THE FUTURE (AGAIN)

Much as Coubertin looked to the ancient Olympic Games for inspiration in shaping the modern Olympic Movement, the International Olympic Committee looked to Coubertin's original intentions for inspiration in simplifying the articulation of the Olympic values for current and future generations. At its core, Coubertin's vision for "athletic pedagogy" rested on a set of guiding moral principles that included non discrimination, respect for rules and others, unselfish activity, and striving for a better world. He summarised this vision when he remarked that sport could play a major role in creating a new world that is "purer, more chivalrous, more transparent and calmer".

Whilst critics may argue that sport has had minimal effect in creating this sort of utopian existence, there is little dispute that the modern Olympic Games, in conjunction with the broader Olympic Movement, have relied on these values to create one of the greatest social phenomena of our times. More than simply an international sports competition that lauds individual or team efforts in sporting excellence, the Games provide a forum through which non-discrimination, mutual respect and cooperation can thrive. They promote cross-cultural understanding and fair competition on a global stage.

And they position sport as the basis for international friendships amongst athletes and fans, alike. Finally, the Games provide examples of the profound meaning of respect. In all these ways, the modern Olympic Games and the Olympic Movement are helping the world live up to Coubertin's original vision.

To articulate this vision more effectively, the International Olympic Committee recently set out to clarify the meaning of the Olympic values, and also place them within a comprehensive framework. The goal of this new system was to show how the Olympic values link to the Movement's mission, activities, guidelines and principles, and to be able to strengthen the communication of what the IOC is and what it stands for.

Olympic values are now focused on three core expressions. The three fundamental values today are excellence, friendship and respect:

Excellence: Excellence describes the quality of effort that permeates all of the Olympic Movement's programmes. It is also the expectation that athletes should set for themselves, captured in the Olympic Motto Citius, Altius, Fortius (Faster, Higher, Stronger). The value of excellence refers to striving to be the best in all that we do, as individuals and as groups working toward common goals. In pursuing - and ultimately measuring - excellence, athletes will naturally compare their efforts to others'. But the primary barometer of excellence will be reaching one's personal objectives. The Olympic Movement expresses its commitment to upholding the value of excellence in a number of ways, from flawlessly managing the Olympic Games to developing sports, education and culture programmes that enable the world's youth to be the best they can be.

Friendship: The Olympic Movement is, at its heart, about people. The value of friendship is steeped in the tradition of the ancient Olympic Truce and refers, broadly, to building a peaceful and better world through sport. The athletes express this value by forming life-long bonds with their team mates, as well as their opponents. The Olympic Movement expresses this value by reaching citizens of more than 200 countries and territories and applying a fundamental humanistic approach to all its actions. Its goal is to place men and women at the centre of its attention and continually advocate and strengthen links between people and peoples. A number of programmes reflect the Olympic Movement's commitment to the value of friendship. These include initiatives aimed at providing humanitarian assistance, developing culture and education programmes, and encouraging open dialogue on sport and peace.

Respect: Respect is the underlying moral imperative of the Olympic Movement and the ethical principle that should inspire all who participate in its programmes. The universal value of respect refers to respect for ourselves, for one another, for the rules, for fair play and for the environment. The Olympic Movement expresses its commitment to this value in a number of ways and through a number of targeted initiatives. For example, the Olympic Movement plays a key role in the fight against doping in sport. It provides financial and programmatic support for athletes' development and women's advancement in the world of sport. And it works with Olympic Games' Organising Committees to help ensure the development of environmentally sustainable venues and practices.

In streamlining the way it discusses the Olympic values, the Olympic Movement has not diluted the meaning of the concepts that Coubertin so eloquently promoted more than 100 years ago. Rather, the Movement has simplified the articulation of those values, focused on those that take into account the specificity of the sporting environment, and strived to place them in a contemporary context. As an educational reformer with great skill in getting his point across, Coubertin would have expected nothing less.

The values of excellence, friendship and respect are the foundation upon which the Olympic Movement blends sport, culture and education for the betterment of human beings and humankind. They encompass the moral and ethical standards that are the basis of all Olympic Movement strategies and actions. They promote a concept of quality based on effort, not results. They encourage us to be the best we can be, achieving our personal dreams. Above all, they inspire us to nurture human and personal connections and to become true world citizens. The Olympic Games and the broader Olympic Movement show us the best of humanity and remind us of the part we can play.

The Olympic values have always mattered. And they always will. They give the Olympic Movement its universal character, its respected presence and its distinctive success. They also are what give the world hope for a better future.


 

BRINGING THE VALUES TO LIFE

STEVEN MAASS ASSESSES HOW THE OLYMPIC MOVEMENT PUTS ITS VALUES INTO PRACTICE AND, DRIVEN BY ITS KEY PRINCIPLES, DEMONSTRATES DAILY A COMMITMENT TO PROMOTING POSITIVE CHANGE THROUGH SPORT.

It is one thing to talk about the Olympic values. It is quite another thing to live them every day. Showing that its values are meaningful through direct and socially responsible action is what the Olympic Movement does best.

Today the Olympic Movement is focused on promoting women in sport, protecting athletes, promoting development through sport, promoting sustainable development, respecting the Olympic Truce, promoting culture and Olympic education, and, of course, organising the Olympic Games. Collectively, these goals demonstrate the Olympic Movement's social responsibility and its deep commitment to promoting positive change through sport.

VALUES + PRINCIPLES = ACTION

The Olympic values of excellence, friendship and respect underpin all of the actions that the Olympic Movement undertakes in achieving its mission. Whilst these values are not specifically referenced in the Olympic Charter, they can certainly be seen in the Charter's Fundamental Principles of Olympism and the role that the IOC plays in the promotion of Olympism. They are the values that people across the world, young and old, rich and poor, believe in and strongly associate with the Olympic Games. This can be summarised as universality, humanism, non-discrimination, solidarity, sustainability and the ongoing promotion of the alliance between sport, education and culture (see sidebar, page 39).

The values represent that which is of utmost importance to the Olympic Movement. The principles, on the other hand, can be considered the Olympic Movement's "code of best practice", which ensures the values are represented in the Movement's actions. As such, the principles form the bridge that connects the Olympic values to the programmes that drive Olympism. The values and principles are further distinguished by their scope and applicability. Whereas the Olympic values can be expressed by - or directed toward - individuals, the principles of Olympism are inherently social constructs. That is, they represent the models of behaviour that a complex organisation such as the IOC can apply when delivering programmes to groups of people, other organisations or society in general. In effect, the principles make up the "public face" by which the Olympic Movement expresses its values to the world.

Each value can be expressed through more than one principle. The value of respect, for example, can be brought to life by behaviours that are humanistic, non-discriminatory or both. The fluid relationships that exist between the Olympic values and principles enable a number of powerful belief/behaviour combinations that more precisely shape socially responsible actions and advance the mission of the Olympic Movement.

VALUES IN ACTION

Despite this evolution of its mission's purpose and impact, the Olympic Movement of today has not strayed far from Coubertin's original intent. In fact, one could argue that the programmes currently in place simply clarify, reinforce and build upon the concepts he shepherded more than 100 years ago. With the goals to be achieved set so high, the path to attaining them comes with many challenges. More can always be done, but this should not take away from the results already achieved.

PROMOTION OF WOMEN IN SPORT

Coubertin was, amongst other things, a man of his time. Therefore, when he envisaged sport as a key contributor - along with education and culture - to the "harmonious development of man", he meant just that. Women were excluded from the first Olympic Games in 1896, just as they had been from the ancient Olympic Games upon which the modern Games were based. Today, more than 4,300 female athletes compete in the summer Olympic Games. All sports seeking inclusion in the Olympic Games must include women's events.

Over the past 100 years, opportunities for sports participation have grown dramatically for women - not just in the realm of the Olympic Games, but also in the athletic programmes developing in most countries of the world. The Olympic Movement has played a leading role in this shift by:

  • Steadily expanding the women's programme at the Olympic Games and empowering women for leadership and administrative positions in sport.
  • Organising world and regional seminars on Women and Sport (and providing scholarship funds for those who wish to attend).
  • Launching national gender equality activities, research and communication campaigns.
  • Amending the Olympic Charter to include in its mission the following element: "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".

The Olympic Movement's decades-long effort to promote women in sport reflects all of its core values. Providing opportunities for women on the field of play (and in positions of sports leadership) reflects a fundamental respect for the role that women can and should play in all areas of society. Enhancing sports opportunities allows women to experience the value of friendship with fellow athletes and thereby contribute to the building of a peaceful and better world. Finally, promoting sport as a critical element of a woman's healthy and harmonious development reflects the value of excellence and encourages women to strive to achieve their personal objectives. These values are translated into the programmes of the Olympic Movement through the principles of humanism, universality and non-discrimination.

PROTECTION OF ATHLETES

The Olympic Movement takes its responsibility of protecting the rights, health and well-being of athletes very seriously. The most visible programme related to this mission in recent years has been the creation of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), which strives to protect the health of athletes by coordinating the fight against doping in sport internationally. Other Olympic Movement initiatives aimed at protecting athletes include:

  • Creating the Athletes' Commission to provide a voice for athletes within the Olympic Movement.
  • Conducting research in the areas of trauma and injury prevention.
  • Developing sports medicine courses and scholarship programmes to educate doctors, physiotherapists, trainers and coaches through practical and scientific training.
  • Requiring that cities bidding to host the Olympic Games outline the environmental protection measures they intend to take, including those to protect the health of athletes during the Games.

These types of protection efforts demonstrate the respect the Olympic Movement has for its athletes, both as individuals and as advocates for sport in society. The value of respect is expressed by the Olympic Movement's commitment to establishing independent commissions and agencies that cater to the best interest of the athletes. By placing the well-being of athletes at the centre of this mission, the Olympic Movement also is illustrating its principles of humanism and solidarity.

DEVELOPMENT THROUGH SPORT

Nowhere is the Olympic Movement's dedication to socially responsible action more evident than in its efforts to develop healthy, well-balanced world citizens and a safe, prosperous, peaceful world community.

A number of programmes are in place (or being developed) to position sport as a vehicle to bridge cultural and ethnic divides, create jobs and businesses, promote tolerance and non-discrimination, reinforce social integration, advocate healthy lifestyles and place sport at the service of the harmonious development of man. Examples of ongoing projects include initiatives aimed at:

  • Helping to alleviate poverty in Africa
  • Conducting advocacy work in the area of HIV and AIDS prevention through sport
  • Rehabilitating war victims and amputees through sport.
  • Providing sports equipment and infrastructures to underprivileged communities.
  • Building sports education centres and infrastructures in developing countries.
  • Distributing clothing and sports equipment to refugees.

The value of friendship is at the forefront of the Olympic Movement's efforts to preserve human dignity and improve the circumstances of those most in need. Humanism, universality and sustainability are the Olympic principles that allow the expression of international friendship to flourish.

PROMOTION OF SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT

The Olympic Movement maintains its relevance by effectively responding to changes in the world in which it exists. Sustainable development, for example, was not a concern to Coubertin and the original International Olympic Committee.

Today, it is of the utmost importance. Since the early 1990s, the Olympic Movement has focused on establishing policies and practices that promote sustainable development at national, regional and international levels - and particularly within the context of the Olympic Games. It has, in fact, added "environment" as the third pillar of the Olympic Movement, alongside sport and culture, and established a Sport and Environment Commission to advise the IOC Executive Board on the most appropriate environmental protection policies. The Olympic Movement has also been committed to educating its members and other sports practitioners about the importance of developing sports-related programmes that maintain a healthy environment and enable sustainable social and economic development. Amongst its many important activities in this area, the

Olympic Movement is:

  • Promoting rigorous planning, management and execution of the Olympic Games, with the goal of minimising adverse environmental effects and providing a "green" model for society.
  • Promoting long-term social and economic sustainability initiatives that will create a positive legacy for Olympic Games' host cities and countries.
  • Developing Olympic Games impact reports, which measure the Games' environmental impact and help create a lasting legacy.
  • Launching an initiative to examine ethical sourcing in the value chain of goods provided to the Olympic Games and wider Olympic Movement.

These activities illustrate the respect the Olympic Movement has for the environment, as well as for the people, cities and countries most affected by the staging of the Olympic Games. These values are translated into action through principles of sustainability, universality and solidarity. Together, these principles shape a code of best practice that calls for an appreciation of the global impact the Olympic Movement's actions and decisions may have on the world community.

RESPECT FOR THE OLYMPIC TRUCE

One of the Fundamental Principles of Olympism is to place sport at the service of the harmonious development of man, with a view to promoting a peaceful society concerned with the preservation of human dignity. This principle has always stood as a cornerstone of the modern Olympic Movement. It has its genesis in the Olympic Truce, a custom that was an integral part of the ancient Olympic Games history, persisting simply by virtue of its sheer moral authority. Coubertin was moved by the power of this moral tradition and believed the modern Olympic Movement should serve the cause of peace, both within individual nations and at the international level.

Given the global political reality in which sport and the Olympic Games exist, the Olympic Movement actively pursues the goals of protecting the interests of the athletes and sport in general, and contributing to the search for peaceful and diplomatic solutions to conflicts around the world. Today, the Olympic Movement - primarily through the International Olympic Truce Foundation - strives to further the cause of peace by:

  • Encouraging political leaders to act in favour of peace, and creating opportunities for dialogue, reconciliation and the prevention and resolution of conflicts.
  • Organising regional and international conferences on sport and peace.
  • Mobilising young people for the promotion of the Olympic ideals.
  • Developing initiatives with other organisations specialising in the field of peace, including the United Nations.
  • Developing educational and research programmes, and launching communications campaigns to promote the Olympic Truce and international understanding.

The universal value of friendship clearly is apparent in the Olympic Movement's many efforts to promote a world of peace, understanding and collaboration. This value is brought to life through principles of humanism and universality. Independence is also key to the Olympic Movement's success in its peace and sport initiatives. The Olympic Movement draws much of its moral strength from the fact that it separates itself from any religious, economic or political influence. This independence allows the Movement to enjoy a presence that is non-threatening and unbiased. As Raymond Gafner (former IOC member and President of the Swiss Olympic Committee) put it, "By throwing a bridge over continents, by standing above differences of race, social regime, or political system, ... [the Olympic Movement] can bring hope and togetherness to a world so often and so deeply torn apart."

PROMOTION OF CULTURE AND OLYMPIC EDUCATION

Coubertin's primary goal in reviving the ancient Olympic Games in a modern form was academic. He founded the Olympic Movement as an educational movement, believing that sport contributed to the harmonious and well-balanced development of the body, the character and the mind. The challenge - and opportunity - for the Olympic Movement is to make the education of young people through sport as relevant today as it was over 100 years ago.

In developing its culture and Olympic education agenda, the Olympic Movement has strived to contribute to the creation of a peaceful and better world by educating young people through sport. When practised without discrimination and in the spirit of friendship, solidarity and fair play emerge. To advance the mission of culture and Olympic education on a worldwide basis, the Olympic Movement continues to:

  • Establish policies to guide the funding and promotion of culture and Olympic education at national, regional and international levels, and particularly at the Olympic Games.
  • Develop links between sport and culture in all its forms and encourage cultural exchange.
  • Promote Olympic education through a number of activities and initiatives carried out by the IOC, the Olympic Museum, universities and the International Olympic Academy, which attracts students from around the world to study the educational and social principles of Olympism.

With these and many other activities, the Olympic Movement carries out one of its most important social responsibilities: demonstrating how sport engenders respect for ourselves and others, provides a model for excellent effort, and creates common ground for friendship and peace. These core values are brought to life through the principles of humanism, universality and the alliance between sport, education and culture.

ORGANISATION OF THE OLYMPIC GAMES

Without a doubt, the most visible expression of the Olympic Movement's core values is apparent to the world during the presentation of the Games of the Olympiad and the Olympic Winter Games. The Olympic Games are more than metres and medals. They are magic - for all who witness or partake. Examples of excellence, friendship and respect are on full and constant display, from the pageantry of the opening, closing and medals ceremonies to the high-calibre competition that calls for individuals and teams to give their very best.

To ensure that the Olympic values flourish during the Olympic Games, the Olympic Movement applies all its principles in equal measure. Universality. Humanism. Non-discrimination. Solidarity. Sustainability. The alliance between sport, education and culture and the environment. These principles dictate the full expression of excellence, friendship and respect allow these values to transcend the playing fields to reinforce the humanity in each of us. In the context of the Olympic Games, the values and principles come together to position sport as a model for humanity. Above all, they show us what is possible when the world unites as a single society to witness the fulfilment of the human potential and celebrate human esteem on a global stage.

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