LAUSANNE: The International Olympic Committee proved itself utterly in thrall to president Thomas Bach in the three-day session (congress) organised online out of Lausanne.

On Wednesday Bach was re-elected unopposed for a second – and final – four-year term as head of the Olympic movement and on Friday it wound by approving unanimously Olympic Agenda 2020+5 as an updated strategic roadmap.

The proposal builds on Olympic Agenda 2020 and is intended to guide the work of the IOC and the Olympic movement for the next five years.

Bach said: “The coronavirus crisis has changed our world in fundamental ways. The world will never again be like it was before. Even once we have finally overcome the health crisis, we will face the far-reaching social, financial, economic and political consequences.

“As leaders of the Olympic Movement, we must prepare ourselves for this new world. In order to shape our future, we need a vision of how this new world will look like.”

The 15 recommendations are based on five key trends:

1, Global solidarity is being challenged at a time when it is most needed, while unity and peace are at risk because of increasing social, political and economic polarisation; and narrow self-interest is gaining ground over solidarity, shared values and common rules. The result is more confrontation and the politicisation of all aspects of life.

Yet solidarity rests at the heart of everything the Olympic Movement stands for. At the same time, world leaders represented by the G20 and institutions such as the UN have recognised that the world will overcome the current challenges only by standing together in solidarity.

This presents an opportunity for the Olympic Movement to partner up with these like-minded leaders and institutions, to make a contribution through sport to a better, more inclusive world through solidarity.

2, Digitalisation has grown exponentially in recent times. This new digital world comes with great potential – and great risks. If these changes are managed responsibly, this could usher in a new era of prosperity, connectivity and cooperation. If not, it could exacerbate existing social, economic and technological divisions. This is an opportunity for the Olympic Movement to exploit its great positive potential. Digitalisation offers a chance for us to address people more directly, engage with young people and promote the Olympic values. At the same time, our core value of solidarity will guide us to address the segment of the world’s population that is still digitally underserved.
3, Sustainability needs to continue to underpin all the activities of the IOC and the Olympic Movement. In this, the UN Sustainable Development Goals provide clear guidance. Looking to the future, the Olympic Movement must now seize the opportunity to live up to its responsibility to ensure that sport continues to fulfil its potential as an important enabler to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
4, Credibility continues to resonate. Recent years have witnessed a growing erosion of trust in governments, social institutions, business and organisations like the IOC, a trend further compounded by a lack of open-minded discussion and a growth in echo chambers which reinforce opinions and prejudices.

5, Economic and political consequences will need to be addressed. Debts incurred today to finance recovery programmes will need to be paid back tomorrow. We cannot burden future generations with this. Building economic and financial resilience will therefore be essential for countries and businesses around the world. But this new resilience will need to be purpose-led. Through our values and our contribution to the UN Sustainable Development Goals, the Olympic Movement can be this purpose. By joining forces with similar purpose-driven companies, we can contribute to maximising not profit, but value for society at large.

Bach added: “Olympic Agenda 2020+5 as our vision for the future of the Olympic Movement addresses these overarching trends. The aim is to build even more solidarity, to harness the positive potential of digitalisation, to be the impactful enabler to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals, to strengthen the credibility of the constituents of the Olympic Movement, and to join forces with other values- or purpose-driven organisations.”