Articles & Publications
2020 President's address
Dear friends, 2020 has been a tragic year for all of humanity! The COVID-19 pandemic,which literally brought societies, economies and cultural structures to their knees at all corners of the earth, has resulted in severely injuring global sport and the Olympic Movement itself.
The Tokyo Games have been postponed to 2021, and we cannot be certain that we will not experience unprecedented conditions for their realisation, under the continuing threat of athletes, attendants and potentially spectators being infected by the virus.But as much as this phenomenon has affected us, the Olympic Movement continues to be a haven of knowledge and hope, with its Principles being timeless, perhaps even more so than ever, for international solidarity, respect for diversity and global peace.
As expected, the International Olympic Academy postponed all its annual Sessions and the courses of its Master's Degree programme, which were scheduled to take place during the great outbreak of the virus, for later. However, since the rapid spread of the virus did not allow their live re-organisation, the IOA Ephoria decided to undertake an unprecedented virtual process in order to conduct its four basic educational programmes; the Session for Young Participants, the Session for NOA Directors, the Olympic Seminar for Postgraduate Students and the first semester of the Master’s Degree programme 2020-2021. This effort was crowned with great success and, as you will read in the relevant articles of this issue, there were many participants in the works of the events from all parts of the world. The subject of the Sessions we had chosen for 2020 was topical and of great interest and as it turned out, it captured the interest of the participants and lecturers.
On this occasion, I would like to congratulate the scientific team and the members of the IOA team for the excellent organisation and implementation of a full-featured online platform, which is sure to be useful to us in future uses, with the aim of the wider dissemination of the Olympic values and strengthening of Olympic education by the IOA.Nevertheless, what was not postponed during the outbreak of COVID-19, even in the most critical days of March-June 2020, was the progress of the renovation works of the IOA premises in Ancient Olympia, which is so generously funded by the IOC! Things are completely different there. Thanks to the efforts made by the contracting company TEAM, a large number of workers on the project was isolated inside the facilities for more than 100 days and worked consistently to meet the deadlines and for the premises to be ready by the end of May 2021!
I must express my warm thanks to all these people for the thoroughness and professionalism they demonstrated!Dear friends, time passes quickly and we will soon have the chance to meet once again in person, in the enchanting environment of Ancient Olympia! Patience and stay strong.
“Dear friends, time passes quickly and we will soon have the chance to meet once again in person, in the enchanting environment of Ancient Olympia!”