POSTED: August 22nd 2015

Olympic history is made as IOC achieves full gender equality at the Youth Olympic Games Buenos Aires 2018

The IOC Executive Board in Beijing © IOC/Greg Martin
The IOC Executive Board in Beijing © IOC/Greg Martin

IOC President Thomas Bach © IOC/Greg Martin
IOC President Thomas Bach © IOC/Greg Martin

MARISSA FLANDERS (USA) / Sports Features Communications

(SFC) The athlete quotas for the Youth Olympic Games Buenos Aires 2018 has been approved by the Executive Board (EB) of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), achieving gender equality on the sports program (1,893 women and 1,893 men set to compete) for the first time in Olympic history.

This achievement was made possible after the United World Wrestling's (UWW) proposal to reallocate 18 quota places from men to women.

IOC President, Thomas Bach commented on the special occasion, saying, "This is an excellent step forward. We are working with the International Federations at every stage to make the Youth Olympic Games appealing to young people, and now with their support we have made history - to have equal numbers of women and men competing for the first time at an Olympic Games or Youth Olympic Games. As well as being another big step in the implementation of Olympic Agenda 2020, this is a great milestone for women's sport and for the Olympic Movement as a whole and we thank the UWW and its President, Nenad Lalovic, for helping us achieve this."

Innovation and gender equality are essential principles in Olympic Agenda 2020. This milestone follows the approval of the innovative event program for the 2018 Youth Games. The program will contain new youth-oriented events, which includes kiteboarding, BMX, cross-country running, record numbers of mixed events and female events, and freestyle. These innovations fall in line with the vision of Buenos Aires 2018 to deliver the most youth-appealing and unique Youth Olympic Games.

In addition, the EB approved the approach to Olympic Agenda 2020 Recommendation 40's implementation. It will have all candidates for the IOC Athlete's Commission elections be from National Olympic Committees (NOCs) and International Federations (IFs) that either have, or are in the process of establishing, their own Athlete's Commissions.

This approach will reinforce Olympic Agenda 2020's emphasis to have the heart of the Olympic Movement be the athletes. The new process will allow for the strongest possible nominations. The IOC will also have the opportunity to work with all the NOCs and IFs to strengthen the role, representation, and structures of their own Athletes' Commissions. 

Furthermore, in June of this year, the IOC introduced a set of detailed guidelines for NOC and IF Athletes' Commissions to provide expertise and support to establish sufficient Commissions. Currently, the IFs and NOCs are discussing the guidelines.

Moreover, beginning with the 2024 Candidature Process, the EB approved a new opportunity for Candidature Cities to receive even more advice from Olympic Movement stakeholders and the IOC. Now in an IOC-controlled environment, the IOC's Rights-Holding Broadcasters (RHBs) and TOP Partners (TOPs) will have the chance to provide Candidature Cities with the expertise and knowledge they have gained over the years. Cities will be able to learn from the vast experiences of the RHBs and TOPs, but while still preserving the candidature process' neutrality and integrity.

Lastly, the EB heard updates from the Chairs of Rio 2016, PyeongChang 2018, and Tokyo 2020 IOC Coordination Commissions. Afterward, a joint meeting was held between the IOC EB Members and the Council of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF).

** MARISSA FLANDERS is a graduate of Saint Leo University with a Bachelor's Degree in Sport Business. She has over four years of writing experience and has a real passion for ice hockey following the Pittsburgh Penguins on her blog

Keywords · IOC · Executive Board · Youth Olympic Games · Buenos Aires 2018 · Olympic Agenda 2020

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