Lausanne [Switzerland], November 12 (ANI): The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has agreed to increase the budget of Olympic Solidarity for the period 2021 to 2024 by 16 per cent.
The budget for 2021-2024 will now be a total of USD 590 million. With this decision, the IOC will further strengthen its support to athletes, National Olympic Committees (NOCs) and Continental Associations of NOCs.
"One important lesson that I hope we have all learnt from the current COVID-19 crisis is that we need more solidarity. We need more solidarity within societies, but also among societies. Solidarity is one of the key Olympic values which the Olympic community is actively promoting. Today's decision to increase the budget of our Olympic Solidarity programme for the next four-year cycle by 16 per cent to USD 590 million is a very strong demonstration in times of a worldwide crisis," IOC President Thomas Bach said in an official release.
The IOC has also decided to give a 25 per cent increase for athlete support programmes. This was presented by EB Member and Chair of the Olympic Solidarity Commission Robin Mitchell.
The 2021-2024 Olympic Solidarity plan is fit for purpose in the post-coronavirus world, meaning that all funding and programmes go as a priority to Olympic Solidarity's direct beneficiaries -- the athletes and the NOCs.
"At 25 per cent, the increase in the funding of direct athlete support programmes is even higher than the overall increase. Additionally, the athletes as members of the Olympic teams will benefit from the 25 per cent increase for NOCs. The IOC continues to help all NOCs, particularly those with the greatest needs and the IOC Refugee Olympic Team, through a wide range of programmes prioritising athletes' development, and the training and education of their entourage," said Thomas Bach.
Olympic Solidarity's athletes' programmes touch on every aspect of an athlete's lifecycle, from the grassroots level to elite and to post-career, and will remain at the heart of Olympic Solidarity's sports development priorities.
To ensure that more opportunities and Olympic scholarships are available to athletes, the Olympic Solidarity budget allocated to athlete support programmes has been increased by 25 per cent for the next quadrennial.
The IOC has also distributed USD 5 billion during the past Olympiad for the development of the sport. The IOC distributes 90 per cent of all its revenues for the benefit of the athletes and the development of sport and Paralympic sport around the globe.
With this solidarity funding model, the equivalent of USD 5 billion was distributed during the past Olympiad or 3.4 million USD per day. This financial support benefits, not just a few countries or a few sports. It benefits all the athletes from all 206 NOCs, from the IOC Refugee Olympic Team and from all Olympic sports, whether popular or less popular, thereby ensuring true universality and diversity of the Olympic Games and within the Olympic community. (ANI)