9th Forum and 5th Assembly of European Athletes
H.S.H. Prince Albert II: “Athletes are at the heart
of the Olympic Movement and that is where they must remain”
The 9th Forum of European Athletes played host to several meetings and working sessions, including the organisation of the 2nd European Games in 2019 in Minsk (Belarus); the protection of clean athletes and anti-doping efforts; and an International Olympic Committee (IOC) presentation on programmes to support sportsmen and women.
H.S.H. Prince Albert II gave a speech on Friday before a hundred Olympians representing some 50 European National Olympic Committees. A member of the IOC since 1985, President of the Monegasque Olympic Committee since 1994, and himself a former Vice President of the IOC Athletes’ Commission (1989–2008), then honorary member of the organisation until 2015, H.S.H. the Sovereign Prince recalled that Agenda 2020 (approved during the IOC’s 127th Session in Monaco in 2014) was the “strategic road map which sets out the future of the Olympic Movement. In its 40 recommendations, the protection of athletes holds a position of critical importance, and this is something which we can only welcome. Now, more than ever before, is the time to implement these recommendations. During these two days of debate, you have addressed a number of key points, including the place and role of Athletes’ Commissions within various bodies, and the protection of athletes and their integrity.”
In conclusion, he noted: “As Olympians, with the majority of you already committed to working with institutions in your respective countries, you have a good understanding of the significance of your role and responsibilities. Athletes are at the heart of the Olympic Movement and that is where they must remain. This is how the main guidelines adopted by the IOC will be able to find, through you, continuity at the continental, regional, national and, above all, local levels.”
The 5th Assembly re-elected its officers: Gerd Kanter (Estonia, discus thrower, 2008 Olympic champion, bronze medallist in 2012) is the new President of the European Athletes’ Commission for 2017–2021 (he succeeds Jean-Michel Saive, a table tennis player from Belgium). Balázs Baji (Hungary, track and field, Olympian 2008–2012) and David Harte (Ireland, field hockey) were elected as Vice President and Secretary, respectively.