Results of the 58th International Session of the IOA

16-30 June  2018, at the International Olympic Academy (IOA) in Ancient Olympia (Greece) the 58th International Session was held. It was attended by more than 180 young people from 90 countries. Russia was represented by Guzel Aktuganova (Volga Olympic Academy) and Ekaterina Gorokhova (Olympic Academy of the South), who won this right following the results of the creative competition in the final round of the XXIX Olympic Scientific Session of Students and Young Scientists of Russia, which was held in February 2018 in Moscow.

The solemn opening of the International Session was held in took place in Athens at the Megaron Concert Hall. The ceremony was attended by the President of the Hellenic Republic, Prokopis Pavlopoulos, President of the Hellenic Olympic Committee Spyros Kapralos, President of the MOA Isidorus Kouvelos and other important guests.

Honorary member of the International Olympic Committee Lambis Nicolau read greeting on behalf of the IOC President Thomas Bach.

The main subject of the Session was: “The Athlete as a Role Model” and its special subject is: “Challenges an Olympic Athlete faces as a role model”. The education programme consisted of 11 lectures, given by the following experts:

– Mr Barry MAISTER IOC Member for New Zealand,  Member of the Education Committee of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA),  member of the Coordination Commission for the 3rd Summer Youth Olympic Games Buenos Aires 2018, subject: “The IOC Commission for Olympic Education and its vision”;

– Prof. Dr Stephen G. MILLER (USA), Former President of the Society for the Revival of the Nemean Games, Professor at the University of California, subject: “Athletes as Celebrities in Ancient Greece”;

– Mr Hee-beom LEE (KOR), President and CEO of the PyeongChang Organizing Committee for the 2018 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, subject: “Athletes as Role Models in the Process of Reconciliation”;

– Prof. Dr Ingomar WEILER (AUT), Professor Emeritus, KarlFranzens University, Graz, Austria, subject: “Feats of Athletes-Heroes in Antiquity: The Social and Educational Value of Athletic Excellence”.

– Mr Sam RAMSAMY (RSA), IOC Member for South Africa, Chairman of the IOC Commission Sport and Active Society, Vice-President of the International Swimming Federation (FINA), subject: “The Olympic athlete as a role model: then and now”;

– Mr Kipchoge KEINO (KEN), IOC Honorary Member, Olympic Order Holder, Olympic Medalist in track and field, subject: “Olympic athletes as role models”.

– Prof. Dr Cesar TORRES (USA), Professor, Dpt. of Kinesiology, Sport Studies and Physical Education, The College of Brockport, State University of New York, USA, subject: “The Role Model debate, Olympism and education”;

– Prof. Dr Leslie A. HOWE (CAN), Professor of Philosophy, University of Saskatchewan, Canada, subject: “Sisyphus and Olympism: An Existentialist Approach to Role Models”;

– Dr Ian BRITTAIN (GBR), Research Fellow, Centre for Business in Society, Coventry University, Great Britain, subject: “Paralympians as Real-Life Role Models”;

– Prof. Dr Richard GIULIANOTTI (GBR), Professor of Sociology, School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences, University of Loughborough, Great Britain, Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences and of the Royal Society of Arts, subject: “Sport for Development and Peace”.

– Mr Dinos MICHAELIDES (CYP), President of the National Olympic Committee of Cyprus,  subject: “The Role of National Olympic Committees in the Education of Olympic Athletes”.

Dr Paraskevi LIOUMPI (GRE), Lecturer on Olympic Education, University of Peloponnese, gave a Workshop on: “The Olympic Values Education Programme of the IOC (OVEP, version 2.0)”.

Working in discussion groups, participants prepared 2 presentations of their vision of ways to address the most important issues and problems of the modern Olympic movement, concerning the post-career of Olympians and Paralympic movement, fight against doping, Olympic education, work of the NOCs and academies.

As part of the cultural and educational program of the session, the participants visited Panathenaic Stadium, where the first modern Olympic Games were held, the Acropolis of Athens and its Museum, the archaeological site and the museum of Delphi, where the ancient Greek Pythian Games took place, archaeological complex and Museum in Ancient Olympia, as well as the official archive of the Games of the XXVIII Olympiad 2004 in IOA and the Academy library.

Participants of the International Session together with guests and citisens of Olympia took part in the1.5km race, devoted to the International Olympic Day.

A trditional solemn Olympic torch and flag relay was organized at the IOA Stadium. It united all participants of the Session.

A rich sports and entertainment program helped the participants get acquainted with the culture, traditions, geography, features of different countries and, most importantly, to find friends from different parts of the world. Young people took part in tennis, table tennis, football, basketball and volleyball competitions, and in the evenings organized cultural meetings, where they presented songs and dances of their countries.

The Session for Young Participants of the IOA helped young people from all over the world to learn more about the history of the Olmpic movement and the importance of Olympic values (such as friendship and respect for each other), to meet Olympic athletes and famous experts in the field of the Olympic movement, to feel as part of the big Olympic family.