The 15th International Session for National Olympic Academies’ and National Olympic Committees’ delegates, concluded its works on the 21st July, in a very emotional closing ceremony. After two and a half years, the IOA premises in Ancient Olympia opened its doors to the delegates of the NOAs and NOCs, from 16 to 22nd July, with the participation of 75 countries and 98 participants.
As the IOA President, Mr Isidoros Kouvelos stated in his speech, during the opening ceremony, “Welcome back! Welcome home! I feel blessed to be here with you, today! You are the core of the mission of the International Olympic Academy. Your devoted Olympic spirit to the work of the IOA, your contribution and actions to the spread of Olympic Values and the Olympic Education, in reality, render you as the main servants and true ambassadors of what Olympism advocates”.
The lecturers explored potentialities of digitalization in the new era, we have entered, following the pandemic that has obliged us to limit our activities and adjust to a new reality.
Mr Ollie DUDFIELD (IOC), Associate Director Olympism 365 on the subject “Olympism 365: Strengthening the role of sport as an important enabler for the UN Sustainable Development Goals”.
Mr Gilbert FELLI (SUI), Former IOC Executive Director on Olympic Games, on the subject “Olympic Games: The new Bidding Process”.
Prof. Raoni PERRUCCI TOLEDO MACHADO (BRA), Department of Physical Education, Federal University of Lavras, on the subject, “Virtual Reality Systems: Interactivity and their educational role”.
Prof. Irena MARTINKOVA (CZE), Faculty of Physical Education and Sport, Charles University in Prague, on the subject “Virtual Embodiment – a phenomenological perspective on E-sports”.
Dr Stuart MURRAY (AUS), Senior Consultant Sports Diplomacy Alliance on the subject, “Sports Diplomacy-Origins, Theory and Practice”.
Dr Bianca Gama PENA (BRA), Project Manager at the UERJ Innovation Department
Manager at the e Museum of Sports, on the subject “Virtual Digital Olympic Museum: A step forward in the Olympic Studies”.
Prof. Anne TJØNNDAL (NOR), Associate Professor Dept. of Sociology & Political Science on the subject, “Challenges and Dilemmas faced with the inclusion of e-sports and the other digital sports”.
The elaborated topics provided food for thought for thorough discussions among the delegates and the working groups. The NOAs were called upon to share in what way they have faced this challenge in the promotion of the Olympic Values, exploring these new working methods and exchanging experiences and views.
Emphasis was also placed on the cultivation of the interrelation between the NOAs and NOCs, the NOCs that have not established an NOA in their country, the identification of possible barriers and the setting of perspectives for the development of Olympic Education.
The questions posed from the very beginning, by the IOA President, involved this issue: “How can, out of the 206 National Olympic Committees, almost half of them conceive the significance of an NOA in their country? What is actually happening to the rest NOCs? In what way do they include in their role and mission, the philosophical principles of the Olympic Movement?” Reaching the conclusion that “The turning point for the flourishment of the NOAs and the evolvement of Olympic Education is the close alignment between the NOA and the NOC. ‘If you want to go fast, go alone, but if you want to go far, go together’”.