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Olympism—universal and timeless

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

What will 2014 hold? From the perspective of the T&T Olympic Committee (TTOC), I anticipate a step change.  While there are those who always seem able to point out what will not work or what can’t happen, I am a big believer in not just stepping out of the box but building a new box. It’s important to re-engineer while remaining true to core principles and values. The TTOC as an organisation, must determine if it is fit for purpose and able to serve and exceed the expectations of the current and future generations. Change is not an indictment of what has gone before but a validation that a solid foundation is in place and it is of such strength and resilience that it can withstand necessary change. Baron Pierre de Coubertin founder of the modern Olympic Movement said: “Olympism did not reappear within the context of modern civilisation in order to play a local or temporary role. The mission entrusted to us is universal and timeless.”


According to former  IOC president Jacques Rogge, the success of the IOC is not measured solely by what occurs today, but by the lasting legacy created through sport. He further affirmed that all of the IOC’s activities—from staging the Olympic Games and the Youth Olympic Games, to bringing sport to impoverished communities—are intended to deliver long-term positive benefits.
It is important to restate the core pillars that underpin the IOC and by extension the National Olympic Committees (NOCs). They are ensuring the regular celebration of the Games, inspiring and educating youth, promoting sport and Olympic values, and supporting and developing the Olympic movement. The Olympic mission is a great cause. Building a legacy for future generations is important. From inception, the Olympic movement has focused on building a legacy by and through youth. Advancing that goal requires new initiatives and creative programmes. How do we engage children and youth and awaken their interest in participating in sport, contributing to and celebrating the Olympic movement, building friendships, participating in sports-based community and sustainable projects that highlight the importance of giving back to the communities.


Taking its cue from the IOC, the TTOC must engage and cooperate with public and private organisations to place sport at the service of humanity. The Olympic Charter defines Olympism as a philosophy of life that blends sport with culture and education. Guided by the Olympic Charter declaration that sport is a human right, the TTOC must advocate for inclusion in sport. Sport should be available to people of all ages and abilities without discrimination. Since the Olympic Charter was amended in 1994 to include concern for the environment as a pillar of Olympism—alongside sport and education and culture—to promote environmental responsibility throughout the world of sport is a focus of the Olympic movement. Minimising the environmental footprint of sport is a strategic focus. The TTOC is committed to serving the athletes, to protect the integrity of sport and to ensure that it is looking to the future. The athletes, children and youth are the priority.
Happy New Year. May 2014 be a prosperous, happy, safe and exciting year.


Brian Lewis is the President of the Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee. The views expressed aren’t necessarily those of the TTOC. Visit for more information about the IOC and the TTOC


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