UIPM Secretary General’s Message: IOC Session summary and reflections
It might be tempting to reflect on only one outcome of the 141st IOC Session.
Yes, I am talking about the historic vote that secured our sport’s future in the Olympic Games for at least another five years, and confirmed that we can start to build on the very exciting foundation for global development that we laid during two years of intense hard work and innovation.
However, there were four other takeaways from Mumbai I would like to share – not only in an IOC context, but with reference to our own movement’s status and progress – before acknowledging the happy news about LA28.
- It was impressive to refresh that Olympic Agenda 2020+5 includes a lot of powerful projects, which focus on solidarity, digitalisation, sustainable development, credibility and economic and financial resilience.
Reflecting on UIPM ranges, we see that a lot of our work could echo the direction and there is clearly room for us to engage better and more.
- The Future Host Commission claimed a big percentage of reduced spend on Paris 2024 compared with previous Games, and we do see some merits and sustainable moves in respect of next year’s Olympics.
However, standing in International Federation (IF) shoes, we also see some unnecessary cuts that might impact some IF operations during Games time.
- The Games Optimisation Working Group reported its intentions not only around cost saving, but also the plan, delivery and consumed areas, which brought positive revenue results.
This made me think about UIPM events, how to balance our professional level, standards, quality and efficiency while being as cost-effective as possible. After all, we are a multi-discipline sport that has unique complexities.
- The Advisory Committee on Human Rights updated its projects on safeguarding, fairness, inclusion and non-discrimination.
Looking into the mirror at our own Modern Pentathlon community, much more should be done although often there is a limit on how IFs can act. At the same time, an updated safeguarding policy and guidelines for our National Federations will be ready at the end of 2023.
Back to the most important part related to our sport, we are finally officially included in the Los Angeles 2028 program after two years’ non-stop process, starting from proposing a new discipline, selections and testing, guidelines and regulations, and finally implementation.
Yes, in fact, we just started a new chapter, and we have more responsibilities on our shoulders, and the organisation is tasked with delivering a bright future for youth generations.
But when you look at the new sports or those additionally included in LA28, most are either team sports with rich commercial background and unbeatable numbers, or sports with a phenomenal new following and momentum.
So where are we? Where is MP standing? I believe everyone has their own answer… but one series of answers must be that to make our sport more accessible for everyone, make the sport more understandable for all online and offline audiences, and to create one of the best sports products and show learning from Ninja Warrior’s success, we are on this path … and it will certainly take time.
To evaluate further, the IOC’s administration reports somehow reflected the priorities facing UIPM in 2024, just in a much smaller scale and dimension:
- Paris 2024 MP events
- More effective administration
- Agenda 2020+5 related projects
- Commercial awareness and resource conscious
- Healthy and increased revenue channels to make the organization more sustainable.
As we anticipate another busy year in 2024, it will be interesting to reflect back in November next year, to review how much of the above was achieved, and where the road leads us next …