IOC Session is a mark of the trust that the IOC has in India: James Macleod -
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IOC Session is a mark of the trust that the IOC has in India: James Macleod

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Khel Today Bureau 

Mumbai: Ahead of the historic return of the IOC Session to India next month after 40 years, James Macleod, Director of NOC Relations, Olympic Solidarity and Olympism365 at the IOC has said that India hosting the Session is an indicator of the trust that the IOC has in India.

Speaking at a round table discussion with journalists ahead of the upcoming IOC Session, Macleod said, “I think it is very big. It is a mark of the trust that the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has in India. We know the potential that India holds and we are very excited about partnering with our colleagues in India to be able to host the IOC Session. As you know, an IOC Session does attract a lot of attention because a lot of important decisions happen in that forum amongst the IOC membership relating to the future of the Olympic Movement, the future of the Olympic Games but also other that haven’t been discussed earlier. For us, it is a great opportunity and we are very excited about it.”

Making the Olympic Games more accessible

Jacqueline Barrett, Future Olympic Games Hosts Director, spoke about the IOC’s new philosophy that will come into consideration while awarding hosting rights. One of the key aims of the IOC involves hosting Olympic Games that are sustainable for the future. She also touched upon the IOC’s new strategic framework for human rights, which was adopted in September 2022.  Barrett said that the IOC aims to make the Olympic Games more accessible for all nations by reforming the approach to bidding for the Games. “The new approach means that we can share our expertise with the countries or regions that have aspirations of hosting the Olympic Games.  “Brisbane 2032 was the first host elected under this new approach. We have managed to reduce the cost of bidding for future hosts by over 80 per cent,” Barrett said.

Hosting rights for Olympic Games 2036 much sought after

The Olympics continue to be a sought-after event with Barrett confirming that the number of nations interested in hosting the 2036 Olympic Games was in double digits and there was significant interest in holding the Youth Olympic Games as well.

The 141st Session of the IOC will be held in Mumbai, India on 15, 16 and 17 October this year. The Session will be preceded by an IOC Executive Board meeting on 12 and 13 October. The decision to hold the 141st IOC Session in India was taken by the IOC Members during the 139th IOC Session held in Beijing in February 2022. Olympic gold medallist Abhinav Bindra, IOC member Nita M Ambani, then-IOA president Narinder Batra and Sports Minister Anurag Thakur presented India’s proposal for the hosting rights. India won the bid after 75 members voted in favour of Mumbai.

Bindra, the first Indian to win an individual gold at the Olympic Games, was also a part of the round table discussion and spoke about the significance of the upcoming Session as well. “It is the start of a process. The Olympic Movement is coming to India after a gap of 40 years. There is a lot of interest around the Olympic Movement. As an Indian athlete and somebody who has been involved in the Olympic Movement, I’d like to see the Games come to our country. The Mumbai Session is a very important event of the IOC and I’m very happy that the Session is happening in Mumbai,” Bindra said when asked if the Session was a possible stepping stone to India eventually hosting the Olympic Games.

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