The New Leaders Forum held in Helsinki, Finland, is a “best practice in action”, International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach said when attending the Forum.
The two-day Forum saw around 200 attendees from Europe and many other parts of the world. Amongst them were IOC Executive Board (EB) member Prince Feisal Al Hussein and IOC Members Princess Nora of Liechtenstein, Lydia Nsekera, Marisol Casado, Sari Essayah and Emma Terho.
The New Leaders Forum marked the end of a training period for 30 Young Leaders, women and men from across Europe who went through a leadership programme and were mentored by current sports leaders. This programme is a legacy project of Birgitta Kervinen, the 2017 IOC Women and Sport World Trophy winner. In a symbolic gesture, the programme participants passed on a baton to the IOC President, thanking him for his thought leadership and inspiration in the field of gender equality.
When speaking to the Young Leaders and the Forum attendees, Bach pointed out the achievements of the IOC on and off the field of play in its aim to achieve gender equality: “When the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 get underway, we will have also achieved gender balance at the Olympic Games, with the highest-ever representation of female athletes in Olympic history at close to 49 per cent.” He further noted how the IOC has also modified the Olympic competition schedule to balance the visibility of men’s and women’s events on the programme.
At the Youth Olympic Games Buenos Aires 2018 and the upcoming Winter Youth Olympic Games Lausanne 2020, there was and will be complete gender equality, with exactly the same number of male and female athletes competing in the same number of sports and events. “Gender equality at the Olympic Games sends a strong signal to all sports organisations around the world”, the IOC President explained.