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The International Olympic Committee

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Structure and activities

The composition and activities of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) are laid down by the Olympic Charter (see 'Related external resources', right). The IOC has an Executive Board, Membership, and an Administration. It is advised through several Commissions.

Executive Board

The Executive Board consists of the President, 4 Vice Presidents and 10 other members. Its responsibilities include:

  • conducting the selection procedure for games hosts
  • enacting all regulations of the IOC
  • recommending candidates for election to the IOC
  • oversight of the administration of the IOC


Presidents of the IOC have been:

  • Demetrius Vikelas (Greece) 1894- 1896
  • Pierre de Coubertin (France) 1896- 1925
  • Henri Baillet-Latour (Belgium) 1925- 1942
  • J Sigfrid Edstrøm (Sweden) 1942- 1946 (acting) and 1946- 1952
  • Avery Brundage (USA) 1952- 1972
  • Lord Killanin (Ireland) 1972- 1980
  • Juan Antonio Samaranch (Spain) 1980- 2001
  • Jacques Rogge (Belgium) 2001-


Membership is limited to a maximum of 115 people to include:

  • maximum 70 representatives, not linked to any specific function or office (no more than one member from any country)
  • maximum 15 active athletes
  • maximum 15 presidents or executives from the International Federations of sports bodies (IFs) or associations of IFs
  • maximum 15 presidents or executives from National Olympic Committees (NOCs) or world or continental associations of NOCs (no more than one member from any country)

Responsibilities of the IOC membership include:

  • vote on selection of host countries for the games
  • elect IOC members, from list compiled by Nominations Committee
  • represent the Olympic movement in their own country


The administration supports the Members and Executive Board. It is especially active in liaison and collaboration between the IOC and the National Olympic Committees, International Sports Federations, media and commercial partners, Inter-Governmental Organisations and other interested groups. It supports the organisation of Olympic Games and provides advice to Candidate cities.


Commissions are appointed and defined by the President. They provide advice to the IOC on a range of issues, such as: ethics, law, media, participation, and medicine. They can be permanent or ad hoc, to advise on specific issues. The chair of each commission is always a Member of the IOC, but other commissioners can be members of International Sports Federations, National Olympic Committees, athletes, or specialists in a particular field.