The athletes discussed second careers and mental health at their biggest forum

Three hundred and fifty representatives of athletes met at the ninth International Athletes´ Forum in Lausanne that was organised by the International Olympic Committee. The biggest meeting of this kind was attended by the representatives of Athletes´ Commissions (ACs) from 185 National Olympic Committees, fifty international sport federations, organising committees for the Olympic Games, continental associations, International Paralympic Committee, the World Anti-Doping Agency and representatives of World Olympians Association. They discussed a lot of topics related to athletes and prepared several recommendations for the IOC Executive Committee. The former alpine skier Klára Křížová represented the Czech athletes.

“The had a very busy programme and I learned a lot of interesting information about activities and projects that I had not known before that they exist. The topic of mental health of athletes grabbed my attention, it has not been discussed a lot so far, but it is very important. I myself chose it as a topic for my final thesis in the programme Sport diplomacy,” Klára Křízová said. She is going to finish her studies in the second term of the educational programme of Czech Olympic Committee for current and future sport diplomats.

Thomas Bach, IOC chairman, also a former sportsman and Olympic winner in fencing, attended to forum. He and his colleagues from IOC executive board will deal with the proposals of the athletes that were worked out at the forum. The recommendations include the strengthening of the representation of athletes that should have their commission in every NOC and every international federation. The other recommendations relate to the solidarity funding model, dual careers, protection of clean athletes and fight against doping, ambassadors´ programme or above-mentioned mental health of athletes. The complete wording of proposal (in English) can be found HERE.

“Great emphasis was also put on the interconnection of contacts between the individual commissions. I attended the meeting with the representatives of European Commissions and learned a lot about how they work. The Italians pay a lot of attention to the second careers of the athletes and try to include them in the programme that would prevent their leaving the sport. Belgians are also very active in the field. There are lectures about public speaking and foundations of ethics,” Křížová said.

She was very interested in educational activities offered by Athletes365 platform that interconnects the athletes and presents the opportunities for them even outside their sporting career. “Business Accelerator programme for athletes is very important as it offers a great number of workshops, on-line educational courses etc.”

The representatives of athletes also learned about the details of plans of the organisers of the individual Olympic Games, heard about the possibilities of interconnection of active and former Olympians and discussed the prevention of corruption and match-fixing.