Empowering Athletes: Comprehensive Safeguarding Measures Set the Stage for Gangwon 2024


In order to prioritize athlete well-being and safety, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has introduced an extensive set of initiatives during the Winter Youth Olympic Games (YOG) Gangwon 2024, all aimed at promoting a culture of safe sport.

Education Program at the Youth Olympic Villages
The cornerstone of this initiative is the Athlete Education Programme, hosted at the Athlete365 House within the Youth Olympic Villages. Dedicated spaces focusing on athlete safeguarding have been established, providing athletes and their entourage with resources to understand, recognize, and respond to harassment and abuse in sports. Visitors can actively engage in various activities, including leaving personal messages on a world map, sharing their perspectives on what constitutes safe sport.

This effort is part of the larger IOC strategy called "Mind, Body, and Me," which empowers athletes with tools and contacts to maintain holistic well-being. Mental health and injury prevention join safe sport as the three pillars of this comprehensive strategy.

New Courses to Equip Athletes and Entourage
Preceding the Games, the IOC launched two new courses on Athlete365: "Safeguarding Essentials for Young Athletes" and "Safeguarding Essentials for Athlete Allies," targeting members of the athletes' entourage. These courses, available in 10 languages, aim to educate participants on recognizing and preventing harassment and abuse, as well as the appropriate responses to such concerns.

Onsite Safeguarding Officers
Just as in the Olympic Games, IOC Safeguarding Officers will be present onsite at the Youth Olympic Villages during Gangwon 2024. Athletes can consult them in person or schedule appointments via email. Additionally, concerns can be reported through the IOC Integrity and Compliance Hotline, ensuring confidentiality in all reports and consultations.

Updated Games-time Safeguarding Framework
The IOC's "Framework for Safeguarding Athletes and Other Participants from Harassment and Abuse in Sport (Games-time Period)" has undergone recent updates. This framework provides specific guidance during the Games to create safe and supportive environments, detailing standards of behavior, reporting mechanisms, and the roles of safeguarding officers.

Ongoing Commitment to Safe Sport
These initiatives underscore the IOC's ongoing commitment to reinforcing safe sport and athlete safeguarding across the Olympic Movement, aligning with Olympic Agenda 2020+5. Recent efforts have included the launch of a toolkit for International Federations and National Olympic Committees, a Games-time framework, and the establishment of a network of safeguarding officers.

In 2021, the IOC also introduced the "International Safeguarding Officer in Sport Certificate" to create a global network of highly skilled safeguarding officers. Moreover, a USD 10 million fund per Olympiad has been established to enhance the prevention and response to harassment and abuse at the local level. Regional safeguarding hubs in Southern Africa and the Pacific Islands further emphasize the IOC's commitment to ensuring the safety and well-being of athletes worldwide.

Through these proactive measures and ongoing support, the IOC continues to empower Olympic Movement stakeholders with the knowledge and tools to strengthen safeguarding policies and procedures.

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