Athletes’ Commission-It’s Foundation, Development and Transition, 1981-2000 is the title of the book by the IPCC President, Prof. Dr. Stephan Wassong, that has just been published.

Athletes are at the heart of the Olympic Movement. In addition to being role models, they are important contributors in shaping the environment in which they compete. Their crucial position today is the result of a journey that began 40 years ago at the XI Olympic Congress in Baden-Baden, Germany and which resulted in the creation of the IOC Athletes’ Commission in December 1981. 

A new book by Professor Stephan Wassong charts the history and evolution of the IOC Athletes’ Commission from its early beginnings as the all-important institutional voice of the athletes within the Olympic Movement. The book is free of charge and available online.

This book is Published to coincide with the 40th anniversary of the Commission, The International Olympic Committee Athletes’ Commission: Its Foundation, Development & Transition, 1981-2000, is the first book to tell the full story of the Commission’s creation in 1981. It traces the first two decades of the Commission’s history and the rise of the athletes’ institutional voice within the Olympic Movement. It looks back at the Commission’s initiatives and institutional reforms, which have contributed to the development of its central role in the Olympic Movement. The book also tackles a range of Olympic topics, from Games boycotts via the fight against doping to the representation of women.

Meeting of the Athletes Commission, 1987 – © IOC/Albert Riethausen

Commenting on the book, Professor Wassong said: “This book provides insights into the evolution of the responsibility ascribed to the athletes’ voice – and, specifically, athletes’ active participation in decision-making processes within the International Olympic Committee. It is the first time that this story has been researched and published in such detail. I hope it serves as a useful resource for all those interested in the origins and evolutions of athletes’ commissions within the Olympic Movement.”

The International Olympic Committee Athletes’ Commission: Its Foundation, Development & Transition, 1981-2000, by Stephan Wassong, in collaboration with Michelle Ford-Eriksson, is published by the Institute of Sport History/Olympic Studies Centre, German Sport University Cologne, 2021, ISBN 978949068010. It is available on: Olympic World Library – The International Olympic Committee Athletes’ Commission : its foundation, development and transition : 1981-2000 / Stephan Wassong – Detail (

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