FAQs

Why does the AOC still exist when the Sydney Olympic Games were in 2000?

The AOC did not organise the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games, SOCOG did. The AOC is responsible for organising and sending Australian athletes, coaches and teams to every Summer and Winter Olympic Games and dealing with the National Federations in Australia regarding Olympic matters. It also fully funds and organises the Australian Youth Olympic Festival (AYOF) which is held biennially, the next one is set for 2013.

Is the AOC a government body?

No, the AOC is a non-for-profit organisation independent of government other than the contributions made by State Governments to the State Olympic Councils for the Olympic Team Appeal. The AOC is an Incorporated Association whose members are the National bodies of sports on the Olympic program.

How is money raised by the AOC?

The AOC raises the necessary funds for the preparation, participation and recognition of members of Australia's Olympic Teams through corporate sponsorship, licensing and traditional fundraising activities. Each State Olympic Council has the task of raising funds via traditional fundraising activities. The AOC also receives an annual distribution from the Australian Olympic Foundation.

Do athletes receive money directly from the AOC?

Yes, through the AOC Funding for Medallists and their Coaches. The program provides direct financial support and incentive to medal-winning athletes and their coaches during the years leading up to the Olympic Games and the Olympic Winter Games.

What do State Olympic Councils (SOCs) do?

The AOC is represented in each state and territory (except Northern Territory) by a State Olympic Council. Their role is to promote Olympism and to implement fundraising initiatives to assist in the preparation, participation and recognition of Australia's Olympic Teams. In addition the SOCs conduct various education initiatives including Olympic Academies and the annual Pierre de Coubertin Awards.

What is the International Olympic Committee (IOC)?

The IOC is an international non-governmental non-profit organisation and the instigator of the Olympic Movement. The IOC exists to serve as an umbrella organisation of the Olympic Movement. It owns all rights to the Olympic symbols, flag, motto, anthem and the Olympic Games. Its primary responsibility is to supervise the organisation of the summer and winter Olympic Games.

The Olympic Charter contains the fundamental principles, rules and by-laws adopted by the IOC. It governs the organisation and operation of the Olympic Movement and stipulates the conditions for the celebration of the Olympic Games. The main purpose of the IOC and the Olympic Movement is to contribute to building a peaceful and better world by educating youth through sport, practised without discrimination of any kind and in the Olympic Spirit, which requires mutual understanding, friendship, solidarity and fair play. For the IOC site click here.

What is an OCOG?

An OCOG is an Organising Committee for the Olympic Games and it is the body responsible for organising and staging the Olympic Games in the countries selected to host the Olympic Games. For example, TOROC is responsible for the Torino Winter Games and BOCOG (Beijing Organising Committee for the Olympic Games) is the body organising the Olympic Games in 2008. LOCOG is the London Organising Committee for the Games in 2012.

Where can I find a list of countries participating in the Olympic Games?

You can find the complete list on the IOC website by clicking here.

What are the Youth Olympic Games?

In 2007 the IOC decided to create an event for young people. The Youth Olympic Games have been developed as a sport, culture and education experience for athletes and non-athletes alike.

The first Youth Olympic Games were held in Singapore from 14-26 August 2010. The full 26-sport program of London 2012 was contested, with a smaller number of disciplines and youth-friendly modifications.

Winter Youth Olympics will also be held every four years from 2012 with the inaugural Games in Innsbruck 2012.

How is a city selected to host an Olympic Games?

The IOC elects host cities following a two-stage process: National Olympic Committees may endorse a city some 9 years out from the Games- these become ‘Applicant Cities’. The IOC Executive Board selects which cities will become 'Candidate Cities'. These cities are analysed by an Evaluation Commission which compiles a report to assist IOC Members in their vote.

All IOC Members (aside from those representing the Candidate countries) then vote and a majority is required before a host is declared. If there is no majority in the first round the city with the least votes will be eliminated, and voting will continue until there is a majority.

How does a new sport or event get added to the Olympic program?

The IOC decides the program. To be included on the Olympic Games program, Olympic sports must conform to the following criteria:

  • Olympic sports widely practised by men must be played in at least 75 countries on four continents; and by women in at least 40 countries on three continents.
  • To be added to the Olympic Winter Games program, a sport must be practised widely in at least 25 countries on three continents.
  • Sports are admitted to the Olympic program at least seven years before the next Olympic Games and no changes are permitted after that time.

There are a number of sports that meet these base criteria that are not included on the Olympic or Olympic Winter Games programs. These sports are defined as Recognised Sports.

The IOC has established the Olympic Program Commission to review the current Games programs with the view to recommending additions, modifications and reductions of sports, disciplines and events for future Games.

At the 2009 IOC Conference in Copenhagen, the International Olympic Committee voted for Rugby Sevens and Golf to become part of the Rio 2016 Olympic Program.

Is there an age limit for Olympic athletes?

There may be no age limit for competitors in the Olympic Games other than as prescribed for health reasons in the competition rules of certain International Federations.

For more information about the International Federations, visit the IOC site: www.olympic.org.

How do I buy tickets to the Olympic Games?

CoSports are Partners of the Australian Olympic Teams of 2010 – 12 and are a provider of tickets, accommodation and hospitality for the Australian market in relation to the Olympic Games. For all ticket enquiries please refer to the CoSport website http://www.cosport.com.au.

How can I write to an Australian Olympic athlete?

The AOC has a strict privacy policy which respects and upholds the rights of individuals to privacy in relation to personal information. We therefore are unable to provide contact details of athletes. You may wish to search the Internet for your favourite athlete.


Olympism

What is Olympism?

"Olympism is not a system, it is a state of mind. It can permeate a wide variety of modes of expression and no single race or era can claim a monopoly of it."

This quote from Pierre de Coubertin goes some way to explaining how Olympism operates. He believed that people could learn from the spirit of competition shown in the Ancient Olympic Games.

He also believed that through sport, people from all countries could strive for excellence, enhance human development and make the world a better place in which to live.

What is the Olympic motto?

The Olympic motto "Citius, Altius, Fortius" is Latin for "Faster, Higher, Braver," but is universally accepted to mean "Swifter, Higher, Stronger."

What do the Olympic rings symbolise?

The Olympic symbol - five interlocked rings - represent the union of the five original continents (Africa, America, Asia, Australia and Europe) and the meeting of the athletes from throughout the world at the Olympic Games.

The five colours of the rings from left to right are blue, black and red across the top and yellow and green along the bottom.

The colours of the rings and the white background represent the flags of the nations of the world, and at least one of these colours appears in each flag.

What is the Olympic oath?

The Olympic oath is a symbolic gesture of sportsmanship that traces its origins to the 1920 Olympic Games. One athlete from the host country takes an oath at the Opening Ceremony on behalf of all the athletes.

The oath is "In the name of all the competitors, I promise that we shall take part in these Olympic Games, respecting and abiding by the rules which govern them, in the true spirit of sportsmanship, for the glory of sport and the honour of our teams."

A similar oath is also taken by a coach or team official at each Game.

What is the Olympic creed?

"The most important thing in the Olympic Games is not to win but to take part, just as the most important thing in life is not the triumph but the struggle. The essential thing is not to have conquered but to have fought well."

The words of the Olympic creed are attributed to Baron Pierre de Coubertin, the founder of the Modern Olympic Games.