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IOC, AOC & Rowing Australia

International Olympic Committee

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) was founded in 1894 by de Coubertin and is the body responsible for the staging of the Olympic Games and the ideals behind it.

The IOC is a self perpetuating body with its members considered not as delegates from their countries but ambassadors to them from the IOC: IOC members must be free from political, sectarian and commercial interests.

There have been significant changes to the membership structure over the past decade which has resulted in a greater diversity of members including athlete representatives.

The IOC is located in Lausanne Switzerland, on the shores of Lac Leman, and is the home of the Olympic Museum which houses considerable Olympic memorabilia.

The IOC is responsible for the 16 days of the summer Olympic competition every four years (known as an Olympiad) and for the 10 days of the Winter Olympic Games. Both Games were held in the same year until 1992 but in 1994 the Winter Games were rescheduled to a different four year cycle to ensure there is now an Olympic Games every two years.

"My friends and I have not worked to give you back the Games to let you make a museum or a big spectacle out of them, nor for them to be exploited by businessmen or politicians."
—Baron Pierre de Coubertin.

The IOC is supported by a range of worldwide sponsors (known as TOP or The Olympic Program sponsors) and is the only international sporting event to have "clean" venues: that is, no advertising at any of the venues — only the five ringed Olympic symbol.

The motto adopted by the IOC for the first time at the 1920 Antwerp Games: citius, altius, fortius (faster, higher, stronger) was coined by a Dominican monk Fr Henri Didon. The IOC symbol of five interlinked rings in the primary colours and black represent the regions of the world. Australia is in the Oceania ring.

IOC members in Australia are Kevan Gosper, Phil Coles, John Coates and Susan O'Neill. Kevan Gosper was a silver medallist in the 400 metres in 1960, Phil Coles competed in 5 Olympic Games as a kayaker, John Coates, whilst never a competitor, has been rowing manager in 1976 and Chef de Mission of the team for many Olympic Games. He is the President of the Australian Olympic Committee and was instrumental in bringing the 2000 Games to Sydney. Susan O'Neill is an Olympic gold medallist from 1996 and 2000 in swimming. The retirement age for IOC members appointed after 1980 is 72.

Standard Olympic Course

The standard Olympic course is 2000 metres. However in 1904 the course was 2 miles (3218 metres), in 1908 1.5 miles (2414 metres) and in 1948 1 mile 350 yards (1929 metres). In 1976, 1980 and 1984, the women's events were conducted over 1000 metres.

The Albano lane system was introduced at the 1960 Olympic Games.


Since 1924, repechages have been used to provide a second chance to competing crews.

"Not only does sport produce good moral effects, but it can survive on nothing but altruism, loyalty and chivalrous sentiments."
—Baron Pierre de Coubertin

The Olympic Hymn
Happy the man chosen for fame;
The palm of victory on his brow
Shows him to the crowd's acclaim.
He shall taste for his reward the joys divine:
Let the Muses set a crown upon his head
And let an immortal song
Add to the glory of Triumph and to the beauty of Youth
The Victor's name.

Australian Olympic Committee

The Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) is the national body recognized by the IOC in Australia. Founded in 1896 (and known until 1992 as The Australian Olympic Federation (AOF)), it is responsible for the selection and entry of all Australian athletes in the Games and for the development and promotion of the Olympic movement in Australia.

The generic name for the organization in each country is National Olympic Committee or NOC. The limits of an NOC's responsibilities were defined by de Coubertin with these words in 1903:

"The NOCs must not be an emanation of the main sports federations or associations of the country. . . There is every advantage in these committees being permanent...One cannot insist too strongly on the danger of making an NOC the main guiding cog of sporting activity of a country."

Australia has a proud history of representation at the Modern Olympic Games competing at every Games conducted since their revival in 1896. Only two other nations have achieved the same fine tradition: United Kingdom and Greece.

Rowing Australia

Rowing Australia, the national federation (NF), is responsible for the conduct of rowing in Australia. Its members are the State Associations. RA is responsible for selection of representative Australian teams for Olympic Games, World Championships, Under 23 and Junior Championships.

RA was originally known as the Australian Amateur Rowing Council which changed its name to Australian Rowing Council in 1984 and finally Rowing Australia (RA) in 1997. The women were separately represented by the Australian Women's Rowing Council which was absorbed into the AARC in 1979. RA is recognized by FISA (Federation Internationale des Societies d'Aviron – the International Rowing Federation) which itself is a constituent member of the IOC and is therefore a sport eligible for inclusion in the Olympic Games.

"A true athlete must cultivate self knowledge and self control and gain victory over himself."
—Motto of Baron Pierre de Coubertin

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