IBU Athletes‘ Committee member ready for International Athletes’ Forum
Martin Fourcade, IBU Athletes’ Committee member, represents his fellow biathletes at this weekend’s IOC International Athletes’ Forum (13-15 April 2019). The five-time Olympic champion is one of over 300 athletes who are representing Athletes’ Commissions from National Olympic Committees, International Federations, WADA, and other Olympic stakeholders.
The purpose of the Forum is to give athletes a platform to express their opinions and have a greater say in the future of sport, something Fourcade certainly feels passionately about.
“It is a really good sign from the IOC and IFs to give the athletes a stronger voice and empower them,” Fourcade said.
“It is important that we as athletes can bring our requests and needs to the officials and institutions. High-level sport is like a puzzle and many pieces need to be combined to have a good result – athletes are a big piece of the puzzle.”
Le boss @TonyEstanguet nous a rejoint 😆— Paris 2024 (@Paris2024) April 12, 2019
Super échanges avec les membres du CIO et leurs experts à l’ #AthleteExperience pour partager nos idées et notre ambition pour une expérience athlètes #Paris2024 inoubliable !
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The bi-annual event in Lausanne will feature discussion forums, breakout panels and a Q&A session with the IOC President and IOC Athletes’ Commission to go into detail on the topics that are most prominent for athletes on and off the field both during and after their career. The Forum is an opportunity for athlete representatives to become more empowered to better run their Athletes’ Commissions and be more conscious about the influential role they can have on the sports movement.
Fourcade is convinced that the IBU Athletes’ Commission has a great deal to contribute.
“Most importantly, athletes must be part of the decision-making process in the sports federations. I go to Lausanne to listen and learn from other institutions’ commissions, but I am also confident that we have something to tell about how we made our voice heard. We had great success in the past year with the many challenges we faced: we successfully lobbied to raise prize money and share, we have installed an athlete in the IBU Executive Board, we have worked to extend our Anti-Doping Programme - we have certainly made an input on the IBU governance system.”
The IOC Athletes’ Commission Strategy, will be among the subjects discussed, as well as the Athletes’ Declaration of Rights and Responsibilities, a document conceived at the same time and endorsed by the IOC Session in October 2018. Other topics include athlete support from the IOC, anti-doping, athletes’ safeguarding and mental health.
For an active athlete it is often not easy to dedicate time to, or find passion for, off-sport topics but Fourcade explains his personal motivation with responsibility and generosity:
“When I came to the World Cup as an athlete I was a total stranger to all these topics. I never thought about being an Athletes’ Commission member. I didn’t care, I was a young adult thinking about winning and myself only.”
With time now, I can really see what biathlon taught me as an athlete and as a person. I became more generous in the way that I am ready to share more, with all my experiences. Being part of the IBU Athletes’ Commission and being Paris 2024 Commission Chair, it is a way to give back all I learned from biathlon to the next generation. These roles are not about me being in the limelight but about using my success and strong voice to improve things - because what I learned in my career: things can always be improved!”