In 1894 Baron de Coubertin wrote:

Why did I restore the Olympic Games? To enable and strengthen sports, to ensure their independence and duration and thus enable them better to fulfill the educational role incumbent upon them in the modern world; for the glorification of the individual athlete whose muscular activity is necessary for the maintenance of the general spirit of competition.

From this statement, the aims of the Olympic Movement have grown and developed. They are now expressed in the Olympic Charter as Fundamental Principles.


From the Olympic Charter – In force as from 4 July 2003

Modern Olympism was conceived by Pierre de Coubertin, on whose initiative the International Athletic Congress of Paris was held in June 1894. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) constituted itself on 23rd June 1894. In August 1994, the XII Congress, Centennial Olympic Congress, which was entitled “Congress of Unity”, was held in Paris.

Olympism is a philosophy of life, exalting and combining in a balanced whole the qualities of body, mind and will. Blending sport with culture and education, Olympism seeks to create a way of life based on the joy founding effort, the educational value of good example and respect for universal fundamental ethical principles.

The goal of Olympism is to place everywhere sport at the service of the harmonious development of man, with a view to encouraging the establishment of a peaceful society concerned with the preservation of human dignity. To this effect, the Olympic Movement engages, alone or in cooperation with other organizations and within the limits of its means, in actions to promote peace.

The Olympic Movement, led by the IOC, stems from modern Olympism.

Under the supreme Authority of the IOC, the Olympic Movement encompasses organizations, athletes and other persons who agree to be guided by the Olympic Charter. The criterion for belonging to the Olympic Movement is recognition by the IOC. The organization and management of sport must be controlled by the independent sport organizations recognized as such.

The goal of 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 with a spirit of friendship, solidarity and fair play.

The activity of the Olympic movement, symbolized by five interlaced rings, is universal and permanent. It covers the five continents. It reaches its peak with the bringing together of athletes of the world at the great sports festival, the Olympic Games.
The practice of sport is a human right. Every individual must have the possibility of practicing sport in accordance with his or her needs.

The Olympic Charter is a codification of the Fundamental Principles, Rules and Bye-laws adopted by the IOC. It governs the organization and operation of the Olympic Movement and stipulates the conditions for the celebration of the Olympic Games.