12 Jun 2019

FAI at the heart of the Olympic debate at the 2019 Future Sport Rendez-Vous

FAI Secretary General Susanne Schödel was delighted to represent the world of air sports at this year’s Sport Future Rendez-Vous, which took place on 5 June at the University of Lausanne (UNIL) in Switzerland.

Watched by a 200-strong crowd of spectators, she participated in a lively debate about the future of the Olympic Games, which was opened by International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach.

Subjects covered included the sustainability and credibility of the Games; issues the IOC is tackling by using as much existing infrastructure as possible and working to protect the image of Olympic athletes as “clean”, or drug free.

The panellists also discussed the success of the Olympic Channel in bringing the joy of sport to fans around the world, and considered a variety of ways to modernise the Olympic Programme.

For example by including more urban sports such as skateboarding and making the Games more appealing to young and female athletes.

“In sport we are all equal and if we achieve this universality, the Olympic Games can be a great symbol of humanity,” Bach (below) said. “This remains our ultimate goal.”

Later on, the hot topic of eSports also came under the spotlight, as the diverse range of experts debated whether digital sports using Virtual Reality (VR) or Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology could one day become part of the Olympic Games.

Jean-Loup Chappelet, debate co-host and Emeritius Professor of Public Management at UNIL, rounded up the proceedings. 

He said: “For the fifth time since 2015, Sport Future Rendez-Vous gives an opportunity to sport managers to discover and discuss the latest innovations in sport administration. 

“For this year’s topic, we could not have had anybody better than Thomas Bach to be the keynote speaker and it was an honour to welcome him to our university.”