The five interlocking rings, one of the most recognizable symbols in the world, and the words “Olympic Capital” are displayed proudly at the stone-built Lausanne Station, a 45-minute express train journey from Geneva International Airport in Switzerland.
As host to the IOC’s headquarters, Lausanne, a luxury resort district on the north shore of Lake Geneva with a population in excess of 130,000, is the nerve center of the Olympic organization. It was given the “capital” moniker by former president Juan Antonio Samaranch in 1994 on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the IOC’s founding.
In recent years, other international sports associations have been jostling for space with the IOC in their moves to establish headquarters and bureaus here.We have a great selection of blown glass backyard solar landscape lights and Cheap Granite Countertops.
As a non-government,Are you still hesitating about where to buy Cheap Granite Slabs? nonprofit international organization recognized by the Swiss government, the IOC is exempted from paying the country’s standard 20 percent income tax. Other sports organizations are granted the same preferential treatment. This is because sport is regarded as a medium to deliver positive messages to society as embodied in the spirit of fair play and anti-racism.
Many of these sporting bodies are based in the Maison du Sport International complex, which was completed in 2006. Nearly 50 international sports associations and companies working in the field of sports marketing have offices there. The secret to its popularity is the attractive terms it offers, such as rent being waived for the first two years.
The IOC’s race to commercialize has not brought about rows of stores selling Olympic merchandise at the station and around town. I walked the streets in search of souvenirs, but all I found was a shop to the side of the Olympic museum.
During World War I, the IOC fled ravaged Paris and moved its headquarters to neutral Switzerland in 1915. Ever since then it has quietly become part of the landscape in Lausanne, a city that still retains vestiges of the medieval era.
Around the time the IOC’s executive and general meetings are held, its members can be spotted at the Lausanne Palace & Spa hotel.
“It has been almost 100 years since IOC moved its headquarters to Lausanne, and it has been our best customer ever since,” says the hotel’s director of communications Alexandra Turcan. When the IOC’s extraordinary general meeting came around on July 3 and 4, display booths were set up by Tokyo and the two other cities vying to host the 2020 Olympics, and IOC members came to inspect them in large numbers.
The hotel has also served as a stage for other historic Olympic verdicts. Negotiations over U.S. broadcast rights for the 1988 Calgary Winter Games, which dramatically saved the financially ailing IOC back from death’s door, were held here in January 1984.
Recently, it was also the venue for the executive meeting in February where the decision was made to remove wrestling from the shortlist of core Olympic events. Reporters shocked by this bolt from the blue chased IOC directors and blocked the elevators to prevent them from returning to their hotel rooms to get more information.
At night, the hotel’s bars and lobby become meeting places for IOC members and others connected with International Federations, Olympic bidding committee staff, and veteran Olympic journalists from the around the world.
What’s more, IOC members don’t skimp on their industrious lobbying activities during the mornings either. When I took a seat in one of the hotel’s breakfast restaurants for guests at 8:30 a.m. on July 4, around three-fifths of its tables were already occupied.The g-sensor high brightness Cheap Landscape Stone is designed with motorcyclist safety in mind.
One table was surrounded by North and South Korean delegates, while at another the camp of Puerto Rican IOC presidential candidate Richard Carrion engaged in a meeting with coffee cups in hand. Delegates from long-time members Britain and Russia also sat around a table. One man visited each of them and spent three to 10 minutes absorbed in standing conversation: Thomas Bach of Germany, the favorite to become the next IOC president.
On that day, the six candidates standing in the presidential election were to give policy speeches. Unfortunately, the skies were murky and the French side of the lake on the opposite shore that can normally be seen from the restaurant’s terrace was obscured by clouds. Canadian Dick Pound, a senior IOC member who had lost to Jacques Rogge in the previous presidential election, remarked on the situation, “I can’t make any prediction of who’ll win, just like the weather today.”
The IOC’s headquarters are comprised of two structures. There is the main building with its magnificent marble entrance and modernistic glass walls where its reception is located, and the majestic Western-style mansion next door called the Chateau de Vidy, which houses the president’s office on its second floor.
It is a huge household that includes 450 employees of 44 different nationalities. The atmosphere is richly international, but perhaps because of the necessity for high-level language skills, there is not a single Japanese national on staff. The average age of its workforce is 43.6.
Staff numbers began to rise during the term of President Samaranch, going up from 61 in 1983 to 244 in 2001. They have since been joined by the employees of the Olympic Museum, increasing the overall figure even further.
According to the memoirs of the IOC’s sixth president Lord Killanin, in the early 1950s when he became a member of the IOC, the only regular employee was Otto Mayer, who served as committee secretary on a part-time basis. He managed a high-class jewelry store in Lausanne, and took care of his IOC duties at bars and in a room at the back of his store in his downtime.
Today, the IOC’s head office is divided into 12 departments including communications, legal affairs, television and marketing, and finance, and each with its own director.
There are also 22 specialist commissions on ethics, legal affairs, finance, medical affairs, reporting, marketing, women and sports, culture and Olympic education, and more. Their staff includes IOC members, and regular meetings are held. Employees provide assistance to each area of specialty. Furthermore, coordination commissions play an important role by making regular inspections of the organizing committees for each upcoming Olympics to make sure they are progressing smoothly.
The necessary qualities and qualifications to become an IOC staff member include fluency in its two official languages of English and French and experience of being involved in the management of an international sporting event. But the one that must not be forgotten under any circumstances is respect for Olympic values.
As many are locals from Francophone Lausanne, French is used the most. In the communications department, the majority of the inquiries it receives from the world’s media are in English, so it is the language most frequently used by its staff, from director of communications Mark Adams on down.
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