The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has yet again emphasised the importance of inclusion and non-discrimination in sport and in society. The call coincided with the beginning of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ) Pride Month, which started on 1 June.
“Practising sport, without discrimination of any kind, is a human right and a Fundamental Principle of the Olympic Movement,” said IOC President Thomas Bach. “We believe in the power of sport to build bridges between people and communities. The Olympic Games unite the whole world in peaceful competition and solidarity without any kind of discrimination.”
Inclusion, diversity and equality are all integral components of the work of the IOC, with non-discrimination being one of the founding pillars of the Olympic Movement, which is reflected in the Olympic Charter, Fundamental Principle 4, reads an article on the IOC official website.
“The practice of sport is a human right. Every individual must have the possibility of practising sport, without discrimination of any kind and in the Olympic spirit, which requires mutual understanding with a spirit of friendship, solidarity and fair play,” states the article.
The IOC has also moved to include sexual orientation in the non-discrimination clause of the Host City Contract for the Olympic Games, requiring all host cities to respect the Fundamental Principles and values of Olympism, in particular the prohibition of any form of discrimination, throughout their entire Games project.
This approach will reportedly be visible during the upcoming Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, as the Organising Committee has embraced “Unity in Diversity” as one of its core concepts. The aim is to deliver Games that underline the importance of diversity and unity, and help foster a society that accepts and respects differences. As such, diversity and inclusion have been incorporated into all aspects of Games planning and operations.
As part of its commitment to inclusion across the Olympic Movement, the IOC is also working on a new framework to ensure fairness, safety and non-discrimination of athletes on the basis of gender identity and sex characteristics.
Meanwhile, the first permanent LGBTQ centre in Japan will publicise the problems of the community by organising events and creating hospitality spaces.