From running and swimming to skiing and biking, sport is an ideal way to connect with nature. But to continue enjoying our favourite physical activities, we must urgently protect the environment on which they depend.
This year, we celebrate World Environment Day at a time when the world is grappling with the devastating coronavirus pandemic. Largely linked to environmental degradation, this crisis has been a stark reminder of just how important it is to respect and protect our natural world. As part of its response to the crisis, the IOC has reaffirmed its commitment to minimising its ecological footprint, protecting the environment and raising awareness about its importance.
“As challenging and difficult as the circumstances may appear right now, if we draw the right lessons from the current situation, we can shape our future to even strengthen the relevance of our Olympic Movement in the world,” said the IOC President in his recent letter addressed to the Olympic Movement. “Therefore we should drive further the reforms of Olympic Agenda 2020, in particular with regard to sustainability, in order to address this crisis.”
The IOC’s environmental journey began nearly 30 years ago at the UN Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro in 1992. Four years later, a clause on the importance of the environment and sustainable development was included in the Olympic Charter. Today, sustainability is a key element of Olympic Agenda 2020 – the IOC’s reform programme introduced in 2014. It has become our guiding principle: when making decisions, we do everything we can to maximise their positive impact and minimise any negative impact in the social, economic and environmental spheres.