IOC President Bach lauds OCA and its Athletes’ Committee for empowering athletes


Bangkok, Thailand, March 18, 2023: The President of the International Olympic Committee, Dr. Thomas Bach has praised the Olympic Council of Asia for empowering athletes in the region through its Athletes’ Committee.

Addressing delegates from 43 National Olympic Committees on the opening day of the OCA Athletes Forum on Saturday, March 18, IOC President Bach in a video message called on athletes across Asia to make their voices heard.

“Athletes have an important responsibility to lead by example. This is why I’m so pleased to see how the Olympic Council of Asia, through its Athletes’ Commission, is doing exactly that – leading by example, empowering athletes and being at the heart of the action,” Bach noted.

“Athletes are not only at the heart, athletes are the heart of our Olympic community. This is why the OCA Athletes Forum is first and foremost an opportunity for you, the athletes, to make your voices heard on the issues that affect all of you,” he added.

The IOC chief noted that sitting at the table where decisions are made and having a voice and a vote was the most impactful representation any person could have. A total of 88 participants from 43 NOCs – 46 male and 42 female delegates – are attending the two-day conference at the Centara Grand Hotel in the Thai capital.

Bach said: “You deserve this right and as a representative of your peers, you must be involved in all decision-making that impacts an athlete’s life.

“Today I would like to congratulate all of you, and in particular your Chair Kotani Mikako. I would also like to thank everyone at the OCA for the important work their doing in supporting athletes and promoting sports and its values all across Asia.”

In conclusion, Bach said: “As you, my dear fellow-athletes, as you have shown us, we can only go faster, aim higher, become stronger, if we stand together in solidarity,. Therefore your Forum is the perfect illustration of this, our new Olympics motto – Faster, Higher, Stronger, Together.

In this Olympic spirit, I wish you fruitful discussions and a successful OCA Athletes Forum.”