By Robbie Blakeley, Senior Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – The International Olympic Committee (IOC) began their debriefing of the London 2012 Olympic Games in Rio starting this past Saturday, November 17th in Barra da Tijuca. The aim of the event is to pass on wisdom from the previous host to the next, with Rio set to host the Olympics in 2016.
Following on from a largely positive Games in London, the debriefing gives representatives a chance to sit and discuss possible improvements through an exchange of ideas. The Paralympics debriefing will follow shortly.
Gilbet Felli, the IOC’s Olympic Games Executive Director, said: “One of the main roles that the IOC plays in helping to organize the Games is providing the Organizing Committees and their partners with access to the latest knowledge and experiences from hosting the Olympics.”
“We do this throughout the year with our Olympic Games Knowledge Management (OGKM) Program but the official Games debriefing [...] are invaluable to the host cities,” explained Felli. “They allow them to get the latest experience and lessons from the people who have just done the job.”
Rio de Janeiro mayor Eduardo Paes added: “The London Games brought transformation to an entire area of London and to people’s hearts. The transformation in Rio de Janeiro has already begun. We’re learning from London’s experience, but we will do the Games [with] Rio style.”
More than 500 people came to the Cidade Maravilhosa to take part in the debriefing. A variety of subjects are covered, including; culture, media operations, the opening and closing ceremonies, the Olympic Torch Relay, actual sporting competitions, the National Olympic Committee, the workforce needed prior to the Olympics, progress on the various venues and the commercial programs tied to the Games.
In a welcome move, the experience of spectators will also be on the agenda, focused on the debate concerning services to those visiting for the Games. After a generally positive spectator experience in London, there will be one-to-one sessions between organizers to try and ensure viewers have a enjoyable visit during the Rio come 2016.
The debriefing is run by the IOC’s Knowledge Management Program (OGKM), set up during the preparations for the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney. Since its inauguration the body has made significant strides over the past twelve years.
They use their services to evaluate progress and success, which in turn aids the preparations of the Games and thus defines the future of the next event. The services offered by the OGKM include a time-observer program, technical manuals, workshops and a detailed evaluation program.
The debriefing has become a crucial part of the overall Olympic process and this knowledge transfer program is its seventh edition. The main debriefing will be attended by Nawal El Moutawakel, IOC Vice-President and Chair of the IOC’s Rio 2016 Coordination Commission; Denis Oswald, Chairman of the IOC’s London 2012 Coordination Commission, Gilbert Felli, IOC Olympic Games Executive Director, Sebastian Coe, the President of the London 2012 Organising Committee (LOCOG), and Paul Deighton, Chief Executive of LOCOG.