19 October 2017

Four highly successful Olympic champions – Ukrainian pole-vaulter Sergey Bubka, Estonian hammer thrower Juri Tamm, German fencer Claudia Bokel and Italian canoeist Antonio Rossi – who have in turn headed the European Athletes’ Commission, came to Monaco to attend the 9th Athletes Forum and 5th Assembly of the European Athletes, currently hosted in the Principality.

It was a very emotional event for the four of them, whose experience as chairs of the EOC Athletes’ Commission, established in 2001, opened the door to more important and active careers in the Olympic Movement, and involvement in public institutions and government.

These were special moments also for the athletes at the Forum, who were able to see how transition from being a sports champion to a successful career in later life is possible.

Today delegates welcomed Joel Bouzou, chair of the World Olympians Association and Sport Advisor to HSH Prince Albert of Monaco, and received reports on Athletes Commissions’ activities from chair of the EOC Commission, Jean Michel Saive and Vice chair of the IOC Commission Tony Estanguet.

An update on EU activity in the field of sport was given by EOC Office Director Folker Hellmund, while Spyros Capralos, chair of the European Games CoCom for Baku 2015 and now Minsk 2019, summarised the key topics of the new successful European event.

IOC Olympic Solidarity representative talked about a wide opportunities offered by this organisation, generating interest and questions form the floor, in particular in the afternoon when the Forum switched to workshops on two topics: protecting clean athletes, and how to define an effective athletes’ commission.

EOC Acting president Janez Kocijančič and Secretary General Raffaele Pagnozzi attended the event, together with EC Members Sasha Kozlowski and Marc Theisen.

On Friday, HSH Prince Albert II will officially welcome the European athletes and remember when he too was part of this group.