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The International Olympic Committee (IOC) is the governing body of the modern Olympic Games and is committed to supporting and promoting participation in sport throughout the World. It was founded in 1894 by Pierre de Coubertin and is based in Geneva, Switzerland.

The IOC overseas all aspects of the Games including deciding which country will host the games. It is made up of around 100 members including former and active athletes and members of National Olympic Committees and International Federations.


National Olympic Committees (NOC) are responsible for the promotion of sport in their respective countries. International Federations (IFs) are responsible for managing the rules and regulations of individual sports.

The International Olympic Committee is led by a President.

It had originally been decided that the President of the IOC should come from the country that would host the next Olympic games but this was changed in 1896.

Presidents of the International Olympic Committee

1894 – 1896   Demetrius Vikelas, Greece

1896 – 1925 – Pierre de Coubertin, France (Founder of the IOC)

1925 – 1942 – Henri de Baillet-Latour, Belgium

1946 – 1952 – J. Sigfrid Edström, Sweden

1952 – 1972 – Avery Brundage, USA

1972 – 1980 – Lord Killanin, Eire

1980 – 2001 – Juan Antonio Samaranch, Spain

2001 – present – Jacques Rogge, Belgium

Choosing Where The Olympics Will Be

The International Olympic Committee is responsible for choosing the city that will host each Olympic Games. Countries wishing to host the games have to follow strict criteria.

9 Years before

Cities wishing to host the games (Applicant Cities) have to make a bid to the International Olympic Committee.

8 Years before

The International Olympic Committee chooses up to 5 Applicant Cities to become Candidate Cities

7 Years before

After reviewing Candidate Cities applications and presentations the IOC choose the host city.

At each stage members of the IOC hold a vote to determine which city progresses to the next stage and ultimately wins the bid to host the games.

Competition to host the games is fierce and in recent times there have been a number of allegations of corruption and bribery of IOC members to entice them to vote for a particular country

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