About the Olympic Festival

What is the Olympic Festival?

Everybody knows fan zones and live sites from the host countries of major sport events = fun places for fans, big screens, entertainment, festival-like mood, possibly some small venues to kick a ball around or shoot some hoops, likely decent possibilities for sponsors’ activation. Nothing more, nothing less.   

But what if these were to be made more active, more attractive, more inclusive, and more sustainable for people, for local communities, for sponsors, for the sport movement? What if they were to draw on the immense activation and motivational potential of the Olympic Games, the most prestigious sport event in the world watched by the majority of the world’s population at the time when they are staged? What if they were to be organised at home, in your country, in your region, reaching to the local population?

The answer is: the Olympic Festival

The Olympic Festival is a new Olympic asset adopted by the IOC Executive Board in July 2017. It promotes the Olympic Games through the organisation of local festivals by National Olympic Committees with the objective of bringing the Olympic Games to the local population of a country and introducing sports to a wider audience and younger generation.

What are the key principles of the Olympic Festival?

  • Held in your country simultaneously with the staging of the Olympic Games
  • Promoting Olympic values and the spirit of the Olympic Games
  • Promoting sport and healthy lifestyle to the general population
  • Ensuring a live broadcast of the Olympic Games
  • Proposing a wide variety of sports and Olympic-themed educational activities
  • Celebrating Olympians and their successes by creating a bridge between them and their fans
  • Cooperating with local authorities, sport clubs and federations
  • Providing sponsors and partners with opportunities for the activation of their brands
  • Ensuring economic, social, organisational and environmental sustainability

Who can organise the Olympic Festival?

Only National Olympic Committees can sign a licencing agreement with the International Olympic Committee. However, the organisation of the Olympic Festival would not be possible without the involvement of many other stakeholders (cities and regions, sport organisations, event agencies, sponsors, schools, media partners etc.). For more information, see the “Before you start” chapter. 
Are you a National Olympic Committee representative wishing to organise the Olympic Festival? Contact the International Olympic Committee’s NOC Relations Department for more information about joining the initiative.

Who does the Olympic Festival target?

People of all possible background, ages and “activity level” with an emphasis on families with children.
A natural target group is sport fans, but the aim of the Olympic Festival is to engage also people who may not necessarily be diehard fans, and those who are not often physically active and/or engaged in sport clubs.

Where can the Olympic Festival be located?

There is no one-size-fits all solution. Olympic Festivals can take place anywhere from small municipalities to Capitals, indoors and outdoors, in the nature and in urban setting, in winter and in summer.

What if I represent another (umbrella) sport organisation and thus cannot organise an Olympic Festival? 

Organisers of any sport-for-all-event, which is held simultaneously with the staging of a major sport event such as the Olympic Games, and which thus builds on its potential and draws from it its inspiration, can fit their events under the umbrella of “Sport Park Inspired by the Olympics”.

Ideally, their events will follow the same principles outlined above: more active, more attractive, more inclusive, and more sustainable for people, for local communities, for sponsors, for the sport movement than “fan zones” or “life sites”.