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International Olympic Committee

The International Olympic Committee is an organization created by Pierre de Coubertin in 1894 to reinstate the ancient Olympic Games held in Greece, and organise this sports event every four years. The IOC receives its operating funds through advertising and merchandising Olympic memorabilia, as well as through sale of rights to the media who report on the occurrences at the Olympic games.

On June 23, 1894 the Olympic games were re-created by Pierre de Coubertin after a hiatus of 1500 years. The baron hoped to foster international communication and peace through the Olympic Games. The IOC is a parent organisation intended to localise administration and authority for the Games, as well as to provide a single legal entity which owns copyrights, trademarks, and other intangible properties associated with the Olympic games. For example, the Olympic logos, the design of the Olympic flag, the motto, creed, and anthem are all owned and administered by the IOC. There are other organizations which the IOC coordinates as well, which are collectively called the Olympic Movement. The IOC President is an individual responsible for representing the IOC as a whole, and there are members of the IOC which represent the IOC in their respective countries.

Countries which wish to host the Summer Olympic Games or the Winter Olympic Games must bid for the organisation with the IOC, which has the ultimate authority of deciding where the Games will take place. The IOC members, representing most of the member countries, vote to decide where the Games will take place.

The IOC is controlled by delegates from each country. Those delegates are appointed by the IOC themselves. Athletes and individual sports federations were also involved in this process after the unaccountable, self-perpetuating nature of the IOC led to sustained criticism (notably by British journalist Andrew Jennings) as an unrepresentative, undemocratic, nepotistic, and unaccountable body, largely run for the benefit of the delegates and having little to do with the ideals expressed in its charter.

Efforts were made to clamp down on the most blatant misbehaviour of IOC delegates (who used their position as voters for the host city to extract favours from bidders for the games), and an advisory board of recently retired former athletes has been set up, but critics of the organisation believe more fundamental reform is required.

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