Olympic City Baden-Baden

„United by and for sport“ – this was the slogan under witch the 11th Olympic Congress was held in Baden-Baden in September 1981. At this event, the Olympic family raised crucial questions and took some important and far-reaching decisions in an attempt to secure a prosperous future for the Olympic Movement. The former NOC (National Olympic Committee) President Willi Daume chose Baden-Baden with good reason, as an IOC Session had already been held in the popular, picturesque spa resort in 1963.

Just one year after the XXII Olympic Games Moscow 1980, the Congress was marked by crisis. More than ever, the Olympic Movement and its major sporting event had become the focus of political interests and confrontations. Against this background, it was understandable that Los Angeles was the only candidate from across the whole world to host the XXIII Olympic Games 1984.

As a result, it was nothing less than the future of the Olympic Games that was under discussion during the days of 23rd – 26th September 1981 and at the subsequent IOC Session in Baden-Baden. Great efforts were made and, as chief organizer Willi Daume quite rightly said in his opening speech: “Never before has there been such a star-studded gathering of representatives from the worls of Olympic sport.” And neither, one might say, such a significant and successful one.

In fact, the Congress in Baden-Baden has become a milestone in Olympic history. Under the leadership of the new IOC President, Mr. Juan Antonio Samaranch, the unity of the Olympic Movement was not only maintained but strengthened and the foundations were laid for the modernization and opening up of the games. This also paved the way for athletes to participate in the decision making process of the IOC.

Now, 30 years later, we want to remember this successful 11th Olympic Congress in Baden-Baden together with our international guests.

In recognition of the Olympic Congress held in Baden-Baden in 1981 and the new strategic course established there for all future Olympic Games, the municipality of Baden-Baden was awarded the title of ‘Olympic City’ by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in 1997.

All pictures above © Karl Reinbothe

DOSB celebrates 30th anniversary of the Olympic Congress in Baden-Baden

To commemorate the anniversary of the XI Olympic Congress in 1981 in Baden-Baden, the German Olympic Sports Confederation (DOSB) and the then President, Thomas Bach, hosted a commemorative event on Wednesday 28th September in the Benazet-Saal function room in Baden-Baden's Kurhaus.

The commemorative speech was delivered by IOC President Jacques Rogge. Other guests included Frank Fredericks, the current Chairman of the IOC Athletes' Commission; Albert II, Prince of Monaco; Lord Sebastian Coe, Chairman of the Organising Committee for the Olympic Games in London; Hungarian President Pál Schmitt; five-times Olympic champion in gymnastics, Nadia Comaneci (Rumania); the two-times Olympic champion in athletics, Kip Keino (Kenya); and the five-times Olympic competitor in sailing and the first Chairman of the IOC Athletes' Commission, Peter Tallberg (Finland).

At the XI Olympic Congress in September 1981, attended by 469 delegates, a number of directional changes were initiated. Delegates recommended the abolishment of the amateur clause and the founding of an Athletes' Commission. Both recommendations were subsequently implemented. Members of the first IOC Athletes' Commission included today's IOC President Thomas Bach.