IOC President Thomas Bach says the Olympic Agenda 2020+5 Midway Report shows "hat we can achieve together" ©Getty Images

International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach has claimed the Olympic Agenda 2020+5 Midway Report released prior to the Session here shows "what we can achieve together".

The 15 recommendations were adopted in March 2021 to guide the organisation through to the end of Bach's Presidency in 2025, following on from Olympic Agenda 2020 adopted in 2014, the year following the German official's election.

The report at the halfway stage of the second "roadmap" is due to be discussed on the first day of the Session in the Indian city of Mumbai on Sunday (October 15).

It points to Paris 2024 as the "Games of the new era" having been planned and delivered in accordance with the two strategic plans, noting gender parity in the number of participants, a move to more urban settings such as the Eiffel Tower, Place de la Concorde and Pont Alexandre III and the unprecedented Opening Ceremony along the River Seine, and a focus on youth through the inclusion of breaking, skateboarding, sport climbing and surfing.

It is also claimed next year's Olympics will be "more inclusive" through ideas such as the mass marathon for 40,000 runners, and have half the carbon footprint of London 2012 and Rio 2016.

A 16 per cent increase in Olympic Solidarity's budget for the 2021 to 2024 cycle to $590 million (£482 million/€559 million) is highlighted, along with the launch of the Women in Sport High Performance Pathway programme and new initiatives of the Olympic Refuge Foundation.

Increased digitalisation including through the Olympic Virtual Series in 2021 and Olympic Esports Week in Singapore this year is referenced in the report.

The IOC has noticeably strengthened ties with the esports industry, although inclusion in the Olympics or recognition of an International Federation does not appear to be on the cards in the short term, and some within the gaming community expressed disappointment at the 10 titles chosen for Olympic Esports Week, which focused on virtual and simulated sport.

The Report highlights Paris 2024 as the
The Report highlights Paris 2024 as the "Games of a new era" having been shaped by Olympic Agenda 2020 and Olympic Agenda 2020+5 ©Getty Images

Increases in engagement on social media have been reported with up to 500 million per month.

On environmental action, the report highlights the launch of the Sport for Climate Action Framework created with the United Nations which has 266 signatories and the Olympic Forest in Senegal and Mali for which 590,000 native trees have been planted.

The IOC claims this has offset the emission on 200,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent.

While tree planting is a popular sustainability initiative for sports organisations, some scientists have argued its impact in tackling climate change should not be overestimated and other measures are needed.

The Olympic Agenda 2020+5 Midway Report adds the IOC is prioritising "embedding credibility across every aspect of the organisation’s work", including through the launch of the Safeguarding Officer in Sport Certificate, increased gender equity with a 50 per cent split between men and women in Commission roles, providing around half of the World Anti-Doping Agency's funding and the launch of a Strategic Framework on Human Rights.

The approval of the Framework last year followed criticism of the selection of China's capital Beijing for the 2022 Winter Olympics and Paralympics and diplomatic boycotts from several Western nations, and focuses on "three spheres of responsibility" covering the IOC as an organisation, as owner of the Olympic Games and leader of the Olympic Movement.

Economic and financial resilience covers the final section of the report, insisting its finances are "stable" despite worldwide economic difficulties and referencing the addition of Deloitte to The Olympic Partner programme last year and extensions of agreements with Atos and Procter & Gamble.

Olympic Esports Week was cited as evidence of the IOC's increased digitalisation  ©Getty Images
Olympic Esports Week was cited as evidence of the IOC's increased digitalisation ©Getty Images

Bach spoke of the Report in glowing terms.

"Our world has changed in fundamental ways in recent years," he said.

"As we anticipated at the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis, we are now facing its far-reaching social, financial, economic and political consequences, which are exacerbated by the ongoing conflicts, wars and natural catastrophes that we must address.

"Olympic Agenda 2020+5 is our roadmap to prepare ourselves for this new world, and we can be proud of the progress that has been made across all 15 recommendations since it was adopted in March 2021.

"The accomplishments described in this Report are great examples of what we can achieve together, and are testament to the tremendous amount of work that has been carried out in partnership with our stakeholders.

"There is still more to be done, but we can already look forward to the Olympic Games Paris 2024 as the Games of a new era, inspired by Olympic Agenda 2020 and Olympic Agenda 2020+5 from start to finish."

The IOC Session is due to run until October 17, and is preceded by an Executive Board meeting from Thursday (October 12) to Saturday (October 14).