You left your mark in 2021

21 | 12 | 2021

Dear Fellow Olympians,

Whether it was on the field of play, in your local communities or as part of the worldwide Olympic family you certainly left your mark in a very positive way in 2021.

For those of you who took part in the Tokyo Games under very trying circumstances, we salute you. You showed the true power of sport to bring people together, to rise above the problems of everyday life and to inspire us all with your magnificent performances built on years of hard work and the determination to do your best no matter what the obstacles.

Nearly 2,000 of you from all corners of the globe literally left your mark on our Leave your Mark platform during the Games. You wanted to show your support for all those who made the Games possible, to send a message of positivity and solidarity. I hope you are enjoying your special personalised commemorative poster. And look out during Beijing in February 2022 where we will be running a new China themed Leave your Mark campaign.

I’d like to thank all of you who took part in our OLY House activities during Tokyo 2020. Because you couldn’t travel to the Games we put OLY House fully online. We were a bit apprehensive because it was all so new but your support showed that there was a real appetite to stay connected to the Games and other Olympians. Nearly 1,000 of you filled in our post-Games survey. Your comments and suggestions will help us make OLY House even better in Beijing, where it will once again be online, and Paris where hopefully OLY House will be hybrid, in person and online for those who can’t make it there.

To finish off on Tokyo, I’d like to congratulate the five new Olympians for Life who were inducted during the Games. You are all truly an inspiration. Five winter Olympians will join your ranks in Beijing. I’m looking forward to that ceremony, always a highlight for us during the Games. Another OLY House highlight was the Live Chat with the 1964 Tokyo Olympians. What great stories. And a reminder that involvement in the Olympic Movement and the camaraderie forged in competition does not end when your elite sport days are over.

I’m very proud of our Service to Society and Service to Olympians grants programme which we are hoping to expand next year. Another inspiring set of projects run by your fellow Olympians in all five continents. From upskilling Olympians to run small businesses in Sri Lanka, integrating child refugees in Mali, preventing obesity in Papua New Guinea and promoting social cohesion in France, these are just some of the inspirational projects awarded in 2021. I would encourage any Olympian who has an ambition to run similar events in their local community to apply for a grant in 2022 when applications open early next year.

I hope you are all enjoying the benefits of your OLY title and your email address. Over 16,000 of you have now signed up and we are hoping to top the 20,000 mark next year. If you have fellow teammates that don’t know about this, make sure to tell them and share this link to join our ever-growing OLY community.

Finally, I would like to extend my best wishes to all of you for the holiday season. Here’s to a relaxing and refreshing festive period. I’m really looking forward to 2022 and continuing our journey together as we strive to make the world a better place through sport either as individuals or through our NOAs, NOCs, IFs, NGOs or other organisations. Together we are stronger and can make an even bigger impact. Stay safe, look after yourself and your family and friends and fellow Olympians.

Joël Bouzou OLY