Nordic Olympians Associations strengthen regional ties

23 | 11 | 2017

National Olympians Associations (NOAs) from Sweden, Norway and Iceland have gathered in Reykjavik to share ideas and develop best practice approaches to enhance support pathways for the region’s Olympians.

Initiated by WOA Executive Committee member and Swedish double Olympic Champion (alpine skiing), Pernilla Wiberg OLY, and Jón Hjaltalin Magnusson OLY, Icelandic Olympian (handball) and President of the Icelandic NOA, the first Nordic NOA workshop looked at ways to boost inter-regional cooperation and inspire increased NOA activity at a national level.  

Other Olympians and Paralympians present at the meeting included:

Gunnar Larsson OLY, double Olympic Champion (swimming) and President of the Swedish Olympians Association.

Keld Nielsen, President of the Olympic Club Denmark (Danish NOA) and member of the Danish Olympic handball team that competed at LA 1984 Olympic Games

Rene Nielsen, Vice-President of the Olympic Club Denmark and Paralympic Gold Medallist (Javelin)

Jón Þ. Ólafsson, two-time Olympian (high jump) and member of the Icelandic NOA

Konráð H. Olavsson OLY, Olympian (handball) and member of the Icelandic NOA

Guðmundur Gíslason OLY, four-time Olympian (swimming) and former President of the Icelandic NOA

Among the topics discussed were:

  • The development of tailored NOA strategies, based on the WOA model, that strengthen and enhance working relationships with National Olympic Committees.
  • Greater alignment between NOAs and NOC Athletes’ Commissions.
  • The promotion of WOA’s OLY initiative and email service to benefit Olympians in the region.
  • Active participation in the organisation and delivery of national Olympic Day activities, working alongside NOCs to create opportunities for greater Olympian involvement
  • Olympian involvement in and NOA backing of national initiatives and programmes that promote active and healthy lifestyles

During the workshop Pernilla Wiberg OLY presented the WOA Strategic Plan (2017-2020) and updated those present on the successful integration of the WOA administration into IOC structures. As a WOA continental representative, Wiberg’s involvement underpinned a key goal of the WOA, to strengthen the development of NOAs around the world.

Speaking following the gathering, Wiberg said:

“The workshop provided an excellent platform for us to meet and share ideas as we seek to develop a more coordinated approach across the region. It was a fantastic opportunity to come together with my fellow Olympians to discuss best practice approaches to NOA development, in particular the importance of establishing better alignment with NOCs. I look forward to continuing to work closely with NOAs in the region as we build towards our next meeting in Denmark in 2018.”