OSC Newsletter


the latest insight from
the olympic studies centre

SEPTEMBER 2022, NO. 54





October 2022 will mark a 40-year story that began in 1982 under then-IOC President Juan Antonio Samaranch. The Olympic Studies Centre, a small library, housed in a heritage building at the time, was founded and handed the responsibility of curating, preserving and giving access to the IOC’s written collections, thereby contributing to the continuous study of and education around the Olympic Movement. While much has changed over the last 40 years, this mission has not. 

Since the very first day of our existence, we have developed and consolidated multiple initiatives to ensure that Olympic knowledge is permanently enriched and made accessible. Through several projects and resources such as the Olympic World Library, the digitisation of thousands of Olympic-related publications, the research grant programmes and the information sessions for academics, we promote an active and engaging dialogue between the Olympic Movement and the academic community.

Today, we are proud to be recognised as the primary centre of resources and reference for Olympic knowledge, serving the community of Olympic researchers, professors, students, educational institutions, authors and Olympic Movement stakeholders. Looking ahead, new and exciting projects will allow us to continue to develop our services, with the vision of further contributing, in a meaningful way, to the educational mission of the Olympic Movement.

As we embark on this next phase, we would like to thank every one of you for your ongoing trust, your partnership and your support – all of which have been and continue to be essential for our growth and success.

We look forward to your continued cooperation for many years to come!

Maria Bogner and The Olympic Studies Centre team

In this anniversary edition, we look back at the evolution, impact and reach of the programmes and activities of The Olympic Studies Centre over the last decades.




On 6 October 2022, the OSC will be hosting a celebration event in its offices at the Villa du Centenaire in Lausanne. Starting at 5 p.m. Swiss time, IOC President Thomas Bach, Director General Christophe De Kepper and many guests will share testimonies on their experiences with the OSC since 1982.

We will live stream this event, so that all of you – our partners and stakeholders – can join in the celebrations and be part of them, no matter where you are in the world. Please register for the live streaming of the 40th anniversary celebration through this link. We are looking forward to celebrating together!




Over the years, more than 300 researchers from all five continents have benefitted from our research grant programmes: the Advanced Olympic Research Grant Programme (for established researchers) and the PhD Students and Early Career Academics Research Grant Programme.

The research projects conducted by our grant-holders reflect the diversity of what we refer to as “Olympic studies”. The grant-holders, together with the 34 former and current academic members of our Grants Selection Committee and the 250 academic reviewers, are an invaluable part of our ever-growing academic network interested in the Olympic Movement. Supporting these projects and the rich interactions with all involved has greatly contributed to our knowledge and human experience and continues to do so – for which we are very grateful.

All the information about the research grant programmes – including the rules, the application forms and the list of the research projects that have been previously awarded grants – is available here.

You can also access many of the reports on the Olympic World Library.




Having originally been part of a regional Swiss library network, in 2015 we decided to develop a library catalogue devoted to Olympic knowledge; one that would be easily accessible to researchers around the world. The Olympic World Library (OWL) went live on 16 October 2016, and since then has become the number one resource for Olympic knowledge in the world, with over 400,000 people from more than 200 countries consulting over 1.8 million pages in 2021 alone.

Simultaneously a library catalogue, an information portal and a search engine, the Olympic World Library offers free access to our unique collection, which now contains over 38,000 titles, of which 11,500 documents are directly accessible in electronic format. Users can benefit from online access, an international loan service and, of course, the onsite consultation services.

The OWL includes unique resources such as all official publications of the Organising Committees for the Olympic Games, the candidature files of all the cities that have ever bid to host the Olympic Games, and Games-related publications from the National Olympic Committees, International Federations and other Olympic Movement institutions. Academic articles, journals and books, spanning topics such as culture, history, education, ethics, marketing, philosophy, psychology, technology and many others, complement this vast library collection.

On dedicated sections of the OWL, users can also find descriptions of the IOC’s historical archives, as well as carefully curated thematic “Zoom In” pages with recommended readings on important topics of research.

We add around 1,500 new titles to our library collection every year for you to benefit from. To make sure you don’t miss out on all new knowledge and literature, sign up for automatic weekly alerts on new releases at olympic.org/library.




Since the 1980s, a growing number of universities and National Olympic Committees have responded to the academic interest in Olympic-related topics by creating dedicated university-based Olympic Studies and Research Centres (OSRCs). These centres aim to promote teaching, research, publications and conferences about the Olympic Movement and the Olympic Games.

Through the introduction of “Guidelines for the Academic Olympic Studies and Research Centres” in 2020, we aim to provide a clear framework for university-based OSRCs and highlight their important role in creating and fostering interest and knowledge about the Olympic Movement among the university community, while respecting their independence in terms of academic activities.

The current network of academic OSRCs includes 54 centres in 23 countries.

If you are interested in creating an academic Olympic Studies and Research Centre, we invite you to contact us at studies.centre@olympic.org.