The IOC President Thomas Bach at the 127th IOC Session in Monaco - December 7, 2014 / Photo credit: IOC - Flickr

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) President, Thomas Bach, has called for safeguarding the Olympic values, increased participation and reach of sports, and the promotion of the educational and health values of sport for all.

Delivering the keynote speech at the opening ceremony of the 127th IOC Session, at the Grimaldi Forum, in Monaco, [link id="335" tax="post_tag" text="IOC"] President [link id="336" tax="post_tag" text="Thomas Bach"] stressed the importance of the gathering of the full IOC membership, which will discuss and vote on the 40 recommendations that make up [link id="631" tax="post_tag" text="Olympic Agenda 2020"], a strategic roadmap for the future of the Olympic Games.

"The Olympic Agenda 2020 is like a jigsaw puzzle," President Bach explained. "Every piece, every recommendation, has the same importance. Only when you put all these 40 pieces together will you see the whole picture.

"You see progress in ensuring the success of the Olympic Games, progress in safeguarding the Olympic values, and progress in strengthening sport in society."

Bach said the proposed activities of "Olympism in Action" and "Olympism and Culture" would make the values of sport more accessible for everybody and foster the IOC's dialogue with society.

"The Olympic Agenda 2020 addresses our communication with the youth. As a sports organisation we cannot be satisfied only with increasing numbers of young people watching the Olympic Games.

"We have an interest and a responsibility to get the couch potatoes off the couch. Only children playing sport can be future athletes. Only children playing sport can enjoy the educational and health values of sport.

"We want to inspire these children by giving them better access to sport. We want to engage with them wherever they are. We want sport in more school-curricula world-wide."

"The Olympic Agenda 2020 addresses the relevance of Olympic Sports and its values by the proposal for the creation of an Olympic Channel. We must give our athletes and sports the world-wide media exposure they deserve also between Olympic Games," Bach added.

The IOC members were welcomed by HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco, President of the Monegasque Olympic Committee and a fellow IOC member, at an official reception before the Opening Ceremony.

Read the Full Speech