Olympic solidarity pioneer Pere Miró has retired from the International Olympic Committee (IOC) after almost 30 years in Lausanne, though he will continue to act as a special advisor to IOC President Thomas Bach.

Miró was recruited by Bach’s predecessor Juan Antonio Samaranch after working on the successful 1992 Olympics in their home city of Barcelona.

Miró had been a deputy director of operations and spent the duration of the Games in the main operations centre.

"We also wanted to offer the athletes a unique stage on which to perform, and a show for the whole world," Miró recalled.

"In 1992, what mattered to us as the organisers was how the Games would affect us on a local level.

He had been charged by Samaranch with setting up the first office to administer Olympic Solidarity, the aid programme which assists National Olympic Committees.

"Over 30 years, I have also seen sport’s power to rebuild," Miró reflected.

"I have helped the IOC to be active in the reconstruction process in countries devastated by war.

"I’ve seen what sport has given to the men and women of Bosnia, Timor Leste or Afghanistan.

"Today, we have to believe in that power more than ever." 

Miró set up the department for National Olympic Committees relations and led the department until 2019, from when he worked as deputy director general for relations with the Olympic Movement.

"Today, we look at how the Games and sport can help to improve health, respect the environment and promote gender equality," he added.

"The approach has changed a lot.

"I’ m not really a creative person, but I know how to listen, choose good ideas and put them into practice." 

He had attended the first of his 18 Olympics Games as an observer for future hosts Barcelona at Seoul in 1988.

"I discovered their grandeur and universality and was impressed, but I think that I was also afraid for the first time in my life, as I knew that we would have to organise the Games four years later!" Miró recalled.

The Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics were his final Games before retirement.

"In Beijing, as I had more of a background role, I had more of a chance to see the Games.

"For the first time, I was able to go to the three Olympic villages, to sleep there and work with my teams.

"I could see the Games through the eyes of these young people who had experienced no more than one or two editions in their career."

Miró plans to take up piano lessons and also do more walking as he explores his adopted home of Switzerland during his retirement.

Source: https://www.insidethegames.biz