March 9 - The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has pledged to support the planned development of the World Olympian Association (WOA) following a meeting between the parties in Lausanne.
It followed a meeting between Jacques Rogge, President of the IOC, and Joël Bouzou, his counterpart at the WOA.
"We have held a very productive meeting... with the President of the WOA to discuss their plans for organisational reform and a new, strategic vision for the development of WOA services to Olympians." said Rogge.
"This meeting follows a report to the most recent IOC Executive Board and a desire to support moves to build for the future."
The WOA is an independent organisation which aims to unite Olympians and spread the spirit of the Games, or Olympism, by bringing together Olympic athletes from across the globe and encourage their involvement in public service.
There are currently 142 National Olympian Associations (NOA) worldwide, affiliated with their National Olympic Committee (NOC), consisting of Olympians from the country.
The new vision for the WOA is linked to the development of activities occurring throughout the year, particularly including the use of digital media and communications.
"The WOA aspires to unite and support Olympians around the world and wherever possible promote the values of Olympism," said Bouzou.
"Our Executive Committee recently approved plans for new initiatives and services to underpin this mission and support renewal and growth.
"We were absolutely delighted yesterday that the IOC President and his team agreed a closer working partnership. I would like to personally thank Jacques Rogge for his support.
"Following [this latest] meeting we will be taking further steps to develop our plans, raise awareness of the WOA, the services we aim to offer to Olympians"
WOA announced last month that they are planning to launch the World Olympians Forum, which will bring together NOA's from across the world to discuss schemes and projects that would be beneficial to Olympians and communities, to aid the fulfilment of their "Service to Society - Service to Olympians" mission statement.
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February 2013: WOA to launch World Olympians Forum