skip to content

What is the Olympic oath?

The Olympic oath was first sworn by Belgian fencer Victor Boin at the 1920 Games in Antwerp. It is part of the protocol of the Opening Ceremony, and is taken by an athlete from the host country, on behalf of all the other athletes.

The Oath is similar to the one sworn by the athletes at the ancient Olympic Games. The only difference is that now the athletes take the oath holding the Olympic flag rather than on the entrails of a sacrificial animal.

The modern Olympic oath was written by Pierre de Coubertin. It has been modified over time to reflect the changing nature of sports competition.

The current Oath, which refers to doping and drugs, was introduced in December 1999, and was sworn for the first time at the Opening Ceremony of the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney:
In the name of all the competitors I promise that we shall take part in these Olympic Games, respecting and abiding by the rules which govern them, committing ourselves to a sport without doping and without drugs, in the true spirit of sportsmanship, for the glory of sport and the honour of our teams.”

It was not until 1972 that a judge or an official also swore an oath at the Opening Ceremony of the Games and 2012, at the London Games, that a coach also swore an oath.

Learn more:

Olympic documents

Visit the documents repository to find a list of all documents published on this website. This section contains the major reports, studies, publications and information regarding the Olympic Movement.

View documents

Olympic studies

The IOC Olympic Studies Centre is the world source of reference for Olympic knowledge. As an integral part of the IOC, we are uniquely placed to provide the most accurate, relevant and up-to-date information on Olympism.

Learn more