AICO, Created to Serve the Olympic Collecting Community
Olympic collecting has a rich history. Olympic collecting began, as an individual pursuit, in 1894 and with clubs in the 1960’s, namely in Italy, Poland, USA, former Czechoslovakia and Germany, etc.
In the 1980’s a strong relationship developed between the Olympic collectors and the IOC and NOCs. Led by former IOC President Juan Antonio Samaranch, the IOC created and administered international bodies to promote Olympic collecting in the fields of philately (FIPO) numismatics (FINO) and memorabilia (FIMO) and facilitated collector exhibitions and fairs. These structures and processes worked well for some years, but in recent years had failed to respond to developments within the Olympic movement and the collecting community itself. The energy in Olympic collecting created in the 1980’s and 1990’s had dissipated e.g. FINO and FIMO ceased to operate, and lines of responsibility and accountability became unclear. The IOC recognised the cultural and economic benefits to the Olympic Movement in having a strong and vibrant Olympic collecting community and commissioned a group of senior officials from a representative sample of Olympic collecting clubs to consider whether there was a need for a new international organization to represent and provide leadership to Olympic collectors.
AICO was born of this process:
- A process of close co-operation between the IOC and the Olympic collecting community;
- A process designed to re-invigorate Olympic collecting, and take it into the 21st century;
- A process designed to establish clear lines of authority and responsibility, both within AICO, and between AICO and the IOC.
AICO’s mission is to promote Olympic collecting related to the cultural and historic aspects of
the Olympic movement. Olympic collecting is part of the Olympic movement and has been
AICO & the International Olympic Committee (IOC)
On December 8, 2015 during the 127th IOC Session in Monaco, the Executive Board of the IOC granted AICO official status as an “IOC Recognized Organization.”
In the past, a close relationship with the IOC was the key to the development of organized
Olympic collecting. Today, that relationship needs to be differently structured and formally
documented, but it needs to be just as close. By conferring this special status, the IOC recognizes the importance of AICO in guiding the Olympic collecting community, and with it, the Olympic Movement.