Dr. Tomas Sithole, the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) Director of International Relations, held discussions at the United States Sports Academy in Daphne, Ala., with the university’s senior leaders about Olympic education, youth sports and sports art.

Dr. Tomas Sithole (right) of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) visited the United States Sports Academy to meet with Academy President and CEO Dr. Thomas P. Rosandich (left) and to discuss the Olympic Values Education Program (OVEP).

Academy President and CEO Dr. Thomas P. Rosandich sits on the IOC’s Commission for Culture and Olympic Education that is overseen by Dr. Sithole, the Director of the Department of International Cooperation and Development of the IOC. That commission advises the IOC on the promotion of culture and Olympic education and supports the IOC programs and activities related to the education of youth through sport.

The Academy worked five years ago with the IOC to develop an online version of the Olympic Values Education Program (OVEP). Dr. Sithole says he would like to see the program reach even more nations across the globe in the future. The program is slated to be discussed further at the  8th edition of the IOC World Conference on Sport, Culture and Education Nov. 25-27 in Amsterdam, which both Dr. Sithole and Dr. Rosandich are attending.

In addition, Dr. Sithole says he’s pleased with the role the Academy plays in advancing sport art. The Academy has  conducted the U.S. Olympic Committee’s (USOC) Sport and Art contest the past four Olympiads. Martin Linson, an emerging artist from St. Charles, Mo., earned the gold medal in the USOC and then the IOC competition for the 2012 London Games for his sculpture, “Omnipotent Triumph” that pays tribute to Paralympic athletes. He is being honored by the Academy as its 2013 Sport Artist of the Year.

“We want to engage young people across the world and promote sport education and Olympic values,” says Dr. Sithole, who visited the Academy after attending the United Nations for talks about using sport to enhance the development of youth and peace.