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ISU Congress embraces ISU Vision 2030, embarking on transformative journey ahead
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ISU President Jae Youl Kim hoding a speech at the ISU Congress in Las Vegas, United States, USA. © ISU
The 59th ISU Congress opened today setting the stage for an ambitious and forward-looking agenda, expected to decisively shape the future of ice-skating sports.

At the forefront of this inaugural day was the presentation by the ISU President, Jae Youl Kim, on the ISU Vision 2030 strategic plan, outlining major growth and innovation proposals to the 250 delegates from 65 countries present. The ISU Congress overwhelmingly voted in favor of the budget for 2024-2026, showing its support for Vision 2030 initiatives and marking the start of an exciting and game-changing future.

ISU Congress 2024 ISU President Jae Youl Kim

ISU President Jae Youl Kim hoding a speech at the ISU Congress in Las Vegas, United States, USA. © ISU

In his opening speech, Kim immediately set the tone for a transformative era ahead: “The world is changing, and we must all be open to it. The Vision 2030 builds on these changes and articulates concrete long-term solutions to improve, innovate and engage. Our objective is to increase capabilities to better serve our athletes, Members and fans and make the necessary investments to unlock the full potential of our sportTogether, we are embracing an athlete-first, Member-focused and fan-centric approach to propel our sport to the future.”

 

Elected in 2022, as part of his manifesto, Kim promised to develop a comprehensive long-term program: ISU Vision 2030. He showcased the advancements made so far and shared future initiatives to modernize the organization and elevate ice-skating sports to meet the demands of rapidly changing sports consumption behaviors and media landscape. The significant steps on the five priority areas of Growth, Opportunity, Innovation, Safeguarding and Unity include:

Vision 2030 slide

Growth & Innovation:

  • Introduce new and consistent event formats and presentations, such as the ISU Short Track World Tour, to enhance the spectator experience in a dynamic, entertaining and immersive way with the objective of attracting new and younger audiences.

  • Upgrade branding and broadcasting approaches to create more appealing fan and sponsorship packages.

  • Open more partnership opportunities for athletes and Members.

  • Develop a new unified digital ecosystem offering a tailored user experience focusing on fan engagement.

  • Revenue diversification by establishing a wealth management working group aimed at crafting alternative investment strategies.

Safeguarding, Development & Unity:

  • Implement protective and supportive measures aligned with the ISU Safeguarding policy to protect and promote athletes’ physical and mental well-being, on and off the ice, and ensure clean and safe competitions.

  • Devise more extensive sustainable practices from event management to facility operations in accordance with the ISU Sustainability Strategy.

  • Foster development programs for greater accessibility and inclusiveness.

  • Increase engagement with Members, athletes and fans through dedicated digital channels to build deeper connections.

  • Improve and streamline governance through constitutional reform and rules simplification.

 

While ISU Director General Colin Smith guided delegates through action-oriented strategies in the Growth and Innovation areas, Safeguarding was highlighted by two special guest speakers:

Kirsty Burrows, Head of the IOC Safe Sport Unit:

During her opening remarks, Kirsty Burrows said: “I would like to thank the ISU not only for inviting me here to speak on such important topics, but also for centralizing safeguarding, mental health and well-being of athletes in your Vision 2030. I really commend this excellent effort from the ISU”.

ISU Congress 2024 Kirsty Burrows

Gracie Gold, two-time U.S. champion and Olympic bronze medalist in Figure Skating:

In a keynote stage interview moderated by U.S. Figure Skating senior communications advisor Barbara Reichert, Gracie Gold transparently discussed the immense pressures and mental health struggles she underwent as an elite Figure Skater and what more can be done to support young athletes dealing with mental health challenges. Having recently published her Memoir “OutofShapeWorthlessLoser”, the New York Times Bestselling Author said: "Mental health is as important as physical health and should be taken just as seriously. For the younger generation, being educated about mental health and how it could manifest, particularly the effects after you leave a sport, can be a very big thing.”

ISU Congress 2024 Gracie Gold Barbara Reichert

Concluding on this top priority topic, the ISU President stated: “Today also reaffirmed the importance of safeguarding. We express our gratitude particularly to Gracie Gold for sharing her story and shining a light on this critical issue. Safeguarding is a key pillar of our ISU Vision 2030, and we are committed to further enhancing the measures in place across the sport to better protect and promote athletes’ physical and mental well-being. Together, we must do everything possible to make our sport safe, clean, fair and sustainable.”

The ISU proposed a 20% increase in annual Member contribution to assist Members in developing and implementing athlete safeguarding initiatives in their own countries, an initiative accepted by the Congress via the budget approval.

Further to the delegates’ energetic support for these transformative initiatives, the Congress will continue its deliberations over the coming three days with in-depth discussions and  workshops aimed at driving the evolution of ice-skating disciplines.

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Sustainable Development Goals
3 – Good health and well-being
5 - Gender equality
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Athletes
Youth

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