Official Reports

Since 1851 in London, the Modern Olympic Games have adopted a tradition of the World Exhibitions. At that time, the organisers of the World Exhibitions had already published extensive documentation about the event in a final report. This obviously served as an example for Pierre de Coubertin and the organisers of the first Modern Olympic Games to publish a large-scale report as early as 1896 on both the Ancient Greek Games and the development of the new Modern Olympic Games. After the games staged within the framework of the World Exhibitions in Paris 1900, St. Louis 1904 and London 1908, more or less extensive illustrated reports were also published, which documented all aspects of the games.

The official reports retrace all facets of the Olympic Games, starting with the application to stage the games, through the construction of sports facilities, the actual competitions and the results, right up to the closing ceremony. Some of these reports could be purchased by interested parties but often they were only produced in small numbers and presented to NOCs participating in the games, international sports federations and IOC members.

Over the years, the official reports have become an established tradition and the duty to publish these reports was even enshrined in the Olympic Charter. For a long time, it had been stipulated that the final report had to be published both in French and in English within two years of the completion of the Games.


For several Olympiads, digital media has been increasingly gaining ground. Consequently, the printed version of an official report has been steadily declining. Thus, official report fans will probably have to collect future reports as CDs and DVDs in addition to the printed reports of earlier games.