The autonomous non-profit organisation "Russian International Olympic University" (RIOU) was founded on 21 October 2009 under the memorandum of understanding between the International Olympic Committee (IOC), the Sochi 2014 Organising Committee, and the Russian Olympic Committee, by Decree of the Government of the Russian Federation № 774. The co-founders of RIOU are the Ministry of Sport, Tourism and Youth Policy of the Russian Federation, the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC), the Sochi 2014 Organising Committee and Interros.
The President of the Russian Federation, Vladimir Putin, is Chair of the RIOU Board of Trustees.
RIOU's activities focus on preparing highly qualified specialists in sports management for the Russian and worldwide sports industry, and the Olympic and Paralympic Movements. The University's educational programmes cover the key areas of sports education: venue and infrastructure management, organising competitions, mass communications, diplomacy and administration, as well as career management.
RIOU is a unique University which transforms Olympic knowledge into educational products. The experience of staging momentous sports events, such as the Olympic Games, provides a clear understanding of the algorithms of modern management practices.
In 2010, RIOU began planning educational programmes (more than 10) for the Sochi 2014 Organising Committee. Since 2011, the University has run special training courses for Russian regional sports leaders, SC Olympstroy staff and Sochi municipal employees.
The preparation of sports managers will begin in 2013 with RIOU's MSA programme (Master of Sport Administration). Following this, the University will open an ExМSA (Executive Master of Sport Administration) postgraduate course. The University is designed to have up to 500 students at any one time and the total annual number of graduates undertaking all RIOU courses will be 2,000.
Among RIOU's teachers and professors are renowned Russian and international experts in sports management. The University is setting up a system of partnership with leading Russian and foreign universities. Currently Moscow University of Industry and Finance, the International Paralympic Committee Academy, the World Sports Academy (Great Britain), the Autonomous University of Barcelona Olympic Research Centre, Kufstein University of Applied Sciences (Austria), and Capilano University (Canada), are all working with us.
In 2011, RIOU launched a unique programme, publishing a quarterly edition of the popular science magazine "RIOU Vestnik", and also publishing a series of memoirs, archive materials, Olympic history and philosophy, and the best Russian and foreign books on sport and Olympic education, as part of the "RIOU library".
At the moment, RIOU headquarters are based in Moscow, with the subsidiary office in Sochi. After the University campus is completed in 2013, its main activity will be centred in Sochi.
RIOU is a landmark, a significant project, a symbol of the Olympic legacy. RIOU alumni will be in high demand within the structures of the Russian and worldwide Olympic and Paralympic Movements; state and municipal governing bodies; sports federations and clubs; sports media; companies producing sports goods; and sports marketing companies.
Professor Lev Belousov is RIOU CEO.