Former Head of the Slovenian Olympic Academy, Director for EU Projects at the NOC of Slovenia and former EOA Treasurer – Ales Solar has been one of the key influences since the very beginning. His commitment was pivotal to the birth of the EOA that was realised in Slovenia in 2018 and he has pushed the EOA forward in various ways to this day. He is now being honoured with the first EOA Medal of Merit.
During the EOA’s founding period, Ales Solar was member of the Initiative Committee and took over the organisation of the Founding Assembly. From 2018 to 2022, he was EOA’s first Treasurer, securing financial resources for the organisation and enabling its legitimacy and opportunities.
In addition to securing funding, he initiated contact with EOA’s most important partner, the European Olympic Committees (EOC) through its former President Janez Kocijanjic, with which a Memorandum of Understanding was developed in 2018.
Most projects and collaborations that the EOA is involved in today are also thanks to Solar’s work. He introduced the EOA as a partner in four different EU projects, demonstrating the reliability of the EOA as an actor for dissemination and stakeholder relations, but also equipped the EOA team operationally to lead its own projects in the future. He was involved in the development of the EOA Good Governance Guidelines and the EOA Strategic Plan 2022-2030 as Chair of the EOA Development and Cooperation Commission.
The impact he has had on the EOA is evident and truly exceptional. He was awarded the EOA Medal of Merit, presented to him at the EOA Congress in Vilnius on 8 November 2023.