After being founded in Paris in 1894, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) moved its headquarters to Lausanne, Switzerland, in 1915. It hired its first staff member in the 1920s and continued to operate with just two or three employees until the mid-1960s, even though the Olympic Games had grown substantially. Indeed, the IOC still had only about twenty staff members when John MacAloon first visited its headquarters in the mid-1970s. It now employs more than 700 people from seventy-one nationalities in Lausanne and Madrid, making it one of the world's largest and well-known NGOs. This article traces the IOC Administration's rise from its humble beginnings to the present day. It shows how, under successive presidents and heads of administration, the IOC has followed four stages of the process of professionalization described in the sport management literature.

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