The Lithuanian Olympic Academy (LOA) is a community organisation that aims to promote Olympism following the Olympic Charter; study the history, theory and practice of the Olympic movement; implement programs for physical and spiritual development, kindness in sports and cultivation of life; take part in creating a better and more peaceful world, in keeping with the Olympic movement's main goal, relying on sports to educate the youth in the Olympic spirit which requires mutual understanding, friendship and solidarity, free from any form of discrimination.
In 1989, following the example of Western Europe, LNOC president Artūras Poviliūnas took initiative to establish the Lithuanian Olympic Academy. His assembled initiative group, consisting of prof. Stanislovas Stonkus (basketball player, Melbourne Olympic Games vice-champion, former rector of the Lithuanian Institute of Physical Education and LNOC vice-president), prof. Jonas Šliažas (track and field athlete, coach, former LNOC executive committee member), Janis Grinbergas (former LNOC general secretary, member of honour of the International Handball Federation, international category handball judge), and Pranas Majauskas (weightlifter, coach, former head of the Kaunas Physical Education and Sports Committee), engaged in the tasks of the LOA constituent assembly.
On October 27, 1989, at the former Lithuanian Institute of Physical Education in Kaunas, the constituent Lithuanian Olympic Academy conference took place, attended by famous sports scientists, Olympic Games participants, veterans, higher education lecturers. Prof. Valerijus Jasiūnas was elected as the first president of the Lithuania Olympic Academy, Algirdas Raslanas as vice-president, prof. Povilas Karoblis as dean, Ramutė Daniševičienė as secretary. Council members included the heads of five newly formed commissions: Saulius Kavaliauskas (History and Sociology of the Olympic Movement Commission), Pranas Majauskas (Olympic Ideas Propaganda Commission), Albertas Skurvydas (Physical Education and Sports Scientific-Methodic Commission), Angelė Seibutienė (Sports Medicine Commission), Justinas Lagunavičius (Library and Museum director).
In 1990, LOA became a member of the International Olympic Academy. The Lithuanian Olympic Academy's sessions and conferences have provided an opportunity for scientists, Olympic history researchers to present new work which was important for a country that had recently regained independence.
On May 13, 1994, in Kaunas, a new LOA council was elected. Prof. Povilas Petras Karoblis, athletics coach, head of the Sports Methodics Department at the former Vilnius Pedagogical Institute. There were several changes of Council members during the 19 years of his leadership.
P. Karoblis resigned from presidency on May 10, 2013, in a extraordinary assembly of the Lithuanian Olympic Academy. He was granted the title of honorary president of LOA. In a unanimous vote, the leadership was passed to Dr. Artūras Poviliūnas, LNOC honorary president and former leader of 24 years with excellent knowledge of the Olympic Academy's field of work and great authority in the international Olympic community. On February 19. 2021, Dr. Artūras Poviliūnas was granted the title of honorary president of LOA, and the leadership was passed to Prof. Dr. Asta Šarkauskienė (Klaipėda university).
LOA unites over 120 members, including professors, docents, (habilitated) doctors, distinguished coaches, sports organisers, teachers, sports veterans, Olympians etc.
Every year Lithuanian representatives participate in the International Olympic Academy's sessions and conferences by reading reports, presenting their activity programs, delving into the projects of other national Olympic academies and scientific research on Olympism in various spheres. Over 30 of our country's masters and doctoral students have participated in IOA sessions, 12 have earned a PhD degree, several have become professors.
The Lithuanian Olympic Academy promotes the key principles of Olympic education and its programs, encourages the activities of sports and education institutions, organises events and projects popularising the Olympic movement (photo, video, drawing contests on Olympic themes, camps for the youth, qualification development seminars for educators, methodical information etc). Student sessions on topics suggested by IOA are organised every year.
The Lithuanian Olympic Academy offers scientist assistance to Olympic Games participants – actively participates in programs for Olympic education, Olympic history, coach qualification development; provides support for the training of high performance Lithuanian athletes. The achievements of our country's athletes in the Olympic Games and other high profile competitions are inseparable from sports science. Following the 2012 London Summer Olympics, LNOC has offered the Olympic Academy to take more action in coordinating the courses of sports science development, to conduct scientific-methodic supervision of 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics candidates. LOA has been restructured accordingly, to accommodate a program for providing scientific services to the Olympic team.
In cooperation with the Lithuanian Sports University and the Lithuanian University of Educational Sciences, LOA publishes the periodical journal Sports Science, deemed prestigious by the Research Council of Lithuania. The published scientific articles, presenting new objective and systematic results of sports phenomena research, are authored by both Lithuanian and foreign scientists. On being included in the INDEX COPERNICUS database and the SPOLIT database of the German Federal Institute of Sport Science, Sports Science journal has been attested international.
LOA is among the most active worldwide, closely cooperating with Latvian, Estonian, Czech, German, Russian, Italian, French, Ukrainian, Belarussian, Azerbaijani national Olympic academies and Lithuanian science, education, sports institutions and organisations.
New strategic guidelines of the International Olympic Committee require change, activity range expansion, contribution to the programs of the Olympic Committee, more extensive dissemination of Olympic ideas in society. New challenges also await the Lithuanian Olympic Academy.