On Thursday 24 March, at the Château de Beloeil in Belgium, IOC President Jacques Rogge gave a talk entitled The Challenges Facing Sport.
The following day in Ghent (Belgium), accompanied by IOC member and Rio 2016 Games Organising Committee President Carlos Arthur Nuzman, Pierre-Olivier Beckers and Guido de Bondt, respectively President and Secretary General of the Belgian Olympic Committee, Jacques Rogge met Paul van Cauwenberge, Rector of Ghent University, and the Mayor of Ghent, Daniel Termont.
The IOC Coordination Commission for the XXII Olympic Winter Games in 2014 has paid its fifth visit to Sochi (Russian Federation) and has confirmed that preparations are now quickly moving into the operational phase. The Sochi organisers are now focusing on Games operations, after the successful holding of the first test events (international Alpine skiing competitions) last month. The Coordination Commission, whose Chairman is Jean-Claude Killy, assisted by Olympic Games Executive Director Gilbert Felli, met from 21 to 23 March to give its members an idea of the latest progress made in the preparations for the next Winter Games. Read the press release.
The deadline for submission of abstracts for the 14th World Conference on Sport for All has been extended for one month. Experts and practitioners in the field of Sport for All now have until 15 April to submit abstracts for oral and poster presentations for the Conference, which will be held in Beijing (People’s Republic of China) from 20 to 23 September 2011. Find out more and register here: Olympic news.
With the deadline for applications to host the 2017 World Championships in Athletics now passed, the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) has received five candidatures: Germany (Berlin), Great Britain (London), Hungary (Budapest), Qatar (Doha) and Spain (city to be announced). The IAAF will announce the list of official candidates on 1 September this year. More details on www.iaaf.org.
The International Gymnastics Federation (FIG) has announced the death, in his home town of Vladimir (Russian Federation), of Olympic and world champion Nikolay Andrianov. He was 58. This outstanding gymnast holds the record for the most Olympic medals in the history of men’s gymnastics. Between 1972 in Munich and 1980 in Moscow, he collected 15 medals, seven of them gold, for the Soviet Union. More details on www.fig-gymnastics.com.
Last week, the International Swimming Federation (FINA) confirmed the venue and dates for the 5th FINA/MIDEA Diving World Series. After Moscow (Russian Federation) on 18 and 19 March, competitions will be held in Beijing on 25 and 26 March, Sheffield (Great Britain) on 15 and 16 April, and finally Guanajuato (Mexico) on 22 and 23 April. More information on www.fina.org.
Owing to the tragic events currently affecting Japan, the International Tennis Federation (ITF) has decided to postpone the Fed Cup World Group II play-off tie between Japan and Argentina, originally due to be played in Tokyo on 16 and 17 April. It will now be played in Japan on 16 and 17 July, two weeks after Wimbledon. The venue has yet to be confirmed. This decision was taken after discussions between the Japanese and Argentinean tennis federations and the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA). Read the comments of ITF President and IOC member Francesco Ricci Bitti on www.itftennis.com.
On 19 March, at a special ceremony organised in Paris by the International Rugby Board (IRB), five French rugby legends were inducted into the IRB Hall of Fame. Jean Prat, Lucien Mias, André and Guy Boniface, and Serge Blanco were all honoured for their outstanding contribution to the game, joining the illustrious list of members already inducted since the Hall of Fame was created in 2006. More details on www.irb.com.
As a follow-up to the Easton Foundation Softball Youth World Cup, International Softball Federation (ISF) President Don Porter went to California (USA) to present the Foundation Board President and IOC member James L. Easton with a commemorative set of medals from the tournament and the event’s final report. Accompanying the ISF President was Jessica Mendoza, two-time Olympic softball medallist (team gold in 2004 in Athens and team silver in 2008 in Beijing), ISF Athletes’ Commission member and BackSoftball Athlete Ambassador. Other details on www.isfsoftball.org.
After exploring all possible options to maintain the 2011 World Figure Skating Championships in Japan, the Japan Skating Federation has informed the International Skating Union (ISU) that it must decline hosting the Championships. Meanwhile, the ISU World Team Trophy, initially scheduled for April 2011, has been postponed to April 2012, still in Japan, but at a place and time to be decided. More details on www.isu.org.
NATIONAL OLYMPIC COMMITTEES
Next month, the Canadian NOC will be travelling to Moncton, New Brunswick, for its annual Olympic Hall of Fame Gala Dinner and Induction Ceremony. The highlight of the occasion will be the induction of new members Melodie Davidson (hockey), Marc Lemay (cycling), David MacEachern (bobsleigh), Curtis Myden (swimming) and Elvis Stojko (figure skating). More information on www.olympic.ca.
The Spanish NOC has announced the IOC’s decision to renew the term of office of Spanish Olympic Academy President Conrado Durántez as a member of the IOC Commission for Culture and Olympic Education.
In addition, the NOC headquarters was the setting, on 17 March, for the signing of a cooperation agreement between the Spanish High Council for Sport and the NOC. This agreement will see the launch of joint sports actions in 2011. More details on www.coe.es.
The Peruvian NOC has announced the new composition of its Athletes’ Commission for the next four years. The members are now Francisco Boza Dibos (Chairman), Natalia Málaga Dibos (Vice-Chair), Claudia Rivero Modenesi (Secretary), and Roberto Carcelén Flores and Marco Matellini Walker (members).
ORGANISING COMMITTEES FOR THE OLYMPIC GAMES
On 18 March, to promote the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games throughout Brazil, the Rio 2016 Organising Committee accepted the invitation of the Brazilian Paralympic Committee (CPB) to go to the capital, Brasilia, for an event to celebrate 2,000 days to go before the start of the Paralympic Games. As well as the CPB General Assembly, a meeting was held attended by CPB President Andrew Parsons, and Rio 2016 CEO Leonardo Gryner. More details on www.rio2016.com.
YOUTH OLYMPIC GAMES
On 19 March, there were just 300 days left before the start of the 2012 Winter Youth Olympic Games in Innsbruck (Austria). Watch the video of young athletes training this winter, some of whom will be competing at the Games next year in Innsbruck. More information on www.innsbruck2012.com.
On 21 and 22 March, the Executive Committee of the World Olympians Association (WOA), held a meeting at the IOC headquarters in Lausanne, chaired by WOA President Dick Fosbury. The activities and topics discussed included plans to hold the next WOA General Assembly in the Olympic capital in November this year. The Assembly will bring together representatives from all the National Olympians Associations for a two-day working meeting. Find out more on www.woaolympians.com.
We apologise for a factual error which appeared in last week’s Highlights. Amar Addadi, who met the IOC President on 17 March, is in fact President of the International Mediterranean Games Committee (CIJM), and not Vice-President of the Algerian NOC.