On 12 July, the IOC announced that it had received confirmation from the Saudi Arabian Olympic Committee that two female athletes will be competing at the London Games. The two athletes are: Wodjan Ali Seraj Abdulrahim Shahrkhani (judo, +78kg) and Sarah Attar (athletics, 800m). The athletes, invited by the IOC, were entered by the Saudi Arabian NOC by the official deadline of 9 July. On this occasion, IOC President Rogge observed: “With these athletes now joining their fellow female competitors from Qatar and Brunei Darussalam, it means that by London 2012 every National Olympic Committee will have sent women to the Olympic Games.”
Brunei Darussalam has entered Maziah Mahusin (athletics), while Qatar has entered Nada Arkaji (swimming), Noor Al-Malki (athletics), Aya Magdy (table tennis) and Bahiya Al-Hamad (shooting).
Qatar’s Al-Hamad has been chosen not only to compete at London 2012 but also to carry her country’s flag during the Opening Ceremony. Read the press release on www.olympic.org (“News” section).
Meeting in Bangkok (Thailand), the Executive Committee of the International Boxing Association (AIBA) awarded the 2013 AIBA Junior World Boxing Championships to Kiev (Ukraine), the 2014 AIBA Youth World Boxing Championships to Sofia (Bulgaria) and the 2014 AIBA Women's World Boxing Championships to Canada. Find out more on www.aiba.org.
During the first week of July, Bridgetown (Barbados) hosted a Level 1 Academy for Men's and Women’s Artistic Gymnastics for the first time. Thirty coaches from four Caribbean countries (Barbados, Bermuda, Puerto Rico and Trinidad) attended the course, which was partially funded by the International Gymnastics Federation (FIG) Development Fund for the Pan-American Gymnastics Union. Read more on www.fig-gymnastics.com.
The International Judo Federation (IJF) has launched the “IJF Judo Hero Page” on www.ijf.org, offering information, pictures and videos of the participants in the judo competition at the 2012 London Olympic Games. Between 28 July and 3 August, 387 athletes from 133 countries will compete on the tatamis at the Excel Centre.
Rugby in Madagascar, where it is the national sport, was given a boost recently thanks to the distribution of rugby kit and balls to the Fédération Malagasy de Rugby by the International Rugby Board (IRB) and its partner, LV=SOS Kit Aid. This equipment was collected in schools and rugby clubs in the UK and Ireland. The donation took place on the occasion of Madagascar’s victory over Namibia to earn promotion to division 1A of the Africa Cup in 2013. More details on www.irb.com.
The International Tennis Federation (ITF) has announced the publication of its official Olympic Book Aspire, Inspire: Celebrating Tennis at the Olympics 2012. Thirty-six of the world’s leading tennis players took part in the ITF project to help promote the 2012 London Olympic and Paralympic tennis events. This publication features a series of specially commissioned photographs of the game’s top names posing with pictures of themselves as a child and talking about the sporting heroes who inspired them. More details on www.itftennis.com.
NATIONAL OLYMPIC COMMITTEES
The German NOC informs us that Olympic Day 2012 was celebrated at the Magdeburg Sports Festival on 10 June. Some 22,000 people were there to try out fencing, rowing (on a machine) and bobsleigh, filmed by a Mitteldeutscher Rundfunk TV crew and various photographers. Former and current German Olympic team members took part, including Steffi Nerius, (javelin silver medallist in 2004), Björn Hübner (fencer at the 2012 Games), Mark Zabel (canoeing gold medallist in 1996), André Willms (rowing fours gold medallist in 1992 and 1996) and Kerstin Thiele (judoka at the 2012 Games). As part of the “Wir für Deutschland” (We’re for Germany) campaign, people were invited to send their best wishes to the German 2012 Olympic team. The German Olympic Academy also presented its programmes and offered an Olympic quiz, an exhibition and a Wii-station on the Games in London. More details on www.dosb.de.
The Brazilian NOC has announced that showjumper Rodrigo Pessoa will be the flagbearer for the Brazilian team at the Opening Ceremony of the 2012 Games. A gold medallist at the Athens Games in 2004, Pessoa will be taking part in his sixth Games this year. In all, he has won three Olympic medals: gold in Athens, and a team bronze in Atlanta, in 1996, and in Sydney, in 2000. Find out more on www.cob.org.br.
The Colombian NOC President, Baltazar Medina, was granted the freedom of the city of Cartagena from its Mayor, journalist Campo Elías Teherán, as well as receiving the Melanio Porto Ariza medal, Meporto, from the President of Acord Bolívar, Armando López. This ceremony was held in the presence of numerous Colombian sports stars, including world champions and Olympic medallists Alfonso Pérez (Munich 1972) and Diego Salazar (Beijing 2008). More details on www.coc.org.co.
The outfits to be worn by the Costa Rican team at the Opening Ceremony of the Games in London were unveiled recently, together with the clothing that the athletes will wear in the Olympic Village. Find out more on the Costa Rican NOC’s web site: www.concrc.org.
The traditional Olympic Day Run was held in the streets of San Juan de la Maguana. In addition to this, the Dominican NOC, in coordination with its Women and Sport Commission, organised a workshop on women’s leadership and participation in sport. There was also a reforestation initiative in the Mesopotamia Sur quarter, with around 3,500 trees planted in what has now become the “Olympic Ecology Park”. More details on www.colimdo.org.
Shortly before leaving for the Games in London, the Israeli team of 38 athletes was received by the Israeli President, Shimon Peres, at his official residence in Jerusalem. Also present for this occasion were Chef de Mission Efraim Zinger, Limor Livnat, Minister of Sport and Education, and Israeli NOC President Zvi Varshaviak. More details on www.olympic.one.co.il.
The Mongolian NOC, in close collaboration with the Mongol Post Co. Ltd, has unveiled the stamps issued for the Games in London (pictured left). Held at Olympic House, the ceremony was attended by NOC Vice-President Ts. Damdin, G. Chinzorig, Director General of the Mongol Post Co. Ltd, and NOC Secretary General Jugder Otgontsagaan, as well as the stamps’ designer, Ch. Bat-Erdene. Mongolia has issued Olympic stamps for every Games since its first participation, in 1964 in Tokyo. The stamps for 2012 feature well-known London landmarks and the sports in which Mongolian athletes are likely to do well. Find out more on www.olympic.mn.
Hundreds of children from private and public schools visited the “London 2012 and Peru at the London 2012 Olympic Games (Londres 2012 y Perú en los Juegos Olímpicos Londres 2012) exhibition staged by the Peruvian NOC and the British Embassy in Peru from 21 to 28 June at the “Albergue Olímpico de la Videna” headquarters in San Luis. The objects on show included 48 photographs from shooter Enrique Mendizabal Raing, who was part of the Peruvian team at the 1948 Games in London; 2012 Games posters; and videos on the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. There was also information on London 2012-related infrastructure and innovation, sustainable Olympic Games, integration through sport, the Olympic values and Olympic legacy. More details on www.coperu.org.
ORGANISING COMMITTEES FOR THE OLYMPIC GAMES
On 6 July, work started on the Olympic Park for the 2016 Games in Rio. The plan was for work to begin just before Rio de Janeiro receives the Olympic flag, which will happen at the Closing Ceremony of the 2012 Games in London. The Park’s facilities will cover 118 hectares, and 14 Olympic disciplines will be contested there. Read more on www.rio2016.com and www.olympic.org (“News” section).
In a recent press release, the Association of National Olympic Committees of Africa (ANOCA) announced that, for the first time in Olympic Games history, the 53 African NOCs will have a joint hospitality house, the Africa Village, in the heart of London, from 27 July to 12 August.
The International Workers and Amateurs in Sports Confederation (CSIT) has announced that the 2013 CSIT World Sports Games will now be held in Varna (Bulgaria), from 2 to 9 June, rather than Rio de Janeiro. Both competition and non-competition sports activities will be held. Find out more on www.csit.tv.
The International Academy of Sports Science and Technology (AISTS) has announced that a Global Sports Development Scholarship be available for one Master in Sports Administration student in 2013, for the second year in a row. More details on www.aists.org.