On 29 August, IOC President Jacques Rogge returned to London for the Opening Ceremony of the XIV Paralympic Games. The following day, he attended a ceremony during which five people were inducted into the Paralympic Hall of Fame, in the presence of International Paralympic Committee (IPC) President and IOC member Phil Craven (see also “Recognised Organisations”).
Registration for the 8th edition of the IOC World Conference on Sport, Education and Culture is now open. This Conference will be organised by the IOC, through its Commission for Culture and Olympic Education, in partnership with the United Nations Organisation for Education, Science and Culture (UNESCO) and the Dutch NOC. It will be held from 25 to 27 November 2012 in Amsterdam. Its programme will highlight the importance of sport as a tool for social and economic development in a sporting, cultural and educational context. Details on www.olympic.org (News section).
Thanks to the generosity of the athletes, NOCs, IFs and other partners of the Olympic family, the third edition of the “Giving is Winning” campaign has been enormously successful, almost reaching its target of collecting 100,000 items. The project will continue for one or two months after the London Games. The donations will go to refugee camps managed by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). Read more on www.olympic.org (News section)
INTERNATIONAL SPORTS FEDERATIONS
At a meeting in London in early August, the Council of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) decided to create a new competition called “IAAF World Relays”. The first editions will be held in Nassau (Bahamas) in May 2014 and 2015. This competition will bring together the world’s best athletes in the traditional relays, i.e. the 4x100m and 4x400m and also the 4x200m, 4x800m and 4x1500m relays. Info at www.iaaf.org.
The International Gymnastics Federation (FIG) has announced the death of Romania’s Maria Simionescu on 21 August at the age of 85. She was one of the key figures in women’s artistic gymnastics, as an educator, national coach and senior FIG official. A graduate of the National Sports Institute, she was appointed head coach of the Romanian gymnastics team, which she took to three editions of the Games (Melbourne 1956, Rome 1960 and Tokyo 1964). In 1972, she was elected a member of the FIG’s Women’s Artistic Technical Committee. More info at www.fig-gymnastics.com.
NATIONAL OLYMPIC COMMITTEES
The Colombian NOC has informed us that medallists and participants from the London Games were the main protagonists in the 34th solidarity race for Colombia, organised in Bogotá. Mariana Pajón, Carlos Mario Oquendo, Yuri Alvear and Jackeline Rentería, all Olympic medallists, were present. On this occasion, the President of the Republic, Juan Manuel Santos, praised the work of Colombia’s athletes.
In addition, the Colombian NOC paid tribute to shooter Helmut Bellingtodt on the 40th anniversary of him winning his medal (silver) in Munich – Colombia’s first Olympic medal. This ceremony was held in the presence of NOC President Baltazar Medina and First Vice-President Ciro Solano Hurtado. At the Los Angeles Games in 1984, Bellingtodt, currently Colombia’s consul to Havana (Cuba), again won a silver medal, thus becoming the first Colombian with two Olympic medals. Info at www.coc.org.co.
According to a press release from the Guatemalan NOC, the first Guatemalan Olympic medallist, race walker Erick Bernabé Barrondo García, received the Sovereign Order of the National Congress (rank of knight), from the President of the Congress of the Republic of Guatemala, Gudy Rivera. Barrondo García won the silver medal in the 20km race walk in London. This ceremony was held in the presence of all the deputies of the Congress and part of the Guatemalan Olympic delegation from the London Games. Info at www.cog.org.gt.
The Uzbek NOC has informed us of the death of its Secretary General, Mukhamadali Karimov, on 24 August. Karimov played an important role in promoting the Olympic Movement in his country, as well as in establishing independent boxing schools. Info at www.olympic.uz.
ORGANISING COMMITTEES FOR THE OLYMPIC GAMES
In a press release dated 21 August, the Organising Committee for the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games in 2014 in Sochi announced that, to mark the start of the Paralympic Games in London, the mascots of the Sochi Paralympic Winter Games, “Ray of Light” and “Snowflake” (photo), were released for sale by Sochi 2014 licensees. These two fantasy characters were chosen in February 2011 by Paralympic champions, as part of a national competition. More info at www.sochi2014.com.
On 30 August in London during the XIV Paralympic Games, five people were inducted into the IPC Paralympic Hall of Fame. They are athletes Chris Holmes, Trischa Zorn, Louise Sauvage and Roberto Marson, who together have won 100 Paralympic medals, as well as Paralympic athlete-turned-coach Frank Ponta. Full info on www.paralympic.org.
The deadline for submission to take part in the 30th Sports Movies and TV 2012 International Festival will be on 10 September 2012 at 6 p.m. This festival will be held in Milan (Italy) from 5 to 9 December 2012 following the 30th anniversary celebrations of the founding of the International Federation of Sports TV and Movies (FICTS). More info on www.ficts.com.