IOC President Thomas Bach expressed the shared sadness of the whole world of sport following the announcement of the passing of Nelson Mandela. “The Olympic Movement is mourning the loss of a great friend and a hero of humanity,” said President Bach, who had met Mandela personally. “However, his attitude towards sport can make us proud – proud at his understanding of the potential of sport to bring inclusion,” he added. At a meeting at the IOC on 6 December, Sam Ramsamy, IOC member in South Africa and a leading member of the anti-apartheid movement, paid tribute to Nelson Mandela for his “understanding of sport as a uniting factor”. To honour his memory, the IOC decided to fly the Olympic flag in front of its headquarters at half-mast for three days.
President Bach weelcomed the members of the IOC Press Commission, who met on 6 December with IOC member Richard Kevan Gosper in the chair for the last time.
This week, President Bach met Nick Hayek, CEO of the Swatch Group, and Stephen Urquhart, president of Omega. A Worldwide Olympic Partner, Omega has been the official Olympic Games timekeeper since 1932.
In Vidy on 4 December, lOC President Thomas Bach, FC Barcelona chairman Sandro Rosell, and Olympafrica Foundation president Lassana Palenfo, who is also president of the Association of National Olympic Committees of Africa (ANOCA) and an IOC honorary member, signed a new memorandum of understanding to provide access to sport for people of all ages and abilities living in Africa. The agreement paves the way for the development and implementation of the Olympafrica FutbolNet Cup programme in the 39 Olympafrica centres throughout the continent in order to promote the values of sport and education until 2016.
A little earlier in the day, President Bach addressed representatives of the six cities vying to host the 2022 Olympic Winter Games, who were attending a two-day information seminar in Saint-Sulpice (Switzerland). The IOC President called on the delegates to be creative with their bid projects and engage as soon as possible with their respective publics to explain the benefits of hosting the Games and thus build support (see “Olympic Games”).
President Bach welcomed Klaus Schwab, founder and executive chairman of the World Economic Forum, IOC member Ser Miang Ng and IOC honorary member Lassana Palenfo to Vidy this week.
President Bach also met Ulrich Wilhelm, director general of the German public broadcaster ARD, in Geneva.
Last weekend in Paris (France), President Bach attended the centennial gala dinner of the International Fencing Federation (FIE), where he was joined in particular by IOC Honorary President Jacques Rogge and IOC members Craig Reedie, Nawal El Moutawakel, Timothy Tsun Ting Fok, Claudia Bokel, Adam Pengilly and Tony Estanguet.
In Monte-Carlo on 5 December, Jacques Rogge was awarded the 2013 International Philately Grand Prix, one of the most prestigious international philately awards. The IOC Honorary President received the prize from ASCAT (International Association of Stamp Catalogue, Stamp Album and Philatelic Magazine Publishers) in recognition of his dedication to the Olympic Movement and the Olympic Museum in Lausanne, and his support for philately. The ceremony took place during the gala dinner at the “MonacoPhil 2013” exhibition. The Principality of Monaco issued a stamp to commemorate the award.
Claudia Bokel, chair of the IOC Athletes’ Commission, has been appointed ambassador of WISE, the first ever international convention for careers in sport, which will be held in Lausanne on 7 and 8 May 2014. This convention will provide a forum for discussion between sports professionals, active athletes and former athletes who have already entered the business world.
The 2014 edition of the IOC World Conference on Prevention of Injury and Illness in Sport will be held in Monte-Carlo, Monaco, from 10 to 12 April 2014, in collaboration with the Principality. To register or learn more, visit the official conference website.
INTERNATIONAL SPORTS FEDERATIONS
Held in Paris (France) last week, the centennial Congress of the International Fencing Federation (FIE) took a number of decisions. The Russian cities of Kazan and Moscow were selected to host the 2014 and 2015 world championships respectively. The delegates of the 130 national federations present in Paris voted on subjects related to the programme for the Rio Games. The federations of Ghana and Samoa became members of the FIE, which now has 149 affiliated federations. The FIE was awarded the fair play trophy of the International Fair Play Committee (CIFP) in honour of its efforts to promote the idea of fair play among young people worldwide. More information about the Congress decisions can be found at www.fie.org
The Executive Committee of the International Gymnastics Federation (FIG) met at the federation’s head office in Lausanne on 21 and 22 November. The FIG Foundation Council decided to send aid to the Gymnastics Association of the Philippines following the powerful typhoon that struck the country in November. The new Athletes’ Commission is now complete and will meet in Lausanne on 24 January 2014 to elect a president. The other subjects discussed include the FIG code of ethics, anti-doping tests and changes of nationality. The next Executive Committee meeting will be held in Lausanne on 27 and 28 February 2014. Info at www.fig-gymnastics.com
A total of 17 players from all over the world have been nominated by their national federations as candidates for the first ever Athletes’ Commission of the International Handball Federation (IHF). The election will take place from 8 to 10 December, when the athletes themselves will choose their representatives on the five-member commission. Info at www.ihf.info
From 29 November to 3 December, the Judo for Peace Commission of the International Judo Federation (IJF) organised a seminar in Lusaka (Zambia). Six countries from southern Africa participated: Zambia, Botswana, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Malawi and Swaziland. The agenda included a presentation of the commission’s philosophy and activities, and the organisation of a mixed team competition for cadets, based on the same principle as the Youth Olympic Games. More than 1,000 spectators watched this tournament. The seminar also provided an opportunity to lay the first stone of the future national judo training centre, which is being constructed in cooperation with the local authorities, financed by the IJF and situated in the heart of the Olympic Youth Development Centre. Info at www.ijf.org
The International Swimming Federation (FINA) informs us that the 2014 edition of the Diving World Series will comprise a record six meets, held in five regions: Asia, the Middle East, Europe, North and Central America. The cities of London (Great Britain), Windsor (Canada) and Monterrey (Mexico) will make their entry and join Beijing (People’s Republic of China), Dubai (United Arab Emirates) and Moscow (Russian Federation) as host cities. Info at www.fina.org
The 65th Congress of the Union Internationale de Pentathlon Moderne (UIPM) was held in Limassol (Cyprus), attracting delegates from almost 50 countries. The names of the 2013 Best Competitions were announced at the Congress. The federations of Costa Rica, Nepal, Malaysia, Sri Lanka and Kosovo joined the UIPM, while those of Hong Kong and Peru had their membership reactivated. A Sport for All Commission was also set up. The next Congress will take place in Sofia (Bulgaria) from 28 to 31 November 2014. Full list of decisions at www.pentathlon.org
In order to attract the younger generation to become table tennis coaches, the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) coaching manuals are now available in electronic form. These e-manuals are available in English and Spanish, with French and Arabic versions to be added at a later date. The paper versions, which have been used to train over 10,000 coaches, exist in English, French, Spanish, Arabic, Estonian, Farsi and Portuguese. Info at www.ittf.com
National Olympic Committees
Alfons Hörmann, president of the German Skiing Federation, was elected president of the German NOC (DOSB) for one year at the DOSB General Assembly on 7 December in Wiesbaden. Hörmann’s predecessor, IOC President Thomas Bach, was unanimously elected DOSB honorary president. Info at www.dosb.de
As part of its 2013–2016 action plan, the Algerian NOC has taken numerous initiatives to help female ex-athletes to develop new skills and continue their career in the world of sport. For example, in partnership with the International Volleyball Federation (FIVB), Olympic Solidarity and the Algerian Volleyball Federation, the NOC is organising a training course for coaches at the Ain Benian Sports Institute from 4 to 15 December 2013. A total of 25 female volleyball players from all generations attended the opening of the course, which is the first of its kind. Info at www.comiteolympiquealgerien.com
The Bahrain Olympic Committee recently celebrated Bahrain Women’s Day by paying tribute to its female staff members. The ceremony took place at the NOC’s headquarters, in the presence of the chair of its Women and Sport Commission and Executive Committee member, Hayat bint Abdulaziz Al Khalifa. Also at the beginning of December, the NOC’s Sports Training and Development Section organised a workshop entitled “Recovery and Regeneration”. The workshop was conducted by Australian lecturer Angela Calder, an expert in coaching science.
The President of the Republic of Costa Rica has presented the NOC of Costa Rica with the Order of Merit for peace and democracy, the highest national decoration. This award recognises the activities and the important role of the Olympic Movement in Costa Rica, particularly thanks to the efforts of coaches, sports administrators and athletes, as well as the success of the NOC’s programmes in the sports and social fields. The President of Costa Rica, Laura Chinchilla, presented the award to the NOC president, Henry Nuñez, in the presence of the country’s top athletes and the members of the NOC’s Executive Committee. Info at www.concrc.org
The 2013 IOC “150th anniversary of Pierre de Coubertin, sport as a school of life” trophy has been awarded to Richard Banda SC, husband of the President of Malawi, in recognition of his contribution to and support for the development of the Olympic Movement in his country. Honorary member of the NOC of Malawi, he received the trophy from the NOC vice-president, Flora Mwandira, in the presence of the NOC Executive Board members. He was also presented with another award, the Olympic Wreath, in commemoration of the recently completed Mini Olympic Games, to which he made a personal donation. Info at www.moc.org.mw
The NOC of Portugal celebrated its 104th anniversary at a ceremony held in Lisbon, attended by more than 300 people. Broadcast by the sports channel Sport Tv, the ceremony included the presentation of the NOC’s annual awards. Road cycling world champion Rui Costa was awarded the Athlete of the Year trophy (NOC Olympic medal), while the 1984 Olympic marathon champion, Carlos Lopes, received the NOC Olympic Order in honour of his whole career. Meanwhile, João Rodrigues, the Portuguese athlete who has participated in more editions of the Olympic Games than any other (six, soon to be seven in Rio in 2016), received the Merit Medal for promoting Olympism in the country. Info at www.comiteolimpicoportugal.pt
The president of the Czech NOC, Jiří Kejval, received a prize at the 17th Effie Awards, which are presented for the best advertising campaigns in the Czech Republic. The prize in the “social, environmental, health care and cultural marketing” category was awarded to the NOC’s campaign entitled “Žijeme Londýnem” (“We Live for London”). The campaign, which ran for over a year, was designed to promote the Olympic ideals among the public and to encourage them to actively support the Czech athletes at the 2012 London Games. Comprising an exhibition of photographs depicting the most important moments in Czech sports history, an educational programme for schools across the country, and a double-decker bus fitted with the very latest technology, the campaign also had its own website and Facebook page. Info at www.olympic.cz
2022 Olympic Winter Games
The delegates from the six cities vying to host the 2022 Olympic Winter Games participated in an information seminar in Saint-Sulpice this week. Led by the IOC’s Executive Director for the Olympic Games, Gilbert Felli, and Head of Bid City Relations Jacqueline Barrett, the seminar focused on a number of different themes and requirements, in particular legacy and sustainability. The representatives of Almaty (Kazakhstan), Beijing (People’s Republic of China), Krakow (Poland), Lviv (Ukraine), Oslo (Norway) and Stockholm (Sweden) (listed in alphabetical order) were firmly encouraged to adapt these themes in order to meet their local needs and to best serve the interests of their respective cities, regions and countries.
Youth Olympic Games
The medal design competition for the 2014 Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing is now closed. The hundreds of entries received will be examined in December by the IOC judging panel, whose members include the London 2012 Olympic cauldron designer, Thomas Heatherwick, and Olympic medallists Yang Yang (China), Claudia Bokel (Germany) and Yelena Isinbaeva (Russia).
On 3 December, to mark the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) launched a video entitled “All about ability”. The theme chosen by the United Nations this year is “Break Barriers, Open Doors: for an inclusive society and development for all”. The IPC video celebrates the contributions made by athletes with disabilities as agents of change and development in their communities. Watch the video at www.paralympic.org
The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has just launched the free ADAMS athlete whereabouts app for smartphones. More than 25,000 athletes worldwide will benefit from this new tool. The app will be of particular interest to athletes in a registered testing pool who are subject to certain conditions regarding the provision of whereabouts information, particularly for out-of-competition testing. Info at www.wada-ama.org