On 10 December, IOC President Thomas Bach officially received the keys to the IOC from Honorary President Jacques Rogge at a ceremony held at the Olympic Museum in Lausanne and attended by IOC Executive Board members, several IOC members, representatives of the Canton of Vaud and the City of Lausanne, and some 200 guests. This ceremony preceded the official inauguration of the entirely revamped Olympic Museum and was followed by a tour of the new exhibitions. The Museum, which uses the latest technological innovations and a new museographic approach, will reopen its doors to the public on 21 December (see also under “Olympic Museum”).
A few hours earlier, President Bach chaired the first Executive Board (EB) meeting since his election in September. The agenda of the EB’s final meeting of the year included the Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, concerning which the President and CEO of the Organising Committee, Dmitry Chernyshenko, updated the EB by video conference on the state of preparations with 59 days to go until the start of the Games. The EB was informed that, after discussions with the IOC, the authorities planned to set up a protest zone in the city of Sochi.
In the context of the Sochi Games, the EB also discussed Rules 40 and 50 of the Olympic Charter. Information will be sent to the athletes and NOCs about how these rules will be implemented.
During a presentation by the Rio 2016 Organising Committee, the EB noted the progress made since its last meeting in Buenos Aires. President Bach intends to meet Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff before the Winter Games in Sochi to ensure close cooperation between Rio 2016 and all levels of government. He also underlined the IOC’s continuing commitment to the success of the Games.
The EB welcomed the news that the currently suspended NOC of India had agreed to amend an important clause in its constitution. Should the NOC not be able to complete the remaining steps of the agreed roadmap by the start of the Sochi Games, the EB decided that any Indian athlete that qualified to compete at the Games would be allowed to compete as an independent Olympic participant under the Olympic flag. The EB also made it clear that, in this event, no Indian flags or symbols would be used at the Games.
On the subject of ethics, the EB heard a report on IOC member Dae Sung Moon, who had been accused of plagiarism in relation to his doctorate thesis. More than a year and a half after the investigation had started in April 2012, and in the absence of a decision by the university responsible, the members of the IOC Ethics Commission considered it impossible to leave the file open and recommended that the case be closed. However, if new elements emerged, the case could be reconsidered.
Concerning the consolidation of the IOC headquarters, the EB looked at three projects. The EB members will now follow up with experts to develop the three projects in the near future.
The EB also granted the International Federation of American Football (IFAF) provisional IOC recognition.
At the meeting of the Olympic Museum Foundation Board, Jacques Rogge was appointed honorary president of the Foundation, upon proposal from President Bach.
The EB meeting was preceded by a joint meeting between the EB and the Executive Council of the Association of National Olympic Committees (ANOC). President Bach invited the participants to observe a minute of silence in homage to Nelson Mandela, whose memorial service was held the same morning in South Africa.
President Bach also asked the 204 NOCs across the world to fly their flags at half-mast on Sunday 15 December, the day of Mr Mandela’s funeral and during the two following days.
From 11 to 14 December, the EB met in Montreux to discuss the Olympic Agenda 2020. The ideas developed will be proposed for general debate at the 126th IOC Session in Sochi in February 2014. For a summary of the EB brainstorming seminar, click here.
Among the decisions taken in Montreux, the Olympic Order was awarded to Guido de Bondt, outgoing secretary general of the Belgian NOC. The EB recommended Poul-Erik Hoyer of Denmark, president of the Badminton World Federation (BWF), for election as an IOC member at the 126th IOC Session (candidature linked to his function within an IF). Three IOC members elected in 2006 were also proposed by the EB for re-election at the 126th IOC Session: Beatrice Allen, Nicole Hoevertsz and Tunku Imran.
On 9 December, President Bach took part in the meeting of the Finance Commission, which is being chaired on a temporary basis by IOC member Ser Miang Ng, before greeting the members of the Olympic Solidarity Commission, which was meeting with IOC member Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah in the chair.
Also on 9 December, he participated in the annual meeting of the international sports federations and organisations based in the canton of Vaud, held at the University of Lausanne.
In Vidy this week, President Bach also met the president of the World Squash Federation (WSF), N. Ramachandran, IOC members Ching-Kuo Wu, Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah, Craig Reedie, Robin Mitchell, Sam Ramsamy, Syed Shahid Ali, Ser Miang Ng, John Coates, Juan Antonio Samaranch and Barbara Kendall, and IOC honorary members Carlos Arthur Nuzman and Lassana Palenfo.
At the IOC President’s request, Gerardo Werthein visited the NOC of Haiti and the Olympic Youth Development Centre currently being built in Port-au-Prince as part of the IOC’s Sport for Hope programme.
INTERNATIONAL SPORTS FEDERATIONS
More than 100 representatives of the six member associations of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) took part in the IAAF Global Seminar on Cross Country Running in Belgrade (Serbia) on 9 December. Chaired by IAAF vice-president Sebastian Coe, the seminar addressed the main themes relating to participation at both elite and grassroots level, and cross country running in general. Info at www.iaaf.com
Meeting recently in Lima (Peru), the Board of Directors of the International Canoe Federation (ICF) carried motions to support the inclusion of C1 women’s canoe slalom and 200m sprint at the 2020 Tokyo Games, and to guarantee complete gender equity across both sprint and slalom events by the 2024 Games. These decisions will be proposed to the IOC. Other items on the agenda included increased television coverage, with more than 50 hours of live coverage in 2013 and rising audience figures, and the selection of Pietermartzburg (South Africa) as the venue of the 2017 Canoe Marathon World Championships, and of Nantahala, North Carolina (USA) as the venue of the 2015 Junior Wildwater Canoeing World Championships. Info at www.canoeicf.com
The International Gymnastics Federation (FIG) informs us that Frenchman Georges Guelzec was re-elected as president of the European Gymnastics Union (UEG) for the next four years at the UEG General Assembly in Portorož (Slovenia). FIG president Bruno Grandi and secretary general André F. Gueisbuhler were in attendance. Meanwhile, Jean-Pierre Zerbato, former member of the FIG Executive Committee, passed away on 1 December at the age of 84. Vice-president of the Luxembourg Gymnastics Federation from 1964 to 1972, he joined the FIG Executive Committee in 1968 at the Congress in Rome (Italy) and remained in the post until 1972. Info at www.fig-gymnastics.com
For the eighth time, Argentina’s Luciana Aymar has been named as the Player of the Year for 2013 by the International Hockey Federation (FIH) at a ceremony held at the Argentina Hockey World League final in San Miguel de Tucuman (Argentina). Young Dutchwoman Maria Verschoor (aged 19) was named the FIH Talent of the Year, an award recognising the best players aged 21 or under. The trophies were presented by Pam Stuper, member of the FIH Executive Board. Info at www.fih.ch
Alain Lunzenfichter, journalist at the French sports newspaper “L’Equipe”, has been awarded the gold medal of honour, the highest distinction of the Union Internationale de Pentathlon Moderne (UIPM), for his outstanding contribution to the sport. UIPM president Klaus Schormann will present his medal at a ceremony in Budapest (Hungary) next year. Info at www.pentathlon.org
The inaugural “ITTF Star Awards” will be presented at a ceremony organised in cooperation with the Dubai Sports Council in Dubai on 11 January 2014. A month before the event, the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) released the first promotional video for the awards. It can be watched on the ITTF’s YouTube channel by clicking on www.ittf.com
The International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) has announced the venues of its 2014 and 2015 championships. These events will be conducted in accordance with the new finals format introduced this year. Meanwhile, the ISSF Administrative Council recently approved the 2nd edition of the ISSF Technical Rules for the 2013-2016 period. Info at www.issf-sports.org
A total of 23 young athletes from 14 countries participated in a 30-day training camp at the Stubai and Hintertux glaciers in the Austrian Tyrol. Organised under the framework of the development programme of the International Ski Federation (FIS), the camp, which brought young people together for a whole month, had social as well as purely sporting objectives. Info at www.fis-ski.com
RECOGNISED IFSNATIONAL OLYMPIC COMMITTEES
On 1 December, the traditional gala of the International Motorcycling Federation (FIM) was attended by more than 500 guests in Monaco. Patryk Dudek and Marc Marquez were named FIM Rookie and Rider of the Year respectively. Their awards were presented by FIM president Vito Ippolito. Next year, the FIM will celebrate its 110th anniversary. Info at www.fim-live.com
The International Surfing Association (ISA) recently welcomed the federation of São Tomé and Príncipe as its 78th member. Info at www.isasurf.com
The Japanese NOC
(JOC) has concluded a bilateral partnership agreement with the NOC of Panama, bringing the number of agreements between the JOC and other NOCs to 30. This announcement was made at a press conference attended by JOC president and IOC member Tsunekazu Takeda, JOC vice-president Hirobumi Kawano, Panama NOC president Camilo José Amado Varela and IOC member from Panama Melitón Sánchez Rivas. This partnership is designed to increase the exchange of information on the Olympic Movement, develop athlete and coach exchanges, foster relations between national federations and strengthen anti-doping efforts and cooperation in the marketing and sponsorship sectors. Info at www.joc.or.jp
The president of the Mongolian NOC
, Dagmund Zagdsuren, IOC honorary member Shagdarjav Magvan and other dignitaries attended the inauguration of the Pierre de Coubertin Olympic hall at the middle school in Ulan Bator. The same school received the 2013 IOC “150th anniversary of Pierre de Coubertin, sport as a school of life” trophy, which was presented to the school principal, Ts. Gurragchaa by Shagdarjav Magvan. The hall will be the ideal venue for teaching children about the Olympic ideals.
The NOC of Peru
has been explaining the benefits of sport and the Olympic spirit to pupils, parents and teachers of the Antonio Raimondi school in Cachicoto (Huánuco) at the launch of the sporting values education programme set up by the NOC, the National Committee for Development and Life Without Drugs (Comisión Nacional para el Desarrollo y Vida sin Drogas - DEVIDA) and the El Comercio newspaper. Around 100 children and their teachers attended a conference on sport, the Olympic Games and the way in which sport can change their lives. NOC president José Quiñones González was also in Cachicoto. The Peruvian NOC also informs us that the training workshops it organised as part of the “women and sport” programme under the auspices of Olympic Solidarity have been successfully completed after ten sessions. The themes tackled include ability recognition, prejudice, effective communication and teamwork. Info at www.coperu.org
As part of last year’s celebrations of the centenary of the Olympic Games held in Stockholm, the NOC of Sweden
formed a group of former Swedish Olympians. The group is run by four Olympic champions: Agneta Andersson (canoeing), Jonas Bergqvist (ice hockey), Gunnar Larsson (swimming) and Pernilla Wiberg (Alpine skiing). Last week, the group invited several former Olympians to become ambassadors of their respective sports. They are Bo Gustafsson (athletics), Anders Söderberg (sliding sports), Thomas Åkerberg (fencing), Kent Andersson (wrestling), Sofia Domeij (biathlon), Thomas Lundqvist (sailing) and Jonas Häggbom (sailing). These ambassadors will be responsible for gathering information from other Olympians in their sport, with the aim of increasing the sense of belonging to the Olympic family and encouraging children and young people to try out their sport. Info at www.sok.se
ORGANISING COMMITTEES OF THE OLYMPIC GAMES RIO 2016
Following the launch of its sustainability management plan in August, in cooperation with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the Rio 2016 Organising Committee for the Olympic and Paralympic Games (Rio 2016TM) has taken several initiatives. For example, the first ever sustainability dialogue workshop was held from 2 to 4 December in partnership with UNEP. Over 50 representatives from civil society took part. The aim is to open continuous dialogue with civil society and encourage a collective effort to reduce the ecological footprint of the Games.
On 9 December, Rio 2016 announced an agreement to serve seafood certified by the MSC (Marine Stewardship Council) and ASC (Aquaculture Stewardship Council) at the 2016 Games. All seafood served to athletes, officials and media, and at Olympic venue restaurants, will come from sustainable fisheries (MSC certified) and responsible fish farms (ASC certified). Info at www.rio2016.comYOUTH OLYMPIC GAMES NANJING 2014
The jury members for the Nanjing 2014 Medal Design Competition met on 11 December to select the winner and runners-up. More than 300 people from over 50 countries entered the competition. In Lausanne, the youngest jury member, Aurélie Chaboudez, gold medallist in the 400m hurdles at the 2010 YOG in Singapore, was joined by the IOC’s Olympic Games Executive Director, Gilbert Felli, and the chair of the IOC Athletes’ Commission, Claudia Bokel. Athletes’ Commission member Yang Yang joined the discussion via conference call from Shanghai, while the designer of the London 2012 Olympic cauldron, Thomas Heatherwick, and the YOG ambassador Yelena Isinbaeva dialled in from London and Moscow respectively. The names of the winner and runners-up will be announced shortly.
The Executive Council of the Association of National Olympic Committees (ANOC) held its final meeting of 2013 in Lausanne on 9 December. The creation of nine new commissions and working groups, designed to continue the process of reform and modernisation currently being implemented within the ANOC, was ratified. Elected for one year, these groups and commissions will meet for the first time in Kuwait on 30 March 2014. The Executive Council will also meet in Kuwait the following day. Another important agenda item was the organisation of the ANOC General Assembly in Bangkok (Thailand) from 5 to 9 November 2014, which will feature Executive Council elections, as well as the first ever ANOC gala awards dinner. Info at www.acnolympic.org
Officially inaugurated on 10 December, the Olympic Museum will reopen its doors to the public on 21 December after 23 months of renovation work. Visitors will be able to dive into the history, legacy, dreams, challenges and values that have made the Olympic Movement what it is today. They will start their experience in the Olympic Park, which has been totally redesigned, before entering an exhibition area spanning three levels, which has almost doubled in size to 3,000 m2.