This week, IOC President Thomas Bach has been in the Republic of Korea, first in Seoul then PyeongChang, the host city of the 2018 Olympic Winter Games, which was the venue for the IOC Debriefing on the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi.
(L to r) Kim Jin-sun, Gunilla Lindberg, President Bach and Hwang Chang-kyu © POCOG
When he arrived in Seoul on 1 July, President Bach spoke to business leaders before attending the signing ceremony for the first national sponsorship contract between the Organising Committee for the 2018 Winter Games in PyeongChang (POCOG), represented by its President, Kim Jin-sun, and Korean telephone operator KT, represented by its CEO, Hwang Chang-kyu. The Chair of the IOC Coordination Commission for the 2018 Games in PyeongChang, Gunilla Lindberg, was also present.
From Seoul, the IOC President travelled the same day to PyeongChang, where he met the Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism, Yoo Jin-ryong; the Governor of Gangwon Province, Choi Moon Soon; POCOG President Kim Jin-sun; Korean NOC President Kim Jung Haeng; and the mayors of the towns that will be hosting the competitions of the 2018 Games, Sim Jae-guk (PyeongChang), Cheon Jeonghwan (Jeongseon) and Choi Myung-hee (Gangneung). He also held a meeting with Dmitry Chernyshenko, the President and CEO of the Sochi 2014 Organising Committee.
President Bach at the 2014 Games Debriefing © POCOG
On the following day, 2 July, President Bach attended the final part of the Debriefing of the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games. Led by the IOC, the eighth edition of the Games Debriefing was a week-long (25 June - 2 July) transfer of knowledge between the Sochi 2014 organisers and the future host cities of PyeongChang 2018, Rio 2016 and Tokyo 2020. Representatives from each of the 2022 Winter Games Applicant Cities were also in attendance. Over 360 representatives of future host cities heard invaluable advice about Games management best practices as well as the real-life Sochi experiences of 65 top leaders of February’s highly successful edition of the Games, which President Bach had described as “the athletes’ Games”.
Speaking at the event, President Bach said, “The Olympic Winter Games have been going from strength to strength with each passing edition, and Sochi has continued that trend. For example, television audiences broke all records with a broadcast audience growth of 11 per cent from Vancouver 2010, while here in Korea, over 38 million people tuned in to watch Sochi 2014.” He added that: “This growth is down to an ever-improving product, which is being delivered by ever-more knowledgeable organisers, with better resources at their disposal. This is thanks to the support provided by the IOC, as we help Games organisers through events like the official Debriefing, services like Olympic Games knowledge management, and also financially, as we have contributed around USD 750 million to support the organisation of the Sochi Games.”
The exchanges also focused on Games legacy, with the Debriefing clearly showing the depth of the human legacy that the Games have left to Russia, with thousands of young Russians who worked or volunteered in Sochi now using their Games knowledge to benefit other areas of society, and demonstrating Russia’s ability to deliver international projects. There will be a specific Paralympic Games debrief held from 4 to 5 July.
Before leaving PyeongChang, the IOC President attended the signing ceremony for the second national sponsorship contract, between POCOG and The North Face, a company specialising in outdoor sports apparel and accessories. He also visited the PyeongChang mountain cluster, which will host the ski jumping, cross country skiing and biathlon competitions, and the Gangneung cluster, which will host the ice events.
Back in Seoul, President Bach met World Taekwondo Federation (WTF) President Dr. Choue Chungwon. He also had dinner with Samsung Vice-Chairman Jay Lee.
Before travelling to the Republic of Korea, President Bach had spoken by telephone with the Ukrainian Prime Minister, Arseniy Yatsenyuk, and Ukrainian NOC President Sergey Bubka about the city of Lviv’s candidature to host the Olympic Winter Games in 2022. After positive discussions, all parties agreed that Lviv will turn its attention to an Olympic bid for 2026, and not continue with its application for 2022. This decision comes as a result of the present political and economic circumstances in Ukraine, which were discussed between the three parties. “The preliminary evaluation by the IOC’s working group found that the Lviv bid offered huge potential for future development”, President Bach observed. The Ukrainian Prime Minister agreed that “a bid for 2026 would have excellent potential for the economic recovery of the country, and could have huge benefits for Ukrainian society”. For his part, NOC President Sergey Bubka added: “We would like to thank the IOC very much for its help and understanding, as well as the great assistance that it has given to Ukrainian athletes from all parts of the country, both morally and financially”.
Habu Gumel is one of the lecturers at the International Sports Leadership Academy currently being hosted by the Japanese NOC in Tokyo. (See also the “NOCs” section below.)
The Finance Commission and Pension Fund Foundation Board, chaired by Ser Miang Ng, both met this week in Lausanne.
The Audit Committee, chaired by Pierre-Olivier Beckers-Vieujant, also held its meeting in Lausanne this week.
INTERNATIONAL SPORTS FEDERATIONS
Young weightlifters celebrating Olympic Day in Kazan © IWF
While competing in the 2014 Junior World Weightlifting Championships, which were held in Kazan (Russian Federation) from 20 to 28 June, the young athletes celebrated Olympic Day. Accompanying them were International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) President and IOC honorary member Tamas Aján, IWF Secretary General Ma Wenguang and three-time Olympic champion Pyrros Dimas. Details on www.iwf.net.
The Scientific Commission of the International Federation of Associated Wrestling Styles (FILA) recently oversaw the signing of an agreement for collaborative coursework, seminars and research on the sport of wrestling between the University of Guilan (Iran) and the Democritus University of Thrace (Greece). The agreement came shortly after the Greco-Roman World Cup in Tehran (Iran), with members of the FILA Scientific Commission taking part in the discussions. Details on www.fila-wrestling.com.
The International Swimming Federation (FINA), in partnership with Omega, has just launched the FINA General Management System - FINA GMS, an online system that will streamline event management processes and FINA administration procedures for the main FINA events. At the core of the FINA GMS is a custom-designed database that enables a transfer of knowledge and of information from event to event, leading to simplified coordination between FINA and its organising committees, and enhancing the value of its competitions. The system will first be used for the FINA World Swimming Championships (25m) and FINA World Aquatics Convention in Doha (Qatar), in December this year. Details on www.fina.org.
The International Tennis Federation (ITF) has announced the countries taking part in the 2014 ITF Beach Tennis World Team Championship at the National Tennis Centre in Moscow (Russian Federation) from 17 to 20 July. The event is being hosted by the Russian Tennis Federation for the third year running. A record 25 teams each composed of two men and two women will be competing in the Championship. Details on www.itftennis.com.
The International Sailing Federation (ISAF) is now inviting all its Member National Authorities to bid for the 2018 ISAF Youth Sailing World Championship. This annual competition has been organised every year since 1971. The 44th edition will be held from 12 to 19 July this year in Tavira (Portugal). The next editions will then be in Langkawi (Malaysia) in 2015, Al Musannah (Oman) in 2016, and Akko (Israel) in 2017. The bid submission deadline is 1 October 2014. Details on www.isaf.org.
At its meeting on 24 June, the Executive Committee of the International Basque Pelota Federation (FIPV) created an Electoral Commission to oversee the election of the FIPV President scheduled for 16 September this year in Mexico, during the General Assembly. During the meeting, the Executive Committee also approved the request of the Guinean Federation of Basque Pelota for temporary affiliation. Details on www.fipv.net.
The International Surfing Association (ISA) has just announced that Algeria has become the 85th ISA member nation. The ISA now has 13 member nations in Africa. Details on www.isasurf.org.
NATIONAL OLYMPIC COMMITTEES
The course participants © Argentinean NOC
On 26 and 27 June, the Argentinean NOC hosted an advanced sports management course under the auspices of Olympic Solidarity. On this occasion, the participants presented their case studies on strategic planning in sports organisations. Details on www.coarg.org.ar.
Visit to the RIA Centre in Bahrain © Bahraini NOC
The funds raised by the Walkathon, organised by the Bahraini NOC and the British Embassy in Bahrain a year after the Games in London in 2012, have been given to the RIA Centre. Originally intended for children suffering from autism, this Centre has now been expanded to accept students with other learning and social interaction difficulties, and offers educational and recreational activities. NOC Secretary General Abdulrahman Askar and the Embassy’s Deputy Head of Mission, Russ Dixon, handed over the funds when they visited the Centre and its various facilities.
Olympic Day Run in China © Chinese NOC
On 21 June, the Chinese NOC commemorated Olympic Day simultaneously in Beijing and in 18 other cities around the country. This 28th edition saw over 30,000 people aged from 5 to 65 and from all social backgrounds taking part. NOC Vice-Presidents Yang Shu’an and Xiao Tian also took part in the celebrations, together with a number of Olympians, including champions Li Jianrou (short-track speed skating, Sochi 2014), Zhang Hui (short-track speed skating, Vancouver 2010) and Han Xiaopeng (freestyle skiing, Turin 2006). Among the activities on offer as well as the Run were boxing, aerobics, cycling and dragon dance. Details on www.olympic.cn.
Andres Botero (in the centre) played an active part in the Olympic Day celebrations in Medellin © Gustavo Tangarife (INDER Medellín)
In Medellin, Olympic Day saw over 9,000 people take part in the activities organised, including a number of Olympians and IOC member Andres Botero, who cycled the 15km on the programme alongside Armando Farfan, Director General of the Colombian NOC, and David Mora from INDER (Sport and Leisure Institute) Medellin. The NOC and the local INDER office invited the people of Medellin to celebrate Olympic Day by walking, pedalling or skating. Details on www.coc.org.co.
Spanish NOC presentation, with President Alejandro Blanco in the centre © Spanish NOC
On 2 July, Spanish NOC President Alejandro Blanco presented an anti-doping research project based on the human body’s immune system. This scientific project is being supported financially by the IOC. Also involved in this NOC-led project are the Directorate General for Sports of the Community of Madrid, the IMDEA Nanociencia Foundation, the CEU-San Pablo University and the Grupo Hospitales de Madrid Foundation. Details on www.coe.es.
Olympic Day Run in Guatemala City © Guatemalan NOC
The “Ciudad de los Deportes” in Guatemala City hosted the country’s 27th edition of the Olympic Day Run on 29 June. Around 3,000 runners of all ages and backgrounds took up the invitation from the Guatemalan NOC to run either 4 or 12 km. The Run was started by Olympic silver medallist Erick Barrondo. As well as athletes, there were also the NOC Executive Committee members, including NOC President Gerardo Aguirre, and numerous competitors in wheelchairs. The Run was organised jointly by the NOC and the Autonomous Sports Confederation of Guatemala. Details on www.cog.org.gt.
(From l to r) Rita Subowo, Sri Wahyuni Agustiani, Syarah Anggraini, Ms Supeni and weightlifting federation representatives. © Indonesian NOC
On 27 June, the Indonesian NOC organised a ceremony to celebrate the success of two Indonesian medallists at this year’s Junior World Weightlifting Championships in Kazan: Sri Wahyuni Agustiani, who won gold in the 48kg category, and Syarah Anggraini, who won bronze in the 53kg category. NOC President and IOC member Rita Subowo presented them with a cheque and congratulated them, as did their coach, Ms Supeni, one of the most successful weightlifting coaches in Indonesia, and an excellent example for female coaches in the country. The two athletes also received a tablet from NOC sponsor Samsung. Details on www.nocindonesia.or.id.
The participants in the 2014 International Sports Leadership Academy © Japanese NOC
Since 27 June, a total of 43 participants have been taking part in the International Sports Leadership Academy organised by the Japanese NOC with the support of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology. For eight weeks, they will follow 80 classes at the National Training Centre in Tokyo. Since the Academy was created in 2011, more than 60 people have enrolled, with 27 in the class of 2014. The lecturers this year include IOC member Habib Gumel. The mission of the Academy is to develop competences in the areas of leadership, management and communication for leaders within sports institutions and in the organisation of national and international sports events. Details on www.joc.or.jp.
ORGANISING COMMITTEES FOR THE OLYMPIC GAMES
Eleven years after winning the right to host the 2010 Olympic Winter Games, the Vancouver Organising Committee (VANOC) has released its final financial and operational report showing a positive financial outcome and no liabilities, officially bringing its activities to a close. After publishing this report, dissolving the Board of Administration and closing the project, VANOC has achieved its goal: to deliver successful Games with lasting, debt-free legacies. The IOC acted as a key player in enabling VANOC to achieve this positive financial outcome as it contributed a total of USD 721 million to the Olympic Games budget. This Olympic Games budget was almost entirely privately funded, with a large contribution by the IOC from revenues received through the sale of broadcast rights and through the Olympic Partner Programme, TOP. From new state-of-the art sports facilities, venues, transport and infrastructure improvements to environmental and economic benefits, Vancouver used the Olympic Winter Games as a catalyst to inspire shared pride and unity from coast to coast, and to create a number of lasting legacies.
Two years after the Games, a new report puts the reach of the International Inspiration Programme – the cornerstone of the London 2012 Organising Committee’s international legacy initiative – at over 25 million young people in 20 countries worldwide. When Sebastian Coe first presented this programme in 2005, the initial target was set at 12 million youngsters. It turns out the programme, like the London 2012 Olympic Games themselves, far exceeded expectations. The final evaluation report, which was prepared by the independent evaluation and monitoring organisation Ecorys UK, outlined the programme’s objectives, impact, and the extent to which it had delivered a sustainable legacy. In addition to inspiring 25 million young people through sport, the programme was also found to have successfully provided sports training to over a quarter of a million teachers, coaches and leaders and influenced 55 national policies, strategies and legislative changes. According to the report, the programme has brought wider benefits for children and young people in the 20 countries, including healthier lifestyles, increased engagement in education, personal development and social inclusion. The programme was delivered in partnership with UK Sport, the British Council, UNICEF UK and the legacy charity International Inspiration.
The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) has announced that, for the first time, it will honour all Paralympic Games medallists by awarding them with dedicated, unique gold, silver or bronze coloured pins. These pins will be given to winners of medals according to their results from the Sochi 2014 Games onwards, including the guides of visually impaired athletes. A total of 182 athletes and guides from Sochi 2014 will receive 363 of the first edition pins. Details on www.paralympic.org.
Please note that, in the previous edition of the Highlights, the copyright of the photo illustrating the World Archery text is “WA” not “FITA”.