- 11 Dec 2009
- Olympic News
Highlights of the Week
Last weekend, IOC President Jacques Rogge was in Hong Kong for the 5th East Asian Games. Besides the Opening Ceremony, President Rogge attended several competitions, accompanied in particular by Hong Kong NOC President and IOC member Timothy Tsun Ting Fok.
Back in Lausanne this week, President Rogge led the discussions at the year’s last meeting of the IOC Executive Board (EB) on 9 and 10 December. The main decisions taken included the reallocation of the medals won by Marion Jones at the 2000 Games in Sydney, and the approval of the qualifications system for each event of the first Winter Youth Olympic Games (YOG) in Innsbruck in 2012.
With respect to the Olympic programme, the EB approved the addition of a mixed doubles tennis event, as well as several changes to the track cycling programme for the Games in 2012 in London.
The EB also retained six candidates – three men and three women – for election as IOC members. The election will take place during the 122nd IOC Session in February 2010 in Vancouver. The six candidates are: Prince Feisal bin Al-Hussein, President of the Jordanian NOC; Maria de la Soledad Casado Estupiñan, President of the International Triathlon Union; Barry John Maister, Secretary General of the New Zealand NOC and Olympic hockey champion; Dagmawit Girmay Berhane, Secretary General of the Ethiopian NOC; Patrick McQuaid, President of the International Cycling Union; and Yang Yang, Chinese Olympic speed skating champion.
The EB was also informed about progress in the Olympic projects by the Presidents of the Organising Committees and the Chairmen of the Coordination Commissions for the Games in Vancouver and London. For the Games in Sochi and Rio de Janeiro, the IOC Olympic Games Executive Director presented a brief report. Reports on preparations for the YOG in Singapore and Innsbruck were also given.
The EB granted provisional IOC recognition to the World Transplant Games Federation (WTGF), and full recognition to the International Federation of Sport Climbing (IFSC), the Union Internationale Motonautique (UIM) and the International Cricket Council (ICC). The EB also granted recognition to the “Generations for Peace” organisation.
On 9 December, the EB held its traditional meeting with the Executive Council of the Association of National Olympic Committees (ANOC).
Copyright: IOC/Arnaud Meylan
President Rogge presented the Olympic Order to Minos Kyriakou, the former President of the Hellenic NOC and the International Olympic Academy. He has been a member of the IOC Commission for Culture and Olympic Education since 2006.
During these Olympic meetings, President Rogge also held discussions with several IOC members present on this occasion.
The Radio & TV Commission, the Olympic Solidarity Commission and the Finance Commission, whose Chairmen are President Rogge, Mario Vázquez Raña and Richard Carrión, respectively, met this week in Lausanne.
Through the Medical Commission, a meeting held at the start of December in Lausanne brought together experts from the medical and sporting worlds to discuss the subject of determining the age of young athletes. The falsification or manipulation of information about the age of an athlete is a challenge that needs to be addressed in all sports, especially team ones. The objective of the meeting was to find points of agreement on the next stages needed to advance in this area, such as defining important research projects in order to develop methods/lines of conduct that are more reliable and valid in determining age.
As announced last week, representatives of the three Applicant Cities for the Olympic Winter Games in 2018 – Munich (Germany), Annecy (France), and PyeongChang (Republic of Korea) – took part in an information seminar in Lausanne. The key themes of the seminar included legacy and progress in economic, environmental and social areas, which are themes which the representatives of the three Applicant Cities were strongly encouraged to start preparing as soon as possible. Furthermore, following this seminar, the applicant committees of the three cities will put into practice what they learnt, with respect to their preparations, before participating in the Observer Programme in Vancouver in February 2010. See the story on www.olympic.org.
Furthermore, at its meeting this week, the EB drew lots to decide the official order of the Applicant Cities. The order is now as follows: Munich, Annecy and PyeongChang. This official order will be used throughout the candidature procedure when the cities are mentioned in press releases, IOC documents, etc., as well as for the cities’ presentations.
On 4 December, the name of the first winner of the IOC “Best of Us” Challenge was announced. The lucky winner is Grant Gibbons from Sterling (USA), who, after a drawing of lots, wins a trip for two to the Olympic Games in Vancouver in 2010. He had sent in a video showing how he rose to the challenge set by Estonian Olympian Gerd Kanter, in which he had to pick up discs with his foot. Take a look on http://thebestofuschallenge.olympic.org! This challenge will continue throughout 2010, and the participants who send in their videos to the web site remain in the running to win many other prizes. Since its launch last October, this challenge has recorded more than 2.5 million hits from over 200 countries throughout the world. Press release on www.olympic.org.
INTERNATIONAL SPORTS FEDERATIONS
Frederick W. Holder, the Honorary Vice-President of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), died on 21 November. During his sports administration career, he held the function of IAAF Honorary Secretary-Treasurer from 1970 to 1976, then Honorary Treasurer until 1984. He was also a member of many of the IF’s committees. An honorary member of the European Athletics Association Council, Holder also received the Olympic Order in 1980. Info on www.iaaf.org.
Italy’s Riccardo Fraccari was elected as President of the International Baseball Federation (IBAF) on 6 December during the IF’s continental meetings and Congress. He succeeds Harvey W. Schiller, who had led the IBAF since mid-2007. Recently re-elected as First Vice-President of the European Baseball Confederation (CEB), Fraccari has also been IBAF Continental Vice-President for Europe, as well as President of the Italian Federation since 2001. Info on www.ibaf.org.
The International Hockey Federation (FIH) has announced the names of its Players of the Year 2009. In the women’s category, Argentina’s Luciana Aymar and the Netherland’s Naomi van As received the same number of votes. This is the sixth title for Aymar. Australia’s Jamie Dwyer was awarded the men’s title for the third time. Finally, in the young player category, the winners were Australia’s Casey Eastham and England’s Ashley Jackson. Info on www.worldhockey.org.
The International Triathlon Union (ITU) has informed us of the death of its Head of Communications, Peter Holmes, while hiking in the mountains in Vancouver (Canada). Aged 24, Holmes had joined the ITU nine months ago, after occupying a similar position within the British federation. Info on www.triathlon.org.
Meeting in Aberdeen (Scotland) during its European Championships, the World Curling Federation (WCF) Executive Board announced that the 2012 World Men’s Curling Championship has been awarded to the Swiss city of Basle. This competition will take place from 31 March to 8 April 2012. Information on www.worldcurling.org.
NATIONAL OLYMPIC COMMITTEES
The United States Olympic Committee has informed us that Carol Zaleski, the former President of USA Swimming, received the 2009 George M. Steinbrenner III Sport Leadership Award at a ceremony held in New York at the beginning of December. This trophy is awarded every year by the United States Olympic Foundation to honour an outstanding member of the Olympic family who has contributed to sport through management, or who has shown qualities of leadership, ethical conduct and commitment to sport. More info on www.usolympicteam.com.
The British Olympic Association (BOA) has informed us that the annual Pierre de Coubertin Lecture, presented by the London Organising Committee for the Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2012 (LOCOG) and the British Olympic Foundation (BOF), the BOA’s charitable arm, had, as its keynote speaker, the Oscar-winning “Chariots of Fire” producer, Lord David Puttnam. He spoke on the theme of “The Olympic Movement and the 21st Century – has the dream held?” and discussed the relevance today of Coubertin’s original ideals. On the discussion panel were Jonathan Edwards, Kriss Akabusi, Munira Mirza and Tony Hall, Chairman of the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad Board. Read the news story on www.olympics.org.uk/news.
The Uzbek NOC has hosted the President of the World Olympians Association (WOA), Richard Fosbury, who was visiting Uzbekistan to study this country’s experience of educating and training its young Olympians, as well as supporting retired Olympians in the process of their social integration after their sports career. The various projects and activities led by the NOC and the Uzbekistan Olympians Association, which was created in 2004, and whose President is Vera Duyunova, include a three-stage system of sports competitions among school, college and university students. This initiative was launched by the President of Uzbekistan. NOC Secretary General Mukhamadali Karimov and WOA Cultural Commission member Barbara Tomassi were also present.
The Peruvian NOC, whose President is José Quiñones Gonzalez, has awarded prizes to the winners of the “Olympic Spirit” literary competition, organised by the Olympic Promotion Commission chaired by Peggy Baldwin. Pamela Gerónimo Gonzales from the San Andrés College won the first prize for an essay entitled “La Excelencia de si mismo”’ [The Excellence of Oneself]. Irlanda Antuanet Gonzales Gonzales and Rayza Michelle Farroñay Ángeles, from the 7047 School in Tacna (Barranco), won the second and third prizes.
Stephanie Piquerez (athletics) and Daniel González (equestrian) are the two young Uruguayan athletes selected by the Uruguayan NOC to participate in the friendship camp at the beginning of December in Singapore, in the framework of the Summer Youth Olympic Games in 2010. Before leaving for the camp, these young athletes were received at the NOC headquarters and congratulated by the NOC President, Julio César Maglione, who is also an IOC member.
YOUTH OLYMPIC GAMES
Since 7 December, the IOC has given the public the possibility of deciding the design of the medal which will be awarded to the young athletes in Singapore in 2010. Thirty-four countries from the five continents were represented among the entries to the online medal design competition, which was held from 7 November to 4 December. Take a look at the gallery of medals on www.medaldesigncompetition.com and vote for the best design until 22 January 2010.
The six Olympic Solidarity offices (Abuja, Mexico City, Kuwait, Rome, Suva and Lausanne) met for the fifth time on 4 and 5 December at the IOC headquarters in Lausanne. This annual meeting is an essential tool for strengthening exchanges of knowledge and ideas within the various offices, thus underlining the reinforcement of Olympic Solidarity’s network on a global level. It also provided an opportunity to evaluate a number of joint projects and to identify a series of recommendations concerning the management of Olympic Solidarity’s programmes, which were then presented to the Olympic Solidarity Commission at its meeting on 7 December in Lausanne.
On 15 and 16 December, Ouagadougou, the capital of Burkina Faso, will play host to the annual NOC Secretaries General seminar, organised by the Association of National Olympic Committees of Africa (ANOCA). Representatives of 53 African NOCs and ANOCA partners will meet under the main theme, “For better communication between the Secretary General and the member NOCs”, and will also discuss subjects as diverse as organising an NOC general secretariat; women and sport – new perspectives; sports marketing; and preparing for Singapore 2010.
In last week’s ”IOC Activities / IOC President” section, please note that, at the WADA gala dinner in Stockholm, IOC members Gunilla Lindberg and Pernilla Wiberg were also present.