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23 Mar 2012
IOC News

Highlights of the week


On Thursday in Lausanne, the IOC held a highly constructive meeting with the NOC of Saudi Arabia. The two organisations discussed the potential participation of Saudi women in the London 2012 Olympic Games and Saudi Arabia’s traditions and culture. A list of potential female athletes for the Games was presented. This list will be studied by the IOC, in cooperation with the IFs concerned, to assess the level of each athlete. Following this meeting, the IOC is confident that Saudi Arabia is working to include female athletes and officials at the London Olympic Games, in accordance with the rules of the IFs.  


Sheik Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah has been appointed interim President of the Association of National Olympic Committees (ANOC) following the resignation of Mario Vázquez Raña. He is currently ANOC Vice-President for Asia and President of the Olympic Council of Asia.  


The Coordination Commission for the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Winter Games paid its first visit to the South Korean host city from 20 to 22 March. Led by Commission Chairperson Gunilla Lindberg, the Commission members met members of the PyeongChang 2018 Organising Committee and representatives of the national government and local authorities. Read the news story on (News section). 


The International Cycling Union (UCI), whose President is IOC member Pat McQuaid, has sent 44 boxes of clothes to the IOC for its “Giving is Winning” campaign. The clothes will be sent to refugee camps across the world. This worldwide solidarity campaign was established by the IOC in partnership with the United Nations Refugee Agency (HCR) and the Organising Committee for the London 2012 Games (LOCOG). Info at

The International Gymnastics Federation (FIG) has announced that the Egyptian rhythmic gymnastics group has received an IOC Women and Sport diploma (achievement category) in recognition of its important contribution to promoting the development of women’s and young girls’ participation in sport. This group won the silver medal at the Youth Olympic Games in Singapore in 2010, a first in the history of the country and gymnastics. In addition, the FIG Executive Committee has decided to add a new category to its distinctions, the “Gymnastic Order”, inspired by the IOC’s Olympic Order, which will be awarded to deserving members. Info at

The 2012 series of the International Modern Pentathlon Union (UIPM)’s  World Cup has kicked off with the first two competitions in Charlotte (USA) and Rio De Janeiro (Brazil), held the past fortnight. The athletes participating had the opportunity to earn world ranking points which can land them a qualification place for the London 2012 Games. In Rio, the competition was held at the Deodoro Sports Complex, which will host the modern pentathlon event at the Rio Games in 2016. Info at


A “British culture and basic English” workshop held in Medellin last week brought together some 50 athletes and coaches who are preparing both in terms of sport and culture to take part in the London Games. Also present were Gustavo Villegas, a member of the Colombian NOC Executive Committee, and Jeremy Browne, British Foreign and Commonwealth Office Minister (responsible for Latin America and the Olympic Games). This was the third meeting of its type, jointly organised by the Colombian NOC, the Colombian Paralympic Committee and the British Embassy in Colombia. Info at

The Ecuadorian NOC has rewarded the winners of the 2012 IOC Art and Sport Contest at national level. The first prize was awarded to Juan Carlos Fernández, who produced “Inclusión” and will represent Ecuador in the international phase of the contest. Jimmy Lara Gutiérrez received second prize for his work, “Obras Entrelazadas”. An honourable mention was awarded to Diana Ponce Moreira for her sculpture, “Solidaridad”. The ceremony was preceded by a minute’s silence for Jorge Swett Palomeque, Chairman of the NOC’s Culture and Sport Commission, who died several weeks ago. Info at

British Olympic Association (BOA) Chairman Colin Moynihan led an international delegation of Olympic and government representatives at a ceremony commemorating the first British Olympic champion, Launceston Elliot, held at the Fawkner Cemetery in Melbourne (Australia) on 18 March. A commemorative headstone was unveiled in homage to this gold medallist at the first Games of the modern era in Athens in 1896, in the presence of his granddaughter, Ann Elliot Smith; his great grandson, Ian Smith; British Minister for Sport and the Olympics Hugh Robertson; Australian Sports Minister Kate Lundy; and Australian NOC Secretary General Craig Phillips. Info at

The Guatemalan NOC has informed us that the first 2012 promotion module of the Executive Masters in Sport Organisations Management (MEMOS) has recently been organised in Panajachel, Atitlán, Sololá. This module brought together 36 participants, sports managers, athletes and NOC staff. The course was led by NOC President Sergio Arnoldo Camargo Muralles. Info at

On 18 March, Olympians, including Olympic swimming champion Ai Shibata, were joined by world-famous Pokémon character Pikachu at an “Olympic Day Festa” organised by the Japanese NOC for children in the Tohoku region, northeast Japan, which was affected by the earthquake in March 2011. This event, which was held in Kurihara, in the Miyagi prefecture, was one of the NOC events that will take place up to 2013 and which are sponsored by the joint IOC/Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) “Tsubasa” support project. Since the creation of the “Ganbare Nippon” (“Hang in there, Japan”) project last year, the NOC has sent many athletes to take part in these events and others organised in the areas affected by the earthquake and tsunami last year. Detailed info at

The Malaysian NOC has announced the death of Puan Latifah Yacob, former Honorary Assistant Secretary General of the NOC, on 16 March at the age of 62. Puan Latifah Yacob represented the state of Johor in athletics, badminton, hockey and netball. She had held the positions of Honorary Secretary of the Malaysian Fencing Federation; Deputy Chef de Mission at the Asian and South Asian Games, and member of the secretariat in Malaysia’s Olympic delegation for the Athens 2004 Games. Furthermore, at the 12th Conference of the NOC, held on 10 March, Leigh Robinson presented two papers: the first on “An Overview of the Malaysian Sports Industry”, and the second on “Developing the Capacity of National Sports Associations”. Info at

The President of the Seychelles NOC, Antonio Gopal, has awarded the IOC Sport and Social Responsibility Trophy to Vijay Patel, in recognition of his long-standing contribution to local sport and social development. The NOC’s Secretary General and Executive Committee member, Alain Alcindor and Donald Celestine respectively, were also present at this ceremony. In addition, as part of the 2012 IOC Art and Sport Contest, whose theme is “Sport and the Olympic Values of Excellence, Friendship and Respect”, the NOC conducted the competition locally with the National Arts Council. Fifteen entries were received in the painting category, and two in the sculpture category. The prize-giving was organised recently at Olympic House in Roche Caïman, in the presence of the NOC President, among others. The artist Agricole received the first prize for his painting, “Under the Sun”.  


The Organising Committee for the Olympic and Paralympic Games in London (LOCOG) has named over 7,300 inspiring people who will carry the Olympic flame this summer in the Relay that kicks off on 19 May. The exact route has also been revealed with a street-by-street map accompanied by approximate start times and how and when the flame will travel through the more than 1,000 cities, towns and villages across the UK, which were announced last year. LOCOG also presented the torchbearer uniforms. Full details on

RIO 2016

This week the Organising Committee for the Olympic and Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro (Rio 2016) received a visit from LOCOG Chairman Sebastian Coe. Over two days, he was able to see the progress made in the preparations for the 2016 Games. Accompanied by Rio 2016 President Carlos Arthur Nuzman, Coe visited the Rocinha sports complex and the Maria Lenk Aquatics Centre, the diving and water polo venue, currently used as a training centre known as “Time Brasil”, a project by the Brazilian NOC, led by Nuzman. Also on the agenda was a visit to the Rio 2016 headquarters and a meeting with the greatest athletes in Brazilian sports history. More info at and


International Masters Games Association (IMGA) President Kai Holm has officially awarded the city of Auckland (New Zealand) the right to organise the 9th edition of the World Games in 2017. The Games programme will feature 30 different sports spread across more than 35 venues in the Auckland region. Turin (Italy) will host the 2013 edition from 2 to 11 August. Info at

Organised for the first time on the South American continent, from 12 to 14 March, the 1st Sportel Rio 2012 was a success, with the participation of 567 people, and 312 companies from 48 nations. Talks on the prospects of the Brazilian market were a great success among the participants, who were also able to meet footballing legend Ronaldinho Gaucho and boxing legend “Popo” Freitas. The next SportelMonaco will be held from 15 to 18 October 2012. Info at

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