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Highlights of the week

27 Apr 2012
Olympic News


On 24 April in The Hague (Netherlands), IOC President Jacques Rogge took part in a talk and round table. The Prince of Orange, an IOC member, also attended.


This year, World Athletics Day will preferably be held on 12 and 13 May. As part of the centenary celebrations of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), 12 youth age group athletes, (one boy and one girl per Area, aged 16-17) will be invited to the IAAF Centenary Gala in Barcelona (Spain) on 23 and 24 November 2012. The World Athletics Day - IAAF Centenary Draw to decide the lucky winners will take place in July 2012. More info at

During a visit to Sofia (Bulgaria), International Boxing Association (AIBA) President and IOC member, Ching-Kuo Wu, and AIBA Vice-President and President of the European Confederation Humbert Furgoni met the President of the Republic of Bulgaria, Rosen Plevneliev, Prime Minister Boyko Borisov, Sports Minister Svilen Neykov, Boxing Federation President Krassimir Ininski and NOC President Stefka Kostadinova. The main subject of the visit was AIBA’s professional boxing programme and the role that Bulgaria can play in its development. More info at

On 22 April, International Cycling Union (UCI) President and IOC member Pat McQuaid, accompanied the President of South Korea, Myung-bak Lee, on a bike ride along a section of Korea’s extensive network of cycle paths. McQuaid was in South Korea for the start of the eight-day Tour of Korea and the Korea Cycle Grand Festival, held in parallel with the national tour. The government has invested in 2,000km of bicycles paths nationwide. More info at

Two Russian athletes, Svetlana Tsarukaeva and  Khadzhimurat Akkaev, have been voted the Best Lifters of 2011 by readers of “World Weightlifting” and the public worldwide. The two winners received the “Jenő Boskovics Lifter of the Year Challenge Trophy” at a ceremony organised recently in Moscow (Russian Federation). It was presented to them by International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) President Tamás Aján, who is also an IOC honorary member, and Kornel Jancsó, Editor in Chief of “World Weightlifting”, in the presence of Russian Weightlifting Federation President Sergey Syrtsov and many other personalities. Full info at

The women’s water polo teams from Spain, Italy, Russia and Hungary recently earned their ticket to the London Games at the Qualification Tournament held in Trieste (Italy) from 15 to 22 April. These teams will join Great Britain, Australia, the United States and China. The draw for the Olympic tournament will take place on 5 May 2012 in London. Read the International Swimming Federation (FINA)’s press release on

The International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF)’s 2012 World Cup, an official test event, is currently taking place in London at the Royal Artillery Barracks. Britain’s Minister for Sport and the Olympics, Hugh Robertson, visited the venue and met ISSF President and IOC member Olegario Vázquez Raña and ISSF Secretary General Franz Schreiber. Over 800 athletes representing over 100 countries are competing in 15 Olympic events. It is worth noting that only 390 shooters will compete at the Games this summer. Info at

This week, the International Triathlon Union (ITU) organised the first ever coaching course in Iraq, in the city of Erbil. Fourteen women and 11 men took part in this course, funded by Olympic Solidarity and supported by the ITU. All the manuals and reference sources had been translated into Arabic, which will aid in triathlon’s development not only in Iraq, but also in the entire Arab region. ITU President and IOC member Marisol Casado, accompanied by ITU Executive Board member Ahmed Nasser, attended this course, and also met the Iraqi NOC President and the Iraqi Sports Minister. More info at


The World Curing Federation (WCF) and the Canadian Curling Federation (CCA) recently announced that the city of Fredericton will host the 2013 World Senior Men’s and Women’s Curling Championships and World Mixed Doubles. These three events will take place from 13 to 20 April at the Grant-Harvey Centre.  Over 30 teams should compete for the mixed doubles title, while over 40 teams should be vying for the men’s and women’s world titles. Info at


With a few months until the London Games, the Chilean NOC has just published Chilenos Olímpicos: Historia de la Participación Nacional en los Juegos Olímpicos de Verano 1896/2008 [Olympic Chileans: the history of national participation in the Summer Olympic Games from 1896 to 2008]. Funded by Olympic Solidarity, this book is by journalist Cristián Muñoz Funck. Info at

The IOC’s Worldwide Partner, Procter & Gamble, recently launched its Gracias Mama [Thank You, Mom] campaign in Colombia. Among the many personalities at this event were Colombian NOC President Baltazar Medina, and the athletes who have already qualified for London 2012, Mariana Pajón, Paulo Cesar Villar and Angelica Hernández, accompanied by their mothers, as well as the mother of boxer Jeisson Monroy. Details at

On 18 April, British Olympic Association (BOA) Board of Directors approved the appointment of the British Golf Association Limited (BGAL) as the National Governing Body for Olympic golf and an officially recognised member of the BOA. Info at

We recently learned that Olympic medallist Elizabeth Ferris died on 12 April. She was the last Briton to win an Olympic medal in diving – bronze in the 3m springboard at the Rome 1960 Games. She assisted in the creation of the IOC Women and Sport Commission, of which she has been a member since 1995. She also assisted in the creation of the British Olympians Club and the World Olympians Association (WOA), of which she was Vice-President for over 10 years.

On 18 April, the Italian NOC (CONI) hosted a ceremony to present the “Collari d'Oro” Sporting Merit awards and honorary diplomas to the best athletes, technicians, sports leaders and sports companies for the years 2009, 2010 and 2011. Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti was present on this occasion, and received from CONI President Giovanni Petrucci a personalised set of the official equipment of the Italian delegation for London 2012. A tribute was paid to the three Italian athletes who have died in recent months practising their respective sport: Marco Simoncelli, Vigor Bovolenta and Piermario Morosini. Info at

At the Ajinomoto National Training Centre, the Japanese NOC recently received students from Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences’ Leisure Management division (Netherlands). This one-week visit to Tokyo was part of the students’ project on the impact of the Olympic and Paralympic Games on a city. The Director of the NOC President’s Office, Yasuhiro Nakamori, and the young students from Rotterdam, a city in the running to organise the Winter Youth Olympic Games in 2018, exchanged opinions and comments on how the Games can be a catalyst for positive change in host cities. Info at

On 22 April at the Kaunas Sports Hall, a ceremony was held to commemorate 90 years of the Lithuanian Basketball Federation. The event was attended by Lithuanian basketball veterans, distinguished guests from abroad and Prime Minister Andrius Kubilius. Present and former heads of world and European basketball federations as well as the NBA congratulated the Lithuanian Basketball Federation and basketball players of all generations in a televised message. On this occasion, Lithuanian NOC President Arturas Poviliunas, presented legendary Lithuanian basketballer Arvydas Sabonis – currently President of the Federation – with the NOC’s Olympic Rings award. More info at

With 100 days to go until the London Games, all the members of Mongolia’s national teams were able to conduct face-to-face discussions with the President of Mongolia, Ts. Elbegdorj, who was accompanied by Mongolian NOC President Demchigjav Zagdsuren. Mongolia has currently secured 14 Olympic places in the marathon, shooting, wrestling, boxing, archery and swimming. Ten other athletes will compete in judo and weightlifting. The NOC hopes to send up to 40 athletes to London. Info at

We have just learned that, on 30 March in Bratislava, the Slovakian Olympic flame was lit electronically by Slovakian NOC President Frantisek Chmelar, who passed it to Slovakia’s oldest Olympian, 89-year-old kayaker Jan Matocha. He then passed it on to the athletes preparing for London 2012: Danka Bartekova (shooting) and Samuel Piasecky (gymnastics). The next day, the torch, named “Slovak message to the Games of the XXX Olympiad in London 2012” with the motto of “We All Are One Team” began its relay, which will travel the country for 84 days before returning to Bratislava on 23 June, Olympic Day. Info at

Swedish athlete Ingeborg “Kickan” Sjöqvist celebrated her 100th birthday on 19 April. She is the oldest Olympian in the world. Ingeborg competed in the diving competitions at the Los Angeles 1932 and Berlin 1936 Games. In Los Angeles, she was the only woman out of 51 athletes in the Swedish delegation. In an interview, she declared that she will be following the Games this summer. Info at (Swedish NOC site). 

Through Olympic Solidarity, the Uruguayan NOC, whose President is IOC member Julio Cesar Maglione, awarded a grant to coaches Federico Camiña (basketball) and Mariano Miraldi (judo) to participate in the 27th training course in sports sciences for coaches. This course will be held between 12 April and 10 July 2012 at the Sant Cugat High-Level Centre in Barcelona. Info at


The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) recently launched the first web site of the Oceania Paralympic Committee ( This new site provides information on member countries, athletes and sports, as well as the on the IPC and the Paralympic Games, ranking of Paralympic sports and anti-doping issues.

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