- 04 May 2012
- IOC News
Highlights of the week
INTERNATIONAL SPORTS FEDERATIONS
The International Boxing Association (AIBA) has announced that 203 athletes representing 35 countries took part in the African Olympic Qualifying Event in Casablanca, Morocco. For all the competitors, the goal was to secure one of the 48 remaining slots for the Games in London. More details on www.aiba.org
The International Basketball Federation (FIBA) has held its first Central Board meeting of the year in Rio de Janeiro. This was also the occasion for the draw for the men’s and women’s London 2012 basketball tournaments, held in the auditorium of the Brazilian NOC. So far nine men’s national teams (Argentina, Australia, Brazil, China, France, Great Britain, Spain, Tunisia and the USA) and seven women’s national teams (Angola, Australia, Brazil, China, Great Britain, Russia and USA) have already qualified. The eight remaining places – three men’s and five women’s – will be determined through the Olympic Qualifying Tournaments taking place in Caracas (Venezuela) and Ankara (Turkey) in late June and early July. More details on www.fiba.com
In a press release, the International Cycling Union (UCI) informs us that, at the 2012 Design of the Year Awards held this week in London, London-based Hopkins Architects won the Architecture Award for their design of the London 2012 velodrome. Seating 6,000 spectators, the velodrome is one of the four permanent venues at the Olympic Park. It will host the track cycling events at the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Also at the award ceremony, the Olympic torch for the 2012 Games took the Design of the Year Award. Read more on www.uci.ch.
The International Swimming Federation (FINA) has announced the death of Norwegian swimmer Alexander Dale Oen, at the age of 26 in a training camp in Flagstaff (Arizona, USA), on 30 April. Dale Oen won a silver medal in the 100m breaststroke at the 2008 Games in Beijing. Three years later, he was world champion in the same event in Shanghai (People’s Republic of China), in the first ever victory for his country. More details on www.fina.org
Representatives from the International Triathlon Union (ITU) are in Nanjing (People’s Republic of China) conducting the first site visit in preparation for the 2014 Summer Youth Olympic Games (YOG). In conjunction with the visit, the ITU has also confirmed that its Technical Delegate for these YOG will be Shanelle Barrett, the first New Zealander to be appointed to this role at the Olympic Games or YOG. Read more on www.triathlon.org.
NATIONAL OLYMPIC COMMITTEES
Legendary Australian swimmer Murray Rose has died at the age of 73. The winner of six medals at the 1956 and 1960 Olympic Games, including four gold, he was one of Australia’s greatest Olympians. Rose set 15 world records during his career. In 1956, he won three gold medals (4x200m freestyle relay, 400m freestyle and 1,500m freestyle). Four years later, he won the 400m freestyle again, and came second in the 1,500m. Rose also won four Commonwealth gold and two silver medals in 1962. He then went on to be a sports commentator in Australia and the USA. He was also the patron for the Australian charity “The Rainbow Club”, which teaches disabled children to swim. An avenue at Sydney Olympic Park was named after him for the 2000 Games. Full details on www.olympics.com.au
The Sportimonium, a sports museum in Hofstade (Belgium), devoted World Heritage Day on 22 April this year to the theme of “Heroes”. Gaston Roelants, President of the Belgian Olympians Association; Roland Renson, President of the Sportimonium; and Belgian NOC Secretary General Guido De Bondt invited the country’s Olympic medallists for a special session on “Olympic Heroes”. Looking ahead to London 2012, an invitation was also sent to all the athletes who took part in the 1948 Games in London. Juliaan Bogaert, Jean Dubois, Roger Goossens, Maria Huybrechts, Maria Oeyen, Joseph Rosa and Yvonne Van Bets were honoured on this occasion. More info on www.olympic.be
On 27 April, the Colombian NOC launched its “Choose the Colombian flagbearer at the London 2012 Games” competition. Those attending this ceremony at the NOC headquarters in Bogota included athletes Mariana Pajon, Paulo César Villar and Luis Fernando López – all three qualified for these Games, the NOC’s Executive Committee members, representatives of the British embassy in Colombia, NOC partners and media representatives. The competition will run until 15 June, after which we shall know which of the eight athlete candidates (Catherine Ibarguen, Luis Fernando López, Paulo Villar, Mariana Pajón, Edwin Ávila, Yuri Alvear, Omar Pinzón and Oscar Figueroa), will carry the Colombian team flag at the Opening Ceremony in London. More details on www.coc.org.co
LeRoy Walker, the first African-American Chairman of the United States Olympic Committee (USOC), died this week at the age of 93. Walker was also the first black head coach of a US Olympic team when he led the track squad to the 1976 Games in Montreal. He had previously coached Olympic teams from Ethiopia, Israel, Jamaica, Kenya and Trinidad and Tobago. Walker led the USOC from 1992 to 1996. More details on www.teamusa.org
At the recent Venezuelan Sports Federations Assembly, the decision was taken to include Taekwondo Federation President Hung Ki Kim as a member of the NOC Executive Board. Fencer Alejandra Benítez will be the athletes’ representative on the Board.
ORGANISING COMMITTEES FOR THE OLYMPIC GAMES
The “One school - one country” education programme has just been launched in Sochi. This is a joint initiative of the Sochi 2014 Organising Committee for the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, the Ministry of Education and Science of the Russian Federation and the City Administration. As part of this programme, each of the 67 schools in Sochi will study in detail the Olympic history and culture of one of the countries taking part in the 2014 Games. Pupils and teachers will prepare projects and presentations on the Games. All of the projects prepared by the pupils will be presented at Sochi's traditional Olympic lessons on 1 September 2013. More details on www.sochi2014.com
The 33rd European Olympic Committees (EOC) Seminar was held in Budapest (Hungary) from 26 to 28 April. Delegations from 37 European NOCs took part. The opening ceremony was attended by the Hungarian Sports Minister, Attila Czene; EOC President Patrick Hickey; Hungarian NOC President Zolt Borkai and IOC members Pál Schmitt and Ser Miang Ng. The work of the Seminar, under the leadership of EOC Secretary General Raffaele Pagnozzi, focused chiefly on the Games in London, the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi and the 2014 YOG in Nanjing. Two workshops were held to address two important topics: a talent identification project, and new ways of communicating. The seminar was preceded by a meeting of the EOC Executive Committee, and concluded with the ceremony for the presentation of the International Fair Play Committee’s Awards for 2011. More details on www.eurolympic.org.