- 28 Jun 2013
- Olympic News
Highlights of the week
On 24 June in Lausanne, IOC President Jacques Rogge participated in the inauguration of a countdown clock for the 2014 Games in Sochi and the 2016 Games in Rio, which was produced by Worldwide Olympic Partner OMEGA. The ceremony brought together some 100 participants, including OMEGA President Stephen Urquhart, Lausanne Mayor Daniel Brélaz and State Councillor Philippe Leuba. After this ceremony, the President celebrated Olympic Day with the traditional garden party at the IOC headquarters in Vidy.
The following day, the IOC President hosted the Secretary General of La Francophonie, Abdou Diouf, who presented him with the Senghor medal, La Francophonie’s highest distinction.
From 27 to 29 June, the IOC President is in Singapore for the 6th International Athletes’ Forum. This Friday, 28 June, he will receive the “Public Service Star” (Distinguished Friends of Singapore) award from Singapore’s Head of State, Tony Tan Keng Yam, in recognition of his contribution to the development of sport in Singapore.
In an interview held on the occasion of Olympic Day with UN Women (a United Nations entity for gender equality and the empowerment of women), Anita L. DeFrantz, Chairwoman of the IOC Women and Sport Commission, underlined the IOC/UN Women partnership and recalled the importance of sport in allowing women and girls to be more independent.
This week, the IOC published the report by the Evaluation Commission for the Games of the XXXII Olympiad, whose Chairman is IOC Vice-President Craig Reedie. This report was prepared after the Commission’s visits to the three cities in the running to host the Olympic Games in 2020: Istanbul (Turkey), Tokyo (Japan) and Madrid (Spain) (in order of drawing of lots). The report contains a technical analysis of the cities’ bids.
On 27 and 30 June, the Athletes’ Commission, which is chaired by IOC member Claudia Bokel, met in Singapore in the framework of the 6th International Athletes’ Forum. Full account in next week’s Highlights.
INTERNATIONAL SPORTS FEDERATIONS
Last week, the International Basketball Federation (FIBA)’s Central Board held its first meeting of 2013, in the recently inaugurated House of Basketball, in Mies (Switzerland). Among the decisions taken was the confirmation of Ankara as the second host city of the Women’s World Championships in Turkey in 2014, and the awarding of the 2014 Men’s and Women’s Under-17s World Championships to Dubai and Slovakia, respectively.
The Board members observed a minute’s silence as a tribute to their colleague, the late President of FIBA Europe, Ólafur Rafnsson, who died during his visit to Geneva for the inauguration of the IF’s new headquarters. A former player, Rafnsson was also President of the NOC of Iceland, and had been elected President of FIBA Europe in 2010. Info at www.fiba.com.
The International Rugby Board (IRB) has issued a press release informing us that the rugby family celebrated Olympic Day, particularly in Russia, the host country of the Rugby Sevens World Cup, which is being held from 28 to 30 June. Male and female players from the national teams gathered in the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow, the site of the 1980 Olympic Games and the 2013 World Cup. Info at www.irb.com.
NATIONAL OLYMPIC COMMITTEES
Many NOCs also celebrated Olympic Day this week. Here are details of some of the celebrations.
In Buenos Aires, many athletes, including Juan Curuchet, Olympic medallist (cycling); Patricia Bermúdez, participant in the London Games (wrestling); and the Pan-American junior handball champions took part in demonstrations of almost 50 sports disciplines. Among the personalities present were Gerardo Wethein, the President of the NOC of Argentina, and Francisco Irarrazaval, the Head of Sport of the City of Buenos Aires, who had the opportunity to meet the athletes and the large crowd that attended. Info at www.coarg.org.ar.
In Bahrain, more than 150 participants from throughout the country took part in a 3km run that was open to all. The Bahraini NOC also proposed services to the public, such as blood pressure testing and a stand for people with diabetes. A stand for children offered face-painting and competitions.
On 25 June, some 350 children aged between 11 and 14, from 15 communities in Rio de Janeiro, ran between 100 and 400 metres on the Army Physical Education School (ESEFEX)’s track in Urca. These children could also spend some time with Olympic volleyball champion Nalbert. Also on the programme of this Olympic Day, organised by the Brazilian NOC, were cultural activities linked to the Olympic values, notably at the Maria Lenk Aquatics Centre, where 300 children taking part in social programmes could talk to their sporting heroes and discover fencing, hockey, table tennis, archery and wrestling. Info at www.cob.org.br.
On the occasion of Olympic Day, the NOC of Chile and the Desafío Levantemos Chile [Let’s Move Chile] Association unveiled a new programme for more than 300 young people, promoting integration and development through sport, entitled Desafío Olímpico [Olympic Challenge]. Athletes thus gave some lessons to the children present at this Olympic Day. This project, which will start at the Olympic training centre, is aimed at underprivileged children and young people, who will be able to benefit from the advice of the same professional trainers as elite athletes, thus excelling in their disciplines on both national and international levels. Four sports will be proposed to them initially: handball, karate, volleyball and basketball. Info at www.coch.cl.
In Medellin (Colombia), some 50,000 people of all ages took part in a 5km Olympic Day Run. Among them were Baltazar Medina, the President of the Colombian NOC; Andrés Botero, IOC member; Anibal Gaviria, Mayor of Medellin; and numerous athletes, including Carlos Mario Oquendo (bronze medallist in BMX at the 2012 London Games) and two-time Paralympic medallist Elkin Serna. Bogotá, Cali, Popayán and several other cities in the State of
Cundinamarca also organised sports and leisure events on 23 June. Info at www.coc.org.co.
Besides the capital Tbilisi, other Georgian cities participated in the celebration of Olympic Day, which attracted more than 3,000 participants, including the President of the Georgian NOC, Olympic and world champions, and representatives of the Ministry of Youth and Sport. Alongside the traditional Run, whose youngest participant was seven and the oldest 72, the NOC organised several sports events, such as street basketball and street handball. This year, Olympic Day benefited from the support of Worldwide Olympic partner Samsung. Info at www.geonoc.org.ge.
This year, the British Olympic Association again mobilised young people around the country by organising Olympic runs which included the lighting of their own Olympic flame, like at Sheldon School in Chippenham. A “Global Week” was organised by Mackie Hill J&I School in Yorkshire, allowing pupils to get acquainted with different cultures and sports. The University of Bath – whose Olympic Day celebrations are the most longstanding in the UK – held a Family Fun Day, which included a mobile climbing wall, zip wire and free introductions to a variety of sports, even bobsleigh. Info at www.olympics.org.uk.
Organised by the NOC of Hong Kong, China, the 2013 edition of the Olympic Day Run saw 5,000 runners take on a 5.6km route. Sponsors, partner organisations, national sports associations and elite athletes were among the participants. After the Run, it was time for a lottery, music, dancing, magic and games. Info at www.hkolympic.org.
A formal ceremony was held to celebrate Olympic Day in Peru. Participants included the President of the Peruvian NOC, Víctor Puente-Arnao Fort; IOC member Iván Dibos; and the presidents of the national sports federations. This ceremony is one of the activities of “Olympic” month, which will also include a drawing and painting competition on 30 June and the traditional Olympic Day Run, set for 14 July in the San Borja Olympic Park. Info at www.coperu.org.
Over one thousand people gathered in the city of Guimarães, Portugal, nominated European City of Sport in 2013, to celebrate Olympic Day on their bikes. Organised by the NOC of Portugal and the city of Guimarães, this event enjoyed the participation of professional cyclists such as Tiago Machado and Cândido Barbosa, and the President of the Portuguese Cycling Federation, Delmino Pereira. Info at www.comiteolimpicoportugal.pt.
On 20 June, the Ukrainian NOC signed a Memorandum of Understanding with UNICEF, which will be in force until 31 December 2016 and which formalises exchanges and interaction between the two organisations linked to various activities and projects for children. The Ukrainian NOC already organises some activities for children, such as “Olympic Day” and “Olympic Lesson”, which take place throughout the year in schools. With the “Olympic Book” and “Olympic Corner” projects, more than 230,000 classes from 20,000 schools have received Olympic literature and sports equipment. Info at www.noc-ukr.org.
YOUTH OLYMPIC GAMES
On 21 June, the “Nanjing Youth Olympic Health Legacy” project was officially launched in the presence of a representative of the Chinese NOC, Jiang Zhixue, and Nanjing’s Deputy Mayor, Hu Wanjin. This is joint project between the IOC, the Chinese NOC, the Nanjing Municipal Government and the Organising Committee for the Nanjing 2014 Youth Olympic Games (YOG). It was created and implemented by Nanjing health and education professionals. The objective is to use the 2014 YOG as a platform to promote physical activities and encourage a healthy lifestyle among Nanjing adolescents. It is also a pilot research project into education for health, with 5,000 case studies and a control group operating in 47 schools in Nanjing’s urban zones.
In the last edition of the Olympic Highlights, we omitted to mention that the Association of National Olympic Committees (ANOC) Extraordinary General Assembly had brought together more than 800 delegates, representing 201 NOCs, last week in Lausanne. The delegates adopted the new ANOC constitution and the creation of an athletes’ commission. During this Assembly, President Rogge was presented with the ANOC Order of Merit by ANOC President and IOC member Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah. Info at www.acnolympic.org.
The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has just published its annual report for 2012. The document is available only in an electronic version or as a PDF that can be printed from the WADA website: www.wada-ama.org.