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Highlights of the week

21 May 2010
Olympic News


As mentioned in the last edition of the Olympic Highlights, IOC President Jacques Rogge was in Lusaka (Zambia) last week, where he inaugurated the Olympic Youth Development Centre in the presence of the President of the Republic of Zambia, Rupiah Banda. More than 2,000 people attended this event, including 600 young people who tested the ultra-modern facilities of this sports complex, which is a pilot project of the IOC’s “Sports for Hope” programme. The IOC is currently studying the possibility of implementing the same type of project on other continents.

From Lusaka, President Rogge flew to Eldoret, the heart of Kenyan athletics, where he opened a secondary school in the presence of IOC member Kip Keino and IOC Vice-President Thomas Bach.

Back in Lausanne, President Rogge chaired the annual meeting of the International Olympic Truce Foundation (FITO).

On 20 May at Lausanne cathedral, President Rogge attended a ceremony in memory of Juan Antonio Samaranch, IOC Honorary President, who died on 21 April. This ceremony was organised jointly by the IOC, the City of Lausanne and the Canton of Vaud. A ceremony will also be held on 16 August in Singapore.

This Friday, 21 May at The Olympic Museum in Lausanne, President Rogge is participating in the very first United Nations-IOC Forum. He will make the opening speech alongside Wilfried Lemke, the UN Secretary-General’s Special Advisor on Sport for Development and Peace, and Mario Pescante, Chairman of the IOC International Relations Commission and Permanent Observer for the IOC at the United Nations. A report on this Forum will appear in next week’s Olympic Highlights.
This week in Vidy, the IOC President has met the President of the Court of Arbitration for Sport, Mino Auletta; the Russian Federation Ambassador in Switzerland, Igor B. Bratchikov; the President of the International Military Sports Council, Gianni Gola; the President of the Haitian NOC, Jean-Edouard Baker; the Vice-President of the International Olympic Truce Foundation, Fanni Palli Petralia; and IOC members Lambis V. Nikolaou, Mario Pescante, Irena Szewinska and Juan Antonio Samaranch Jr.


Richard Kevan Gosper and Phillip Walter Coles were honoured at the Australian NOC’s General Assembly, Richard Kevan Gosper in recognition of his significant contribution to the Olympic Movement at the very highest level, from 1956 to 2010, and Phillip Walter Coles for his loyalty to the Olympic Movement from 1960 to 2010.

Pál Schmitt was elected President of the Hungarian National Assembly on 14 May.


Led by Chairwoman Nawal El Moutawakel, the Coordination Commission for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio met for the first time in the Brazilian host city from 18 to 20 May. During this meeting, which was also attended by the members of the Rio 2016 Organising Committee and local authorities, the Commission was informed about Rio’s latest plans for the 2016 Games, as well as the progress made by the city since its election last year. The Commission members also had the opportunity to visit some of the sites of future Games venues. Info on

The International Relations Commission, whose Chairman is Mario Pescante, met this week in Lausanne. President Rogge was present to greet its members.


At its annual General Assembly, the Australian NOC awarded several distinctions. NOC President and IOC member John Coates presented trophies to Michael Knight and David Richmond in recognition of their contribution to the Australian Olympic Movement, on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the Sydney Games. Michael Knight and David Richmond were two of the main architects of the 2000 Games. Knight was the minister in charge of the Olympic Games within the New South Wales government from 1995 to 2001, and was also President of the Organising Committee for these Games. Richmond led the Olympic Coordination Authority. The Order of Merit was awarded to three members of the Australian Olympic Foundation’s Investment Committee, John Hewson, David Clarke and John McIntosh, as well as to Michael Bushell, CEO of Sports Marketing and Management. During this Assembly, John Coates also mentioned some plans for celebrating the 10th anniversary of the Sydney Games next September. An area of Sydney Olympic Park will be renamed “Cathy Freeman Park”, and Freeman will re-light the Olympic cauldron. A plaque commemorating the contribution of Juan Antonio Samaranch to the success of these Games will be unveiled. Finally, there will be a reunion event for the Sydney 2000 volunteers.
On 3 May, the NOC of Guatemala celebrated its 63rd anniversary. This ceremony started with the handing over of a torch, representing the Olympic flame of Guatemalan sport, by Fernando Antonio Beltranena Valladares, former NOC President and honorary member of the NOC Executive Board, to Sergio Arnoldo Camargo Muralles and the current (2009-2013) Executive Committee. Numerous distinctions were also awarded: to the NOC technical and administrative staff, national sports personalities and sports leaders.

Fernando Valladares also received several distinctions: the Order of the NOC (in gold), the Olympic Merit Cross, the Olympic Cross for Service, and the Olympic Rings (culture and education). More details on

SOCHI 2014

The Cultural Olympiad of the Games in Sochi in 2014 was launched this week. A ceremony held at the city’s main square brought together numerous artists, athletes, musicians and actors, alongside thousands of Sochi residents. On this occasion, Fyodor Bondarchuk, the Russian film-maker, actor and producer, became a new Sochi 2014 Ambassador. Among the guests of honour were the Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation, Alexander Zhukov; Sochi Mayor Alexander Pakhomov; and the CEO of Sochi 2014, Dmitry Chernyshenko. A letter from the President of the Russian Federation, Dmitry Medvedev, was also read out. More info on


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