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02 Jul 2010
IOC News

Highlights of the week


On 29 June, Pál Schmitt was elected President of the Republic of Hungary by the Hungarian parliament. He will take over from President Laszlo Solyom on 6 August.

Anita L. DeFrantz, Chairwoman of the IOC Women and Sport Commission, recently hosted a working breakfast on the role of sport in promoting gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls through innovative partnerships. This meeting was held in New York (USA), and brought together senior representatives of the Olympic Movement, the United Nations, governments, the private sector, foundations, NGOs and academia. It took place on the occasion of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) Annual Ministerial Review, and was co-hosted by the IOC and the United Nations Office for Partnerships in cooperation with the UN Office on Sport for Development and Peace. Read the press release on (“Media” section).

This week, the Coordination Commission for the first Winter Youth Olympic Games (YOG) paid its second visit to the city of Innsbruck. The Commission, led by its Chairman, Gian-Franco Kasper, was informed by the Organising Committee (IYOGOC) about the preparations for these Games, and met local partners and government authority representatives. More details on (“Media” section).

On 28 June, the IOC learned of the death of Nicolas Hayek, Chairman of the Swatch Group. The partnership between the Olympic Movement and the Swatch Group began in 1932 with the Games in Los Angeles. Omega, one of the brands of the Swatch Group, became a world-wide Olympic partner in 2004.

The 7th World Forum on Sport, Education and Culture will be held in Durban, South Africa, from 5 to 7 December 2010. It is being organised by the IOC, in partnership with the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), and will bring together representatives from the world of sport, universities, NGOs, governments and intergovernmental organisations. The topics covered will include follow-up of the Culture and Education Programme of this summer’s first ever Youth Olympic Games in Singapore. Information and registration on


The International Triathlon Union (ITU) has announced that the city of Auckland (New Zealand) will host the 2012 ITU World Championship series Grand Final. The 2011 edition is scheduled to be held in Beijing (People’s Republic of China). Press release on


To celebrate Olympic Day, the Brazilian NOC organised several recreational and educational activities based on the Olympic Movement. Around 150 children from schools in the Barra da Tijuca and Jacarepaguá districts took part. The activities were held in the Maria Lenk Water Park and the velodrome, both Olympic venues for the 2016 Games. In Brazil, National Sports Day is also celebrated on 23 June, and the Olympic Day celebrations will last until August, as part of the Olympic Week. The traditional run took place on 27 June in São José do Rio Preto, in the State of São Paulo. Other cities will also be taking part in Olympic Week. Belém (State of Pará) and Palmas (State of Tocantins) have already held talks, seminars, cultural presentations and sports camps with Brazilian Olympic athletes and former athletes. These activities will also be held in Aracaju (State of Sergipe) and Natal (State of Rio Grande do Norte) in August.

For its part, the Costa Rican NOC has also commemorated Olympic Day. Hundreds of children ran or practised other sports such as archery, table tennis, taekwondo and fencing. All the participants received a medal and a T-shirt. The programme also included a pottery competition, to make vases on which schoolchildren could paint Olympic designs.

Zaida Sáenz is the proud winner of the IOC “Sport and Literature” competition. She received her trophy from Danilo Carrera, President of the Ecuadorean NOC. This ceremony was held at the end of Olympic Week, during which various sports, cultural, social and protocol events were held. The winners of the inter-schools painting, folk dancing and poetry competitions also received their diplomas. Danilo Carrera presented the NOC’s silver Olympic Grand Cross to Carlos Manzur Sandoval, former President of the Ecuadorean Olympic Academy, and to José Modesto Apolo, former Presidential Secretary under the government of Alfredo Palacios, in recognition of their defence of the NOC’s statutes and its autonomy.

There were also celebrations for the United States Olympic Committee, with almost 150 youngsters aged from 10 to 18 taking part in the Olympic Day commemoration at Camp Foster Marine Corp Base in Okinawa (Japan). Swimmer Mary DeScenza, who is training in Okinawa for the Games in 2012, spoke about the Olympic values and shared her inspiring story. At Camp Pendleton in California, Willie Banks, President of the US Olympians Association, also spoke about the Olympic values. For his part, Rusty Smith gave a speedskating demonstration in Carson, California. A partnership between the Olympic Training Centre, the Southbay YMCA and the city of Chula Vista brought together 125 children and Olympians to celebrate Olympic Day. On the other side of the country, in Newark, Delaware, more than 100 children took part in a swim meet. See the photos on

On 12 and 13 June, the Georgian NOC held a “Georgian Olympians’ Day” to mark the 50th anniversary of the participation by Georgian athletes in the 1960 Games in Rome. At the NOC’s invitation, representatives of other NOCs took part in the festivities, including Israeli NOC President Zvi Varshaviak, Albanian NOC President Agim Fagu and Eros Bolognia and Peter Mennel, Secretaries General of the San Marino and Austrian NOCs respectively. They met the Mayor of Tbilisi, Gigi Ugulava; the Vice-Speaker of the Georgian Parliament, Mikheil Machavariani; and the Chairman of the Parliamentary Sports Committee, Olympic champion Giorgi Asanidze. The programme also included the presentation of the prizes to the winners of the 2009 “Sport and Literature” contest, and of the IOC President’s Trophy to the Olympic high jump gold medallist in 1960, Robert Shavlakadze.

The British Olympic Association Chairman, Colin Moynihan, has joined London 2012 Organising Committee (LOCOG) Chairman Sebastian Coe in donating a number of items of Olympic memorabilia from his own collection to an exhibition in the Houses of Parliament. Developed in partnership with the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) and LOCOG, the exhibition is entitled “Parliament and the Games: On Your Marks”, and gives visitors the chance to relive some of the greatest moments in Olympic history and learn more about the Olympic Movement. Colin Moynihan competed in the 1984 Games in Los Angeles and the 1980 Games in Moscow, where he won a silver medal as cox of the men’s rowing eight.

The 2010 edition of Olympic Day and the traditional run held by the Hong Kong NOC on 27 June was a great success. NOC President and IOC member Timothy Tsun-Ting Fok, and Betty Fung, Director of Leisure and Cultural Services of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government, opened the festivities. More than 4,000 participants and 11 corporate teams covered the 5.6-km route. A new feature this year was a games booth devoted to the Youth Olympic Games in Singapore.

Like in Hong Kong, Olympic Day was celebrated in New Zealand, with schools across the country organising runs and Olympians present to talk about the Olympic values and present the participants with their diplomas. Despite the poor weather, the turnout was high, and even 10 centimetres of snow did not stop the physical education students from Mt Hutt College from running, while the rain proved no obstacle to the sports activities of the children from Kaponga Primary School. Olympians’ clubs also celebrated the Day, and the Olympic flag was flown over the New Zealand Parliament for a week. For its part, the New Zealand NOC launched its new digital interactive teaching resources entitled “Living the Olympic Values”.  These are available for primary schools to download free from the NOC web site.

In Peru, the NOC was honoured on the occasion of Olympic Day, being awarded the Medal of the Order of Merit (rank of Grand Officer) by the Congress of the Republic. The medal was presented to NOC President José Quiñones González by the Congress President, Luis Alva Castro, in the presence of numerous political and sporting personalities. The IOC President’s message was read out by NOC member Carlos Manuel Lazarte, who was representing IOC member Iván Dibós. This ceremony was also marked by the presentation of the IOC “Fight Against Doping in Sport” Trophy to Olympic medallist Francisco Boza Dibós, in recognition of his exemplary 30-year Olympic sports career. In addition, the NOC and the company Adecco have signed an agreement covering the period until December 2016. Lastly, on 27 June, the 23rd edition of the Olympic Day Run was held, organised simultaneously in the 24 regions of the country. On the same day, the prizes were awarded to the winners of the 20th drawing and painting competition, which had attracted entries from almost 1,000 children aged from 6 to 16.

SOCHI 2014

Olympic Day was celebrated in Sochi and Kazan with various sporting and educational events. These included a flashmob which saw a crowd of Sochi 2014 staff forming the Olympic rings. The sports events included a 2,014- metre swim, beach football and beach volleyball matches and a marathon, with more than 400 guests and Sochi inhabitants taking part. Each competitor wore a multi-coloured bracelet inscribed with the Olympic values of excellence, friendship and respect. In Kazan, which will host the 2013 Universiade, members of the Sochi 2014 volunteers team led a class for 200 future volunteers at the Universiade on the theme of Olympic Day, its history and traditions. Read the press release on


In a press release issued on 29 June, the Rio 2016 Games Organising Committee announced that Governor Sérgio Cabral had started the drilling work on the tunnel for Metro Line 4, which will link the western and southern zones of the city, where two of the four sports competition clusters will be located. Line 4 will be opened in 2015. The personalities attending included Games Organising Committee President and IOC member Carlos Nuzman. Read the press release on


On 1 July, three-time Olympic gold medallist Usain Bolt became the latest high-profile athlete to sign on as a YOG Ambassador, joining a list that also includes Olympic champions swimmer Michael Phelps and pole vaulter Yelena Isinbayeva. The Jamaican sprinter, who holds the World and Olympic records in the 100m, 200m and 4x100m relay events, will encourage young people around the globe to become more active in sport in his role as Ambassador for the YOG, the inaugural edition of which is scheduled to take place from 14 to 26 August in Singapore. Read the press release on (“Media” section).

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