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21 Apr 2011
IOC News

Highlights of the week


With an unprecedented 133 entries from 36 countries, the IOC/ International Association for Sports and Leisure Facilities (IAKS) Award 2011 has set a new participation record. As well as numerous projects from Germany and Spain, attractive sports facilities from Canada, Africa and the Far East have also been entered. The projects will be judged by a jury made up of personalities from the IOC, the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) and the IAKS. The prizes will be presented at the 22nd IAKS Congress, from 26 to 28 October.


The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) has announced the death, at the age of 57, of Norwegian marathon runner Grete Waitz. She won the gold medal at the first IAAF World Championships in 1983 in Helsinki, before taking silver at the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles. In 2010, she won the IOC Women and Sport Trophy (Europe). More details on

From 7 to 10 April, the International Gymnastics Federation (FIG) Gymnastics for All Committee held one of its last ordinary meetings before the start of the 14th World Gymnaestrada in Lausanne (Switzerland). The main topic on the agenda was this event, and the Committee also held meetings with the Lausanne Organising Committee. The subjects discussed included the performance schedule, although the organisers are still waiting for the participating federations to send the details needed for this to be finalised. Find out more on

The International Rugby Board (IRB) has announced the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the Federation of Oceania Rugby Unions (FORU) and the Oceania National Olympic Committees (ONOC) which will see the two organisations working to develop rugby throughout the region and assist the integration of member unions into the Olympic family. Find out more on:


The NOC of Costa Rica and the National Bank held the first edition of the Colibrí 2010 awards, which saw 55 athletes honoured for their sports achievements. Those attending the ceremony included the State President, Laura Chinchilla; the Minister for the President’s Office and Sport, Carlos Ricardo Benavides; the Head of the National Bank, Fernando Naranjo; and the NOC President, Henry Núñez. This occasion also saw the IOC Sport – Inspiring Young People Trophy awarded to triathlete Leonardo Chacón, for his work as a role model to young athletes. Read more on

The Athlete Support Office of the Spanish NOC, in collaboration with the Camilo José Cela University, has held a course on university studies for athletes over 25. The requirements for attending the course were to be 25 or older on 1 October 2011 and to have no educational qualification allowing access to university. More details on

On 15 April, the Hellenic NOC celebrated the first anniversary of the reopening of the historic Panathenaic Stadium closed to the public for several years. Pupils from the first elementary school of Vrilissia, Athens, visiting the Stadium for the Kids’ Athletics programme, sang “Happy Birthday” to mark the occasion. The children visited the Stadium with Dimosthenis Tampakos, Olympic gymnastics champion in the rings competition at the 2004 Games in Athens. They were welcomed by NOC President Spyros Capralos. Read more on

On 3, 4 and 5, then 10, 11 and 12 April, the Iranian Foreign Affairs Ministry, in close cooperation with the Iranian NOC, staged the first Residing Diplomats Futsal Tournament. Held at the National Olympic and Paralympic Academy, this tournament was aimed at strengthening cooperation and friendship among the diplomats based in Tehran. A total of 21 teams took part, three of them from Iran. This initiative was warmly welcomed by the embassies. More details on www.olympic.or.

On 14 April, the Lithuanian Olympic Collectors Association celebrated the 10th anniversary of its creation. To mark this occasion, the Ten Years with the Olympic Flag exhibition was opened at the Police Department Museum. The many personalities present included NOC President and Secretary General Arturas Poviliunas and Vytautas Zubernis, as well as collectors, guests and media representatives. Read more on

The Palau NOC has informed us that the 2010 Sport – Inspiring Young People IOC Trophy has been awarded to John Tarkong, a wrestler at the 2004 Games in Athens, who is today a coach and mentor to many wrestlers in Palau. More details on

The Peruvian NOC and the President of the Republic, Alan García Pérez, have officially unveiled the Olympic athletes support programme, the main aim of which is to support the members of the national teams from the various sports federations. This joint initiative between the state and the NOC, in collaboration with major companies from the private sector, is currently focused on a first group of 125 athletes preparing to take part in various Olympic qualifying events. Find out more at


After a series of meetings over the last two weeks, the Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2012 and the British NOC (BOA) have reached agreement on expanding cooperation between the two organisations before, during and after the Games in London in 2012.
In addition, the Lee Valley White Water Centre, the only brand new 2012 venue open to the public ahead of the Games, will open its doors on 22 April.
More details on

SOCHI 2014

At the launch ceremony for the Sochi 2014 Coin Programme, two-time world figure skating champion Irina Slutskaya joined the team of ambassadors for the 2014 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. Announcing the appointment, Sochi 2014 President and CEO Dmitry Chernyshenko explained: “Irina has been with us since the beginning of the Sochi 2014 project, right back at the bidding stage. She is one of the most outstanding athletes in modern figure skating and a favourite among the Russian public.” Read more on


Five hundred days out from the opening of the Paralympic Games in London in 2012, International Paralympic Committee (IPC) President Philip Craven, has promised a spectacular showcase of sport. More than 4,200 athletes from 150 countries will compete in 20 different sports during these Games. And with more than 750,000 people already registering their interest in attending these Games, Philip Craven is confident that spectators will enjoy an event of a lifetime. More details on

For three days last week, the city of Milan (Italy) hosted the World Congress of the International Sport for All Federation (FISpT), during which elections within the governing bodies were held. Isa Mohammad A. Rahim (Bahrain) was re-elected as President, and Franco Ascani (Italy) as Vice-President. The latter is also President of the International Sport Movies and Television Federation (FICTS). More details on


The Peace and Sport organisation has informed us that, last week, during the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters tennis tournament, Novak Djokovic, the world number two in the ATP rankings, joined the Champions for Peace Club, a group of over 50 top-level sports personalities committed to promoting peace in the world through sport. His unusual profile and charisma make Djokovic an ideal figure to spread awareness of this cause to millions of young tennis fans around the world, for whom he is an icon. The Champions of Peace include Sergey Bubka, Frankie Fredericks, Cathy Freeman, Yelena Isinbayeva, Christian Karembeu and Sebastien Loeb. Find out more on

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