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14 Oct 2011
IOC News

Highlights of the Week


At the start of the week, IOC President Jacques Rogge was in Colorado Springs (USA) for the 5th International Athletes’ Forum, organised by the IOC Athletes’ Commission, whose Chairman is IOC member Frank Fredericks (see under “Commissions”). There he met IOC members Anita DeFrantz and Angela Ruggiero, as well as US NOC President Larry Probst. President Rogge was accompanied by IOC Vice-President Thomas Bach and IOC Executive Board members Richard Carrión and René Fasel.
After Colorado, President Rogge went to Guadalajara (Mexico), where he met Mario Vázquez Raña, President of the Pan-American Sports Organisation (PASO) and an IOC Executive Board member. Hhere he attended the Opening Ceremony of the XVI Pan-American Games.
Next week, President Rogge will be in Auckland (New Zealand) for the 100th anniversary of the New Zealand NOC and the final phase of the Rugby World Cup.


In his capacity as President of the European Olympic Committees (EOC), Patrick Hickey received the Légion d’Honneur from the French Government, in recognition of his contribution to Olympic sport. This distinction was awarded to him by the French Ambassador to Ireland, at an official reception held at the French Embassy in Dublin.

IOC honorary member James Worrall died this week at the age of 97. He was the flag-bearer for the Canadian Olympic team at the Berlin 1936 Games, where he competed in the 110m and 400m hurdles. A former President of the Canadian NOC, he was also a member of the Board of Directors of the Organising Committees for the Montreal 1976 and Calgary 1988 Olympic Games. James Worrall became an IOC member in 1967 before becoming an honorary member in 1989. Read the news on


Organised by the IOC Athletes’ Commission, the 5th International Athletes’ Forum ended in Colorado Springs with a series of strong recommendations for the IOC to take action in a number of areas affecting athletes. In the presence of the IOC President, eight separate working groups made a series of recommendations. At the closing plenary session, the athletes’ representatives reported back on a number of areas, including athletes’ entourage (those surrounding and advising athletes, such as coaches and doctors); communications and social media; the IOC’s Athlete Career Programme; health, safety and security of athletes; anti-doping; betting and gambling; Games-time experience; and athletes’ commissions themselves. The Athletes’ Commission also held a meeting, which was briefly attended by President Rogge.


In response to an appeal by the United Nations for aid to alleviate the famine in Somalia, the IOC recently made financial donations to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the World Food Programme (WFP). The Association of the National Olympic Committees of Africa (ANOCA) also responded to the UN appeal, offering Somalia a financial donation through the same organisations.


The International Boxing Association (AIBA) has informed us that the last 20 places for the London 2012 Olympic Games next year were taken at the semi-finals of the World Championships, which were recently held in Baku (Azerbaijan). Thus, the 92 quota places for London 2012 have now been allocated. Press release at

In parallel to the 2011 World Championships held in Catania (Italy), the International Fencing Federation (FIE) has launched a new promotional web site,, devoted to the fencing community and the media. There is a special fan zone with interactive features. The web site has been transformed into an administrative web site but will remain active and keep all its functionalities.

28 October will be the first World Judo Day, which will take place simultaneously on the five continents. The theme of the Day will be “respect”. The date was chosen as it is the birth date of the founder of judo, Master Jigoro Kano, who was an IOC member from 1909 to 1938. More info at, a site created specially by the International Judo Federation (FIJ).

One of the greatest modern pentathletes of all time, Zsuzsanna Vörös, has received the IOC’s Women and Sport Achievement diploma, in recognition of her outstanding contribution to promoting the development and participation of women in sport.  Vörös was three times world champion and Olympic champion in 2004. This diploma was presented to her by the President of the International Modern Pentathlon Union (UIPM), Klaus Schormann and UIPM Secretary General Joël Bouzou, at a ceremony organised during the 2011 World Championships. Info at


The Algerian NOC has informed us that, from 1 to 10 October, a technical course for wrestling coaches brought together 55 technical managers of the Algerian Wrestling Federation. Led by Stefan Kazarian, a member of the Technical Department of the International Federation of Associated Wrestling Styles (FILA), this course addressed various themes, including wrestling training for youngsters, how to plan training, and tactical and psychological preparation.

We have learned that the 6th Women’s Plenary Assembly was held from 16 to 18 September in Stuttgart (Germany) on the theme “Women, Sports and Media”. The highlight of this event, organised by the German NOC, whose President is Thomas Bach, was the presentation of the 2011 Equal Opportunities Awards to Heida Benecke and Bärbel Fischer, in the presence of the Minister of Culture, Youth and Sport of Baden-Württemberg, Gabriele, Warminski-Leitheusser. Heida Benecke has been Head of the Women’s Committee of the German Rowing Association since 2008. Among other things, she has developed women’s courses and is currently working on improving women’s networking options and making them more qualified for executive positions in associations and clubs. Bärbel Fischer was rewarded for her commitment to talented youngsters at a canoe club where she is a volunteer. At the age of 14, Fischer had already taken on responsibilities at her home club and the Württemberg Canoeing Association. Info at

The Austrian NOC and Austrian Paralympic Committee, whose Presidents are Karl Stoss and Maria Rauch-Kallat respectively, were recently invited to an Olympic reception by the British Ambassador, Simon Smith, at his residence in Vienna. The many participants, including Olympic athletes from the 1948 Games, exchanged their experiences with Olympic hopefuls for the 2012 Games, as well as more recent medallists such as windsurfer Christoph Sieber (gold medal in Sydney 2000), canoeist Violetta Oblinger-Peters and swimmer Mirna Jukic (bronze medallists in Beijing 2008). More info at

The Belgian NOC has announced that Sportimonium, the sports museum in Hofstade, has been officially recognised as an Olympic museum. Sportimonium was accepted as a new member of the Olympic Museum Network (OMN) at its General Assembly held at the end of September at the IOC headquarters in Lausanne. This museum’s collections include an original Olympic flag from 1920. Next year, Sportimonium will organise not only an international sports cartoon festival on the London Games, but also a themed route devoted to “Olympic Heroes”. More info at

Spanish Prime Minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, recently presented the Spanish NOC President, Alejandro Blanco, with a distinction awarded by the Department of Security of the Presidency of the Government. The NOC’s work was thus recognised by the Cooperation and Support between Institutions Prize. In addition, the former Governor of California and athlete, Arnold Schwarzenegger, paid a visit to the Spanish NOC President during his trip to Madrid for the first edition of the “Arnold Classic Europe” sports festival. Info at

Organised at the end of September by the Latvian NOC, Olympic Day 2011 brought together over 40,000 participants. The Day began with an unprecedented event - five minutes of morning physical exercise (broadcast live on the radio) in which some 38,000 students in 48 venues across the country took part, as did thousands of people in their offices. Other activities included team relays and a drawing contest to create a mascot for the Latvian Olympic team competing at London 2012. The personalities present included double Olympic basketball champion Iuliyaka (Juliana) Semjonova, Olympic gymnastics champion Igors Vihrovs and NOC President Aldons Vrublevskis. Each participant received a diploma signed by the IOC and NOC Presidents. Info and photos at

The Mongolian NOC recently organised its Olympic forum in Selenge, Bulgan and Huvsgul provinces, located 1,200km from the capital, Ulaanbaatar.  Almost 300 delegates, teachers and schoolchildren took part, as well as NOC President Demchigjav Zagdsuren and IOC honorary member Shagdarjav Magvan. Volleyball and wrestling competitions, and an “Olympic education for all” seminar were also successfully organised. Info at

The Serbian NOC and the Sport and Olympism Foundation, in cooperation with Olympic Solidarity, recently organised a study session on managing an Olympic museum to provide knowledge and experience in this area. The guest lecturer was Charles Callis, Director of the New Zealand Olympic Museum. The subjects addressed included establishing an Olympic education centre, Olympic education, and promoting Olympism through exhibitions. A lecture was given at Belgrade City Hall by Tatjana Pasic, President of the Executive Committee of the Sport and Olympism Foundation. Info at


Atos, the Worldwide IT Partner for the Olympic Games, has teamed up with London 2012 to open the Technology Operations Centre, which will be the “mission control” for the 94 Olympic competition and other venues. The Technical Operations Centre monitors and controls the IT systems that deliver the results of all the Olympic competitions in real time to the world’s media.  

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