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02 Dec 2014
Olympic News
Olympic News

Olympic Highlights



With only a few days until the opening in Monaco of the IOC Extraordinary Session, IOC President Thomas Bach was in Dakar (Senegal), where the XV Summit of the French-speaking nations was held on 29 and 30 November. It is the first time that an IOC President – as the only guest among some 40 heads of state and government – has attended this Summit.

President Bach awarded the Olympic Order in gold to Abdou Diouf. © Cyril Bailleul

President Bach presented the Olympic Order in gold to the former President of the Republic of Senegal and Secretary General of the Organisation internationale de la Francophonie (OIF), Abdou Diouf. The awarding took place in the presence of HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco, the President of the Republic of Senegal, Macky Sall, the President of the Republic of France, François Hollande, and other heads of state and government. In his speech, the President praised Mr Diouf for his commitment to the Olympic values.

In parallel to the Summit, the IOC President had bilateral meetings with a number of heads of state present in Dakar: President Macky Sall (Senegal), Prince Albert II of Monaco, President François Hollande (France), President Didier Burkhalter (Swiss Confederation) and President Ali Bongo (Gabon), as well as Vice-President Nguyên Thi Doan (Vietnam).

He also met heads of government including Prime Minister Stephen Harper (Canada) and Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab (Egypt).

During these meetings the IOC President spoke about the role of sport in society, as well as about the cooperation with the United Nations, in particular the ongoing negotiations regarding the UN sustainability goals.

The President also had meetings with several ministers, heads of delegations from various countries, and with the Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova with regard to the role of sport in education.

He attended the laying of the foundation stone of the new Senegalese NOC headquarters and held meetings with the IOC Honorary Member and IAAF President, Lamine Diack, as well as the President of the Senegalese NOC, Mamadou Diagna Ndiaye.

Before going to Dakar, President Bach was the keynote speaker in Düsseldorf at the Opening of the German Sustainability Award 2014. The President gave a speech on the sustainable development in relation to the Olympic Movement, one of the main themes of the Olympic Agenda 2020.

President Bach took part in “Team Spirit 4:0”, a platform for sport and politics organised in Bern by the “sport” group of the Swiss Parliament and the Sport-Toto company. Joining him on stage was Swiss Federal Councillor Ueli Maurer, Head of the Department of Defence, Protection of the Population and Sport, who underlined the importance for Switzerland of having the IOC headquarters in Lausanne.

In Lausanne, President Bach and IOC Honorary President Jacques Rogge attended a meeting of the Olympic Museum Foundation Executive Committee.

The IOC President also met Gunilla Lindberg, IOC Executive Board member and Chair of the Coordination Commission for the Olympic Winter Games 2018 PyeongChang to discuss various issues with regard to preparations for the Games.

The IOC President had meetings with IOC members Ser Miang Ng and Marisol Casado about Olympic Agenda 2020.

He also met International Basketball Federation (FIBA) President Horacio Muratore, accompanied by FIBA Secretary General and IOC member Patrick Baumann, and FIBA Treasurer Ingo Weiss. The preparations for the Olympic Games 2016 Rio and Olympic Agenda 2020 were addressed.

In a meeting with Francesco Ricci Bitti, President of the Association of Summer Olympic International Federations (ASOIF) and of the International Tennis Federation (ITF), the participation of the Olympic Summer Federations in Olympic Agenda 2020 was discussed.

At the start of the week, President Bach congratulated the Swiss Davis Cup Team - players Roger Federer, Stan Wawrinka, Marco Chiudinelli and Michael Lammer, and their captain, Severin Lüthi - at a public welcome organised by the City of Lausanne and the Canton of Vaud in honour of the 2014 Davis Cup winners.


© Nina Sologubenko

IOC Vice-President Craig Reedie (left) presented the Pierre de Coubertin medal to British architect Geraint John (right) during a ceremony held at the Royal Institute of British Architects in London on 28 November. The award marks Geraint John’s many years of outstanding service to the Olympic Movement while bringing a wealth of experience and expertise to Olympic design.

© Palais de Monaco

Prince Albert II has been named ‘International Sports Figure’ of 2014 by the Board of the ‘Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Creative Sports Award’. This trophy recognises his contribution to the development of sports practice worldwide and peace through sport. An IOC member, five-time Olympian and former President of the Monegasque NOC, the Prince is the Patron of the Peace and Sport Organisation.


Habu Gumel has been elected President of the Nigerian NOC for the period 2014-18. His election took place at the NOC’s General Assembly, held in Asaba on 20 November.


Protecting athletes’ health and preventing injuries and illnesses in sport are top priorities for the IOC and its Medical Commission. Nine research centres from across the world have thus been named as IOC Research Centres for Prevention of Injury and Protection of Athlete Health. Over the next four years, these centres will be tasked with researching, developing and implementing effective preventive and treatment methods for sports-related injuries and illnesses. They will receive financial support from the IOC and join an international network of expert scientists and clinicians in sports-injury and disease-prevention research.  Read the full press release here.

© GE

On 19 November in Tokyo, TOP Partner GE organised a forum entitled “Tokyo 2020 and Beyond”. This event was held in the presence of over 400 people, including many business leaders and media representatives, as well as John Coates, Chair of the IOC Coordination Commission for the Tokyo 2020 Games, and Christophe Dubi, Olympic Games Executive Director. He took part in a discussion alongside Jeff Immelt, GE’s Chief Executive and Chairman, Toshiro Muto, Chief Executive Officer of the Tokyo Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games; and Tsunekazu Takeda, IOC Marketing Commission Chairman and President of the Japanese Olympic Committee. The panel discussed how the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games could leave an important legacy, both physical and intangible, and how the Games could positively affect Japan’s growth and competitiveness. The panellists shared their views on how a developed nation like Japan can tackle pressing issues in energy, healthcare, infrastructure and sustainability.


At a dedicated IOC Sports Integrity Workshop that took place in Lausanne, the IOC and INTERPOL and both the Summer and Winter IFs looked into how best to protect sport from competition manipulation. Defending and protecting clean athletes is a top priority of the IOC and part of Olympic Agenda 2020. The event was organised by the IOC in cooperation with the ASOIF and the International Centre for Sports Studies (CIES). During the workshop, the IOC presented its Integrity Betting Intelligence System (IBIS), to which 17 IFs have already signed up. IBIS has been designed to become the primary source of betting information for the Olympic Movement, and aims to step up the fight against manipulation and corruption linked to sports betting. Read the press release here.




Valerie Adams and Renaud Lavillenie (photo) were named World Athletes of the Year 2014 at the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) World Athletics Gala. It is the first time that a male pole vaulter or a female shotputter had won the award. Lamine Diack, President of the IAAF and the International Athletics Foundation, and Prince Albert II of Monaco, Honorary President of the Foundation, presented the awards to the winners. A full list of recipients can be found at


Franz Gravenhorst (photo), a student at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich (ETHZ) is the winner of the second World Rowing (FISA) Parmigiani Spirit Award. From Karlsruhe (Germany), Gravenhorst has been a rower since he was 15, and has competed at every level - club, university and the German national team. Through university rowing, he was responsible for weekly rowing courses and instructs at the Zurich Universities Sports Association, as well as organising an annual rowing camp which is open to all students in Zurich. The Award is open to university rowers worldwide who demonstrate the core values of rowing in their academic and sporting life. Info at

FIE Congress in Rome. © FIE

The Annual Congress of the International Fencing Federation (FIE) brought together over 270 participants in Rome (Italy) on 21 November. Some 124 of the 150 FIE-affiliated national federations were represented. The hosting of several competitions was decided upon. The 2016 Team World Championships will be held in Rio de Janeiro and will be used as a test event ahead of the Olympic Games in Rio. The 2017 Senior World Championships were assigned to Leipzig (Germany), and the 2015 Cadet and Junior World Championships will be held in Tashkent (Uzbekistan) and those in 2016 in Bourges (France). The Veterans World Championships in 2015 were awarded to Limoges (France), with those in 2016 in Stralsund (Germany), and the following year in Maribor (Slovenia). FIE President Alisher Usmanov and Euronews Group CEO Michael Peters confirmed a three-year cooperation agreement to promote the broad scope of fencing disciplines and championships on the channel. Info at

Twenty-three-year-old New Zealander Brodie Retallicki has been named Player of the Year 2014 by World Rugby. Second row of the All Blacks, Retallicki succeeds his teammate Kieran Read. The accolade completed a hat-trick of awards for New Zealand, as the All Blacks were named Team of the Year for the eighth time, and their coach, Steve Hansen, won Coach of the Year for the third consecutive time. Info at

As a prelude to its General Assembly, which will be held in Munich (Germany) on 2 and 3 December, the International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) has unveiled some figures published in its 2014 Season Media Report. TV coverage of the 2014 World Cup Stages, World Cup Finals and World Championship reached 240 million viewers in over 100 countries. Over 100 hours of footage were produced by ISSF TV and distributed worldwide, including 30 hours of live broadcasting of the World Championships in Grenada (Spain). Info at



The travelling exhibition entitled “Active to the future – 2,730 years in 16 photos” by the German NOC aims to demonstrate that people over 70 are still far from being too old to practise sport, as they continue to swim, walk or dance. Besides the many positive aspects of sporting or leisure activities on older people’s health, this exhibition seeks to encourage visitors to take up a sport while showing a different (and more active) image of older people. Information on the current status of research into the importance of movement for older people is also being exhibited. Info at and

© Bahrain NOC

The Bahrain NOC’s Planning and Strategies Directorate recently organised its first workshops for NOC staff (photo above). The aim was to spread awareness on ways to apply the NOC’s strategic plans and present the importance of daily planning, long-term planning and short-term planning, in addition to providing them with the different skills necessary to implement these plans.

(L. to r.) Jaime Agliati, Jorge Molina and Miguel Angel Mujica. © Chilean NOC

The Chilean NOC has announced that Jorge Molina has received the 2013 IOC Trophy “150 years, Pierre de Coubertin – Sport as a School of Life”, in recognition of his contribution to the promotion of sport and the Olympic values. Jorge Molina has devoted 65 years of his life to the sports movement as a leader in his region of Bío Bío. In 2002, he became a delegate of the Chilean NOC. NOC Vice-President Miguel Ángel Mujica and NOC Secretary General Jaime Agliati presented the trophy.
In addition, the NOC celebrated its 80th anniversary at a ceremony bringing together the Chilean sports family. A tribute was paid to all the Olympic medallists, and various prizes were awarded, such as for the best female athlete of 2014 and best sports career. Over 400 people were present at this 2014 edition of the Olympic gala. Info at

On 25 November, the Spanish NOC commemorated the 50th anniversary of Spanish athletes’ participation in the Innsbruck and Tokyo Olympic Games in 1964 (photo above). In his welcome speech, NOC President Alejandro Blanco thanked all the athletes present and those who represented Spain at these Games. Info at

© Jordanian NOC

The Jordanian NOC has informed us of an initiative launched in the city of Irbid which has transformed the lives of dozens of young orphans. Indeed, following on from the London Games and their legacy, the Jordan Swimming Federation was able to work with UK Sport and British Swimming to develop a national swimming programme. This programme funded British coaches to train their Jordanian counterparts to implement new techniques and drills to develop children in the pool from the age of 3. As well as encouraging more participation, the ultimate goal is to identify talent that can be nurtured through to national level and perhaps even the Olympic Games.  Info at

© Peruvian NOC

The Peruvian NOC welcomed Gilbert Felli (r. in photo), the IOC’s Senior Olympic Games Adviser, who took part in a conference alongside NOC President Jose Quiñones (l. in photo). The conference addressed the major themes of the master plan for the 2019 Pan-American Games, which will be held in Lima, and more particularly the vision, objectives and legacy of the Games’ organisation. In attendance were members of the Lima 2019 Pan-American Games Organising Committee, officials of various sports federations and technical delegates of the 2nd Bolivarian Beach Games in Huanchaco. Info at


RIO 2016

© Rio 2016

The Organising Committee for the Rio Games in 2016 (Rio 2016) has unveiled the Olympic and Paralympic Games mascots (photo). Inspired by the flora and fauna of Brazil, the mascots feature various influences from pop culture, along with elements of animation and computer game characters. The mascots blend fiction and reality, and were both born on 2 October 2009, when Rio de Janeiro was elected to host the Games. After the mascots’ unveiling, a poll to decide their names was opened. Everyone can vote for their choice from a shortlist of three pairs of names, one for the Olympic mascot, the other for the Paralympic mascot, respectively. Both mascots will have their own website and profiles on social media. Read the full press release here and on

(L. to r.) Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah, Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow and Robin Mitchell signing the agreement.

The Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) and the Oceania National Olympic Committees (ONOC) have signed a historic agreement in Ashgabat (Turkmenistan).  The President of Turkmenistan, Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow, signed the agreement with OCA President Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah, ONOC President Robin Mitchell and the Chairman of the Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games (AIMAG) 2017 Executive Committee, Dayanch Gulgeldiyev, to confirm that athletes from 17 nations and seven Associate Members in the Oceania region will participate in the AIMAG for the very first time in Turkmenistan in 2017. The signing ceremony was held in the presence of senior officials from the Government of Turkmenistan, international diplomatic representatives and over 100 international and local media. A record 8,000 athletes and officials from 62 NOCs should take part in these Games.

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