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Olympic Highlights 01/02/2021

IOC / Greg Martin
Date
01 Feb 2021
Tags
Olympic News, IOC News, Olympic Highlights

IOC ACTIVITIES

president

IOC President Thomas Bach chaired an Executive Board (EB) meeting held remotely on 27 January. The EB received progress reports on the upcoming Olympic Games and Olympic Winter Games.

Speaking with the media after the EB, President Bach reiterated the IOC’s commitment to delivering the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020 this summer. In reinforcing the optimism for this year’s Games, he also acknowledged the difficulties ahead. He said: “The organisation of the Olympic and Paralympic Games, as such, is already an extremely complex challenge. But this complexity is multiplied when it comes to organising postponed Olympic Games for the first time ever, and this under the conditions of a pandemic. So, there is no blueprint for this, and we are learning every day. This fight against the virus, as you all know from your personal circumstances, is a tough one. But we are fighting this fight for, and like, Olympic athletes. This means with full determination, with a will to win, with hard work every day, and with all the physical and mental strength we have.”

Regarding the speculation about cancellation, the IOC President said: “all this speculation is hurting the athletes in their preparations, who have already overcome the challenges in their daily training and competition with all the restrictions they are facing, either in their country or when it comes to travelling. […] We are not speculating on whether the Games are taking place. We are working on how the Games will take place.” 

President Bach also mentioned the COVID countermeasures put together for every possible scenario and the release of the first version of the playbooks for the Games in early February. These guidelines will outline the fundamental measures each stakeholder group will have to follow before, during and after Tokyo 2020 to ensure the safety and success of this year’s Games. Read the full news release here.

With regard to the Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022, the IOC President updated the EB with his recent talk by telephone with the President of the People’s Republic of China, Xi Jinping. They discussed the progress of preparations and the Chinese President’s recent visit to the competition venues and his positive impressions. President Bach congratulated President Xi on the fact that his vision of making 300 million Chinese people familiar with winter sports through the Olympic and Paralympic Games is already becoming a reality. With this, the Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022 will transform the global scene for winter sports. The two leaders also discussed the close cooperation between the IOC and Chinese authorities with regard to health matters and the measures already being taken to ensure safe and secure Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games 2022. The Chinese President also offered cooperation with the IOC to ensure that both the Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022 and the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 will be safe and successful. Beyond this, the two leaders discussed all other matters which are important to the success of the Olympic Games and the long-term mutual cooperation. Read the full news release here.

The Paris 2024 report summarised the updated venue masterplan, agreed at the Paris 2024 Board of Directors meeting late last year following earlier approval by the IOC. Plans were also shared for the French Olympic and Paralympic Week - taking place between 1 and 6 February -  while the IOC EB congratulated the Organising Committee on its move into its new headquarters in Seine St-Denis, the department north of Paris that will host most of the Games competitions in 2024.

Following a recent Delivery Partners Meeting between the IOC, the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) and Milano Cortina 2026, details of the Organising Committee’s upcoming engagement activities were shared with the IOC EB members.

Updates from Los Angeles 2028 included progress on the development of their organisation and commercial partner acquisition.

Reports on the upcoming Youth Olympic Games Gangwon 2024 and Dakar 2026 were also provided, with both organisations continuing the development of their Games delivery plans over the coming months. In particular, the Dakar 2026 report highlighted the support available to IFs and NOCs through the YOG Athlete365 Education Programme, while harnessing the opportunities created as a result of the postponement.

The EB also decided that the 137th IOC Session, set to take place from 10 to 12 March 2021, originally in Athens (Greece), will now be held virtually. The decision was taken in order to respect the strict measures being implemented now all over the world to contain the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic and bring the number of cases down. The EB also decided to propose to the IOC Session in March that Athens should be selected to host the IOC Session 2025. More info here.

The IOC EB is still very much concerned about the lack of progress in the requested reforms of the International Boxing Association (AIBA) regarding management, governance, refereeing and other issues. These concerns will be relayed to AIBA.

Serious concerns were also raised about the apparent weakening of the anti-doping rules and other governance issues within the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF). The fact that the IWF is looking to change the anti-doping rules approved by the IOC as part of its qualification system for Tokyo 2020, with the qualifications already underway and without any consultation with the IOC, was deemed worrying by the IOC EB. The IOC will request a clear explanation from the IWF, and will have to discuss this issue again during the next EB meeting in February.

Following discussions with the Italian National Olympic Committee (CONI) and the Italian government over the past two years, the IOC was informed that a decree was finally adopted on 26 January 2021 by the Italian Council of Ministers to ensure that CONI can fully perform its role and operations as an IOC-recognised NOC in an autonomous manner, as per the Olympic Charter and as requested by the IOC and CONI. It is therefore understood that the situation is now resolved.

On the topic of sustainability, in response to the growing climate crisis, the EB also decided to align with the Paris Agreement on climate change by setting a target to reduce its direct and indirect greenhouse gas emissions by 45 per cent, by 2030. In addition to reducing its emissions, the IOC will offset more than 100 per cent of its remaining carbon emissions. This will be mainly done through the Olympic Forest project, which is part of the Great Green Wall - an existing UN-backed initiative to combat desertification in Africa’s Sahel region. These offsets will make the IOC climate positive by 2024, meaning that it will be removing more carbon from the atmosphere than it emits. The IOC will also continue to use its influence to encourage others within the sports world to take action against climate change. Read the full news release here.

In a conference call with all IOC Members on 21 January, President Bach outlined the current status of the preparations for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 and the Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022. During a three-hour long Q&A session, the Members were able to discuss the various challenges and opportunities that the Olympic Movement is facing with regard to the upcoming Games. Great confidence was expressed in the delivery of the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 in a safe and secure way for all the participants and in the stability of the Olympic Movement.

The following day, President Bach held consultation calls with the NOCs during which they discussed the progress of preparations for the Olympic Games. The IOC will work with the NOCs to encourage and assist their athletes, officials and stakeholders to get vaccinated in their home countries, in line with national immunisation guidelines, before they go to Japan. In order to get a full picture about the vaccination situation for the 206 NOCs, the IOC has sent a letter to the NOCs asking them to actively engage with their respective governments on this matter and to report back to the IOC in early February 2021. The IOC continues to strongly support the priority of vaccinating vulnerable groups, nurses, medical doctors and everyone who is keeping our societies safe.

Participants were also informed that the IOC is also continuing to consult with the World Health Organization (WHO), to make every effort towards staging safe and secure Games.

The NOCs were also reminded that WHO and the IOC are working together to promote global health and wellbeing, in particular for the prevention of non-communicable diseases. WHO, the IOC and the UN recently cooperated in the #HealthyTogether campaign to help protect people against COVID-19. Therefore, the IOC asked the NOCs to actively support this and other campaigns in their territories. Read the full news release here.

A very fruitful conference call was also held with the Summer Olympic International Federations. They unanimously supported the IOC’s commitment to delivering safe and secure Olympic Games Tokyo 2020.

The same commitment and confidence were expressed for the Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022 by the International Olympic Winter Sports Federations during another call.

A conference call with the athletes’ representatives will also be held soon.

The preparations for the Olympic Winter Games Milano Cortina 2026 were at the heart of discussions between President Bach and the President of the International Skating Union (ISU), Jan Dijkema.

President Bach met the Chair of the International Testing Agency (ITA), Valérie Fourneyron, and its Director General, Benjamin Cohen in a video call. They discussed the preparations for the anti-doping programme for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020. They also agreed on and stressed the importance of full delegation to the ITA by its users to ensure the credibility of the anti-doping programmes delivered by the ITA and, de facto, that of the sports movement.

In a video call, the IOC President and the Co-Chair of the Group of Friends of Sport at the United Nations (UN), Ambassador Isabelle Picco from Monaco, highlighted the implementation of the most recent UN General Assembly Resolution adopted on the 1st December 2020, and the preparations for the UN Olympic Truce Resolution for the Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022. IOC Member and IOC Permanent Observer at the UN Luis Alberto Moreno joined the call as well.

President Bach and TOP Partner Atos CEO Elie Girard discussed via videoconference the excellent cooperation between their organisations and the preparations for the next editions of the Olympic Games.

IOC / Greg Martin

At the invitation of the Dean of the Paris School of International Affairs at Sciences Po in Paris (France), Enrico Letta, who is also a former Prime Minister of Italy, President Thomas Bach took part virtually in the 6th edition of the Youth & Leaders Summit, the theme of which was “Wars and Peace: Solving Conflicts, Building Human Security”. Speaking at one of the sessions, he highlighted the important role and contribution of sport to building a peaceful world. IOC Member and Vice Chair of the IOC Athletes’ Commission, Danka Bartekova, also took part in the Summit.

In a phone call with the Global CEO of Deloitte, Punit Renjen, matters of mutual interest were discussed.

Calls were also held with IOC EB member Kirsty Coventry, and IOC Member Spyros Capralos, as well as with the Chair of the IOC Ethics Commission Ban Ki-moon, during which various Olympic matters were addressed.

Members
Mongolian NOC

IOC Member Batbold Battushig (r. in photo) invited his fellow countryman and IOC Honorary Member Shagdarjav Magvan (l.) to his office at Olympic House in Ulaanbaatar. Both men exchanged views on Olympic topics, including the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020. They also sent their best wishes and good luck to Team Mongolia, who have attended the Olympic Games since Tokyo 1964.

honorary Members
IOC

It is with great sadness that the IOC learnt of the death of IOC Honorary Member Walther Tröger at the age of 91. In addition to his invaluable contribution to the Olympic Movement internationally, Mr Tröger’s remarkable career as a sports administrator was marked by his successful commitment to shaping sport in Germany for several decades. For IOC President Thomas Bach, “Walther Tröger made a great contribution to the IOC, first as its Sports Director, then as a Member and lately as an Honorary Member. I got to know him as a person with a great passion for sport and an immense knowledge about the Olympic Movement already when we met for the first time in the 1970s, when he was Secretary General of the NOC and I was an athlete. In all his activities over the many years, Walther Tröger worked tirelessly in the administration of sport and made a major impact on the development of German and international sport.” Mr Tröger’s career was punctuated by 27 editions of the Olympic Games as a sports official. He was notably Chef de Mission at the Olympic Winter Games eight times between 1976 and 2002. During the Olympic Games Munich 1972, his role as Mayor of the Olympic Village led him to be involved in the negotiations with the terrorist group that took Israeli athletes hostage. Full news release here

TOP Partners

Allianz, the global insurance company, officially began its eight-year worldwide partnership with the Olympic Movement on 1 January 2021. Since announcing the partnership in September 2018, the insurer has engaged fans, athletes, teams and employees through various health initiatives across four pilot markets: Australia, China, France and Spain. Having supported the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) since 2006, most recently as an international partner, Allianz now also becomes a “Worldwide Paralympic Partner” as part of this agreement, following the establishment of a long-term partnership between the IOC and IPC in March 2018, which sees all Worldwide TOP Partners also supporting the IPC and the Paralympic Games. Full news release here.

Other Olympic news

In the framework of the 2021 PhD Students and Early Career Academics Research Grant Programme, The Olympic Studies Centre (OSC) with the support of its Grant Selection Committee, has awarded six projects. The chosen researchers benefit from a grant to allow them to carry out their project and, if relevant, to consult the OSC’s resources in Lausanne. The results of their research must be submitted by the end of 2021. The full list of grants awarded is available here. The OSC is part of the Olympic Foundation for Culture and Heritage. For more information on the OSC and its programmes and services, visit www.olympic.org/studies. You can find its unique library collection on the Olympic World Library.

international federations

summer ifs

An online International Basketball Federation (FIBA) statisticians’ workshop was held on 16 and 17 January by the FIBA Regional Office in Asia. This adds to the Office’s ongoing efforts to raise the quality and level of basketball in the region. The workshop was held with the objective of continuing to prepare a core group of FIBA-licensed statisticians for Tokyo 2020. A total of 33 statisticians attended the workshop. More details here.

On 13 January, the International Football Association (FIFA) announced the launch of FIFA Sound, a new entertainment strategy designed to create innovative and meaningful connections between football fans, music enthusiasts, players, artists, and the game and songs they all love. FIFA Sound is kicking off with the launch of an eight-episode podcast series. In each episode, celebrated footballers from around the world will discuss transformative moments from their careers – on and off the pitch – through the songs that have provided a soundtrack to their lives. The players will be joined by an award-winning musician who inspired them, as they explore the interplay between music and football in their lives. More info here.

The International Swimming Federation (FINA) has launched Swim&Play Ball, a FINA Development programme for all National Federations to provide a comprehensive road map for the initiation of water polo activities. This development initiative is a step forward following FINA’s successful  Swimming for All – Swimming for Life programme, which offered a universal plan with standard criteria to teach people how to get acquainted with water. The Swim&Play Ball programme is a guide throughout the introduction stage for boys and girls who will go on to join a water polo club and participate in grassroots or age-group water polo competitions. More info at www.fina.org

The International Modern Pentathlon Union (UIPM) has announced that the Egyptian capital, Cairo, will stage the UIPM 2021 Pentathlon and Laser Run World Championships, from 7 to 13 June. The city hosted the UIPM 2017 Pentathlon World Championships, and has become a regular UIPM Pentathlon World Cup venue in recent years. The move to Cairo comes less than a week after the UIPM Executive Board decided that Minsk (Belarus) could no longer stage the event owing to unforeseen circumstances in Belarus. Full details here.

The 2021 eSailing World Championship were launched on 21 January. Launched in partnership between World Sailing and Virtual Regatta, the world-leading digital sailing platform, this year will be the fourth season, following the launch of the inaugural Championship in 2018. More details here.

On 15 January, the International Surfing Association (ISA) announced the formation of a Medical Commission with the purpose of advising on athletes’ and personnel’s health, the promotion of health and physical activity, and the protection of clean athletes. The Commission will be chaired by Lee Rice. Full details here. In addition, 43 youth surfers from 15 countries have been selected as recipients of the 2020 ISA Scholarship Programme. Since 2007, more than 350 surfers around the world who are 18 years of age and under have benefited from this programme. More details here. The ISA has also joined the United Nations’ “Sports for Climate Action”– an initiative that helps and guides sports to reach their climate goals – to deepen the ISA’s commitment to environmental sustainability. Info here. In addition, the ISA announced its commitment to the United Nations‘ “Sport for Generation Equality Framework” underlining its dedication towards gender equality in sport. Info here.

national olympic committees

BOC

The first meeting of the Athletes’ Commission of the Brazilian Olympic Committee (BOC) was held remotely on 12 January with the participation of the 25 new members elected for the 2021-24 cycle. During a virtual vote, the Commission elected as President Yane Marques (l. in photo), who is a bronze medallist in modern pentathlon at London 2012. Fabiano Peçanha (r.), a semi-finalist in the 800m at Beijing 2008 and London 2012, has been elected as Vice President of the Commission. More details here. Furthermore, the BOC announced that last December, 20 years after winning his 4x100m medal at the Olympic Games Sydney 2000, sprinter Cláudio Roberto Sousa received the Olympic silver medal in a ceremony held during the Brazil Athletics Trophy, at the Olympic Training and Research Centre in São Paulo. In Sydney, Cláudio competed in the qualifiers in place of Claudinei Quirino, but he returned to Brazil without the medal. Full details here.

The Colombian NOC organised three days of training as part of the 3rd edition of the Barranquilla sports administration diploma for 2020. On 18, 20 and 22 January, the participants followed online presentations on sustainability in sport, the prevention of competition manipulation, the integrity of sport, and management skills. More details here.

Hellenic Olympic Committee

The Hellenic Olympic Committee’s Athletes’ Commission, whose President is Vasiliki Millousi organised a webinar entitled “COVID-19 and Sports Psychology” last 17 December. During the webinar, which was moderated by the Commission members Periklis Iakovakis and Maria Danou, sports psychologist Maria Psychountaki gave a speech on “Quarantine, Threat or Opportunity”, while psychologist Barbara Magnisali spoke on an “Intense present, uncertain future – How to build mental resilience”. Full details here.

SF&OC

The Sports Federation & Olympic Committee of Hong Kong, China (SF&OC) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with The Education University of Hong Kong (EdUHK) on 8 January to introduce a special admission scheme for retired athletes and those planning to retire. As the first local university to establish such a collaboration with the SF&OC, the EdUHK hopes this latest partnership will benefit more local athletes by fostering the development of dual career pathways. The MoU was signed by SF&OC President Timothy Tsun Ting Fok (r. in photo) and EdUHK President Stephen Y. L. Cheung (l.). Full info here. Furthermore, the election of SF&OC Officers was held at the 2020 Annual General Meeting last 17 December. Four Vice-Presidents and two Honorary Deputy Secretaries General were elected with a term of four years until the conclusion of 2024 AGM. More info here.

HOC/Péter Szalmás

On 9 January 2021, five-time Olympic champion gymnast Ágnes Keleti (photo) turned 100. IOC President Thomas Bach spoke with Ágnes on the phone, while Hungarian Olympic Committee (HOC) President Krisztián Kulcsár and Secretary General Bálint Vékássy personally conveyed their best wishes to her. The oldest living Olympic champion is also one of the country’s most successful Olympians, having won 10 Olympic medals for Hungary. She is also a coach, university professor, international sports judge and HOC Honorary Member. In Helsinki in 1952, Ágnes Keleti won one gold, one silver and two bronze Olympic medals. Four years later at the Olympic Games in Melbourne, she won four gold and two silver medals at the age of 35. At the 1954 World Championships in Rome, she collected one medal of each colour. In 1957, she went to Israel for the Fifth Maccabiah Games, after which she immigrated to the country. In 1960, as an Olympic coach, she got three Italian gymnasts to the Olympic Games Rome. More details here.

The Hungarian Olympic Committee has officially established a committee to explore the feasibility and possibility of hosting a future edition of the Olympic Games in the Hungarian capital. The eight-member committee comprises distinguished and acknowledged Hungarian economic players. Full details here.

The Olympic Committee of Israel has announced that the Israeli Women's Gymnastics Championships, organised by the Israel Gymnastics Association, will bear the name of Ágnes Keleti, the most successful female Jewish athlete in Olympic history and the recipient of the Israel Prize for Sports and Physical Education 2017. The idea of honouring Ágnes, a legend of gymnastics, for her 100th birthday was conceived by Chaya Halperin, a member of the Israeli gymnastics team in the 1960s, who was chosen by Ágnes to work with her as a teacher at the Zinman College of Physical Education at the Wingate Institute, collaborating with the Olympic Committee of Israel and the Israel Gymnastics Association. More info at www.olympicsil.co.il.

USSA

The United States Sports Academy (USSA), chaired by Thomas Rosandich, held its first ever “virtual” signing ceremony with the Jamaica Olympic Association (JOA) and Jamaica Paralympic Association (JPA) on 21 December in Daphne (USA). The Academy will use the institution’s expertise and resources to help aide in the development of the national sports effort in Jamaica. Representing the JOA and JPA were President Christopher L. Samuda, Secretary General and CEO Ryan Foster, Director Yvonne Kong, and Member Relations Manager Novelette Harris. The Academy’s programmes will also be delivered online to students and athletes in Jamaica until COVID-19 cases have declined to a safe level. More details here.

Last month, the NOC of Kazakhstan held an online session of its General Assembly. The agenda included a review of a number of issues pertaining to the preparations for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020. The Assembly also appointed Andrey Kryukov as the new NOC Secretary General. More info here.

NOC of Lithuania

The NOC of Lithuania (LNOC) held a remote conference on the “Olympic Values Education Programme: Opportunities and Tools”. This was one of the series of teacher training sessions of the Olympic Values Education Programme (OVEP) taking place for the third year. The participants were welcomed by the country’s First Lady, Diana Nausėdienė. Furthermore, on 15 December, the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania adopted the Law on the Ratification of the Nairobi Treaty on the Protection of the Olympic Symbol. This will ensure the legal protection of the Olympic symbol (the Olympic rings) in Lithuania. In addition, in the framework of the HeForShe campaign, the former President of the Republic of Lithuania, Dalia Grybauskaitė, who was The Patron of this campaign, spoke in an interview to the magazine Olympic Panorama, about the importance of gender equality in society, saying that: “equality is a common goal for both women and men” and that “gender equality is one of the most important human rights.” More info at www.ltok.lt

Mongolian NOC

On the eve of 2021, at Olympic House in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolian NOC President Naidan Tuvshinbayar and Secretary General Enkhat Badar-Uugan welcomed the female 3X3 basketball team who have obtained a quota place for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 for the first time in the country’s Olympic history, which was also named a top event in Mongolian sport in 2020 by sports journalists. Two NOC office bearers presented New Year gifts to all 14 athletes, who have qualified for Tokyo 2020 in archery, athletics, boxing, shooting, wrestling and 3X3 basketball.

On 14 January, the Moroccan NOC took part in a webinar organised by the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee concerning COVID-19 countermeasures. The NOC also launched its weekly digital newsletter, which features a selection of Olympic and sports news. Info at www.cnom.org.ma.

Family Archive Zabłocki

Wojciech Zabłocki (photo), an outstanding Polish fencer and architect, four-time Olympian, three-time Olympic medallist in the sabre team (two silvers, one bronze), died at the age of 90, on 5 December 2020. For Geraint John, “the world has lost an architect of unique abilities. He was a ‘Renaissance’ man, who was gifted with many talents: a sportsman who achieved the highest results in his chosen sport, a writer of ability and a distinguished architect. Wojciech was also awarded the Pierre de Coubertin Medal by the IOC. During his architectural career, he designed many sports facilities, including projects in Latakia, Katowice, and Konin. He was the designer of the Academy of Physical Education and the National Velodrome, both in Warsaw. He was also a member of the International Union of Architects (UIA) Sports and Leisure Programme and was made a Member of Honour”. More info here at the Polish Olympic Committee website.

The Portuguese NOC took part in a “Women in Sport” webinar organised by the Portuguese Badminton Federation as part of a programme developed with the European Badminton Association. NOC Project Manager and former President of the Hockey Federation Joana Gonçalves, NOC Women and Sport Commission Chair Elisabete Jacinto, and Olympic badminton champion Ana Moura gave presentations on the current situation and strategies to increase women’s participation. More info here. In addition, NOC Sports Director Pedro Roque took part in a webinar on the theme “COVID vs Sport: from schools to federations”. More info here. Furthermore, the NOC has informed us that, at the beginning of the current Olympic cycle, it established the goal to improve support to all stakeholders of the Olympic Preparation Programme. “The Olympic Performance” programme was then developed, aiming disseminate scientific knowledge, and acting directly on the field. Owing to the COVID-19 pandemic, webinars were organised in a multidisciplinary perspective. The next cycle will be centred on preparations for Tokyo 2020. Full details here.

SNOC

The Singapore National Olympic Council (SNOC) presented the 2019 IOC Trophy “Sport and Sustainable Architecture” to Our Tampines Hub (OTH) on 21 December. Chris Chan (l. in photo), Secretary-General of the SNOC, presented the Trophy to OTH Senior Director Suhaimi Rafdi (centre). They were joined by IOC Vice-President Ng Ser Miang (r.). Our Tampines Hub is Singapore’s first and largest integrated community and lifestyle hub that brings together multiple agencies to offer a comprehensive and diverse range of services, programmes and facilities. Full info here.

Last December, the Slovak Olympic and Sports Committee (SOSC) launched the Zdravensko campaign, a new long-term campaign focusing on healthy living, joined by Olympic athletes like Matej Benus, Zuzana Rehak Stefecekova, Richard Varga, Barbara Mokosova and Danka Bartekova, who is also IOC Member. The motto of the campaign is Let Us Invest in Health instead of Healthcare. The campaign will gradually motivate Slovaks to live a healthier life, with the help of the nation’s top athletes. The SOSC will call on experts in nutrition, medicine and movement to help in the fight against lifestyle diseases and raise awareness about the benefits of a healthy lifestyle on our immunity. More info at www.olympic.sk.

Spanish NOC

On 18 January, a new edition of “Todos Olímpicos” [All Olympic] was launched. The aim of this educational project by the Spanish NOC is to promote the values of sport in the country’s schools. The launch took place at the NOC HQ with the participation of 17 schools and 120 pupils. The difference for this 2021 edition, which will run until May, is that it will take place online. Figure skater Sonia Lafuente, gymnasts Sandra Aguilar and Carolina Pascual, cyclist Helena Casas, and field hockey player Ana Raquel Pérez will take part in this project and disseminate Olympism and its values in schools. More details here. NOC President Alejandro Blanco held virtual meetings with 27 Olympic athletes then 31 coaches and technical directors. During these meetings, the NOC President provided updates on the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 and the health measures being implemented in sport nationally and internationally. More info at www.coe.es.

Melanie Gulston/TTOC

The Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee (TTOC) kicked off the celebrations of its 75th anniversary with a marathon walk. TTOC President Brian Lewis and a group of people from sport, politics and the media completed the 26.2-mile course on the final day of the Trinidad and Tobago International Marathon Virtual Reality Marathon & Ultra Challenge, which ran from 1 to 24 January. For Lewis, the TTOC’s participation, its seventh straight year doing so, reflected athletes’ dedication to their dreams and also carried a broader message about the continuation of physical and sporting activity with the COVID-19 guidelines, protocols and regulations. Full details here. In addition, during the first-ever TTOC virtual annual awards ceremony, swimmer Dylan Carter and cyclist Teniel Campbell were crowned Sportsman and Sportswoman of the Year respectively. Owing to the COVID-19 pandemic, which has changed every aspect of life, including sport, the theme of the evening’s awards was resilience. Full details here, including the full list of 2020 awardees.

Turkish Olympic Committee

The Turkish Olympic Committee has confirmed that the 33rd edition of the Samsung Bosphorus Cross-Continental Swimming Race will be held in Istanbul on 22 August 2021. The world-famous swim sees swimmers from around the world compete in a race from Kanlıca on the Asian side of Istanbul to Kuruçeşme Cemil Topuzlu Park on the European side. More info here.

On 1 January, the US Olympic & Paralympic Committee (USOPC) added six new members to its Board of Directors, elevating athlete representation to nine with Olympic or Paralympic ties, and furthering its commitment to diversity with greater female and minority voices. The new directors include: Gordon Crawford, US Olympic & Paralympic Foundation representative; Muffy Davis, IPC representative; Donna de Varona, athlete at-large representative; John Naber, athlete at-large representative; Dexter Paine, National Governing Bodies Council representative; and Daria Schneider, Athletes’ Advisory Council representative. The USOPC also recognises outgoing board members Robbie Bach, Bill Marolt and Whitney Ping for their steadying voices and commitment to bettering the movements. Full details about the USOPC Board of Directors here.

Venezuelan NOC

The Venezuelan NOC has reported that more than 300 community managers from national sports federations and organisations took part at  the Master Class 2021. This is an activity that marks the kick-off of Olympic Digital Community Operations, an NOC project that seeks to position sport and promote the Olympic values in digital applications. It was held on 27 January virtually and in person. More details here. In addition, athletes, coaches, leaders and dignitaries from the sports world joined sports fans at the traditional sporting mass, held each year on 6 January in different states of Venezuela. NOC President Eduardo Alvarez attended the celebration in Caracas. At the end of December, during an Olympic gala, the NOC paid tribute to IOC Honorary Member Flor Isava Fonseca, who died in July 2020, and several other personalities from the Olympic and sports world. Various honours were awarded during the gala, and the NOC celebrated its 85th anniversary.

Organising Committee for the Olympic Games

Paris 2024

On 20 January, Jacqueline Gourault, Minister of Territorial Cohesion and Relations with Local Authorities, and Tony Estanguet, President of the Organising Committee for the Olympic and Paralympic Games Paris 2024 (Paris 2024), signed an agreement to develop an ambitious collaboration between Paris 2024, through its “Terre de Jeux 2024” label, and the national “Action cœur de ville” [Heart of the City Action] programme. This programme, led by the National Agency for Territorial Cohesion, contributes to the sustainable development of 222 medium-sized towns on the mainland and overseas that play an invaluable central role in their territory. More info at www.paris2024.org.

Recognised organisations

The Association of National Olympic Committees (ANOC) has joined the UN’s Sports for Climate Action initiative, as part of the Association’s commitment to sustainability and minimising its impact on the environment. A key focus for ANOC will be ensuring that sustainability is a central pillar in the hosting of future editions of the ANOC World Beach Games. Full details here.

On 14 January 2021, the Association of National Olympic Committees of Africa (ANOCA) issued a declaration on the upcoming Olympic Games Tokyo 2020. The full text of the declaration can be found here.

Despite the postponement of the Winter European Youth Olympic Festival (EYOF) from February to December 2021, the European Young Olympic Ambassadors (EYOA) programme is going forward. Four months after the start of the programme in September 2020, the new group of EYOAs from 24 countries is meeting regularly in live webinars to pursue the goals of the programme and prepare themselves to deliver online educational activities for athletes during the original dates of the Vuokatti EYOF 2021 (6 to 13 February). Thus, the Virtual Olympic Week will start on 6 February, followed by activities before and after that date. The Week aims to encourage athletes to go beyond competing, to discover the power of the Olympic Movement and to bring the Olympic values closer to everyone in a digital way. Podcasts to hear inspiring athletes’ stories, and educational quizzes to promote different cultures, countries and sport will be on offer. Everyone who joins will be able to take a look at the everyday life of an athlete, participate in an online workout and learn more about Olympism. Follow this Week on the EYOA Instagram and TikTok accounts. More details about the EYOA programme can be found here on the European Olympic Committees’ website.

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has launched three new education resources for athletes and athlete support personnel. Available on its new and improved Anti-Doping Education and Learning platform (ADEL), these new resources are: The Athlete Guide to the 2021 Code;  the ASP Guide to the 2021 Code; and the Athletes and ASP Guide to the 2021 Prohibited List. More info here. In addition, WADA has welcomed additional financial commitments from Governments of Cyprus, France, Greece and Poland. When the funds are received, the IOC will match these amounts. The funds will support WADA’s activities in the crucial areas of scientific research and investigations. More details here.

Johannes Diekhans

The IOC, the IPC and the International Association for Sports and Leisure Facilities (IAKS) have launched the 2021 edition of their international architectural awards. Identifying and promoting trends for transforming communities and urban areas into places of active living, as well as building sustainable facilities, is at the core of this international competition. Full details here.

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