IOC President Thomas Bach welcomed the Prime Minister of Hungary, Viktor Orbán, to Olympic House in Lausanne. President Bach gave Mr Orbán a tour of the new headquarters, which is one of the most sustainable buildings in the world. During the visit, Mr Orbán signed the IOC’s “golden book”, noting: “You probably don’t know how important you are for the young generation in this dangerous modern world.” The two leaders discussed Hungary’s participation in the upcoming Olympic Games Tokyo 2020. They also noted the importance of safeguarding the European sports model, which both agreed was vital to the development of sport on the continent. They also discussed the many high-level sports events being staged in Hungary and in Budapest, including upcoming European and World Championships.
Joining the Prime Minister’s delegation for the visit were IOC Member and Olympic fencer Pál Schmitt, who is also a former President of Hungary, and IOC Member and Olympic swimming champion Daniel Gyurta. The delegation was also joined by State Secretary Balázs Fürjes and General Councillor Mario David.
IOC / Greg Martin
The IOC President met the Kenyan Minister for Sport, Amina Mohamed. Together they discussed the situation of sport in the country, the preparations of the Kenyan athletes for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, the Tokyo 2020 Refugee Olympic Team, as a group of athletes from this team are training at the Tegla Loroupe refugee centre in Kenya, and other matters of mutual interest.
FIE / Augusto Bizzi
Addressing the Congress of the International Fencing Federation (FIE), at the invitation of FIE President Alisher Usmanov (left), President Bach congratulated the delegates “for the many innovations that you have taken to modernise our sport by embracing the reforms of Olympic Agenda 2020”, before encouraging them to “be a part of the change”. During the Congress, President Bach met former Soviet fencer Aleksandr Romankov (right), his toughest opponent on the fencing piste. He also presented the FIE with an IOC Trophy. Later on, the FIE Congress voted to award him the prestigious “Challenge Chevalier Feyerick” award (see also under “IFs”).
IOC / Greg Martin
A delegation from the Dutch NOC, led by its President, Anneke van Zanen-Nieberg, discussed with President Bach the NOC’s social engagement programmes, including the Game-Changers programme that will be rolled out in Tokyo, its support to refugee athletes and its significant contribution to a coalition of members of the Olympic Movement providing support to Dakar and Senegal prior to the Youth Olympic Games 2022. The organisation of an Olympic Festival by the NOC during the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 and a review of the Olympic Solidarity programmes were also discussed.
The President received Jeffrey Lu, the CEO and Executive Director of China Mengniu Dairy Company Ltd, which this year joined the family of Worldwide TOP Partners, as a joint partner with Coca-Cola. The two men discussed Mengniu’s activation plans and the international growth of the business.
The President also addressed a number of Olympic topics with IOC Executive Board member Nenad Lalovic and with IOC Member Gerardo Werthein.
He also welcomed the IOC Finance Commission, Audit Committee and Human Resources Committee.
IOC Member Karl Stoss will become Chair of the Olympic Programme Commission on 1 January 2020. He will succeed Franco Carraro, whose term as an IOC Member will be finishing at the end of 2019 and who will become an IOC Honorary Member.
other olympic news
On 26 November, the IOC released a statement about the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA)’s recommendations regarding the non-compliance of the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA). In its statement, the IOC condemned in the strongest terms the actions of those responsible for the manipulation of the Moscow Laboratory data before it was transferred to WADA in January 2019. This flagrant manipulation, it said, is an attack on the credibility of sport itself and an insult to the sporting movement worldwide. The IOC said it will support the toughest sanctions against all those responsible for this manipulation. The full IOC statement can be found here.
The IOC has published details of the sustainability progress it has made since the publication of its first Sustainability Progress Report in October 2018. From the inauguration of Olympic House – one of the world’s most sustainable buildings – to the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 sustainability initiatives and the launch of the UN Sports for Climate Action, the IOC Sustainability Progress Update highlights achievements against the IOC’s 2020 sustainability objectives. For Prince Albert II of Monaco, Chair of the IOC Sustainability and Legacy Commission, “The IOC will continue to lead the Olympic Movement and the wider sporting world in taking effective action on sustainability. In 2020 and beyond, we will continue harnessing the immense power of sport to build a better, fairer and more sustainable world.” Full news release here.
The Olympic Channel and the International Biathlon Union (IBU) have announced an agreement to collaborate on content for the global Olympic Channel platform. Biathlon has had a presence on the Olympic Channel since its launch in August 2016, with a dedicated sports page where fans can relive the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018 and find coverage of the upcoming Winter YOG Lausanne 2020. Full press release here.
Worldwide Olympic Partner Toyota is playing a key role in delivering the Lausanne 2020 Torch Tour, as the Youth Olympic flame makes its way around Switzerland ahead of next year’s Winter YOG. With their commitment to sustainability and reducing the environmental impact of the Games, the Winter YOG Lausanne 2020 are directly in line with Toyota’s vision to lead the future of mobility towards more sustainable solutions through innovation. This commitment includes revolutionising the mobility industry by releasing next-generation vehicles such as the Toyota Mirai – the company’s first zero-emission hydrogen fuel cell car – which was recently added to the IOC’s fleet, and which will be one of the official vehicles of the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020. Full details here.
In its final meeting of the year, in Monaco, the World Athletics Council approved the format of the Continental Tour, a new series of one-day meetings outside the Diamond League. The Council also approved the proposed date changes for the Budapest 2023 World Athletics Championships, which were to be held from 26 August to 3 September, but will now be held from 19 to 27 August. In addition, Hasan Arat, Abby Hoffman and Sunil Sabharwal were appointed by the Council to the World Athletics Executive Board, where they will join World Athletics President Sebastian Coe; the four Vice-Presidents, Sergey Bubka, Nawaf Bin Mohammed Al Saud, Geoff Gardner and Ximena Restrepo; and CEO Jon Ridgeon (non-voting member). More details here. Elsewhere, Kenya’s Eliud Kipchoge and the USA’s Dalilah Muhammad were named the male and female World Athletes of the Year, respectively, at the 2019 World Athletics Awards, held at the Grimaldi Forum in Monaco on 23 November. The full list of award recipients can be found here.
The official draws for the Olympic basketball qualifying tournaments for both women and men took place on 27 November in a ceremony at the Patrick Baumann House of Basketball, the headquarters of the International Basketball Federation (FIBA), located in Mies (Switzerland). The four women’s tournaments, taking place from 6 to 9 February 2020, will be played in Belgium, the People’s Republic of China, France and Serbia. The four men's tournaments, taking place from 22 to 28 June 2020, will be played in Canada, Croatia, Lithuania and Serbia. Full details here.
FIE / Augusto Bizzi
After exactly 20 years, the Annual Congress of the International Fencing Federation (FIE) returned to the Olympic Capital, with more than 300 delegates gathered in Lausanne, at the SwissTech Convention Centre. Among its decisions, the Congress approved the final affiliation of the following countries: Cape Verde, Kenya, Oman and Papua New Guinea. The number of member federations is now 157 worldwide. The Congress also chose Egypt to organise the 2021 Senior Fencing World Championships. Full details here.
The International Gymnastics Federation (FIG) has announced that the best trampolinists in the world will be arriving in Tokyo on 28 November to compete in the 34th Trampoline Gymnastics World Championships at the new Ariake Gymnastics Centre, the host venue for the trampoline and artistic and rhythmic gymnastics events at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020. The Championships, which run until 1 December, will also serve as a Tokyo 2020 test event. A total of 336 gymnasts from 37 nations will be taking part. For the individual trampoline gymnasts, there will be up to 16 Olympic qualification berths on offer. More info here.
The International Hockey Federation (FIH) threw its support behind World Children’s Day on 20 November by encouraging hockey communities across the world to don blue kit as they take part in hockey activities. The governing body led from the front, with all staff at the FIH offices in Lausanne wearing blue shirts to mark the occasion. On the same day, the FIH announced the winners of the Olympic Day competition that took place in June 2019. National associations were invited to enter projects that symbolised hockey’s ability to change lives for the better. More details here.
United World Wrestling (UWW) President and IOC Executive Board member Nenad Lalovic hosted international sports figures along with UWW Bureau Members in Istanbul (Turkey) during the launch of the second annual Women in Wrestling Global Forum. At the opening ceremony on 24 November, alongside the UWW President there were IOC Vice-President and Turkish NOC President Uğur Erdener, UWW Executive Board member Natalia Yariguina, and the Vice-President of the Turkish Wrestling Federation, Selahatin Uyan. The participants also took part in workshops covering topics such as becoming a female president, going from athlete to leader, coaching and mentoring female athletes, and refereeing women’s wrestling. More details here.
The International Swimming Federation (FINA), as part of its Development Programme, has confirmed the allocation of 76 scholarships to the best swimmers from 76 National Federations. The primary objective of this programme is to support athletes from developing National Federations to prepare and qualify for the FINA World Championships and Olympic Games. The programme has been allocated a total budget of USD 2 million to ensure that athletes are provided with all the necessary facilities, coaching and other relevant services to optimise their potential. More info at www.fina.org.
Six spots for Tokyo 2020 were awarded during the 2019 Asian Archery Championships. Karma (photo) has become the first athlete from Bhutan to earn an Olympic quota place in any sport. She won a recurve women’s archery spot for Tokyo 2020 during the Asian continental qualification tournament in Bangkok (Thailand). Archery is Bhutan’s national sport. The country has competed in every Olympic archery tournament since Los Angeles 1984 but has always received universality invitations. Karma was granted one of these places for the Olympic Games Rio 2016. Full details here on the World Archery website.
The International Triathlon Union (ITU) has announced that the first-ever Winter Triathlon World Cup will be held in the Chinese resort of Harbin on 4 January. Winter triathlon involves running, mountain biking and cross-country skiing all on snow. Winter triathlon is one of the newest additions to the ITU calendar. The first-ever World Championships in the discipline were held in Italy in 1997. In February 2020, the Italian ski resort of Asiago will host the World Championships, while Romania will host the European Championships. More info here.
national olympic committees
Colombia’s first National Athletes’ Forum took place on 22 November in Cartagena. Participants included nearly 50 athletes from various disciplines; Colombian NOC President Baltazar Medina; the Chair of the NOC’s Athletes’ Commission, Paulo César Villar Nieto; and the NOC’s Academic Director, Constanza Castellanos. The programme featured workshops and talks covering, among other things, the assistance programmes for athletes offered by Olympic Solidarity and Panam Sports, the work of the NOC Athletes’ Commission, the IOC Athlete365 platform, and athletes’ image rights. More info here.
The NOC of El Salvador is supporting the creation of the Foundation for Central American Athletes (FAICA – Fundación para Atletas del Istmo Centroamericano). The establishment of the Foundation was inspired by the Central American Integration System (Marco SICA), which promotes peaceful cooperation in the region, political freedom, democracy and economic development. The FAICA’s goal is to promote interregional cooperation and sustainable economic development for the next generation of young people through a transnational sporting foundation. More info at www.teamesa.org.
COE / Nacho Casares
On 22 November, the Spanish NOC held its first Sustainable Development Congress at its headquarters in Madrid. The event – which was opened by the NOC President, Alejandro Blanco, and the Secretary General of the Spanish Federation of Towns and Provinces, Carlos Daniel Casares – featured a series of round-table discussions that addressed a range of topics, including sustainability in the Olympic Movement, the role of the private sector and the media in sustainability matters, the sustainable development objectives of the Spanish Olympic Movement, and the role of local public authorities in sustainability issues. More info at www.coe.es.
Last week, more than 200 Swedish athletes and coaches gathered for an Olympic Camp in Stockholm ahead of the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020. The Camp involved three intense days of team building, learning and sharing. Fifteen athletes and five teams – including swimmer Sarah Sjöström, a three-time medallist in Rio – have already booked their place at the Tokyo 2020 Games. During the Camp, Olof Stenhammar was awarded the Swedish NOC’s highest honour, the plaque of merit in gold, by NOC Secretary General and IOC Member Gunilla Lindberg. Stenhammar played a key role in the process to start Sweden’s “Top and Talent” programme more than 20 years ago. He also made a private donation of EUR 1 million to set up the NOC’s talent development programme. More info at www.sok.se.
Applications for the 32nd Bosphorus Cross-Continental Swimming Race will open on 4 January 2020. The race will take place on Sunday 12 July 2020 and is expected to attract more than 2,400 swimmers. Organised since 1989 by the Turkish NOC, the event is the only competitive swimming contest to cross two continents, Asia and Europe. More info here.
On 18 November in Montevideo, the Uruguayan NOC held the 35th edition of its Athlete of the Year awards. In his address, NOC President Julio César Maglione, also an IOC Honorary Member, congratulated the athletes and coaches (see photo) for their sporting exploits and exemplary behaviour. Nicolás Landauer (sailing) received the award for Athlete of the Year, while Nicole Frank (swimming) et Felipe Agüero (canoeing) were presented with the Young Athlete awards. The coaching award went to Gastón Balleto (handball). More info here.
The Executive Committee of the Venezuelan NOC celebrated the first anniversary of Venezuela’s Olympic radio station. Some 21 programmes are currently broadcast by the radio station, which was relaunched in 2018 and is based at the NOC’s headquarters in El Paraíso. More details here. In addition, on 27 November, with 239 days to go until the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, the presidents and technical directors of several sports federations, as well as other federation representatives, gathered for a technical meeting. The Chef de Mission and the Technical Director for these Games, Arturo Castillo and Magdampi Marín, respectively, and NOC President Eduardo Álvarez presented technical information about Tokyo 2020. More details here.
organising committees for the olympic games
The Organising Committee for the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020 has obtained ISO 20121 certification, an international standard governing sustainable event management created by the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO). Tokyo 2020 has been working towards the implementation of the ISO 20121 standard with the goal of ensuring more consistent sustainability efforts at all stages of the Games, from the preparation phase up until after the Games have ended. From May to August 2019, all relevant Tokyo 2020 activities were assessed by the British Standards Institution (BSI), an ISO certification body, resulting in the announcement of the certification. The certification covers all Tokyo 2020 operations. Full news release here.
The launch of the new Paris 2024 emblem was one of the main milestones highlighted by the Paris 2024 Organising Committee during the 4th Delivery Partners Meeting held in the French capital on 26 and 27 November. Speaking after the visit, the Chair of the IOC’s Coordination Commission for the Olympic Games Paris 2024, Pierre-Olivier Beckers-Vieujant, commented: “The Paris 2024 Organising Committee, under the leadership of Tony Estanguet, has completed a remarkable amount of work over the past five months.” During the meeting, representatives from the IOC and the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) received updates from the Paris organisers on the progress made in a number of key technical areas, such as the launch of 100 per cent of the Games delivery plan components and the finalised Paralympic venue masterplan. Full news release here.
youth olympic games organising committees
The 3’500 volunteers of Lausanne 2020 will be equipped with uniforms especially developed for the Games. In January, the Swiss brand ODLO will provide them with uniforms in the colours of Lausanne 2020. Sharing the common values of sport and innovation, the two organisations have designed uniforms which combine comfort, aesthetics and technology, while respecting their joint commitment for sustainability. Full details here. In addition, members of the public can now purchase tickets online for the Opening Ceremony of the Winter YOG Lausanne 2020, which will take place on 9 January 2020 at 7.30 p.m. The public can also register to attend the YOG indoor competitions free of charge. Tickets are limited for the indoor events, whereas access will be unrestricted for the outdoor events. More details here.
The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has published the 2021 World Anti-Doping Code and International Standards. The Standards were approved by the WADA Executive Committee, and the Code by the WADA Foundation Board, at the conclusion of the Fifth World Conference on Doping in Sport on 7 November. The 2021 Code and Standards are set to come into force on 1 January 2021. Full details here. In addition, WADA announced that, as of 27 November, Athlete Central, the new app that facilitates athlete compliance with Whereabouts rules under the global anti-doping programme, is available for use and download from the Apple Store and Google Play. Athlete Central, which is powered by WADA’s Anti-Doping Administration & Management System (ADAMS), replaces WADA’s current app, which has been operational for a few years and required modernising. Full news release here.