Olympic Highlights 08/04/2019
IOC President Thomas Bach welcomed students from Fukushima to the IOC headquarters in Lausanne. The President invited them to join him at a baseball game to be held in Fukushima during the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020. These young people are part of the “Support Our Kids” programme in which the Swiss Embassy in Japan is involved, and which supports children affected by the 2011 tsunami.
President Bach welcomed a delegation from the Slovak NOC, which included its President, Anton Siekel, and IOC Member Danka Bartekova. Discussions focused on the situation of sport in the country, the preparations of Slovak athletes for the next Olympic Games and the NOC’s Olympic education programmes.
President Bach met the President of the International Cycling Union (UCI), David Lappartient. The two leaders spoke about the cooperation between the IOC and the UCI and many other topics of common interest. They also discussed the IOC Esports Liaison Group, which is chaired by the UCI President.
The IOC President met Jorge Viegas, President of the International Motorcycling Federation (FIM), who payed a courtesy visit to the IOC.
A meeting was also held with IOC Vice-President Uğur Erdener, with whom various Olympic topics were discussed in particular the considerations around the WADA reforms.
In Berlin, President Bach participated in the first Arab-German Sports Summit, organised by the Ghorfa Arab-German Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Attending were ambassadors and business leaders from Arab countries as well as the President of the Qatar Olympic Committee (QOC), Sheikh Joaan bin Hamad Al Thani, and a number of German governmental representatives and parliamentarians. The Summit’s aim was to promote and develop a sustainable dialogue between Arab countries and Germany with regard to sport.
IOC Executive Board member Willi Kaltschmitt Luján represented the IOC at the third Forum for the Americas placed under the theme ‘Sport, Education and Values for a Culture of Peace’. The Forum was organised by the NOC of Guatemala on 4 and 5 April, on the occasion of the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace.
It is with sadness that the IOC has learnt of the death of Habib Macki, who was the IOC Member in Oman from 2009 to 2013. He greatly contributed to the development of sport in Oman and was the Director General of the very successful 2nd Asian Beach Games 2010 in Muscat. In the IOC, he was particularly committed to the topics of women in sport and marketing, as a member of the Commissions devoted to these topics.
The second of the two working visits of the IOC Evaluation Commission for the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games 2026, chaired by IOC Member Octavian Morariu, is taking place this week in Italy. Replicating the format from last month in Stockholm-Åre (Sweden), this visit is taking place over five days from Tuesday 2 April to Saturday 6 April and includes presentations of venues and discussions with the candidature team and local stakeholders. Full news release here.
Building on a successful 2017 International Athletes’ Forum, the IOC Athletes’ Commission (IOC AC) announced the attendee list in 2019 will top 300. All 206 NOC ACs have been invited to the Forum for the first time, and will join the IF ACs, WADA AC, Paris 2024 and Los Angeles ACs, the Continental Athletes’ Association and International Paralympic Committee ACs, making the 2019 edition the biggest-ever. The Forum will take place from 13 to 15 April in Lausanne. Full news release here.
other olympic news
City of Geneva
Virginie Faivre, President of the Organising Committee for the Winter Youth Olympic Games Lausanne 2020, represented the IOC at the Sport and Society Forum organised by the Sports Department of the City of Geneva on 30 March. The theme of the Forum was “Equality between women and men: utopia or opportunity”. In her speech, Faivre highlighted the results achieved by the IOC in recent years both on and off the field of play, and the importance of female athletes as role models for all young people.
The Olympic Channel is now available on the Roku platform. Olympic Channel content available on the new app includes a 24/7 live stream and more than 400 episodes from the Olympic Channel library of original content featuring more than 60 series developed with best-in-class production companies from more than 25 countries. Full news release here.
The Central Board of the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) met for the first time in 2019 on 30 and 31 March in Abidjan (Côte d'Ivoire). Some of the key decisions included the granting of automatic places to Japan's men's and women's national teams for the Olympic basketball and 3x3 basketball tournaments at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, and the confirmation of Sofia (Bulgaria) and Cluj-Napoca (Romania) as the host cities for the FIBA 2020 U-17 World Cup, for the boys’ and girls’ competitions respectively. In addition, a resolution in principle was taken to enable the National Federations of the Republic of Korea and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea to take part in the 2019 Women's Asia Cup with a unified team. This move comes on the back of the IOC’s announcement last month that it is considering allowing unified Korean teams to enter qualification for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 in four sports, including women’s basketball. The Central Board members also attended the inauguration of FIBA Africa’s new headquarters. More details here.
The 16th International Gymnastics Federation (FIG) World Gymnaestrada will be held from 7 to 13 July 2019 in Dornbirn (Austria), with a record 62 nations set to take part. Overall, more than 18,000 gymnasts from the five continents are expected at the event. Twelve countries will be involved for the first time: Armenia, Barbados, Benin, Colombia, Fiji, Iran, Malawi (part of the “Discovering Nations Programme”), Malta, Mozambique, Nepal, Paraguay and Tonga. More details here.
On the occasion of the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace on 6 April, the International Hockey Federation (FIH) published on its website (www.fih.ch) five stories that showcase work that is being carried out by individuals, groups, national associations and continental federations to promote peace and development across the globe. More details here.
2 April marked 100 days to go until the 18th International Swimming Federation (FINA) World Championships get underway in Gwangju (Republic of Korea). From 12 to 28 July 2019, around 2,500 athletes from over 180 nations will compete in the six FINA disciplines – swimming, water polo, diving, artistic swimming, open water swimming and high diving. This will be the third time that Asia has hosted the event, after the editions in 2001 in Fukuoka (Japan) and 2011 in Shanghai (People’s Republic of China). More info at www.fina.org.
To celebrate the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace on 6 April, World Rugby has announced the partners for the 2019-20 edition of its Spirit of Rugby programme. All Spirit of Rugby partner programmes will use rugby to support a wide variety of initiatives around youth education, gender equality, leadership and empowerment, civic and social inclusion with a focus on refugee integration, female and general health awareness alongside HIV/AIDS education, environmental sustainability, collaborative partnerships and rugby for all activities. The first edition of the Spirit of Rugby programme offered support to rugby for social development programmes and engaged more than 20,000 participants in over 20 countries. For the 2019-20 cycle, it is anticipated that the programme’s reach will increase to benefit in excess of 30,000 children and young adults, male and female, across approximately 30 countries globally. More details here.
The International Surfing Association (ISA) has welcomed the Oman Surfing Association and the Mongolian Surfing Federation as new Member Nations, bringing the ISA’s total membership to 106 nations across all five continents. More details here.
national olympic committees
The Argentine NOC recently launched an online course on sports-based values, initially for 2,180 sports teachers. It aims to highlight the links between sport, art, culture, education, the use of social media and a healthy lifestyle. The course, accessible throughout the country, is based on elements of legacy management from the Youth Olympic Games Buenos Aires 2018. More info on www.coarg.org.ar.
The NOCs of Cyprus and Poland have renewed their Memorandum of Understanding for another four years. The agreement was signed at the Olympic House in Nicosia (Cyprus) by the presidents of the two NOCs, Dinos Michaelides (left in photo) and Andrzej Kraśnicki (right), with the Polish Ambassador to Cyprus, Irena Lichnerowicz-Augustyn, also in attendance. The MoU covers exchanges of athletes and specialists in sport and Olympic education, and encourages athletes to participate in sports events held in the two countries. The Polish delegation’s visit also included a meeting with the Cypriot Minister for Education, Culture, Sport and Youth, Kostas Champiaouris, a tour of the Cyprus Olympic Museum and an extraordinary meeting with the Executive Committee of the Cyprus NOC. More info on www.olympic.org.cy.
At the General Assembly of the Colombian NOC, the NOC President, Baltazar Medina, presented Luis Javier Mosquera (photo) with his weightlifting bronze medal (69kg category) from the Olympic Games Rio 2016. He was awarded the medal after Izzat Artykov (Kyrgyzstan) was disqualified for failing doping tests. An Olympic diploma was also presented to boxer Ceiber Ávila during the General Assembly. More info here.
The Spanish NOC’s Women and Gender Equality Commission, chaired by NOC Vice-President Isabel García, met recently in Palma de Mallorca. The topics addressed at the meeting, part of the #Palmadona2019 activities, included the national draft bill on sport, the record participation levels in women’s competitions and the creation of the Logroño Observatory for Women in Sport. More info here.
The NOC of Hong Kong, China has unveiled a set of commemorative plaques for sports personalities who have been included in the 2018 roll of honour. A total of 19 sports stars were recognised for their remarkable contribution to the sports community in Hong Kong at a ceremony officiated by Timothy Tsun Ting Fok (photo), NOC President and IOC Honorary Member. More details here.
The Czech NOC has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Russian International Olympic University (RIOU), with the aim of enhancing cooperation in the area of sports management. The MoU was signed by the NOC Vice-President, Roman Kumpost, and the RIOU Rector, Lev Belousov, with Olympic skier and NOC Athletes’ Committee member Klara Krizova also in attendance. The agreement – the latest development in the NOC’s sports diplomacy programme – aims to provide training and professional development to sports management specialists, based on advanced educational technologies and methods, and to facilitate the sharing of best practices in the areas of education, research and culture. More info here.
Together with World’s Children’s Prize, the Swedish Olympic Committee is running a project entitled Round the Globe Run - for a Better World, which started last November. Tens of thousands of children in Sweden will learn more about the Olympic values and the global goals for sustainable development. About 20 Swedish Olympians, such as ice hockey player Danijela Rundqvist and cross country skier Anders Södergren (photo), have visited about 100 schools in Sweden which are taking part in this project and teaching their students about the Olympic values, the Olympic Movement and the global goals for sustainable development. By 1 April 2020, the Olympians will have visited about 250 schools in different parts of Sweden. On 1 April, around one million children across the world participated in the Round the Globe Run for a Better World. Together they will complete up to 100 circuits of the globe, while highlighting the changes they want to see in support of children’s rights and the global sustainable development goals. More info here at www.sok.se.
organising committees for the olympic games
The Tokyo Organising Committee for the Olympic and Paralympic Games 2020 (Tokyo 2020) staged a ceremony marking the conclusion of the Olympic and Paralympic Flag Tour, which has criss-crossed Japan since the arrival of the Olympic and Paralympic flags from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in August and September 2016 respectively. The flags began their tour by visiting all of Tokyo’s cities, towns, wards and villages before heading out across the rest of the country. Over the course of the tour, more than 80,000 people joined welcoming ceremonies hosted in each of Japan’s 47 prefectures. More info here.
In addition, Tokyo 2020 has unveiled images of the Olympic mascot, Miraitowa, and Paralympic mascot, Someity, in a variety of poses, each representing one of the 33 Olympic sports and 22 Paralympic sports. These images will be used in various applications, including on licensed merchandise and other materials approved by Tokyo 2020, by authorities in Tokyo and other cities hosting Tokyo 2020 events, and by marketing partners. Full details at www.tokyo2020.org.
In January 2020, the city of Rabat in Morocco will host the first African Para Games. The announcement came after a Memorandum of Understanding was signed in the presence of International Paralympic Committee (IPC) President and IOC Member Andrew Parsons (2nd from left in photo) on 2 April. Around 1,200 athletes are expected to attend the continent’s main Para sport competition. Most of the events will serve as qualifiers for the Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020, set to be held from 25 August to 6 September. More details here.