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Olympic Highlights 09/12/2019

IOC / Christophe Moratal
09 Dec 2019
Olympic News, IOC News, Olympic Highlights



The IOC Executive Board (EB) met from 3 to 5 December at Olympic House in Lausanne. EB members discussed the forthcoming editions of the Olympic Games and the Youth Olympic Games, protecting the integrity of sport and athletes, and several other institutional matters.  

Looking ahead to the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, the IOC and the Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (Tokyo 2020) announced that Sapporo’s Odori Park on Hokkaido island will host the Olympic marathon and race walk events. The decision was made following the confirmation of World Athletics, the international governing body for athletics. The Japanese organisers also updated the EB on their Olympic torch relay project, and the measures being taken to mitigate high temperatures during the Games. More info here.

The organisers of the Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022 reported that they had recently been awarded ISO 20121 certification – the first event organisation in China to be awarded the certification. Beijing 2022 launched its volunteer programme during the EB, while preparations for the first test event in February in Yanqing are well under way.

The Organising Committee of the Olympic Games Paris 2024 delivered a progress report, highlighting the successful launch of its emblem, which has an 83 per cent approval rating among French people. Paris 2024 also reported that they had recently signed a second domestic partner.

Updates were also provided on the Olympic Winter Games Milano Cortina 2026 and the Olympic Games Los Angeles 2028.

With just over one month to go to the Opening Ceremony of the 3rd Winter Youth Olympic Games, Lausanne 2020 gave an update to the IOC EB on its final preparations. Recent milestones include the start of the flame relay and the launch of the official song, “Start Now”. The schools programme that has seen hundreds of thousands of children engaged in the project pre-Games is set to continue during Games time. Key constructions such as the Vortex, which is the athletes’ village, have been completed, while the Vaudoise Arena is now operational.

The EB approved the sports and events on the programme of the Youth Olympic Games Dakar 2022. Five sports will join the initial 28 on the programme, guaranteeing full gender equality, not only in terms of the number of male and female athletes participating, but also the balance of men to women in each sport and event, for the first time in Olympic history. Full details here.

After receiving a compelling proposition, the IOC EB accepted the recommendation of the Future Host Commission for the Olympic Winter Games to initiate a targeted dialogue with the Korean Sport and Olympic Committee (KOC) for the Winter Youth Olympic Games 2024. Returning to a previous Olympic host would bring significant logistical, financial and organisational advantages, capitalising on ready-to-use facilities, sites and workforce. Full details here.

The IOC EB has decided to modify the order in which the delegations march in the athletes’ parades at the Olympic opening ceremonies. Teams from the upcoming host countries of the corresponding Games (summer or winter) will now march immediately before the current host delegation, which traditionally closes the athletes’ parade. As Greece is the birthplace of the Olympic Games, its team always opens the parade. The aim of the change is to increase the special focus that future hosts already enjoy over the course of their Games preparations by giving them prominence in the stadium and among global audiences during the Opening Ceremony. Full details here.

With regard to the fight against doping, following the IOC President’s announcement during the World Anti-Doping Agency’s (WADA) 5th World Conference on Doping in Sport, the EB has approved a budget of up to USD 5 million, spread over 10 years, to be allocated to a comprehensive long-term storage programme managed by the International Testing Agency (ITA).  More details here.

The IOC EB proposed three new IOC Members for election to the IOC Session, which will meet on 10 January 2020 in Lausanne. All three places are linked to a function within an NOC or an IF. The candidates are: Yasuhiro Yamashita, President of the Japanese Olympic Committee (JOC); David Haggerty, President of the International Tennis Federation (ITF); and Gianni Infantino, President of the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA). Full details here.

The IOC EB also approved the list of athletes standing for election to the IOC Athletes’ Commission. The elections will take place next year during the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020. The 30 candidates contending for the four available positions within the IOC AC have been nominated by their respective NOCs together with their NOC Athletes’ Commissions. They come from 30 NOCs and 19 summer sports. Full details here.

The EB approved the proposal to put forward Former Minister of Foreign Affairs of Kenya, Amina Mohamed, for election to the IOC Ethics Commission.

The EB also approved three changes of nationality (one for the Winter Youth Olympic Games Lausanne 2020 and two for Tokyo 2020) in agreement with the respective National Olympic Committees and International Federations. More details here.

The IOC EB received a report on the Olympic Channel, which announced a total of more than 2.6 billion video views since its launch in 2016, across 19,000 pieces of content. Now available in 12 languages, the Olympic Channel has established partnerships with 92 Federations and broadcast more than 3,500 live sports events.

IOC / Christophe Moratal

For the first time, the IOC EB held a joint meeting with the Executive Committee of the International Volleyball Federation (FIVB) chaired by Ary S. Graça Fᵒ. During the meeting, President Bach congratulated the FIVB on its commitment to innovation in all areas of volleyball. Subjects discussed included the promotion of women’s involvement both on and off the field of sport, the autonomy of sport, non-discrimination, anti-doping, good governance, as well as preparations for future Olympic Games and Youth Olympic Games. During the meeting, President Bach presented the OLY certificate to Cuba’s triple Olympic champion and FIVB Executive Vice-President, Alejandrina Mireya Luis Hernandez. More info here on

IOC / Christophe Moratal

At the invitation of the IOC, the leading representatives of the Olympic Movement met in Lausanne for the 8th Olympic Summit. The Olympic Summit forms part of the ongoing consultation process on important issues of significance for the future of the Olympic Movement. The main areas under discussion were as follows: Athlete Support, Growing politicisation of sport, Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, the fight against doping, “future of global sport” study, esports and gaming, good governance, digital strategy. Complete declaration here.

IOC / Christophe Moratal

The IOC President met the President of the Chinese NOC and national sports minister Gou Zhongwen. They talked about the preparations of the Chinese teams heading for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 and the Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022. The IOC President was accompanied by IOC Vice-President Zaiqing Yu.

IOC / Greg Martin

The IOC President welcomed Jack Ma, founder and former Executive Chairman of the Alibaba Group, a worldwide Olympic partner, to Olympic House for a tour of the new IOC headquarters. They discussed projects in the pipeline for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 and Beijing 2022 as well as IOC digital strategy.


The IOC President gave an address to the General Assembly of the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) in Geneva, in which he highlighted the role of broadcasters in promoting sport and its values. He also talked about how digital technology would transform the way we watch and experience the Olympic Games. Before his speech he held a meeting with EBU President Lord Tony Hall (left) and EBU Director General Noel Curran (right).

Meetings also took place with IOC Vice-President Zaiqing Yu, IOC EB members Kirsty Coventry and Ivo Ferriani, IOC Members Dagmawit Behrane and Tidjane Thiam and Honorary IOC Member Júlio César Maglione.

The President had a meeting with IOC Vice-President Uğur Erdener, IOC EB member Nenad Lalovic, IOC Member Jiri Kejval, IOC Honorary Member Gian-Franco Kasper, United States Olympic Committee President Suzanne Lyons, Russian NOC President Stanislav Pozdnyakov and Francesco Ricci Bitti, President of the Association of Summer Olympic International Federations (ASOIF).

On the occasion of their annual dinner, members of the Lausanne Panathlon Club were welcomed to Olympic House by President Thomas Bach, who is an Honour Member of Panathlon Lausanne. He reminded them of the importance of the values of respect, fair play, solidarity and friendship in today's society – values that both organisations share and defend.

Other Olympic News

To support its objective to engage new audiences and younger generations with the Olympic Movement, the Olympic Channel has launched an official account on TikTok, the world’s leading destination for short-form mobile videos. With a little over a month to the Winter Youth Olympic Games Lausanne 2020, and half a year to next summer’s Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, the Olympic Channel will look to engage with young fans and new audiences through TikTok’s unique platform by creating short videos featuring behind-the-scenes content, interaction with athletes and bespoke original pieces. Full news release here.

International Federations


FEI / Liz Gregg

400 guests from the equestrian world and Russia’s key sports leaders attended the 2019 Awards Gala of the International Equestrian Federation (FEI) at the Kremlin State Palace in Moscow (Russia). The ceremony celebrated the heroes of the year both on and off the field (see photo). The Rising Star award went to Semmieke Rothenberger (Germany). The Best Athlete trophy went to Ingrid Klimke (Germany). Madeleine Broek (Netherlands) won the Best Groom award, while the ‘Against All Odds’ prize was won by Zheqiang Li (China). Finally, the FEI Solidarity award went to Uno Yxklinten (Sweden). More information about the FEI Award winners 2019 here. Previously, from 15 to 19 November, the FEI General Assembly brought together 330 delegates. The GA voted on specific rule changes and the admission of three new National Federations: Bahamas, Mongolia and Côte d’Ivoire. Summary of all the decisions available here.

FIH/Getty Images

On 5 December, the International Hockey Federation (FIH) joined the United Nations and many other organisations in celebrating International Volunteer Day. The FIH is asking everyone in the hockey community to recognise the work of volunteers. The FIH fully supports the UN statement about International Volunteer Day, which this year has the theme “Volunteer for an inclusive future”, highlighting Sustainable Development Goal 10 and the pursuit of equality – including inclusion – through volunteerism. Full details here.

The International Swimming Federation (FINA) has revealed the 2020 calendar of the FINA Diving Grand Prix Circuit. The competition starts on 14 February in Madrid (Spain) and will touch the five continents. After leaving the Spanish capital, the world’s best divers will proceed to Rostock (Germany), Windsor (Canada), Singapore (Singapore), Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia), Cairo (Egypt) and Bolzano (Italy). The eighth and final competition will take place in Gold Coast (Australia) on 6 November 2020. More info at

The International Tennis Federation (ITF) has announced the composition of its Committees and Commissions for 2020-21. A total of over 190 representatives from over 70 nations will serve on a range of ITF Committees, Commissions and Taskforces. In line with the ITF2024 strategy, the 2020-21 appointments reflect the ITF’s drive for gender equality, inclusion and cooperation. Female representation has increased to 33% but remains an area that the ITF will continue to prioritise through its Advantage All programme. More info here.


The Executive Board of the International Triathlon Union (ITU), chaired by IOC Member Marisol Casado, met recently in Madrid (Spain) ahead of the United Nations Climate Change Conference. Sustainability is a matter of the highest priority for the Executive Board, which recently created the ITU Sustainability Commission. The ITU is one of the few International Federations to have ratified the United Nations Sport for Climate Action framework agreement. During its final meeting of 2019, the Executive Board reviewed the financial statements, approved the Staff Handbook, authorised an increase to the budget for anti-doping testing and reviewed the plans for upcoming major events including the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020. Full details here. The Executive Board also agreed to remove the events due to be held in Cape Town (South Africa) and Antwerp (Belgium) from the 2020 World Cup calendar. The financial struggles of the organising committee in Cape Town, and the lack of support of the newly elected municipal government in Antwerp led to both events being cancelled. More info here.

The World Sailing Trust released its Strategic Review into Women in Sailing, a report that explores gender balance and makes a case for change to address disparities within the sport. The document provides insight from 4,500 respondents aged 11-83 from 75 nations with a variety of experience across the sport. The report also identifies nine recommendations to balance the playing field. These recommendations include: diversity and inclusion working group; Gender Charter; equality policy; increasing participation and creating space for women to compete; gender equality for officials; gender design working group; female coaching programme; fast track leadership programme; and a women’s mentoring programme. Full details on

National Olympic Committees

Algerian NOC

As part of the “Judo in Schools” operation launched by the Algerian NOC in collaboration with the International Judo Federation (IJF), on 3 December four judo classes were opened in four primary schools in the districts of Bejaia, Aokas, El kseur and Sidi Aich. NOC President and IOC Member Mustapha Berraf joined the local dignitaries at the opening, along with local judoka Soraya Haddad, a bronze medallist from Beijing 2008, who is coordinating the project. The aim of the scheme is primarily educational, with the intention of identifying talented youngsters and helping children to set goals. Each school will be allocated a qualified coach, and tatamis and judo suits will be donated by the NOC. More info at

NOC of Azerbaijan

The 2nd Digital Communications and Media Seminar organised by the NOC of Azerbaijan and the Olympic Channel was held in Madrid (Spain), at the headquarters of the Olympic Channel from 3 to 5 December. Supported by Olympic Solidarity, the seminar was attended by employees from NOCs of 10 European countries: Azerbaijan, Albania, Slovenia, Slovakia, Serbia, Poland, Czech Republic, Croatia, Belarus and Turkey. The main goal of the seminar was to strengthen cooperation between the NOCs, explore the use of modern trends via social media platforms, develop and effectively implement a strategy appropriate for each platform, and prepare for the Winter Youth Olympic Games Lausanne 2020 and the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 in accordance with Olympic Agenda 2020. Olympic Channel General Manager Mark Parkman praised the initiative of the NOC of Azerbaijan to hold such a significant seminar at the Olympic Channel’s headquarters and emphasised that the seminar would contribute to strengthening the individual and team cooperation between the NOCs and between the member committees and the Olympic Channel. More info at

Brazilian Olympic Committee

The final stop of the 2019 edition of the Youth School Games took place in Blumenau (Santa Catarina state). The country’s biggest student competition, which has been organised since 2005 by the Brazil Olympic Committee, brought together a total of 4,998 athletes between the ages of 12 and 17 from the 26 Brazilian states and Federal District, Japan, and even Angola. The competition was also a success on social networks. The 85 live transmissions on the Youth School Games' Facebook page attracted over 1 million spectators. In terms of sports development, the main innovation was the implementation of the Evaluation and Monitoring Centre, which recorded the data of over two thousand students from 12 to 14 years old, so that the COB can begin to set up the motor profile of these young people and identify the characteristics of those who came through the School Games. In 2020, the School Games will disembark for the first time in Aracaju (Sergipe state) and Gramado (Rio Grande do Sul state), where two regional rounds of the event will take place. The host cities of the third regional round and the national phase will be announced in the coming months. Full details here.

Colombian NOC

Colombia’s eighth Olympic Sport Gala took place on 3 December in Bogotá. This awards ceremony organised by the Colombian NOC recognises the best athletes of 2019 in two categories: Olympic sports and non-Olympic sports. Discover here this year’s award-winners.

Spanish NOC

During the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP25) held in Madrid, the President of the Spanish NOC, Alejandro Blanco, took part in a round table on “Sport, sustainable development and youth” alongside Alex Mejía, Director of the Division for People and Social Inclusion at UNITAR (United Nations Institute for Training and Research) and Cristina Gallach, the Spanish government’s High Commissioner for Agenda 2030. The NOC President was accompanied by former Olympians Elizabeth Pinedo and José Luis Abajo. A sustainable development day created by the Supreme Sports Council took place on 5 December at Madrid’s Museum of Archeology, with the participation of the Spanish NOC’s commission for sustainable development, cooperation and integration. The theme of the day was “Sport acts” (El deporte actúa). More info here.

Guatemalan NOC

The Guatemalan NOC and the Confederation of Autonomous Sports of Guatemala honoured the athletes who excelled in 2019, as a prelude to the celebration of the Athletes’ Day, celebrated on 7 December. During the ceremony, athletes from 46 national federations and sports associations were rewarded for their work, discipline and recent performances. More info at

Venezuelan NOC

At the headquarters of the Venezuelan NOC, the revival of Team Venezuela ­– the brand of Venezuelan athletes created in 2018 during the South American Games in Cochabamba – was celebrated. The Team Venezuela logo is composed of Venezuela's national flower, the orchid, drawn with the three colours of the national flag, and whose eight points at the top of the flower signify the eight stars of the flag. Full details here.

Organising Committees for the Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020

Tokyo 2020

Over 500 people of all ages and nationalities came together on 16 November for the first training session for English-speaking volunteers for the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020. The session took place in Tokyo’s Shibuya Ward, the former site of the Athletes’ Village for the Tokyo 1964 Olympic Games. About 200,000 people worldwide applied for 80,000 volunteer positions. Around 12 per cent were non-Japanese, which is higher than in previous Games. Volunteers will be notified next March of their role and location during the Olympics and Paralympics, and will begin specific training. Training for volunteers from overseas will begin in Japan just prior to the start of the Games, from June 2020. More info here.

Beijing 2022

Beijing 2022

To celebrate International Volunteer Day, the Beijing 2022 Organising Committee launched its “Building a Dream Together” campaign, aimed at recruiting volunteers for the Olympic Winter Games in 2022. Continuing the powerful legacy and spirit of volunteerism from the Olympic Games Beijing 2008, the Organising Committee plans to recruit 27,000 volunteers for the Olympic Winter Games and 12,000 volunteers for the Paralympic Winter Games. A ceremony was held on 5 December to launch the global volunteer recruitment drive at the recently completed Big Air venue in Shougang Park. Volunteers from Beijing 2008, as well as athletes and artists, were on hand at the event as a symbol of the lasting legacies of 2008. Beijing 2022 Olympic mascot Bing Dwen Dwen and Paralympic mascot Shuey Rhon Rhon also joined the celebration. Full news release here.

Organising Committees for the Youth Olympic Games

Lausanne 2020

Lausanne 2020

As the 3rd Winter Youth Olympic Games approach, Lausanne 2020 is encouraging everyone to get behind the new official song, which was launched on 3 December. The song, entitled “Start Now”, is the result of a competition launched in association with HEMU, the Haute Ecole de Musique Vaud Valais Fribourg. It will be one of the emblems of the Games and an expression of the values of Lausanne 2020. The song, composed by Gaspard Colin, a former student of the HEMU Jazz Department, won over the jury made up of members of the Organising Committee including Virginie Faivre, representatives of the IOC and HEMU and two Lausanne 2020 volunteers. Read the press release here.

Recognised Organisations

Online registration is now open for the 16th Annual Symposium of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA). The Symposium, which will take place at the SwissTech Convention Centre in Lausanne on 17 and 18 March 2020, will be followed by a session devoted entirely to athletes on 19 March. Under the theme “Bringing the 2021 Code and Standards into action”, the 2020 Symposium will aim primarily to help World Anti-Doping Code signatories in their adjustment to and implementation of the 2021 Code and International Standards, which will enter into force on 1 January 2021. Complete press release here.

Getty Images

The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) and United Nations (UN) Human Rights Office have launched the second series of the award-winning “Transforming Lives Makes Sense for Everyone” campaign, focusing on the accessible infrastructural legacies of the Barcelona 1992 Paralympic Games. The first of three short films, published to coincide with the UN International Day of Persons with Disabilities on 3 December, showcases how accessibility has made a real and long-lasting impact on people’s lives in Barcelona. The “Transforming Lives Makes Sense for Everyone” campaign was launched in 2018, showcasing the positive impact the London 2012 Paralympic Games had on employment opportunities for people with disabilities in Great Britain. In May 2019 the campaign won a UN Sustainable Development Goals Campaign award. Read more here.


Franco Ascani has been re-elected President of the Fédération Internationale Cinéma Télévision Sportifs (FICTS) for a further four-year term (2020-2023). He was also recently appointed a member of the IOC’s Commission for Culture and Olympic Heritage. Enzo Cappiello was elected Secretary General. The FICTS Congress was happy to note that there had been a significant increase in the number of women (32%) and members from Africa and Oceania in the membership of the Board of Directors and the four permanent commissions. More info here.


The International Association for Sports and Leisure Facilities (IAKS) has published a new brochure entitled “IAKS Future Trends for Pools”. This brochure is aimed at professionals and non-professionals, and describes major developments in pools around the world, and aspects and trends observed by IAKS experts. The future trends identified include topics such as inclusivity, places for socialising, competing demands on public finances and digital transformation. The brochure is available in English and German from

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