IOC President Thomas Bach was in Paris on 8 and 9 July for several meetings, in particular on the impact of COVID-19 on the Olympic Games Paris 2024, and for the renewal of the global partnership with Atos.
On 8 July, IOC President Thomas Bach was received by French President Emmanuel Macron, at the Palais de L’Elysée in Paris. During a fruitful meeting, the two men addressed the new challenge of organising the Olympic Games in a post-coronavirus world. “President Emmanuel Macron and I spoke about the importance of sport and sports activity during and after this unprecedented health crisis that the world continues to face,” President Bach said at the end of the meeting. He also reminded the French President of the IOC’s ambitions with respect to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. “This highly positive meeting was an opportunity to share with President Macron the IOC’s initiative to explore with the Paris 2024 Organising Committee the possibility of staging climate-positive Olympic Games in 2024. The French President also gave his support in this respect,” he said.
The two men also discussed the project to adapt the Olympic Games to the post-coronavirus world by taking a simplified approach, while respecting the planned budget and preserving the message and values conveyed by the Olympic Games. President Macron also praised the power of the Olympic Games to unite the whole world by respecting political neutrality. The IOC President was accompanied by Tony Estanguet, President of the Organising Committee for the Olympic Games Paris 2024, and Christophe De Kepper, the IOC Director General.
During his visit to Paris, the IOC President went to the City Hall for a working meeting with the Mayor, Anne Hidalgo, whom he congratulated again on her recent re-election. The two leaders discussed the preparations for the Olympic Games Paris 2024. IOC Members in France Guy Drut, Tony Estanguet and Jean-Christophe Rolland, and the President of the French NOC, Denis Masseglia, also attended the meeting.
A working meeting was also held with Paris 2024 President Tony Estanguet and CEO Etienne Thobois.
A dinner brought together President Bach, IOC Members Guy Drut, Tony Estanguet and Jean-Christophe Rolland, the President of the French NOC, Denis Masseglia, as well as the Chair of Paris 2024 Athletes’ Commission, Martin Fourcade.
Professor Stephan Wassong, President of the International Pierre de Coubertin Committee and Director of the Olympic Studies Centre at the Sports University of Cologne, and Michelle Ford, Australian swimmer and Olympic gold medallist, presented their book project on the foundation and history of the IOC Athletes’ Commission to President Bach. Michelle Ford was a member of the Athletes’ Commission at the same time as the IOC President.
President Bach joined more than 100 dignitaries, including Nobel laureates and Nobel laureate organisations, civil society leaders, and moral leaders from all over the globe in signing the appeal initiated by Nobel Peace Prize-winner Muhammad Yunus to all global leaders, international organisations, and governments to declare COVID-19 vaccines as Global Common Good available to all, but particularly the poor, the most vulnerable and marginalised all over the world. Full details here.
Meetings were also held with IOC Vice-President Uğur Erdener and IOC Member René Fasel, during which the men addressed various Olympic matters.
The IOC President also met Michael Payne, a marketing consultant and former IOC Marketing Director.
The IOC, in partnership with Intel, is to extend life-coaching, mentoring, and learning and development services to athletes through the Athlete365 Community. This new initiative is a direct outcome of Intel’s and the IOC’s commitment to support Olympians and Olympic hopefuls who are working to manage the impact of COVID-19. Athlete benefits will include access to tools that will help assuage the challenges created by the worldwide pandemic. Additionally, Intel has donated various types of devices to different sports committees to help athletes continue and enhance their training and stay connected. Full news release here.
Other olympic news
The United Nations (UN) General Assembly confirmed on 6 July that the Olympic Truce for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 will now be observed from 16 July 2021 (seven days before the opening of the Olympic Games) to 12 September 2021 (seven days after the closing of the Paralympic Games). The resolution, entitled “Building a peaceful and better world through sport and the Olympic spirit”, was originally passed unanimously and co-sponsored by 186 of the 193 UN Member States in December 2019. But with the postponement of the Games of the XXXII Olympiad to 2021, the dates have now been changed accordingly. For IOC President Thomas Bach, “this decision is also a strong sign of confidence that these Olympic Games will be the light at the end of the dark tunnel humankind is currently going through. We are very grateful to all the governments for this expression of trust in the Olympic Games.” Tokyo 2020 President Mori Yoshiro commented: “Inspired by the adoption of this updated resolution, we will make all the more effort to utilise the priceless opportunity presented by the Tokyo 2020 Games to help build a peaceful and better world through sport.” Full news release here.
The IOC has received another distinction for Olympic House. The IOC’s new headquarters has been awarded the European 2020 US Green Building Council (USGBC) Leadership Award. Olympic House, which also holds the rigorous LEED Platinum certification, is one of the most sustainable buildings in the world. The award recognises “those advancing the development of sustainable, healthy and resilient buildings, cities and communities in regions around the world”. It has been given to five organisations that are “a model for how LEED can be used to improve communities, support human health and well-being and contribute to a more sustainable future for all”. Full news release here.
A new paper published jointly by the IOC, INTERPOL and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), addresses the current health crisis and the action required by those involved in tackling corruption in sport and preventing the manipulation of competitions, in particular sports organisations and governments. Full news release here.
“Women and girls must be participants and leaders in sport recovery” says UN Women in a Policy Brief published on 2 July. Informed by the Sports for Generation Equality Framework, a multi-stakeholder coalition launched by UN Women and the IOC in March to advance gender equality, the document focuses on the impacts of the pandemic on women and girls in sport in five key areas: Leadership, Gender-Based Violence, Economic Opportunities, Media Participation and Representation, and Girls’ Participation in Sport. Full news release here.
As part of the process of additional analysis on the samples collected from the Olympic Games London 2012, the IOC announced on 9 July that one athlete has been disqualified from these Games. Full details here.
In addition, FIBA has joined the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Sports for Climate Action initiative as a signatory of the Sports for Climate Action Framework. The UNFCCC aims to help sports organisations reduce emissions caused by their operations and leverage the worldwide popularity of sport to engage millions of fans in the effort. More info here.
The 2019 Annual Report of the International Equestrian Federation (FEI) has been published on the FEI’s corporate website (inside.fei.org), providing a comprehensive recap of all the key sporting moments and the main decisions, together with detailed facts and figures by discipline, nation/region, athlete/horse and on development-related activities through FEI Solidarity in 2019. The full financial report and statistical trends are also highlighted throughout the online Report, together with videos from all the major sporting events and features on the FEI Award winners 2019.
The 83rd Congress of the International Gymnastics Federation (FIG), originally scheduled to take place in Antalya, Turkey, from 23 to 25 October 2020, has been officially postponed until 29 to 31 October 2021. The FIG Executive Committee, which met by videoconference on 7 July, took this decision after consulting the national gymnastics federations. More info here.
United World Wrestling (UWW) launched UWW Academy – the official learning platform for coaches, referees, athletes on 3 July. As Nenad Lalovic, UWW President and an IOC EB member, explained, the UWW academy is a long awaited digital educational platform for wrestling worldwide, which started with basic education content and in the near future will be extended for National Federations’ administrators, event organisers and many others. Link to the video here.
Limerick, Ireland, has been named as host of the 2023 World Archery Youth Championships, and it has been confirmed that the World Archery Congress in 2021 will be held at the World Archery Championships in Yankton, USA. These selections were approved by the World Archery Executive Board in a postal vote earlier this summer. Full details here.
The World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) has officially opened its new and permanent global headquarters (photo) in Pully, directly adjacent to the Olympic Capital, Lausanne. The new headquarters have been named “Home Plate”, and are owned and operated by the WBSC. The WBSC headquarters meets many of the world governing body’s sustainability goals, with 90 per cent of the building’s electricity coming from rooftop solar panels. On the occasion of the official opening on 6 July, WBSC President Riccardo Fraccari welcomed senior members of the Olympic family, including the IOC President and representatives from Pully Municipal Council and the Canton of Vaud. Full details here.
national olympic committees
At the beginning of July, the Colombian NOC organised the second meeting of the seventh edition of the Olympic Solidarity advanced course in sports management (GOLD) for Colombia. All those registered for the course, sports leaders from a variety of organisations, took part. The subjects addressed during this meeting, which was held remotely, included governance, the Olympic system and international sport, strategic management and sports organisations. More details here.
During the past few weeks, the Czech Olympic Foundation, which has already been supporting the sporting ambitions of children from disadvantaged backgrounds for seven years, intensified its activities with regard to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. During this enforced break from competition Olympic MTB cross-country champion Jaroslav Kulhavý came up with a special challenge, named his Everest Challenge, and helped to raise a significant amount of money for the Foundation. The Foundation also brought several athletes to 13 children’s homes and two centres for children with disabilities to distribute parcels full of paints, felt-tip pens, chalks and school necessities, and to practise sports with the children where possible (photo). Detailed info here at the Czech Olympic Committee website. In addition, the 2019 IOC ‘Sport and Sustainable Architecture’ Trophy has been presented to architects Petr Kolář and Aleš Lapka, founders of the architectural studio ADR, for their consistent promotion of the Olympic ideals and values through the Czech Houses at Olympic Games venues and during the Olympic Festivals in the Czech Republic. More info here.
A meeting was recently held remotely between Venezuelan NOC President Eduardo Álvarez, Venezuelan Boxing Federation President Luisa Benítez and the members of the IOC Working Group for the organisation of the Olympic boxing qualification tournament for the Americas, Leandro Larrosa, Breno Pontes and Federico Muller. The Argentinian capital Buenos Aires is still scheduled to host the tournament. Topics addressed during the meeting included logistical issues and the date for the tournament, which is planned for the first quarter of 2021. More details here.
Organising Committees for the youth Olympic Games
On 2 July, almost five months after the closing of the Lausanne 2020 Youth Olympic Games (YOG) and the day after its official dissolution, the Organising Committee looked back on the great sporting and popular success of the YOG as well as the positive financial results. The legacies left by Lausanne 2020 are manifold. There are social legacies (strong enthusiasm of the Swiss population for Olympism and sport among young people, involvement of schools and the promotion of sport), economic legacies (acceleration of projects useful to communities and tourism) and sustainability legacies (life-size testing of initiatives aimed at reducing the impact of large gatherings in particular). Full news release here.
The Global Association of International Sports Federations (GAISF), supported by the IOC, has launched sustainability.sport, a web portal devoted to sustainability issues such as climate change, economic inequality and social injustice. The portal has been created to help further sport’s sustainability goals, by providing a free tool where sustainability resources from the entire sports community can be grouped together on one dedicated platform. Full news release here. In addition, GAISF and several IFs have pledged their commitment to the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations’ (UNAOC) One Humanity campaign, which calls for solidarity, compassion and unity in the face of discrimination and divisiveness. The UNAOC has recognised the ability of sport to further its call for promoting diversity and positive social change. More info here.
The Medical and Antidoping Commission of the Association of National Olympic Committees of Africa (ANOCA) met by videoconference on 2 July. Deliberations were chaired by the Commission Chair, Patrick Coker, with ANOCA President and IOC Member Mustapha Berraf, in attendance. On the agenda were the presentation of the Commission members, the mandate of the Commission, the medical plan with policies and statements, medical resources and support to the NOCs. The meeting concluded with the adoption of 10 resolutions. The Commission is now committed, following the resolutions, to greater efficiency and dynamism.
The Central American and Caribbean Sports Organisation (CACSO) has announced the creation of a digital communication network for the region that includes a newscast with co-managers in all the countries in the area. The announcement was made by the President of CACSO, who is also an IOC Member, Luis Mejia Oviedo, within the framework of the first virtual meeting held on 25 June with Communications Directors and Social Network Managers of the CACSO member Olympic Committees.
The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) Athletes’ Council is to launch a consultation exercise with the global Para athlete community to gain a better understanding on ways athletes could express their views on key subjects at the Paralympic Games, while respecting the Paralympic Movement’s values and principles. Starting this month as part of the consultation exercise, the IPC Athletes’ Council and the IPC will host a series of focus groups with Para athletes, which will be held in multiple languages to obtain a global picture. Full details here. In addition, during four days of meetings that were held virtually and concluded on 8 July, the IPC Governing Board discussed the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic across the Paralympic Movement, including the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games. Full details here.
On 7 July, with exactly two years to go to the opening ceremony of the World Games 2022 in Birmingham (USA), a detailed sports programme for the official sports has been published. The programme includes 30 sports, 54 disciplines and 207 medal events. Full info here on the website of the International World Games Association (IWGA).