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The IOC announced an extension to its global partnership with official timekeeper OMEGA through to 2032, extending its existing partnership by 12 years to include the Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022 through to the Games of the XXXV Olympiad (2032). The announcement was made at The Olympic Museum in Lausanne by IOC President Thomas Bach; Nick Hayek, CEO of Swatch Group and Chairman of OMEGA; and Raynald Aeschlimann, President and CEO of OMEGA. “The Olympic Games is one of the most emotionally-stirring events in the world, with an Olympic medal as the ultimate sporting dream. Its message of unity through sport is deeply compelling for people everywhere”, said Nick Hayek. He thanked the IOC and President Bach for “the way you are leading the Olympic Movement”.
The IOC President enthusiastically welcomed OMEGA's extended partnership with the IOC: “OMEGA has played a vital role in the history of the Olympic Games. It is impossible to imagine the Games without the services OMEGA provides. Extending this partnership is a sign of our confidence in OMEGA’s ability to innovate, and in 2032 they will surely deserve the gold medal for greatest timekeeper of all time”. OMEGA is the first Worldwide Olympic Partner to commit to the Olympic Movement through to 2032. The extension marks 100 years since the start of OMEGA’s relationship with the Olympic Games, which dates back to the Olympic Games in 1932 in Los Angeles. The deal will continue the commitment by OMEGA to provide cutting-edge timing, scoring, and in-venue results system and equipment, which are critical for the success of the Olympic Games. Read the full press release here.
IOC President Thomas Bach has been in Djibouti, where he addressed representatives of the 54 African NOCs gathered there for the 17th General Assembly of the Association of National Olympic Committees of Africa (ANOCA). During his speech, he highlighted the record 45-medal haul by African countries at the Olympic Games Rio 2016 and wished the African athletes even more success at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020. He praised new ANOCA initiatives aimed at strengthening governance and regulation, emphasising that the autonomy of sport and good governance were “two sides of the same coin”.
President Bach also held talks with the President of Djibouti, Ismail Omar Guelleh, at the Presidential Palace. They discussed the role of sport in society to improve health and education, and to instil values in young people. The two leaders also discussed the important work Djibouti is doing to help refugees in the country and agreed to a close cooperation. Speaking at the ANOCA General Assembly, President Guelleh gave his strong support to the Olympic Agenda 2020 reforms. During his visit, the IOC President was accompanied by Aicha Garad Ali, IOC Member and President of the NOC of Djibouti.
During a meeting, the President congratulated IOC Honorary Member Lassana Palenfo on his re-election as ANOCA President and the other newly elected officials.
Whilst in Djibouti, the President held a meeting with all IOC Members in Africa. He also met the Algerian NOC President, Mustafa Berraf, and the Kenyan NOC President, IOC Honorary Member Kipchoge Keino, accompanied by IOC Member Paul Tergat.
From Djibouti, the President travelled to Mozambique where he took a trip out of Maputo to visit one of the OlympAfrica centres supported by the IOC. The centre in Boane, an hour from Mozambique's capital, provides sports and recreational facilities and training for thousands of local children. The centre in Boane is one of 44 throughout the continent, and also provides basic healthcare and educational facilities for more than 2,000 local children. It even provides employment for the local economy, with a local business producing and selling school uniforms. The IOC President was able to see the children in class, and played football with a group of them. Earlier, he visited the maternity and health centre. Whilst there, the President was able to visit one young mother with her day-old baby, who was born at the centre. The mission of Olympafrica centres, here in Mozambique, is also to provide basic healthcare. Throughout the visit, the President was accompanied by the IOC Member in South Africa, Sam Ramsamy, the NOC President, Marcelino Macome, as well as the Mayor of Boane and the District Governor. Read the full press release here.
In Luanda, Angola, the IOC President met the Vice President of the Republic of Angola, Manuel Domingos Vicente, who was Acting Head of State. They discussed sports development, cooperation and the assistance provided by Olympic Solidarity. The President also took part in the meeting of the Angolan NOC Executive Committee, where he congratulated the NOC President, Gustavo Dias Vaz da Conceicão, and his colleagues for their work over the past few years in preparing athletes for the Olympic Games and in implementing sports development projects in the country. They discussed support for the NOC, which is working to upgrade and transform its Olympafrica centre. President Bach also attended the signing of an agreement between the IOC and the Sports Ministry.
In a telephone conversation with the IOC President, French President-elect Emmanuel Macron reaffirmed his support for France’s candidature for the Olympic Games 2024. He reiterated that the Paris 2024 candidature was backed by the sporting movement and how it was in line with the IOC’s sustainable development agenda. He emphasised the structural aspects of the project and the expected benefits for the entire French population in keeping with the values of Olympism. Following the conversation, President Bach declared: “We had a very constructive call, which I appreciated very much, during which I congratulated him on his brilliant election victory. He expressed his full support for the Paris 2024 candidature and also welcomed the reforms of Olympic Agenda 2020. During the call, I confirmed Paris has a very strong candidature, in line with Olympic Agenda, which also demonstrates the great unity of the sports movement and all the political authorities. We also agreed to meet in the near future.”
Kirsty Coventry has been appointed by the Zimbabwe Olympic Committee as Chef de Mission for the Youth Olympic Games Buenos Aires 2018.
On 5 May in Lausanne, the Medical and Scientific Commission held its 11th sports nutrition diploma graduation ceremony. The Commission Chair and IOC Vice-President, Uğur Erdener, welcomed the 17 students who were in attendance, out of the 59 diploma recipients from 24 countries. In recognition of the importance of nutrition for both health and performance, the Commission decided to launch this further education programme in sports nutrition in 2006. Eighty-nine students from 26 countries enrolled in the first part of this two-year course, which can be taken online. Eighty-four passed the first part of the course and continued with the second.
The IOC Evaluation Commission for the Olympic Games 2024, chaired by IOC Member Patrick Baumann, travelled to Los Angeles and Paris for its official visits of the two Candidate Cities. The working visits are a culmination of a new three-stage evaluation process that resulted from Olympic Agenda 2020. The Evaluation Commission spent three days in both cities – 10-12 May in Los Angeles, and 14-16 May in Paris – with the same format for both visits. The agenda involved detailed discussions on the City’s proposals on the first day, followed by venue visits on the second day, and concluding with wrap-up discussions on the final day. Both Cities will have an opportunity to present their proposals directly to the IOC Members, and respond to the Evaluation Commission report, at the 2024 Candidate City Briefing for IOC Members and International Federations in Lausanne on 11 and 12 July, before the host city election on 13 September at the IOC Session in Lima. Read the full press release here.
The IOC welcomes the initiative by the new United Nations (UN) Secretary General, António Guterres, to further enhance the already excellent cooperation with the IOC. The UN Secretary General had proposed this in his meeting with IOC President Thomas Bach in January this year. At that meeting, both leaders had agreed to establish a “direct partnership” between the UN and the IOC. By means of this direct partnership, the UN will have direct access to the expertise and know-how of the IOC and its 206 NOCs, as well as the IFs. This is a more streamlined approach and will avoid parallel work. As a consequence of this decision, the UN Secretary General has decided to close the United Nations Office on Sport for Development and Peace (UNOSDP). Read the full press release here.
On the occasion of the fourth edition of Global Road Safety Week, which took place from 8 to 14 May, the IOC and a number of Olympians helped to spread the word on the need to #SlowDown for safer roads and to save lives. Jamaican Olympic champion Yohan Blake, an Ambassador for the International Automobile Federation (FIA)’s “3,500 Lives” campaign, which is supported by the IOC, was backing the initiative, along with South African Olympic sprinter Wayde Van Niekerk and Spanish tennis player Rafael Nadal. The IOC efforts go beyond UN Global Road Safety Week. Earlier this year, the IOC signed an agreement with the FIA, committing to help promote road safety campaigns across the Olympic Movement and ahead of sporting events. Read the full press release here.
The International Basketball Federation (FIBA) has announced that the FIBA 3x3 World Cup 2018 will be held in Manila, Philippines. The Philippines Basketball Federation will organise what will be the fifth edition of this competition. Read the full story here.
The theme for World Fencing Day 2017 will be “Solidarity”. Launched by the International Fencing Federation (FIE), World Fencing Day, which will take place on 9 September, aims to promote and develop the values of fencing throughout the world. In this respect, the FIE is encouraging national federations, confederations, athletes, schools and clubs to join the festivities and activities. A number of top-ranked fencers are expected to serve as World Fencing Day 2017 ambassadors. Read the full story here.
The International Swimming Federation (FINA) has announced the death of the oldest American Olympic champion, Adolph Kiefer (see photo), at the age of 98, on 5 May in Illinois (USA). As part of the USA national team, he broke the 100m backstroke world record in 1935 in Germany. One year later, he broke this record three times at the Olympic Games Berlin 1936, where he was crowned Olympic champion at the age of 17. After joining the US Navy, he taught thousands of soldiers to swim and saved countless lives during World War II. More info on www.fina.org and www.teamusa.org.
The World Rugby Council approved a historic programme of reform regarding the sport’s eligibility regulation (Regulation 8) at a meeting in Kyoto, Japan. The reform is designed to promote and protect the integrity and sanctity of international rugby. The Council members unanimously decided that, to be eligible for a national team, a player must have lived in the country for five consecutive years, instead of three years, as is currently the case. Read the full story here.
The International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) has announced that the Guinea-Bissau Table Tennis Federation was founded on 6 May, which means that the list of governing bodies affiliated to the ITTF is now 226. The formalities will be concluded at the ITTF Annual General Meeting to be held in the German city of Düsseldorf on 31 May and follow a visit to the West African country organised under the ITTF Development Programme, led by ITTF President Thomas Weikert, accompanied by Leandro Olvech, ITTF Development Director, and Joachim Davy, ITTF Digital Editor. Read the full story here.
The World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) held its inaugural African Summit in Johannesburg (South Africa) from 5 to 7 May. The event brought together WBSC officials, including President Riccardo Fraccari, representatives from the African Baseball and Softball Association, and representatives from 20 national governing bodies. The agenda addressed baseball and softball continental development across all age groups, with a particular emphasis on expanding the sport among young people and women. Read the full story here.
Antonio Espinós Ortueta, President of the World Karate Federation (WKF) has been re-elected President of the European Karate Federation (EKF) for a new six-year term. The election was held at the EKF’s plenary session in Kocaeli (Turkey). Read the full story here.
The International Surfing Association (ISA) has organised the first-ever development programme for Stand-Up Paddle (SUP) in Iran. The programme, which was run in conjunction with the Iran Surfing Association and Official ISA Course Presenter Andy Joyce, took place late April. A total of 34 Iranians from nine different provinces participated in the course, half of whom were women, highlighting the power of surf to promote gender equality, women's empowerment, and engagement with the country's young people. Read the full story here.
The International Bobsleigh and Skeleton Federation (IBSF) has announced the death of the American bobsleigh pilot Steven Holcomb (see photo) on 6 May, at the age of 37. He died at the Olympic Training Centre in Lake Placid, New York State. He won three Olympic medals during his career: one gold medal at the Olympic Winter Games Vancouver 2010 (four-man bobsleigh) and two bronze medals at the Olympic Winter Games Sochi 2014 (two-man and four-man bobsleigh). He was also a five-time world champion and won a further 10 medals at World Championships. Read the full press release here.
In April, the Belarus NOC hosted the 15th international scientific session with the theme “Scientific rationale of physical education, sports training and physical culture, sport and tourism staff training”. The session marked the 80th anniversary of the Belarusian State University of Physical Culture. Among the many attendees were representatives from the Russian and Kazakhstani NOCs and from the national Olympic academies of Bulgaria, Latvia and Ukraine. The NOC was also visited by American sports ambassadors. Double Olympic champion Tiffany Roberts Sahaydak and coach Zola Solamente, accompanied by the Chargé d’affaires at the US Embassy in Belarus, Robert Riley, held a meeting with the NOC Secretary General, Anatol Kotau, and the double silver medallist and Secretary of the NOC’s Women and Sport Commission, Kseniya Sankovich. The NOC also has a new First Vice-President, following the election of Andrei Astashevich. More info on www.noc.by.
A working meeting brought together a large number of Spanish sports federation presidents and representatives at the Spanish NOC headquarters on 11 May, to discuss the structure of Spanish sport. The NOC has encouraged the creation of three commissions to study the situation of Spanish sport and suggest proposals on how improvements can be made. One commission is looking at legal issues, another at marketing and finance, and the third at school and university sport. More info on www.coe.es
In its monthly Executive Board of Directors meeting, the NOC of Israel hosted Israel's First Lady of artistic gymnastics, Agnes Keleti, who was awarded the "Israel Prize" on the 69th anniversary of the country’s Independence Day. The award was handed to her by the State of Israel for her exceptional achievements as an Olympic athlete who won 10 Olympic medals – five of which were gold (Helsinki 1952 and Melbourne 1956 while representing Hungary) – as well as for her contribution to the development of artistic gymnastics in Israel and to the training of hundreds of physical education teachers over fifty years. Igal Carmi, NOC President, Yael Arad, member of the Executive Board of Directors, and the chair of the Prize committee awarded her with this special, unique prize. At the same time, a welcome reception was organised in honour of Israel's most decorated gymnast, Alex Shatilov, who won a bronze medal in the floor exercise at the European Championships in Romania, his seventh European medal. More info on www.olympic.one.co.il.
During a meeting in Ulaanbaatar, the seventh Elective Congress of the Mongolian NOC elected its Executive Committee for the period 2017-2021. Demchigjav Zagdsuren was re-elected NOC President, while Enkhbat Badar-Uugan, Olympic boxing champion in Beijing in 2008, was elected NOC Secretary General. Some 146 delegates took part in the Congress.
Andrzej Kraśnicki (see photo) was re-elected President of the Polish NOC at the NOC’s General Assembly at its headquarters in Warsaw. The delegates also elected the 60 members of the NOC Board, including IOC Member Irena Szewińska, and the five members of the Audit Commission. More info on www.olimpijski.pl.
The Turkish Olympic Committee (TOC) has announced a new sponsorship programme with existing Worldwide Olympic Partner Procter & Gamble (P&G) to celebrate the company’s 30th anniversary in Turkey. The announcement was made in the presence of TOC Vice-President Hasan Arat, legendary Romanian gymnast Nadia Comaneci and Turkey’s Olympic champion wrestler Taha Akgul. The programme will see the TOP Partner support 30 Turkish Olympic athletes who are hopeful of competing at the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018 and the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, and will look to inspire future generations and their mothers. Through a series of TV adverts, the new initiative will highlight the important role mothers play in the progression of athletes from a young age and will also help raise the profile of various Olympic sports in Turkey. More info at www.olimpiyat.org.tr
The Organising Committee for the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020 (Tokyo 2020), the IOC and the Tokyo Metropolitan Government (TMG) have released the Host City Contract for the Games of the XXXII Olympiad (Host City Contract 2020). This contract was first signed between the IOC, the TMG and the Japanese Olympic Committee (JOC) following Tokyo's selection as the Host City of the Games on 7 September 2013. After it was set up in 2014, Tokyo 2020 signed a joinder agreement to become a full party to the Host City Contract 2020. In line with Olympic Agenda 2020, which offers more flexibility to Organising Committees of the Olympic Games (OCOGs) and host cities, all of the Host City Contract 2020 signatories worked to incorporate the updated and beneficial operational requirements that were published by the IOC in 2015. With this agreement now finalised, the parties concerned have published the Host City Contract, reinforcing their commitment to transparency. Read the full press release here.
The newly-elected Pan American Sports Organisation (PASO) President, Neven Ilic, and the PASO Executive Committee completed three days of planning meetings with the Lima 2019 Organising Committee. During the visit, the PASO delegation met with key members of the Lima 2019 Organising Committee, including its President, Carlos Neuhaus. The delegation also toured event sites and venues. The working groups in Lima follow Ilic’s visit to the capital, where he met with Peruvian President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski and was reassured of Peru’s commitment to successfully delivering the Pan-American Games in 2019. More info at www.paso-odepa.org and www.lima2019.pe