IOC President Thomas Bach was in San Marino for the Games of the Small States of Europe. At the Opening Ceremony he told the crowd: "These Games demonstrate that, regardless of whether you come from a large or small country, what really counts is having a big heart and a great passion for sport. The shared values of friendship and respect for our fellow human beings are what bring us all together. This is Olympic ‘Unity in Diversity’ at its best."
The President met the representatives of the nine European NOCs taking part in the competition every two years and the Acting President of the European Olympic Committees (EOC), Janez Kocijančič. The IOC President was able to watch some of the early competitions, including volleyball, basketball and swimming. The next Games of the Small States of Europe will be held in Montenegro in May 2019.
Earlier in the visit, the President had an audience with the two Captains Regent, Mimma Zavoli and Vanessa D’Ambrosio, who are the heads of state of the small country. Also present were IOC Members Princess Nora of Liechtenstein, Sovereign Prince Albert II, Mario Pescante and Ivo Ferriani.
Throughout the visit, President Bach was accompanied by the President of the San Marino NOC, Gian Primo Giardi.
Whilst in Italy, he visited the headquarters of Technogym, where he was presented with the concept of ‘the Wellness Valley” and informed about the concept’s great success in the local region.
In Lausanne, the President met IOC Member Nat Indrapana, with whom he discussed the preparations for the next editions of the Olympic Games and other topics of mutual interest.
The President also discussed the WADA reforms and the Youth Olympic Games with IOC Member Kirsty Coventry. He congratulated Ms Coventry on her appointment by the NOC of Zimbabwe as Chef de Mission for the country’s delegation at the Youth Olympic Games Buenos Aires 2018.
The President held a dinner for the members of the IOC Evaluation Commission for the Olympic Games 2024, who were meeting in Lausanne.
President Bach attended the World Table Tennis Championships in Düsseldorf. He watched third-round matches of the men’s doubles and enjoyed playing some table tennis himself with athletes attending the World Championships. Joined by Romania’s Bernadette Szocs, the IOC President played a game of doubles against Kanak Jha from the United States and ITTF President Thomas Weickert, who was elected for a four-year term at the ITTF Congress on the occasion of the World Championships. Speaking at the meeting of the newly elected Executive Committee and the Olympic and Paralympic Commission of the ITTF, President Bach emphasised the universality of table tennis: “You can be proud to have a membership of 226 countries. It is important that in all of these countries the sport is also practised. You are giving a good example in this respect.”
IOC Vice-President John Coates was re-elected President of the Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) at the AOC’s Annual General Meeting. He has been AOC President since 1990.
Tamás Aján was re-elected President of the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) at the IF’s Electoral Congress in Bangkok (Thailand). He has held this position since 2000 (see “IFs” section).
The Evaluation Commission for the Olympic Games 2024 met in Lausanne under the chairmanship of IOC Member Patrick Baumann.
For the first time, The Olympic Museum is organising a photo competition to bring together thousands of sports images from ordinary people all over the world. “My DIY sports venue” is part of the Museum’s “The Art of Sports Photography” programme. To publicise this event among the general public, The Olympic Museum has named two exceptional ambassadors: American photographer David Burnett, a global star of sports photography, and Swiss tennis player Timea Bacsinszky, silver medallist at the Olympic Games Rio 2016. You can sign up via a dedicated page on The Olympic Museum website between 24 May and 11 July 2017. More info here.
international sports federations
NBC Sports Group and the World Rowing Federation (FISA) have partnered in an exclusive US media rights agreement for the 2017 World Rowing Championships, both parties announced on 1 June. NBC Sports Group will present more than ten hours of coverage of the 2017 World Rowing Championships, from Sarasota-Bradenton, Florida, beginning 28 September. All rowing events will be presented by the Olympic Channel: Home of Team USA, part of a comprehensive content and distribution partnership formed in 2016 by the IOC, USOC, and NBCUniversal. The centrepiece of the partnership is a US linear cable channel, which will launch this summer. Read the full story here.
The Athletes’ Commission of the Badminton World Federation (BWF) has three new female members. During a vote organised on the sidelines of the Sudirman Cup, which was taking place in Gold Coast (Australia), Pusarla V. Sindhu (Olympic silver medallist), Kirsty Gilmour and Akvilė Stapusaityte were elected to the Commission, along with Marc Zwiebler. They join the other Athletes’ Commission members Shintaro Ikeda, Koen Ridder and Saina Nehwal. Read the full story here. In addition, at the BWF Annual General Meeting, which was also held in Gold Coast, seven new members were elected to the BWF Council, which is chaired by IOC Member Poul-Erik Høyer. Read the full story here.
As part of the “Year of Africa” project, the International Boxing Association (AIBA)’s HeadsUp Truck made its first stop in Lomé (Togo). Some 120 young people took part in a boxing initiation course that was held using the truck, which converted into a mini-boxing ring and initiation centre. Ninety-six people took part in the first course of this tour of Africa. The course is aimed at coaches, technical personnel, judges and referees. A World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) conference also took place during this event. Read the full story here.
Meeting in Bangkok, the Electoral Congress of the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) elected the IF’s Executive Board. Mohammed Jaloud was elected Secretary General. For the first time in the history of the IWF, a female Vice-President – Ursula Papandrea – was elected, while Karoliina Lundahl was elected as a Board Member. More info on www.iwf.net.
The International Judo Federation (IJF) and the Hungarian Judo Association held a special media event on 1 June in Budapest – the 2017 World Judo Championships host city – to promote the sport’s annual seven-day competition. With 88 days to go until #JudoWorlds2017, 1,000 judoka gathered at Heroes Square in the heart of the city to launch 2,017 homing pigeons bearing 2,017 messages, in a unique event which delighted the teeming crowd. Marius Vizer, IJF President, and László Tóth, Hungarian Judo Association President, were present alongside members of the Hungarian national team, including Olympic and world medallists as well as young beginners and veteran and visually impaired judoka. Read the full story here.
The International Swimming Federation (FINA)’s 2017 scholarship programme is already producing positive results. At the San Juan International Swimming Open in April, the young scholarship holder from Costa Rica, 16-year-old Helena Morena, achieved qualifying times to be able to take part in the upcoming Summer Youth Olympic Games Buenos Aires 2018, where she will compete in the 200m, 400m and 800m freestyle. In 2017, this scholarship programme will be providing financial support to 36 new young athletes and giving them access to international-standard training facilities, in the hope that they will qualify for the FINA World Championships in Budapest (Hungary) in July and other international competitions. More info on www.fina.org.
After Tbilissi (Georgia), the International Modern Pentathlon Union (UIPM) continued to roll out its new Laser-Run concept, with three legs of the tour taking place in Africa, including one in Abidjan (Côte d’Ivoire) in mid-May. The aim of the tour is to offer aspiring athletes an entry point into UIPM sports and to serve as a development tool. This year, there will be more than 60 stops in different cities around the world, and the UIPM expects more than 100 cities to sign up for the 2018 edition. More info on www.pentathlon.org.
The International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) recently launched the ITTF Administration Course – the IF’s first certified educational course, which can be taken online. The course is designed for administrators within table tennis associations, and will provide them with the skills and knowledge to manage their associations more effectively. The key areas of learning are governance, finance, working with partners, human resources, organising competitions, marketing and promotion, and values. More info on www.ittf.com.
This year, the International Triathlon Union (ITU)’s Science and Triathlon World Conference will be taking place from 5 to 8 December in Edmonton (Canada). The 2017 edition will bring together the world’s top experts and researchers in the sport, who will focus their attention on how to apply the latest science and research into triathlon coaching best practices. Read the full story here. In addition, the ITU and the Bermuda Tourism Authority have signed a three-year contract to host World Triathlon Series events, with the first race to be held on 28 April 2018. More info here.
The Council of the International Ski Federation (FIS) held its Spring Meeting in Portoroz (Slovenia) on 28 May. The agenda included regular items such as reports from the Organising Committees for the FIS World Championships and Olympic Winter Games, the appointment of technical officials, proposals from the FIS Technical Committees, FIS World Cup calendars and updates to various rules. Read the main decisions here.
national olympic committees
Mustapha Berraf was re-elected President of the Algerian NOC at the NOC’s recent elective General Assembly in Algiers. The members of the Executive Committee for the period 2017-2020 were also elected at the General Assembly.
On 30 May, a new interactive exhibition was opened at the Belarus NOC Olympic Museum. As well as learning about the history of the Olympic Movement, visitors can get acquainted with the process of physical culture establishment in the country and see the unique artefacts of the Belarusian athletes, from sports apparel and equipment to medals and cups. An interactive component is given pride of place in the exhibition – visitors can test their accuracy in pistol and rifle shooting, visit the Olympic host cities by having photos taken on the podium, and check their knowledge of the Olympic Movement and anti-doping rules via electronic quizzes. The Museum exhibition and software were created by the Belarus NOC Marketing and Communications Directorate. Read the full story here.
The Brazilian Olympic Committee reports that about 120 athletes competed in the State Track Cycling Championships in the Rio Velodrome, marking the reopening of the venue following the Olympic Games Rio 2016. The athletes were competing for important points for their national and state track cycling ranking. Approximately 3,000 people were present at the Velodrome. The State Cycling Federation of Rio de Janeiro (FECIERJ) organises weekly sports clinics on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays at the Velodrome. More info at www.cob.org.br
The Chinese Taipei Olympic Committee hosted the 30th edition of the Olympic Day Run on 7 May at Yilan Sports Park. The main theme for this year’s edition was “30 Years of Glory; Begin from the heart”. NOC President Hong-Dow Lin, Yilan County Magistrate Ze-Cheng Wu, Ministry of Education Sports Administration Director General De-Fu Lin, and Yilan County Sports Association President Long-hui Tsai got the run – which paid tribute to the global Olympic Movement – underway. This year’s programme included a 21km half-marathon, a 10 km run and a 3km fun run, with nearly 6,000 people taking part in total. Various other activities were also organised to mark the 30th anniversary of the run. More info on www.tpenoc.net.
On 25 May, the Colombian NOC headquarters hosted its first discussion group of the year, with the theme “Mothers of Colombian Sport” (“Madres del Deporte Colombiano”). Leading current and former sporting figures took part in the event, including Olympic medallist Ingrit Valencia; NOC member Ana Edurne Camacho; former athlete and teacher Yanet Lucum; and former athlete Sandra Zapata. They all shared their experiences as mothers, athletes and sports leaders. In his opening speech, the NOC President, Baltazar Medina, highlighted the important role of women and mothers in the development of sport in Colombia. Read the full story here.
Two major international sporting figures – pole vault Olympic champion and IOC Executive Board Member Sergey Bubka, and European long jump record-holder Robert Emmiyan – recently travelled to Athens, where they met Hellenic NOC President Spyros Capralos. The three men recalled moments from the past and discussed the future of the Olympic Movement. They also attended an athletics event held in Kallithea, Athens. More info on www.hoc.gr.
The President of the Mongolian NOC, Demchigjav Zagdsuren, and the Mayor of Incheon, Yoo Jeong Bok, signed a memorandum of understanding in the framework of the “Vision 2014 Invitational Training” programme, during a ceremony at Olympic House in Ulaanbaatar. The MoU aims to foster close cooperation between the two institutions in pursuing and implementing off-season training in Incheon by Mongolian wrestlers sent by the NOC. The Korean city of Incheon has been running the Vision 2014 programme since 2007 with a view to achieving a balanced development of sports in Asia, playing a leading role in the progress and exchanges of international sports.
The NOC of Singapore has announced that 335 student-athletes have been awarded a Singapore Olympic Foundation Peter Lim Scholarship. Sport climbers and ice skaters are represented in the under-18 high performance category for the first time. Since the programme was launched in 2010, scholarships have been awarded to more than 2,000 young athletes. The Minister for Education, Ong Ye Kung, was guest of honour at the ceremony, which was also attended by Peter Lim, the scholarship’s largest donor; Ser Miang Ng, Chair of the Singapore Olympic Foundation and IOC Executive Board Member; and another guest of honour, Abhinav Bindra, Indian Olympic and world champion in shooting. More info on www.singaporeolympics.com.
The 2016/2017 “Free Sports School” season came to a close with an event held by the Turkish Olympic Committee (TOC) for 500 children in the Pendik district of Istanbul. The children, who were joined by 250 parents, took part in volleyball, basketball and athletics activities, after which each of them received a medal. The coaches were presented with certificates from the TOC for their work over the course of the 2016/17 academic year. The aim of the programme, which was launched in 1996 and is run by a TOC sub-committee, is to keep disadvantaged children from urban areas off the streets and in school, practising sports. The schools open on weekends during school terms, from October to May. The programme provides sports facilities and equipment to 7 to 15-year-olds, while also promoting the Olympic values of excellence, friendship and respect. More info on www.olimpiyat.org.tr.
The Venezuelan NOC hosted the first “Let’s talk about baseball” (“Hablemos de Béisbol”) forum. Speakers at the event included Sol Domínguez, Jefferson Quintero, Giner García and Humberto Acosta, all of whom are recognised sports writers. The forum, organised under the auspices of the District Capital Baseball Association and the NOC, was opened by NOC Executive Committee member Ángel Delgado.
ORGANISING COMMITTEES FOR THE OLYMPIC GAMES
As part of the build-up to the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018, the last week of May saw the launch of the Peace Education Festival. This event has been jointly organised by the PyeongChang 2018 Organising Committee (POCOG) and the Gangwon Provincial Office of Education (GPOE). Embracing the slogan “I Love Peace, I am a Peace Maker”, the festival aims to support and educate young people in their efforts to engage in meaningful dialogues and initiatives that can help make the world a more peaceful place and enable them to develop a better understanding of Olympic and Paralympic values. As part of the festival, over 400 schoolchildren and teachers from seven countries – the Republic of Korea, Japan, China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Indonesia and the Philippines – have been invited to participate in a variety of activities in the city of Gangneung. Read the full story here. Sumi Jo, the Grammy Award-winning Korean soprano, has been appointed as an honorary ambassador for the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018. The POCOG made the announcement on 22 May at a special event, held at the Foreign Press Centre in Seoul. Read the full story here.
Following overseas visits to all five Continental Associations of NOCs, the Organising Committee for the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020 (Tokyo 2020) continued on its mission to ensure athletes enjoy the best possible Olympic Games experience by organising a workshop for members of the NOCs. Held on 25 and 26 May, in cooperation with the IOC, the workshop was designed to help Tokyo 2020 fine-tune its preparations for the Games. Gunilla Lindberg, ANOC Secretary General and IOC Executive Board Member, joined IOC and NOC representatives in providing guidance and recommendations to Tokyo 2020 on topics including accreditation, the Olympic Village, food services and transport.
Meanwhile, the official mascot of the Games of the XXXII Olympiad will be the subject of a national design competition, which was presented on 22 May 2017. In addition to professional illustrators and designers, the whole of Japan is invited to put forward their personal creations through websites in Japanese and English. The entry period will run from 1 to 14 August 2017 through a dedicated website. In 2018, the panel of experts will draw up its shortlist of mascots, which will then be put to Japanese schoolchildren. Once a choice has been made, the panel of experts will decide on the names of the Olympic and Paralympic mascots. Read the full press release here.
organising committees for the youth olympic games
Buenos Aires 2018
On 24 May, i.e. exactly 500 days before the Opening Ceremony of the 3rd Summer Youth Olympic Games (YOG) Buenos Aires 2018, some of the key members of the team organising the YOG took stock of how the preparations were going: Buenos Aires 2018 Chairman and IOC Member Gerardo Werthein; CEO Leandro Larrosa; and the Minister of Modernisation, Innovation and Technology, Andy Freire, who is supporting the organisation. Read what they had to say here.
The annual seminar of the European Olympic Committees (EOC), which was organised in conjunction with the IOC Olympic Solidarity Regional Forum, was held on 19 and 20 May in Skopje (Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia), at the invitation of Vasil Tupurkovski, the Macedonian NOC President, to mark the NOC’s 25th anniversary. Chaired by EOC Secretary General Raffaele Pagnozzi, the seminar covered a number of highly topical issues and brought together some 200 delegates from the 50 European NOCs. The seminar’s working programme also included two workshops on the themes “Preparation of future sports events” and “Evolution of digital technology in sports communications”. Read the full story here. In addition, the Piotr Nurowski Prize for Best European Young Athlete in winter sports was awarded to the 15-year-old Estonian freestyle skiing champion Kelly Sildaru. She was chosen as the winner by the NOC delegates present in Skopje. Read the full story here.
Experts from 23 IFs took part in the fifth edition of the Forum on Sports Development and Education organised by the Association of Summer Olympic International Federations (ASOIF). They agreed on a detailed action plan to be applied across the different sports. The forum was held from 17 to 18 May 2017 at the World Archery Excellence Centre in Lausanne. The joint approach will support the IFs in the implementation of their projects, ensure a certain consistency across the sports and thereby maximise the impact of development and education activities overall. Read the full story here.
United under a common objective of promoting physical and sporting activities to all for the well-being of society, the IOC has signed an unprecedented Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the World Transplant Games Federation (WTFG). The agreement between the two sporting bodies creates an important link between the IOC’s Sport and Active Society Commission and its related programmes, which endeavour to get people of all ages and abilities around the world moving, and the WTGF’s ”Fit for Life! Programme”, which aims to motivate and support the worldwide transplant population into leading an active life and practising sport at all levels post-transplantation surgery. Read the full story here.