Speaking in Prague (Czech Republic) at the General Assembly of the Association of National Olympic Committees (ANOC), IOC President Thomas Bach talked about challenges and opportunities facing the Olympic Movement. In a wide-ranging speech, the President addressed the protection of clean athletes, good governance and the upcoming Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018, before going on to outline “the many reasons to be confident about where we are, and where we are going.” He told the audience “To enjoy 11 years of stability for the Olympic Movement with two outstanding host cities and host countries, is an achievement we can build on. It gives us, a time to breath, a time to think and a time to enjoy this stability, because stability in this world is perhaps the most precious currency you can have.” Read the full news here.
The 205 NOCs attending the ANOC General Assembly agreed on several resolutions. To name but a few, ANOC strongly supports PyeongChang 2018 and confirms the strong participation of NOCs in the Olympic Winter Games. ANOC also reinforces the IOC in applauding the PyeongChang 2018 Organising Committee for the progress made and expresses its confidence that PyeongChang 2018 will be a safe and secure Games. ANOC expresses its full confidence in the ongoing investigations by the Schmid and Oswald Commissions, and for the procedure established by the IOC Executive Board. It welcomes the intention of the IOC Executive Board to take a decision in December with regard to the participation of Russian athletes in the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018. The General Assembly fully supports the progress in the setting up of the Independent Testing Authority (ITA) and calls for ANOC and the Continental Associations to join the ITA as Major Event Organisers (MEOs) to ensure the protection of clean athletes.” Full text of the resolutions here. (See also the “Recognised Organisations” section.)
While in Prague, the IOC President met several IOC Members attending the ANOC General Assembly. He also had a number of meetings with NOC presidents.
Meeting by teleconference, the IOC Executive Board (EB) decided that the Brazilian Olympic Committee (COB), which has been provisionally suspended by the IOC EB, will be allowed to exercise its membership rights in NOC associations again. This specific measure has been lifted on 31 October by the IOC EB. The decision has enabled the COB to participate, in particular, in the ANOC and PASO meetings in Prague. However, all other measures decided by the IOC EB on 6 October 2017 as part of the provisional suspension remain in place. Full decision here.
The IOC Commissions are meeting from 5 to 10 November in Lausanne. A full report on the IOC Commissions’ week will appear in the next edition of the ‘Olympic Highlights’.
Beatrice Allen was appointed as a Vice-President of the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) at the WBSC Congress at the end of October in Gaborone, the capital of Botswana. She will serve alongside IOC EB Member Willi Kalstchmitt Luján.
During the 2017 ANOC Awards ceremony in Prague, Julio César Maglione, President of the Uruguayan NOC and International Swimming Federation (FINA), was presented with the Outstanding Lifetime Achievement Award. He has also been appointed as ANOC’s Senior Vice President by the ANOC General Assembly.
At the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) Congress in Gaborone, Meliton Sánchez Rivas was appointed as a WBSC Global Ambassador for Softball.
Worldwide TOP Partner Samsung welcomed the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Torch Relay on its first day (1 November) in the Republic of Korea. Sang-hwa Lee, a two-time gold medal-winner and a torchbearer for Samsung, carried the Olympic flame accompanied by 200 “Dream Class” students and teachers. Samsung Dream Class is a key Samsung social contribution programme, promoting education equality by supporting the educational activities of middle- and high-school students in underprivileged areas. Samsung announced that it had selected Sang-hwa Lee, one of the nation’s top sports stars, to spread Samsung’s PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Torch Relay campaign theme: “Do What You Can’t.” Read the full story here.
With 100 days until the Opening Ceremony of the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018, Worldwide TOP Partner Procter & Gamble unveiled “Love Over Bias,” the newest instalment of its award-winning “Thank You, Mom” campaign. The film reflects struggles with prejudices that real athletes have encountered, and celebrates mum’s role as her child’s first and greatest advocate, the one who sees her child’s potential regardless of how others see them. Read the full story here.
Worldwide TOP Partner Toyota has launched its “Start Your Impossible” campaign, an initiative that marks Toyota’s commitment to supporting the creation of a more inclusive and sustainable society in which everyone can challenge their impossible. The fully integrated campaign also highlights Toyota's mission to create a barrier-free society, and reinforces the company's values of humility, hard work, overcoming challenges, and never giving up. Read the full story here.
Worldwide TOP Partner Intel announced plans to bring esports to PyeongChang ahead of the Olympic Winter Games. Intel will deliver two distinct gaming experiences to Korea in the lead-up to PyeongChang 2018: the Intel® Extreme Masters PyeongChang esports tournament, featuring one of the most celebrated esports titles of all time, Blizzard Entertainment’s “StarCraft® II”, and a separate exhibition featuring Ubisoft’s action-sports title “Steep™ Road to the Olympics”, the official licensed game of the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018. Read the full story here.
Other olympic news
On 1 November, the IOC published the first conclusions from the Oswald Commission hearings, which are being conducted in the context of the Sochi 2014 forensic and analytic doping investigations. As a result, the two Russian athletes Alexander Legkov and Evgeniy Belov have been sanctioned. Additional decisions from these first hearings will be communicated in the coming days. More hearings concerning other athletes will be held over the next few weeks. Full text of the decisions here.
IOC launches toolkit for Olympic movement to safeguard athletes from harassment and abuse in sport. This toolkit will assist IFs and NOCs to develop and implement athlete-safeguarding policies and procedures. The toolkit was officially presented at the ANOC General Assembly in Prague, by IOC Member and Chair of the IOC prevention of harassment and abuse in sport (PHAS) working group Prince Feisal. Read the full news here.
international sportS fEdErations
The FIFA Diversity Award 2017 was presented to “Soccer Without Borders” by the Secretary General of the International Federation of Association Football (FIFA), Fatma Samoura, during a ceremony held in London (Great Britain). US-based Soccer without Borders is an organisation that uses football as a key tool to build confidence and assist the integration of young refugees in places like the United States and Uganda. The selection was made by a jury composed of prominent names from football and from the promotion of diversity in sport, including a representative of the winners of the maiden edition — Slum Soccer. Full news here.
The International Swimming Federation (FINA) has published its 2017 Scholarships Report, as FINA followed carefully the scholarship holders’ evolution throughout the first six months of the year and analysed their results at various events. A total of 39 promising young athletes benefited from the 40 scholarships on offer in 2017. These scholarships, lasting between three and 12 months, supported the athletes in their preparation and qualification for the 2017 FINA World Championships in Budapest (Hungary) in July, with a particular focus on athletes and national federations with the greatest needs. The report and the athletes’ results can be found on www.fina.org.
The President of the International Surfing Association (ISA), Fernando Aguerre (left of photo), was awarded the Silver Surfer at the 10th Annual Gala Fundraiser of the California Surf Museum, in Carlsbad (USA), in recognition of his key role in bringing surfing to the programme of the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020. More details here.
NationaL OlympiC COMMITTEes
In partnership with the national volleyball federation, the Azerbaijani NOC recently organised a level 1 technical course for coaches. The course was funded by Olympic Solidarity and supported by the International Volleyball Federation (FIVB) in the framework of the NOC’s 2017-2020 four-year plan. For the first time, physical education teachers who took part in the Olympic Moves 2017 programme joined the course along with coaches from the federation and state sport academy. Olympic Moves is an international school sports programme run since 2015 by the NOC, Worldwide Olympic Partner Coca-Cola, and the Ministry of Youth and Sports and the Ministry of Education. More details on www.noc-aze.org.
The Brazilian NOC has presented the 12 promising young Brazilian athletes who have been selected for the scholarships granted by Olympic Solidarity for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020. From now on, they will be entitled to financial assistance to cover the cost of training, preparation and competing while seeking qualification for the Games. The presentation took place at the Team Brazil Training Centre, built by the NOC at the Maria Lenk Aquatic Centre in Rio de Janeiro. IOC Member Bernard Rajzman was at the ceremony. A tour of the Training Centre was also arranged. The young athletes were welcomed by gymnast Flávia Saraiva, who herself benefited from an Olympic Solidarity scholarship during the previous Olympic cycle. More details here.
NOC of El Salvador
The NOC of El Salvador has announced that, from 2 to 4 November, 16 coaches followed a high-level course in applied sciences, a training course certified by the Chilean NOC’s CND Global programme and supported by Olympic Solidarity. This training for coaches is part of the education programme being run by the Salvadorian Olympic Academy. The topics covered include high-level sports assessment, technology and development, training methodology and training planning. More details here.
With 100 days to go until the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018, the British Olympic Association announced three Olympic medallists as Team GB Ambassadors for the Games. Amy Williams (Olympic skeleton champion), Jenny Jones (snowboarding bronze medallist) and Robin Cousins (Olympic figure skating champion) will all aim to educate, motivate and inspire athletes looking to be part of Team GB at the Winter Games next February. More details on www.teamgb.com.
The Olympic Committee of Israel held the 45th annual ceremony in memory of the 11 Munich victims in Tel Aviv. Attending the Ceremony were hundreds of people who cherish the memory of the 11 victims, among them NOC leaders President Igal Carmi and CEO Gilad Lustig; IOC Member Alex Gilady; the German Ambassador to Israel, Clemens von Goetze; representatives of the Israeli Government and Tel Aviv Municipality; Munich survivors; families of the victims with their grandchildren and great-grandchildren; as well as Olympic athletes and members of the Rio 2016 delegation and many other guests. In his speech, Carmi recalled the memorial ceremony held at the Olympic Village at the Olympic Games Rio 2016 in the presence of the IOC President.
The European Fair Play Movement (EFPM), the Olympic Committee of Israel, the Ministry of Culture and Sport, the Academic College at Wingate and the Municipality of Haifa hosted the 23rd European Fair Play Congress in Haifa on 24 and 25 October. The Congress was attended by 110 representatives from 25 European national fair play organisations and focused on the topic “Sport as a Tool for Reconciliation”. The Council of the International Fair Play Committee (CIFP) decided to award NOC CEO Gilad Lustig, and Hilla Davidov, manager of the “Olympism” project, with a World Fair Play Diploma in the category of “Promotion of Fair Play”, in recognition of their exemplary achievement in the world of sport and in the field of promoting fair play under the Olympism project in Israel. Details on www.olympic.one.co.il.
The NOC of the Republic of Kazakhstan has celebrated 100 days to go before the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018. Taking place in the Alau Ice Palace in Astana, the event saw Olympic summer sports athletes wishing success to the members of the Kazak team for PyeongChang 2018. Some of these athletes took part in the sporting activities organised, such as Rio 2016 medallists Daniyar Yeleussinov and Vassily Levit, who replaced their boxing gloves with hockey sticks to play with youngsters from the local sports school (see photo). One of the leaders of the national speed skating team, Denis Kuzin, thanked the NOC and the participants for their support for the 2018 Games. Young figure skaters also showed off their skills through demonstration performances. Soohorang and Bandabi, the mascots of the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018, were also present at the event. More info at www.olympic.kz.
On 25 October, an IOC Athlete Career Programme (ACP) seminar was held in Vilnius. The seminar was part of the three-day event organised by the NOC of Lithuania, the LTeam sports conference, and was aimed exclusively at professional athletes. Some 37 athletes took part in the seminar, opened by NOC President Daina Gudzinevičiūtė, before attending the conference. Two IOC representatives – a former professional badminton player and Olympian, ACP instructor Pedro Yang from Guatemala, and the still active professional pentathlete, sports consultant and IOC volunteer Dmytro Kirpulyanskyy from Ukraine – shared their knowledge and experience with the participants. More info at www.ltok.lt.
The NOC of Mongolia has informed us that judoka Dorjsuren Sumiya, an Olympic Games Rio 2016 silver medallist and a gold medallist at the 2017 World Championships in Budapest, was awarded the “Hero of the Nation” Order, the highest distinction in Mongolia, during a ceremony held at the Presidential Palace. The newly elected Head of State, Khaltmaa Battulga, also a former athlete, presented state awards to several judokas and wrestlers for their brilliant sporting results. Sumiya, 26, is a holder of a Tokyo 2020 Olympic Scholarship for Athletes from Olympic Solidarity.
As part of its activity programme, the Senegalese NOC is organising the sixth edition of its Advanced Sports Management Course. This edition will last seven months, from October 2017 to April 2018. The opening session was held on 20 October in the Léopold Sédar Senghor Stadium, in the presence of the Sports Minister, members of the NOC Executive Board and several personalities from the sports movement. In all, 36 people have signed up for this sixth edition, with the second session taking place on 24 and 25 November.
The Turkish NOC’s 2017 Free Sports Schools season is underway, as thousands of children from lower income backgrounds are given the opportunity to take part in sports. Launched in 1996, the project is supported by Worldwide Olympic Partner Coca-Cola, with the aim of keeping disadvantaged children from urban areas off the streets and in school practising sports and learning about the Olympic values. Details on www.olimpiyat.org.tr.
The Uruguayan NOC has presented the Olympic participant pins to the athletes who competed at the Olympic Games Rio 2016. The ceremony was held during the gala evening to recognise the best athletes of the year. The athletes were presented with their pins by NOC President and IOC Honorary Member Julio César Maglione, and the National Under-Secretary for Sport, Alfredo Etchandy. Details on www.cou.org.uy.
organisinG COMMITTEES FOR THE OlympiC GAMes
The handover ceremony of the flame for the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018 was held in the Panathenaic Stadium in Athens on 31 October. The ceremony marked the end of the flame's week-long tour of Greece and the prelude to the 100-day journey it will now take around the Republic of Korea, in preparation for the XXIII Olympic Winter Games in PyeongChang. After receiving it from the High Priestess, a role played by Katerina Lehou, the Greek NOC President, Spyros Capralos, handed the Olympic flame to Lee Hee-beom, the President of the Games Organising Committee. In a highly symbolic moment, both men briefly held the Olympic torch. Full press release here. More details on the Greek NOC website www.hoc.gr.
When it arrived by plane in the Republic of Korea the following day, 100 days before the start of the Games in PyeongChang, the Olympic flame was greeted by hundreds of people gathered at Incheon. The flame was carried from the plane by the Republic of Korea’s Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism, Do Jong-hwan, and Olympic figure skating champion Yuna Kim. Kim then joined the Prime Minister of the Republic of Korea, Lee Nak-yon, in lighting the cauldron to signal the start of the Olympic flame’s journey to PyeongChang 2018. Full press release here. POCOG has also unveiled the eight posters which will shape the image of the Games in PyeongChang. Find out more here. The Games ticket designed was also unveiled on 31 October. Full details here.
The Organising Committee for the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020 (Tokyo 2020) has selected Earth Chemical Co., Ltd as an Official Partner, in the Pesticides, Repellents, Fertilisers, Soil for Seed Planting and Herbicides for Household Use category. Tokyo 2020 now has 44 domestic partners, including 29 official partners. Press release here.
The XXII General Assembly of the Association of National Olympic Committees (ANOC) whose President is IOC Member Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah, came to an end on 3 November in Prague, with the 205 NOCs approving a number of resolutions which reiterated ANOC’s commitment to push for further reform to help better serve the needs of the world’s NOCs. Also at the Assembly, ANOC presented its awards for the best male and female athletes from the five continents for their sports performances in 2017. Three individual awards were also presented in the categories of outstanding performance, outstanding lifetime achievement and contribution to the Olympic Movement. Full details on www.anocolympic.org
More than 50 representatives from Summer and Winter Olympic IFs gathered in Lausanne on 26 October to address the next steps in the topic of governance during a dedicated workshop, organised by the Association of Summer Olympic International Federations (ASOIF)’s Governance Task Force. The workshop followed up on the first governance review of all 28 ASOIF-member IFs, published in April this year, and subsequent individual meetings with the IFs to review their respective governance assessments. Case studies on recent governance reforms were presented during the workshop. The participants also received a list featuring more than 100 examples of good governance practice in specific areas from 20 IFs. More details here.
The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) has signed an agreement with the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) that covers media rights on all platforms for the PyeongChang 2018 and Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games. Full press release here.
Prince Feisal Al Hussein, founder and President of Generations For Peace, presented the Samsung Generations for Peace Awards at a ceremony on 25 October. He was accompanied by Mohanned Al Nabulsi, from Samsung Electronics Levant. The Awards, which concluded the seventh annual Generations For Peace Samsung Advanced Training, recognise the extraordinary achievements of Generations For Peace volunteers leading grass-roots peace-building programmes in their own communities around the world. This year, the Awards went to programmes in Jordan, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Nigeria and Uganda. Details here.