IOC President Thomas Bach was in Paris on 7 June to visit the French National Olympic Committee (CNOSF) and the Organising Committee for the Olympic Games Paris 2024.
At the CNOSF headquarters, President Bach was greeted by the CNOSF President Denis Masseglia before meeting the Presidents of the French Olympic Sport Federations. He congratulated them on their recent plan for the development of sport in France and told them: "the IOC is by the side of the French Olympic Sports Federations as you prepare for the Olympic Games. You have a unique opportunity because the home team is vital for the success of the Olympic Games and only the sports federations can help to deliver this.” President Bach was accompanied by IOC Members from France, Guy Drut, Jean-Christophe Rolland, who is also the President of World Rowing, and Tony Estanguet who is also the President of the Paris 2024 Organising Committee.
President Bach then went on to the headquarters of the Paris 2024 Organising Committee, where he toured the offices and met the staff. During a question and answer session, President Bach said to the staff: "This year we are celebrating the 125th anniversary of the birth of the modern Olympic Movement at the Sorbonne, here in Paris. Here you have the chance to guide us into the next 125 years and beyond into a 'new era', the first Olympic Games organized following Olympic Agenda 2020. You can help us to maintain and renew the relevance of the Olympic Games and the values of the Olympic Movement."
After the visit, President Bach was at the Élysée Palace for a meeting with the French President, Emmanuel Macron, flanked by the IOC Members from France and the CNOSF President.
Later, the two leaders had a private meeting where they continued their discussions. They touched on the role of sport in France, the progress of the organisation of the Olympic Games Paris 2024 and other questions of mutual interest.
In the evening, President Bach attended the opening ceremony and the first match of the Women's World Cup between France and South Korea, at the Parc des Princes. During the match, the President met the Mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo.
The following day, the IOC President attended the women’s final of the French Open tennis tournament at Roland-Garros in the company of International Tennis Federation (ITF) President David Haggerty.
Earlier in the week, President Bach was also in Paris where he attended the annual Congress of the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), during which Gianni Infantino was re-elected as FIFA President (see also under ‘IFs’).
Before Paris, President Bach was in Athens (Greece) on 2 June, where he gave a speech on the Pnyx Hill during the opening ceremony of the 59th International Session for Young Participants of the International Olympic Academy (IOA).
On the following day, the IOC President was presented with the prestigious Cem Papandreou Peace Award. In his opening remarks, the Greek Foreign Minister, George Katrougalos, described President Bach as a “champion of peace”. Presenting the award, former Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou, who is also Vice-President of the International Olympic Truce Foundation, highlighted the IOC President's efforts in modernising the ancient concept of the Olympic Truce; the Refugee Olympic Team initiative; and his work of promoting the idea of “peace education”. Accepting the award “on behalf of the Olympic Movement and all the members of the IOC”, President Bach said: “The Olympic Games show us that, despite all our differences, it is possible for humankind to live together in peace and harmony. In a world drifting apart in so many ways, the Olympic Games today stand out as the only event that brings the whole world together in peaceful competition,” he added.
President Bach was accompanied at the ceremony by the President of the Hellenic Olympic Committee, Spyros Kapralos, and the President of the Turkish NOC and IOC Vice-President, Uğur Erdener.
After receiving the award, President Bach was a guest of the Greek President, Prokopis Pavlopoulos, at his official residence. The two leaders discussed the importance of the Olympic values in today’s world and the role of Greece in the ancient and modern Olympic Games, including promoting, the Olympic Truce (ekecheiria).
During his stay in Athens, the President also met IOC honorary member Lambis V. Nikolaou, NOC President Spyros Capralos and IOA President Isidoros Kouvelos.
During his stay in Montenegro, the IOC President met the EOC President, Janez Kocijančič, the presidents of the GSSE-member NOCs and the Prime Minister of Andorra, which will host the 2012 edition of these Games.
President Bach had a meeting with Lord Michael Bates, an IOTF member and founder of “Walk for Peace”. Ahead of each edition of the Olympic Games, Bates walks from Olympia to the city hosting the Games, with the goal of ensuring that the Olympic Truce is respected during the Games.
IOC Vice-President Juan Antonio Samaranch (left of photo) was made an honorary doctor of law by Handong University in Pohang (Republic of Korea) on 27 May. He was awarded the degree in recognition of his contribution to a better world through sport and to peace through sport, in particular during the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018.
Valeriy Borzov was awarded the Olympia Prize by the International Olympic Academy, in recognition of his contribution to the promotion of education and of the Olympic Movement. The award ceremony was held during the opening ceremony of the 59th International Session for Young Participants of the International Olympic Academy at the Pnyx Hill in Athens on 2 June.
John Coates has been re-elected President of the International Council of Arbitration for Sport (CIAS) for the period from 2019 to 2022. He has been a member of the ICAS since its creation in 1994, and he became its President in 2010.
Ryu Seung-min has been elected President of the Korean Table Tennis Federation, succeeding Cho Yang-ho, who died last month. An Olympic champion in 2004, he was elected to the IOC Athletes’ Commission in 2016 and became a member of the Executive Committee of the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) in April this year. Ryu also played an instrumental role in assembling the unified Korean women's team at the World Team Table Tennis Championships in Halmstad (Sweden) in May 2018.
Samira Asghari has been named Sports Personality of the Year by the Afghanistan Sports Journalists Federation in recognition of her great achievements. The event took place on 30 May in Kabul, in the presence of representatives from the Afghan NOC, national federations, athletes and sports journalists. Through a message, the IOC President praised Samira Asghari who, “as the first Afghan IOC Member and one of the youngest IOC Members in IOC history, is a role model for girls and women in Afghanistan and beyond.”
Gian-Franco Kasper (right of photo), who is also President of the International Ski Federation (FIS) has been named the winner of the United States Sports Academy’s 2018 Eagle Award, the institution’s highest international honour, for his role in the success of the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018. He was presented with the award by the USSA representative in Switzerland, Dirk Craen (left of photo). The Eagle Award is presented annually to a world leader in sport to recognise that individual’s contributions to promoting international harmony, peace and goodwill through the effective use of sport. More details here.
other olympic news
On 5 June, World Environment Day 2019 marked one year since the IOC joined UN Environment’s #CleanSeas initiative to beat plastic waste and called on the Olympic Movement to come on board. Since then, 11 IFs, four NOCs, three of the IOC’s commercial partners and the Japanese town of Ichinomiya – host of the Tokyo 2020 surfing competitions – have joined the initiative. Discover some examples here.
In the framework of the retesting of samples taken during the Olympic Games London 2012, the IOC announced on 28 May that an athlete had been disqualified from these Games. The athlete in question is Florin Ionut Croitoru (Romania), who competed in the men’s 56kg weightlifting event. As the International Testing Agency (ITA) is now operational, the IOC has delegated the selection of samples to be reanalysed and the results management to the ITA, which will therefore review all the test results and notify the athletes concerned. Full details here.
Karel Wendl (photo), who was Head of the IOC’s Olympic Research Department, died in Prague (Czech Republic) on 8 May at the age of 88. After earning a doctorate from Charles University in 1953, he started his professional career as a lawyer in various state foreign commerce organisations. A high-level sportsman, he was a strong tennis player and became one of the best marathon runners of his time. After moving to Mexico, he worked for the Organising Committee of the Olympic Games Mexico City 1968 and contributed to the Olympic cultural programme of the Mexican Olympic Committee. In 1983, he joined the IOC, and over the years reached the position of Head of the IOC’s Olympic Research Department. One of the original members of the International Society of Olympic Historians (ISOH), he was appointed in 1994 as the IOC’s liaison to the ISOH before becoming a member of the ISOH Executive Board, and then an honorary life member in 1996. Karel Wendl retired from the IOC in 1995, and was awarded the Olympic Order in 1996. Karel Wendl is remembered by many as a great sportsman and a respected Olympic historian.
The IAAF's week-long celebration of running, which began with its Run 24-1 global relay of mile runs on Sunday, concluded with a hugely successful inaugural Athletics Family Mile Run in Monaco on 7 June. Some of the biggest names in the world of sport joined members of the IAAF Council, IAAF staff and other local running enthusiasts in the week's final one-mile run, an event flagged off by Prince Albert II of Monaco at the Principality's Place du Palais. Women’s world marathon record-holder Paula Radcliffe, Spanish football star Cesc Fabregas, Formula 1 and Formula E racing greats Mika Hakkinen, Felipe Massa and Lucas Di Grassi, American and Brazilian swimming world champions Michael Andrew and Felipe Lima, and Dakota Schuetz of the US, a three-time world freestyle scooter champion, joined IAAF President Sebastian Coe, IAAF Vice-Presidents Sergey Bubka and Alberto Juantorena and IAAF CEO Jon Ridgeon. More details here.
Furthermore, the first-ever memorandum of understanding (MoU) between FIFA and UN Women was signed in Paris by FIFA President Gianni Infantino and UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo‑Ngcuka at the FIFA Women’s Football Convention. Both organisations will work closely with public authorities, international organisations, the private sector, and media and sports organisations to make football more accessible to women and girls and to disseminate diverse sports content to promote gender equality. More details here.
As a further milestone of its #EquallyAmazing strategy promoting gender equality, the International Hockey Federation (FIH) has decided to create a new Committee, namely the Women in Sports Committee . The overall aim of this Committee will be to raise awareness about gender equality, inclusion and promote diversity in sports practice and governance. The Committee will be chaired by FIH Executive Board member Marijke Fleuren, who is also a member of the IOC’s Women in Sport Commission. More details here.
The International Swimming Federation Natation (FINA) has learnt with sadness about the death of its Vice-President, Dennis Miller (photo) from Fiji, at the age of 61. A former 100m butterfly national champion, Miller devoted his career to developing aquatics in Oceania and then worldwide within FINA. Among other things, he was Chef de Mission of the Fijian team at the Olympic Games in Atlanta in 1996, Executive Director of the Oceania National Olympic Committees in 1997 and a member of the FINA Technical Open Water Swimming Committee for more than 10 years. More details here.
World Rugby reaffirmed its support for sustainability in sport on World Environment Day by signing the Sports for Climate Action Declaration and Framework. By doing so, World Rugby is seeking to build on efforts to-date linked to the UN/IOC Clean Seas initiative launched on World Environment Day last year. World Rugby is thus committed to furthering sustainable practices across the economic, social and environmental elements of the sport, while encouraging and supporting stakeholders to do the same. Full details here.
With little more than 14 months to go before the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) has announced that Portugal and Qatar will stage two World Olympic Qualification events branded #Rise2Tokyo. The World Team Qualification Event will be held in Gondomar, Portugal, from 22 to 26 January 2020, while the World Singles Qualification Event will take place in Doha, Qatar, from 26 to 29 May 2020. More details here.
Meeting ahead of the Congress of World Archery (WA) at ‘s-Hertogenbosch (the Netherlands), the WA Executive Board selected the cities which will host the main archery competitions over the next four years. Berlin (Germany) was awarded the 2023 World Archery Championships and Pilsen (Czech Republic) was awarded the 2023 World Archery Para Championships. These two events will act as the main qualification tournaments for the Olympic and Paralympic Games Paris 2024. More details here on all the other competitions.
NationaL Olympic committees
The President of the Chinese Taipei Olympic Committee & the National Olympic Academy, Hong-Dow Lin (right in photo), was awarded the “Athena” prize by the President of the International Olympic Academy (IOA), Isidoros Kouvelos (left in photo), in recognition of the Academy’s dedication and contribution to the promotion of the Olympic Movement and the Olympic values. The award ceremony was held on the Pnyx Hill in Athens on 2 June, in the presence of Greek President Prokopis Pavlopoulos, IOC President Thomas Bach, Hellenic NOC President Spyros Capralos and IOA Honorary Dean Konstantinos Georgiadis. The Academy is the fifth National Olympic Academy in the world to be awarded this IOA prize. More details on www.tpenoc.net.
The NOC also held a meeting with the Japanese Embassy in Venezuela, in connection with the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020. The NOC is planning to organise a number of activities to launch its “On the road to Tokyo 2020” programme, including photo exhibitions and an Olympic gala.
organisinG COMMITTEes for the Olympic Games
Furthermore, the ticket lottery for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 ended on 29 May. In total, Tokyo 2020 ID registrations, the first step required before purchasers could enter the ticket lottery, reached 7,508,868, and the official ticketing website was visited more than 24,250,000 times in the application period. Full press release here.
The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has unveiled a new version of its Athlete Learning Programme about Health and Anti-Doping (ALPHA) on its Anti-Doping e-Learning (ADeL) online platform. Launched in 2014, and developed with the help of athletes, leading psychologists, behavioural scientists, education technologists, e-learning specialists and prevention specialists, ALPHA represents a holistic, values-based approach and offers a pragmatic and positive alternative to the traditional approach to the prevention of doping. More details here.
According to a press release from the International Committee for the Mediterranean Games (CIJM), the 2nd Mediterranean Beach Games (Patras 2019), taking place from 25 to 31 August this year, will see 1,020 athletes and 300 coaches (coaching teams) from 25 of the 26 CIJM-member countries on three continents (Europe, Asia and Africa) taking part. This is a 33.68 per cent increase compared with the previous edition in Pescara (Italy) in 2015. Some 40 per cent of the 1,020 athletes registered are women. More details here.