On 10 January, the IOC President, Thomas Bach called for a meeting to decide on the participation of athletes from the NOC of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) at the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018. It follows the joint proposals by the governments of the Republic of Korea (ROK) and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.
In order to decide on the proposals, the IOC will convene a four-party meeting on Saturday 20 January 2018 at the IOC headquarters in Lausanne. The participants will be a delegation from the PyeongChang 2018 Organising Committee and delegations from the NOCs of the Republic of Korea and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, all led by their respective presidents, as well as high-ranking government officials and the IOC Members in both countries. The meeting will be chaired by the IOC President. The meeting will have to take a series of essential decisions, including the number and names of athletes and officials from the NOC of the DPRK, since all the deadlines for registration have already passed. The IOC will also have to decide on the format of such participation, including questions related to the official protocol (flag, anthem, ceremonies, uniform, etc.). “I warmly welcome the joint proposals by the governments of the ROK and DPRK, which have been applauded by so many other governments worldwide. This is a great step forward in the Olympic spirit and in the spirit of the Olympic Truce Resolution passed by the General Assembly of the United Nations. Now the IOC must take the decisions to make this political commitment a reality,” said the IOC President.
Separately, President Bach met Ung Chang, IOC Member in DPRK who was in Lausanne for a regular information meeting which had been scheduled already some weeks.
President Bach met the Mayor of Lausanne, Grégoire Junod, with whom he discussed the organisation of the Winter Youth Olympic Games Lausanne 2020 (see also under ‘Organising Committees for the Youth Olympic Games’).
René Fasel, who is also President of the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF), has received the United States Sports Academy’s 2017 Eagle Award, the Academy’s highest international honour. Fasel was recently presented the award by Academy trustee Joseph Szlavik (right in photo) at the 2018 IIHF World Junior Championship in Buffalo, New York. The Eagle Award is presented to a world leader in sport to recognise that individual's contributions in promoting international harmony, peace and goodwill through the effective use of sport. More info on www.ussa.edu
During a telephone conference, the IOC EB acknowledged and accepted the resignation of Camiel Eurlings as an IOC Member. In a statement, the IOC thanked him, “for his contribution, amongst others as Chairman of the IOC Communications Commission. And as a strong advocate behind the reforms of the IOC, making it easier for small nations to organise Olympic Games. Although we regret his decision, which is a personal one”, the statement continues, “we respect the step taken in the interests of the lOC, of the Olympic Movement, and of all involved.”
Julio César Maglione, who is also President of the International Swimming Federation (FINA), has been awarded the Gold Collar, the highest distinction of the Italian NOC. The distinction was presented to him in December by Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni (right in photo). His IOC Member colleague Ivo Ferriani, who is President of the International Bobsleigh and Skeleton Federation (IBSF), also received the same distinction. More info here.
international sportS FEDERATIONS
The Badminton World Federation’s (BWF) latest bespoke portal (http://bwfworldtour.com) has been launched to capture the exciting news, performances and tournament results as players seek to qualify for the season showdown in December. Various links offer detailed information on the remodelled event series including the calendar; and the ranking. Full news here.
The International Basketball Federation (FIBA) Secretary General and IOC Member Patrick Baumann headed a delegation that met with Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) President Aleksander Čeferin at the UEFA headquarters in Nyon (Switzerland). The two addressed a wide range of topics and highlighted the importance of sport’s social value in today's society. It provided a platform for the two organisations to exchange ideas on how to develop and grow sport in Europe. Full news here.
The International Swimming Federation (FINA), in cooperation with the China Swimming Association, will organise the 2018 FINA Diving World Conference for Coaches & Judges, in Chongquing Municipality from 1 to 3 February. The conference programme will review some key aspects of the working methodologies for both coaches and judges in diving as well as the learning process and talent detection, and the new rules and regulations. More details here.
Three-time Paralympic medallist, Germany’s Jens Kroker, has been elected to World Sailing’s Athletes’ Commission, becoming the first Para World Sailing representative on the Commission. Kroker won a gold medal at the Paralympic Games Beijing 2008 and a silver at both Sydney 2000 and London 2012. At its Annual Conference in 2017, World Sailing’s Council approved the inclusion of a Para World Sailing representative on the Athletes’ Commission. Full info here.
The International Ski Federation (FIS) has informed us that the Ski Association of Kazakhstan recently held its first coaches’ seminar in the city of Almaty. With the support of Olympic Solidarity, close to 50 Alpine skiing coaches participated in daily workshops and seminars, led by former Swiss Alpine athlete Bruno Kernen. The programme focused on improving knowledge in areas including Alpine rules and regulations, course setting in slalom, giant slalom and super-G, mental training, physical training and structuring training sessions. More info here.
International Powerboating Union (UIM) President Raffaele Chiulli recently met the Prime Minister of Lebanon, Saad Hariri, in Beirut in the presence of the Lebanese Powerboating Federation President, Edmond Chaghoury. They discussed joint projects and initiatives to be developed in Lebanon, such as the creation of a UIM academy, the 2018 UIM General Assembly and the staging of top level powerboating events in Lebanon. More info here.
NATIONAL Olympic COMMITTEES
In partnership with the Algerian Sports Medicine and Traumatology Group (GAMETS), the Algerian NOC organised a “Nutrition and Performance” conference last December in Algiers. Besides bringing together sports doctors and technicians, the conference provided an opportunity to debate several topics, such as performance requirements in relation to a nutritional plan; an athlete’s diet; diet and physical activity; and sports meals in practice. After the conference, NOC President Mustapha Berraf and GAMETS President Mourad Belhocine signed a partnership agreement for 2018.
The NOC of El Salvador has joined Somos Paz, a citizens’ initiative that aims to “dress El Salvador in white” in January 2018 in the quest for social peace and progress. In addition to generating hope in civil society and triggering positive action, Somos Paz is the manifestation of a national desire for a life of peace and progress. For this, the NOC will broadcast messages of peace with athletes from the Salvadoran team through its social networks. More info here.
The best Ecuadorian athletes of 2017 were honoured by the Ecuadorian NOC at its traditional Olympic gala held at the end of December, in the presence of NOC President Augusto Morán Nuques and Sports Minister Andrea Sotomayor. Swimmer Samantha Arévalo and boxer Carlos Mina (centre of photo) received the Citius, Altius, Fortius trophy. The Olympic Spirit Award was presented for the first time. This award, which honours athletes who give their all at their competitions, for the love of their sport, their country and Olympism, was presented to weightlifter Alexandra Escobar and racewalker Claudio Villanueva. Read the full story here.
An information meeting for “Transparency International” representatives and many presidents and senior officials of Spanish sports federations was held on 10 January at the Spanish NOC headquarters. The day was hosted by the NOC and its President, Alejandro Blanco, the boards of Olympic and non-Olympic federations and the Spanish Sports Association. The guest speaker was Jesús Lizcano, President of “Transparency International Spain”. Everyone underlined the need to establish a framework agreement to which all interested parties can adhere, which aims to strengthen good governance in sports institutions. The day was organised as part of an agreement that the NOC recently signed with “Transparency International Spain”. More info here.
The Annual Reporting Session of the Georgian NOC took place at the end of December. Besides a summary of 2017 and a presentation of the NOC’s various activities and sporting achievements, one of the key items on the agenda was the awarding of the Olympic Order to NOC President Leri Khabelov (left), Olympic champion and four-time world champion in wrestling. The distinction, awarded in recognition of Leri Khabelov’s contribution to the Olympic Movement, was presented by IOC Executive Board Member and Ukrainian NOC President Sergey Bubka (right).
Greek athletes who excelled in 2017 at European and world championships, as well as their coaches, were honoured by the Hellenic NOC at a ceremony attended by the President of the Hellenic Republic, Prokopios Pavlopoulos (right in photo), who was awarded a trophy by NOC President Spyros Capralos (left), in recognition of his practical and continued support for sport in Greece. Also for the first time, the “Dimitrios Vikelas” trophy of excellence was awarded to former minister Fani Palli-Petralia and former NOC Vice-President Pavlos Kanellakis for their volunteering work. The IOC Sport Beyond Borders Trophy was awarded to the Mayor of Lesbos, Spyros Galinos, who received it on behalf of the local community for the way it has managed the migration crisis. Those who took part in the Olympic flame-lighting and handover ceremonies, we well as the new sponsors of the NOC, were also honoured. More info at www.hoc.gr.
The Mongolian NOC organised the traditional Burte Chono Sports Gala in Ulaanbaatar. Following a ballot by sports journalists in Mongolia, the Best Athletes of the Year trophies went to judoka D. Sumiya (centre of photo) and boxer D. Otgondalai. The trophies were presented by NOC President Demchigjav Zagdsuren (left), Sports Minister Ts. Tsogzolmaa, and 2017 winner N. Tuvshinbayar (right), in the presence of members of the NOC’s Executive Board, Olympic medallists and sports federation officials. The ceremony was broadcast live on Mongolian national TV.
The NOC of Singapore has appointed former table tennis player Tan Paey Fern, (centre of photo) as Chef de Mission for Team Singapore for the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018. Aged 43, Tan competed at the Olympic Games Athens 2004 and won medals at the South-East Asian Games, Commonwealth Games and Asian Games. In 2013, she was Chef de Mission for the Singaporean team at the Asian Youth Games in Nanjing. She currently coaches at the Singapore Sports School. Full info here.
In 2017, the Turkish NOC’s Sports Culture and Olympic Education Programme (OLI) reached 150,000 children in 350 schools across 14 Turkish cities. This allows children in Turkey to take part in a series of educational and physical classes, focusing on core values such as fair play, healthy eating and environmental awareness, as well as Turkey’s Olympic history. Turkish athletes often participate in the programme. Since its launch in 2006, the OLI programme has visited 5,000 schools in 50 Turkish cities. Full news here.
Numerous athletes, coaches, officials and sports personalities as well as children from various clubs and associations attended the traditional Sports Mass in the Divina Pastora Church in Caracas. Venezuelan NOC President Eduardo Álvarez attended the Mass, which is held every year on 6 January.
ORGANISING COMMITTEES FOR THE Olympic GAMES
The Main Press Centre (MPC) for the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018 opened on Tuesday 9 January, exactly one month before the start of the XXIII Olympic Winter Games. Situated in the resort of Alpensia, the MPC will be home to more than 2,900 accredited media from all over the world during the Games. The International Broadcast Centre (IBC), which was handed over to Olympic Broadcasting Services (OBS) in June 2017, also officially opened its doors on 9 January. Located across from the MPC, it will accommodate more than 50 broadcasting companies and over 8,000 personnel over the course of the Games. Read the full press release here.
The Organising Committee for the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020 (Tokyo 2020) has welcomed Japanese newspaper groups The Sankei Shimbun and The Hokkaido Shimbun Press as Official Supporters in the Newspaper category, as part of its sponsorship programme. Tokyo 2020 now has 46 domestic partners. Read the press release here.
ORGANISING COMMITTEES FOR THE YOUTH Olympic GAMES
As the Official Timekeeper of the Olympic Games and Youth Olympic Games, OMEGA celebrated two years to go to the Youth Olympic Games (YOG) Lausanne 2020 with the event’s Organising Committee, and unveiled a countdown clock. This ceremony, which included a hip hop dancing demonstration, took place in Lausanne. To start the clock, Raynald Aeschlimann, President and CEO of OMEGA, was joined by Danka Bartekova, Chair of the IOC Coordination Commission for the Lausanne 2020 YOG; Alain Zobrist, CEO of OMEGA Timing; Patrick Baumann, IOC Member and President of Lausanne 2020; and Ian Logan, CEO of Lausanne 2020. On 10 January 2020, when the Opening Ceremony will take place, Lausanne 2020 will mark the third edition of the Winter Youth Olympic Games. Around 1,880 young athletes from over 70 nations will compete in 81 events. There will be the same number of male and female athletes, which will be a first for an Olympic winter event. It will also mark the first time that ski mountaineering has appeared on the Olympic programme. Read the full press release here.
The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) in Iraq and Generations For Peace have launched a new partnership to support transformational leadership training for youth leaders from six cities in Iraq. This collaboration aims at training youth leaders in transformational leadership, to prepare them to lead trust-building activities in their own communities to overcome conflict and foster social cohesion and resilience as part of Iraq’s recovery and development effort. A first training session brought together 30 youth leaders selected by the Sports Ministry from 26 to 31 December 2017 in Amman (Jordan). From 10 to 14 January 2018, 75 youth leaders will take the training in Baghdad (Iraq). Full details here.