The latest move in the IOC's long-term commitment to supporting the ongoing peace talks and dialogue on the Korean peninsula and the region beyond took place on the occasion of the Olympic Day celebrations in Lausanne on 22 June.
The IOC marked the 70th anniversary of Olympic Day by hosting top-level athletes and officials from the NOCs of the Republic of Korea, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea and the hosts of the upcoming Olympic Summer and Winter Games: Japan and the People's Republic of China. Olympic and elite table tennis players from each of the four nations showed off their skills during a friendly mixed table tennis exhibition match. The athletes then presented the IOC President with a table tennis racket signed by all the players with the dedication: "Thank you IOC for paving the way through sport to the peace process on the Korean peninsula, the region and the world."
"By playing in mixed teams, the athletes show us the unique ability of sport to build bridges," said IOC President Thomas Bach. "With these table tennis exhibition matches to celebrate Olympic Day, we can all experience the unifying power of sport and our contribution to making the world a better place through sport. Olympic Day is an occasion to remind ourselves of the spirit of Olympism”, he added.
Among the numerous personalities present at the Olympic Day celebrations were: IOC Honorary President Jacques Rogge; IOC Vice-President Yu Zaiqing; IOC Member and President of the Organising Committee for the Youth Olympic Games Buenos Aires 2018 Gerardo Werthein; Mayor of Lausanne Grégoire Junod; Councillor of State for the Canton of Vaud Philippe Leuba; and Swiss Olympic snowboarder and artist Pat Burgener; as well as many representatives from the International Federations and other sports organisations.
Before taking part in the festivities, the President attended a meeting of the IOC – Olympic Capital Commission and kicked off the Olympic Capital Run organised by the City of Lausanne.
The IOC President hosted the President of Slovenia, Borut Pahor, at The Olympic Museum in Lausanne. The two leaders discussed various subjects of mutual interest as well as the cooperation between the Slovenian government and the IOC with regard to human rights and sport.
The IOC President hosted the President of the NOC of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Kim Il Guk, who is also Sports Minister. Their discussions covered the preparation of athletes with a view to qualifying for and taking part in the Olympic Games in Tokyo in 2020 and in Beijing in 2022, and the Youth Olympic Games in 2020 and 2022.
President Bach met the President of the Korean Olympic Committee, Lee Kee-Heung. The success of the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018 as well as the excellent cooperation with the NOC and topics of mutual interest were discussed.
The IOC President met the President of the Japanese Olympic Committee, IOC Member Tsunekazu Takeda, and thanked him for the NOC’s participation in the Olympic Day festivities. They also discussed the preparations for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020.
President Bach held a meeting with IOC Vice-President Yu Zaiqing, thanking him for the Chinese NOC's participation in the Olympic Day festivities. Preparations for the Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022 were also discussed.
President Bach welcomed the President of the NOC of Bhutan, Jigyel Ugyen Wangchuck. They discussed various topics linked to sports development in the country and preparations for the Olympic Games.
With the President of the Ugandan NOC, William Frederick Blick, the IOC President talked about various Olympic Solidarity programmes and the preparation of athletes for their participation in the Olympic Games.
Meetings were held with IOC Executive Board members Ser Miang Ng and Kirsty Coventry; and with IOC Members Richard W. Pound, Gerardo Werthein, Tsunekazu Takeda and Danka Bartekova.
Lambis V. Nikolaou represented the IOC at the opening ceremony of the 58th Session for Young Participants of the International Olympic Academy, on 17 June in Athens (Greece).
Closing its first visit to the French capital, the IOC Coordination Commission for the Olympic Games 2024, chaired by Pierre-Olivier Beckers-Vieujant, was impressed with Paris 2024’s pioneering new approach to hosting the Olympic and Paralympic Games in line with Olympic Agenda 2020 and its New Norm. The French plan is an ambitious and inspiring project that uses the Games as a platform for significant developments at the city, regional and national levels, and is being approached with a focus on athlete experience, legacy for the local population, budgets and deadlines. As well as the Eiffel Tower, the Commission’s venue tour took in the sites of several Olympic and Paralympic venues, such as the Stade de France, the Grand Palais, the Champs-Élysées and the Champs de Mars. Reinforcing the spirit of collaboration and co-construction, members of the Los Angeles 2028 Organising Committee also joined the meetings to learn alongside Paris 2024 about how the Olympic Games are being re-imagined. Full press release here.
other olympic news
On 23 June, the IOC called on everybody to get off the couch and get active in celebration of the 70th anniversary of Olympic Day. To mark this year’s milestone, the IOC has launched a campaign with the banner United By in celebration of the power of Olympism to build bridges and bring people together regardless of age, gender, religion, nationality or ability, 365 days a year. Full details here.
As part of the Dialogue Stage of the Candidature Process for the Olympic Winter Games 2026, the IOC is inviting the cities and their NOCs to take part in a second round of individual Interactive Workshops. This week, the IOC welcomed delegations from Calgary 2026 and the Canadian NOC and Graz 2026 and the Austrian NOCs to respectively discuss their projects.
On 18 June at The Olympic Museum in Lausanne, the IOC and Lacoste announced the launch of the first exclusive Olympic Heritage lifestyle apparel collection, developed by Lacoste as part of a new licensing agreement and in line with the IOC Global Licensing Strategy. For the first edition, Lacoste has chosen to celebrate the 50th anniversaries of the Olympic Winter Games Grenoble 1968 and the Olympic Games Mexico City 1968. The IOC and Lacoste collaboration will continue until 2020, with a collection developed each season. Full press release here.
The Olympic Channel has concluded cooperation agreements with eight sports governing bodies and sports organisations: the Federation of International Lacrosse (FILx), the International Federation of Basque Pelota (FIPV), the International Korfball Federation (IKF), the International Sumo Federation (IFS) and the International Wushu Federation (IWUF), in addition to the International Committee of Mediterranean Games (ICMG), International University Sports Federation (FISU) and Special Olympics. These eight new cooperation agreements bring the number of the global platform’s federation partners to 75. Full press release here.
Developing the investigative techniques of sports organisations in relation to competition manipulation was the focus of a fact-finding training session jointly organised by INTERPOL and the IOC. Hosted by the British Olympic Association (BOA) on 12 and 13 June, the session addressed the need for an effective, coordinated response from the sports world to the threat of competition manipulation and related corruption. Some 25 representatives of national sports federations in the UK took part in the training, with contributions and presentations by UK-based organisations including the Sports Betting Integrity Unit of the UK Gambling Commission, the British Horseracing Authority, the Tennis Integrity Unit as well as Sportradar. The INTERPOL-IOC Handbook on Conducting Fact-Finding Inquiries into Breaches of Sports Integrity was provided during the training session. More details here.
On 21 June, the International Testing Agency (ITA) officially launched its operations at its second Foundation Board Meeting in Lausanne. Led by Valérie Fourneyron, the ITA’s Board is also comprised of Uğur Erdener, Francesco Ricci Bitti, Kirsty Coventry and Peijie Chen. The meeting was also attended by a World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) representative (non-voting position), Frédéric Donzé. The Board officially welcomed new ITA Director General, Benjamin Cohen, who started in his position on 1 June 2018. During the meeting, the Board discussed at length the strategic direction and development of the organisation in the short and longer term.
The International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) has announced the death of American weightlifter and two-time Olympic champion Charles Thomas Vinci, Jr. (on top of podium) at the age of 85. Vinci won silver medals at the 1955 and 1958 World Championships. He won the gold medal at the Olympic Games Melbourne 1956 and Olympic Games Rome 1960. During his career, he set 12 world records in the 56kg bodyweight category. Full details here.
On 23 June, the hockey world celebrated the 70th anniversary of Olympic Day by embracing the IOC’s #UnitedBy campaign through a global activation developed to inspire future generations. National Associations and Continental Federations are being encouraged to undertake mass participation hockey activities which aim to raise awareness of the vital role sport and physical activity play in society – especially as potential tools for development, youth engagement and empowerment. More than 50 countries across all continents will be undertaking hockey activities this year. Full reports on activities on the website of the International Hockey Federation (FIH) www.fih.ch.
The International Judo Federation (IJF) has opened a new training centre at the Olympic Youth Development Centre in Lusaka (Zambia). This long-term project was financed by the IJF. The new dojo was also supported financially by the Zambia Judo Association and the Ministry of Sport, Youth and Child Development, through the Podium Performance Programme. The Zambian NOC, Zambia Judo Association President Alfred Foloko and Minister Moses Mawere were present at the ceremony. The centre was officially opened by IJF Sports Director Daniel Lascau, who was part of an IJF delegation of experts who led an IJF Academy course. Supported by Olympic Solidarity, the course attracted 53 participants. Full details here.
More than 60 cadet-level wrestlers and coaches from 12 countries gathered at the United World Wresting (UWW) High Performance Training Centre in Guatemala City last month for a “More than Medals” development camp. The subjects addressed included training planning, the Olympic values, the Athlete Career Programme, and proper nutrition. There was also an anti-doping seminar led by UWW officials. More details here.
The International Swimming Federation (FINA) has celebrated 80 days to go to the FINA Swimming World Cup 2018, an annual circuit across Europe, the Middle East and Asia which brings together the world's swimming elite, representing more than 300 athletes. This year’s competition will explore a new format, which includes races in 25-metre pools as well as 50-metre pools over 21 competition days. The first meet will be held in Kazan (Russian Federation) in September, and Singapore will host the seventh and last meet in November (full calendar here). More details on www.fina.org.
World Rugby and the global rugby family celebrated Olympic Day, reflecting on the positive impact that inclusion in the Olympic Games has had on rugby sevens and the sport as a whole. 2018 represents an exciting year for the sport as rugby sevens continues to engage global audiences and break new ground. The global rugby family has taken to social media to mark the occasion using #OlympicDay to celebrate the sevens success story. More details on www.worldrugby.org.
The World Curling Federation (WCF) has announced that, from 3 to 10 November this year, international curling will return to the Gangneung Curling Centre, where the PyeongChang Olympic Winter Games curling event was held, for the Pacific-Asia Curling Championships 2018. As part of the Olympic legacy, the curling ice used for the Olympic and Paralympic Games will remain in place for at least a year after the Games. More details here.
NationaL Olympic committees
Team Germany’s digital communication during the Winter Games in PyeongChang won the gold German Online Award in the sport and lifestyle category. According to the jury, the German Olympic Sports Confederation (DOSB), its marketing agency Deutsche Sport Marketing and its creative agency Jung von Matt/sports managed to transfer the athletes’ success into digital storytelling. After the “Heroes Janeiro” campaign in 2016, the NOC repeated its success with the 2018 “PyeongChamps” campaign. More details here.
On 16 June, 10 Olympians joined more than 140 Indigenous runners from 20 communities around Australia for the “Deadly Fun Run” around the famous rock Uluru. The morning Run was organised by the Indigenous Marathon Foundation (IMF), which was founded by Robert de Castella, four-time Olympian and world marathon champion in 1983 in Helsinki. A relay race was also organised in the afternoon. The IMF is focused on encouraging running in Indigenous communities as a path to resilience, health and leadership. More details here on the Australian NOC website.
To commemorate Olympic Day, a full programme of sport and cultural activities was sponsored by the Brazilian Olympic Committee (COB) on 21 June. Approximately 360 children from the Rio de Janeiro public school system and from projects of the Olympic Legacy Governance Authority (AGLO) took part in the event held at Barra Olympic Park, which was attended by Emanuel Rego, beach volleyball Olympic champion (Athens 2004). The event was organised in partnership with the Transforma (Transform) project, the programme that promotes the Olympic values embraced by the COB, the AGLO and the Rio de Janeiro Municipal Secretariat of Education, which took children from eight schools in Cidade de Deus and Jacarepaguá to take part in the activities. More info on www.cob.org.br.
On 22 June, the Colombian NOC, through its Olympic Academy, launched “Olympism for Children”, the first part of a broader “Olympism for All” project. The project is aimed at promoting the history, values and principles of Olympism among the general population. The opening ceremony was held at the University of Cundinamarca, in the presence of students, NOC President Baltazar Medina and numerous representatives of the academic and sports worlds. More details here.
On 20 June, a tribute was paid to Pierre de Coubertin in front of the Frenchman’s bust in the square named after him in the multi-sports centre of the University of El Salvador, in coordination with the NOC of El Salvador. Those attending the ceremony included NOC Vice-President Francisco Ramos; the Secretary General of the University, Cristobal Ríos; and numerous Salvadoran athletes and coaches. Details on www.teamesa.org.
At the headquarters of the Spanish NOC, the Spanish Olympic Academy (SOA) officially unveiled a stamp and special postmark to commemorate its 50th anniversary. The ceremony was held in the presence of SOA President Conrado Durántez and the President of the Spanish Post, Javier Cuesta. More details on www.coe.es
In recognition of the outstanding contributions of sports personalities such as leaders, athletes, coaches and officials in Hong Kong, the Sports Federation & Olympic Committee of Hong Kong, China (SF&OC) decided to establish a Hall of Fame this year in the Olympic House. On 22 June, Timothy Tsun Ting Fok, SF&OC President and IOC Honorary Member, unveiled the Hall of Fame and announced the two inaugural inductees: Arnaldo de Oliveira Sales and Henry Fok Ying Tung. The former was the NOC President from 1967 to 1998 and the first Chairman of the former Urban Council. The latter was the President of the Hong Kong Football Association from 1970 to 1997 and an Executive Committee member of the International Association Football Federation (FIFA) from 1974 to 1996. Full details here.
Olympic Committee of Israel
The Olympic Committee of Israel marked Olympic Day by conducting a satellite Olympic studies programme within the framework of the 5th International Congress of Exercise and Sports Sciences at the Academic College at Wingate. The Congress included some 17 different disciplines in the field of sports sciences. Approximately 1,000 participants attended the Congress, opened by NOC President Igal Carmi (photo), with lecturers from 25 countries. The third Olympic Quiz Finals were also held, with the participation of physical education students and eight representatives from each physical education college in Israel. The event was attended by some 200 spectators, including college teachers, students, pupils, Olympic athletes and Olympic coaches.
From 11 to 15 June in Ulaanbaatar, the Mongolian NOC organised a Sports Medicine and Science seminar, with the support of Olympic Solidarity. The seminar topics included sports genetics, sports biomechanics, body composition, golden rules for athletes, sports nutrition as a special part of nutrition science and dietetics, and sports psychology. A total of 45 participants, comprising sports doctors, physical culture university teachers, coaches and athletes, took part, and were presented with their diplomas by NOC President Demchigjav Zagdsuren. In addition, under the terms of an MoU signed with the Russian NOC, the Mongolian NOC invited two Russian experts to attend the seminar.
To mark World Refugee Day on 20 June, the New Zealand NOC organised an Olympic Refugee Sport Day event, in which around 300 young refugees and students from a refugee background took part. The event gave refugees aged between 11 and 18 the opportunity to get involved in sport and meet some of New Zealand’s Olympic athletes at a “have a go” sports day. Some of the participants came from schools in Auckland, while others who had recently arrived in the country came from the refugee camp in Mangere. The opening ceremony was attended by MP Golriz Ghahraman, who herself arrived in New Zealand as a child asylum seeker. More details here.
Record-breaking climber Adam Ondra (4th from right, first row) has been chosen to receive the Jiří Stanislav Guth-Jarkovský Award by his fellow Czech athletes, in recognition of his outstanding achievement last September, when he climbed the most difficult route in the world in Flatanger (Norway). The award was presented by rower Ondřej Synek, who won the trophy in 2015, in the presence of Czech Olympic Committee President and IOC Member Jiří Kejval, NOC Secretary General Petr Graclík, and Director of Sport Martin Doktor. Over 30 athletes and many personalities from Czech sport attended the ceremony. The Guth-Jarkovský Award is the most prestigious national sports award in the Czech Republic and is voted for by Czech athletes. More details at www.olympic.cz.
Organising committees for the Olympic games
In conjunction with its university partners, the Tokyo Organising Committee for the Olympic and Paralympic Games (Tokyo 2020) hosted its Olympic Day event on 23 June. Students from 21 universities across Japan came together in downtown Tokyo to challenge each other in a sport and knowledge competition. Tokyo 2020 is placing a strong emphasis on engaging the nation’s youth in the build-up to the Games; around 300 university students joined in the planning and organisation of this latest event. More info on www.tokyo2020.org.
Celebrations to mark one year to go until the start of the 2nd European Games in Minsk were held across the Belarusian capital on 21 June. Members of the European Olympic Committees (EOC) joined the organisers of next year’s European Games for a full range of activities, including a 10km charity fun run. The day culminated in the re-opening of the iconic Dinamo Stadium and the unveiling of a Minsk 2019 Countdown Clock. Full details on www.eurolympic.org
Representatives of 29 countries as well as senior figures from the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) attended this year’s Asia/Oceania Region Intergovernmental Ministerial Meeting on Anti-Doping in Sport, on 18 and 19 June in Colombo (Sri Lanka). The meeting brought together a number of representatives from governments and National Anti-Doping Organisations from across the two regions concerned. More details on www.wada-ama.org.
Panathlon International held its 21st International Congress on 14 June in Florence (Italy) on the theme of: “Education in and through sport – Connecting values, physical literacy and wellbeing”. The participants attended two workshops covering numerous topics linked to personal development and the evolution of the sports system. More details on www.panathlon-international.org.