IOC President Thomas Bach attended the state funeral of Irena Szewinska, a five-time Olympic medallist and IOC member, who died on 29 June. The ceremony was held on 5 July in Warsaw, in the presence of Polish President Andrzej Duda, Prime Minister Mateus Morawiecki, Sports Minister Witold Banka, the President of the International Association of Athletics Federations Sebastian Coe, the Polish NOC President Andrzej Krasnicki, as well as many Olympic and sports personalities. The IOC President was accompanied by IOC Member Alex Gilady. During the ceremony, President Bach said: "Irena dedicated her whole life to sport. In everything she did, she was a role model for others with her gentleness and modesty. This is what made Irena such an inspiration to athletes and women around the world”. He went on: “being a champion is sometimes more difficult than becoming one. Irena showed us with her grace and gentle humanity the true meaning of being a champion, of living the values of Olympic sport, both on the athletics field and in everything she did in life.”
The IOC President met with the Uzbekistan NOC President Umid Akhmatdjanov. Their discussions focused on the situation of sport in the country and Olympic Solidarity programmes.
With the Prince Abdulaziz Bin Turki Al-Faisal, the Vice-President and Secretary General of NOC of Saudi Arabia, the IOC President spoke about various NOC development projects and the preparations for the next Olympic Games.
President Bach welcomed the members of the IOC Working Group 2026 during their meeting in Lausanne chaired by IOC Vice-President Juan Antonio Samaranch.
Meetings were held with IOC Vice-President Juan Antonio Samaranch and IOC members Nawal El Moutawakel, Habu Gumel and Emma Terho.
The IOC President and the Mayor of Lausanne, Grégoire Junod, addressed various topics of mutual interest and the inauguration of the new IOC headquarters next year on Olympic Day.
OTHER OLYMPIC NEWS
The IOC has been informed by the Austrian Olympic Committee of its decision to withdraw from candidature discussions for the Olympic Winter Games 2026. As it is said in a statement published on 6 July, “because of the political arguments currently taking place, the ÖOC greatly regrets that there has to date been no clear political backing, nor any corresponding support from the Styrian state government – something which the ÖOC regarded as essential, right from the start. Under these circumstances, a project of this scale is not viable, and certainly not internationally justifiable”. (Full text of the statement here)
Reinforcing its long-term commitment to transparency and reform, the IOC has published the Host City Contract (HCC) Operational Requirements. This follows the publication in March of the HCC Principles, which enable the full implementation of the Olympic Agenda 2020 recommendations and set out the general guidelines governing the relationship between the IOC, the host city, region or country, the NOC, and the Organising Committee for the Olympic Games (OCOG), and their respective financial and contractual responsibilities. The new version of the document will apply to the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games 2026 and previously elected hosts, in line with the process agreed between the IOC and the respective organisers. Full press release here.
The International Partnership against Corruption in Sport (IPACS) – a multi-stakeholder platform composed of the IOC and other international sports organisations, governments and inter-governmental organisations such as the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the Council of Europe and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) – met in Lausanne on 29 June to evaluate their recent efforts in addressing pressing issues in sport. During the meeting, the three taskforces created in December 2017 presented a progress report to the IPACS Working Group on the efforts undertaken in their respective areas over the past six months. Full press release here.
INTERNATIONAL SPORTS FEDERATIONS
The NBA, the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) and the Basketball Federation of Serbia (KSS) announced that the 17th edition of Basketball Without Borders (BWB) Europe will be held from 15 to 18 August in Belgrade, marking the first time that the NBA and FIBA's global basketball development and community outreach programme has been held in Serbia. BWB Europe 2018 will bring together the top male and female players ages 17 and under from across Europe to learn directly from NBA and FIBA players, legends and coaches and to compete against the best young players from the region. More info here.
On 3 July, the International Boxing Association (AIBA) joined the International Testing Agency (ITA) (read the news here), following the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF), which joined on 28 June (read the news here). Through their partnership with the ITA, the two IFs have fully entrusted their anti-doping work to the Agency, including in- and out-of-competition testing, results management, education and Therapeutic Use Exemptions.
In May and June 2018, 15 schools were organised by the International Swimming Federation (FINA). Diving certification courses were held in Dallas (USA), Tokyo (Japan) and Almaty (Kazakhstan), bringing together around 50 participants. The cities of Porto (Portugal), Singapore, Pristina (Kosovo), Casablanca (Morocco) and Tunis (Tunisia) hosted open water courses addressing the rules of refereeing and technical aspects of the sport for around 100 people. For water polo, 65 participants came together in Djakarta (Indonesia) and 31 in Kunshan (People’s Republic of China), whilst Lviv (Ukraine) and Budapest (Hungary) hosted courses in June. Finally, Cape Town (South Africa) organised an artistic swimming certification course for 17 people in June. More info at www.fina.org.
The International Surfing Association (ISA) has announced that the city of Wanning (People’s Republic of China) will host the 2018 World StandUp Paddle and Paddleboard Championships from 23 November to 2 December. Wanning has already hosted numerous ISA competitions since 2012, including the World Longboard Championships in January 2018. More info here.
The World Curling Federation (WCF) Athlete Commission has two new members, after the conclusion of its elections. Canadian women’s Olympic gold medallist and two-time world champion, Jill Officer, and the Czech Republic’s women’s skip, Anna Kubeskova, have been elected to the Commission. The new members join Kim Forge (Australia), Cathrine Lindahl (Sweden), Patrick McDonald (United States), David Murdoch (Scotland) and new committee skip Nolan Thiessen (Canada). Full details here.
NATIONAL OLYMPIC COMMITTEES
Nearly 6,000 people took part in Olympic Day celebrations in Cape Verde. Numerous sports activities were on offer on the various islands of the archipelago, such as Maio – where Cape Verde NOC President Filomena Cortes was present. Olympian Jordin Andrade took part in the festivities organised on the island of Brava. The mascot of the African Beach Games, which will be held in Cape Verde in 2019, also attended the Olympic Day celebrations.
Olympic Day 2018 was celebrated in Athens, Thessaloniki and Ancient Olympia with the participation of thousands of citizens. In Athens, the Hellenic Olympic Committee (HOC), the National Olympic Academy (NOA) and the Athanasios K. Laskaridis Public Benefit Foundation celebrated an event entitled "A Great Sea, Environment - Sports - Volunteerism" at the Panathenaic Stadium. In Thessaloniki, the Olympic Museum-Protergia, the HOC and the NOA jointly organised a 5km race in which Olympians, world champions, athletes and thousands of people took part. In Ancient Olympia, sports and artistic events attracted hundreds of people of all ages, who participated in the 3rd Vikelios Race. The event was also attended by young people from all over the world who were taking part in the International Olympic Academy’s 58th Session for Young Participants, as well as by Greek weightlifter Giorgos Tzelilis and Kenyan Olympic champion in athletics Eliud Kipchoge. More info at www.hoc.gr.
On 23 and 24 June, sports competitions were hosted throughout Kazakhstan as a celebration of Olympic Day. An event called “The games of young nomads” was organised by the Centre for Palliative Care for Children with oncology diseases ("I am with You") with the active support of the UNESCO Cluster Office in Almaty and the NOC of the Republic of Kazakhstan. The games, which involved more than 180 children with oncological diseases, were organised under the slogan "Move, Explore! Discover!" and featured competitions in various sports. Kazakhstan champions, wrestlers Amandyk Bakiyev and Zhiger Zakirov, Olympic freestyle skier Zhanbota Aldabergenova and judoka Azamat Mukanov were present at the ceremony, during which each participant received gifts, prizes and an IOC certificate. More info at www.olympic.kz.
Olympic Day was celebrated in Slovakia from early May to the end of June, culminating with a celebration on 22 June in Bratislava. In total, over 60,000 people took part in the 350 events organised in over 100 cities and villages across the country. In Bratislava, the Slovak NOC organised various sports activities along the Danube in which many children took part and were able to meet 13 Slovakian Olympians. All the children received an Olympic Day souvenir T-shirt. As part of the “Take it sportingly” campaign, the NOC called on the public to go to work and school in sportswear. National TV widely broadcast the campaign. The NOC also organised an interstate quiz, a drawing competition in which 99 schools participated and a literature contest. More details here.
A course for coaches hosted for the first time by the International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) Training Academy was held at the Venezuelan NOC headquarters in early July. The course was organised as part of an Olympic Solidarity programme and run by three experts from the ISSF Academy. Twenty-seven coaches took the course to get their certification. More info here. In addition, NOC President Eduardo Álvarez hosted the presidents of 41 national sports federations for a meeting during which he reported on the NOC’s activities and upcoming sports events.
The International Gymnastics Federation (FIG) has become the first IF to join the .sport extension programme of the Global Association of International Sports Federations (GAISF) by launching its new website gymnastics.sport. The .sport initiative is a programme to support IFs with a recognised and protected domain, making them more visible in an internet search and highlighting their position as a global leader in their sport. Each IF will acquire a portfolio that can include a number of domains, providing information for fans in more than 25 different languages. More info here.
The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has announced that its 2019 Annual Symposium will be held on 13 and 14 March 2019 at the SwissTech Convention Centre in Lausanne. The programme will focus on the 2021 World Anti-Doping Code and Standard Review, in the lead-up to the 5th WADA World Conference on Doping in Sport, which will be held from 5 to 7 November 2019 in Katowice (Poland). More details here.