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Olympic Highlights

17 Jul 2018
Olympic News, IOC News



At the invitation of the President of the International Football Association (FIFA), Gianni Infantino, IOC President Thomas Bach attended the final of the football World Cup between France and Croatia at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow (Russian Federation).

Ahead of the FIFA World Cup final, the IOC President met with the President of the Russian Federation, Vladimir Putin. President Bach congratulated President Putin on the great success of the tournament and of the Russian team. He also praised the Russian citizens for their hospitality and for being such warm and welcoming hosts to fans from around the world.
The two leaders discussed the development of sport in society in Russia, in particular following the sanctions taken at the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018, where no Russian team was allowed to participate by the IOC, but carefully selected athletes participated under the name “Olympic Athlete from Russia”. They both agreed that in the interests of Russian athletes, now was the time to re-enter into a dialogue, to look to the future and to bring Russian sport fully back into the international sports community. 
President Bach noted that in the interests of clean Russian athletes and for all athletes from around the world, the reinstatement of RUSADA by WADA was of the highest importance – and that the IOC would advise the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) to undertake the necessary remaining steps in this direction to allow Russia to once again play a full and active role in the Olympic Movement. Read the full press release here.

During the World Cup final, the IOC President met the French President, Emmanuel Macron, and the Croatian President, Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović, as well as the Emir of Qatar, Sheik Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, who is also an IOC Member.

He also met the Prime Minister of Hungary, Viktor Orbán, with whom he discussed his forthcoming visit to Budapest for the Wrestling World Championships in October. He had the opportunity to meet the President of the State of Palestine, Mahmoud Abbas, and the President of Armenia, Armen Sarkissian.

Russian Olympic Committee

The IOC President also met in Moscow the newly elected Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) President, Stanislav Pozdnyakov and other ROC representatives. The two men discussed the future collaboration between the ROC and Olympic Solidarity, as well as the support the IOC is giving to a number of new ROC projects, ranging from educational seminars aimed at developing a strong anti-doping culture among athletes to new agreements with training centres across Russia to provide opportunities for athletes and coaches, particularly those from former Soviet republics. President Bach had the opportunity to hear about the new ROC Olympic Museum project and discuss the ROC Olympic Channel.

He also met IOC Member Shamil Tarpishev, IOC Honorary Member Vitaly Smirnov and former ROC President Alexander Zhukov.

Meetings with Alisher Usmanov, President of the International Fencing Federation (FIE) and with James Quincey, CEO of Coca-Cola, worldwide Olympic partner, were also held in the Russian capital.

The IOC President met Mikhail Kusnirovich, founder and Chairman of the Bosco group. He thanked him for his support and commitment to the Olympic Movement and for supplying uniforms and equipment to the IOC. President Bach also invited him to visit The Olympic Museum in Lausanne.

Before Moscow, the President went to Wimbledon (Great Britain), to watch the final of the women’s singles tennis tournament, in the company of International Tennis Federation (ITF) President David Haggerty. He also met IOC Member Mamadou NDiaye.

IOC / Greg Martin

In Lausanne, IOC President welcomed First Nations leader Grand Chief Willie Littlechild to The Olympic Museum. Chief Littlechild, a former member of the Canadian Parliament, was recently appointed to the new Board of the Calgary 2026 candidature committee. He was one of the first 15 Board members to be announced at the end of June.  The Chief, who is a lawyer by trade, has spoken very eloquently about how sport saved his life as a young man, helping him to survive the trauma of the now infamous residential schools when he was growing up in Canada. He has said that sport “saved him”, and that the combination of sport and education was a great path to success. The two leaders were able to see the winner’s medal from the World Indigenous Nations (WIN) Games which is on display at The Olympic Museum. It was presented by Chief Littlechild to President Bach during the Olympic Winter Games Pyeongchang 2018. Read the full press release here.

President Bach received the Hellenic NOC President, Spyros Capralos. The refugee support programme launched by the NOC and the ceremony to light the flame for the Youth Olympic Games Buenos Aires 2018 on 24 July in Athens were among the topics discussed. 

Meetings with IOC Vice-President Uğur Erdener and IOC Members Ching-kuo Wu and Ivo Ferriani were held in Lausanne on various Olympic-related subjects.

IOC President received Raynald Aeschlimann, President and CEO of OMEGA, worldwide Olympic partner. They spoke about the excellent relationships between their two organisations and the long commitment of OMEGA to the Olympic Movement which is critical for the success of the Olympic Games.

With the President of the International Sporting Press Association (AIPS), Gianni Merlo, President Bach discussed the contribution of the press to the success of the Olympic Winter PyeongChang 2018 and the forthcoming editions of the Games.

The IOC President welcomed the Mayor of Montreux, Laurent Wehrli, who is also a National Councillor in the Swiss Parliament. They talked about the Winter Youth Olympic Games Lausanne 2020 and the relations between the IOC, the Canton of Vaud and the Swiss Confederation.

IOC / Greg Martin

Ahead of the IOC-GAISF Esport Forum which will be held on 21 July at The Olympic Museum, President Bach met two esports players, Jacob ‘Jake’ Lyon from United States and Kai ‘Deto’ Wollin from Germany.

IOC President Bach also welcomed Michael Payne, a marketing consultant and a former IOC Marketing Director.


During its recent visit to Tokyo, the IOC Coordination Commission, chaired by IOC Member John Coates, heard how the power of the Olympic Games will help bring communities together in Japan. Organisers announced that the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Torch Relay will begin in Fukushima, before travelling across the country. Fukushima was hit by a devastating earthquake and tsunami in 2011. The IOC was also impressed by the significant advances that the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee has made towards hosting the Olympic Games in 2020. Also on the programme of the visit was a tour of Tokyo Stadium, Musashino Forest Sport Plaza and Equestrian Park. Several members of the Olympic Movement joined the Coordination Commission for this visit, including several NOCs – Brazil, France, Qatar, Sweden and USA – and TOP partner representatives – Intel, Panasonic and Toyota. The Paris 2024 Organising Committee was also there to observe the meeting and learn from Tokyo 2020 (see also the “Organising Committees for the Olympic Games” section). Read the full press release here.

The IOC Athletes’ Entourage Commission has launched the second edition of the IOC Coaches Lifetime Achievement Awards. The awards recognise the outstanding achievements and contributions a coach has made to develop and encourage athletes in line with the Olympic values in summer or winter Olympic sports. Nominations can be made by Olympians, International Federations (IFs), NOCs, members of the IOC Athletes’ and Athletes’ Entourage Commissions and IOC Members between now and 12 August 2018. A selection panel composed of the Chair of the IOC Athletes’ Entourage Commission, two IOC Members on this Commission and two members of the IOC Athletes’ Commission will be appointed by the IOC President to select the winners, whose names will be announced during the Olympism in Action Forum in Buenos Aires on 5 and 6 October 2018. Read the full press release here.

international Federations

summer iFs


The countdown to the 18th International Swimming Federation (FINA) World Championships in Gwangju (Republic of Korea) began last week. The Championships will open on 7 July 2019 with competitions in the six FINA disciplines. On the eve of the countdown launch, the Organising Committee held a ceremony in front of 8,000 spectators in the Chosun University Stadium, including FINA President and IOC honorary member Julio César Maglione (right of photo), the FINA Executive Director, members of the Organising Committee, and representatives of the local authorities, the Korean NOC and the Korean Swimming Federation. More details here.

The official website of World Rugby has changed from to The Federation a has obtained the .rugby domain with a view to accelerating the promotion of rugby and stakeholder brands in a safe, secure and controlled environment; promoting the sport and unifying the global community online under a common identity; ensuring that the rights of privileged rugby stakeholders are preserved; linking all participants via a specific identity; and creating a recognisable digital space for all rugby-related activities online. More details here.

The International Tennis Federation (ITF) held its inaugural Worldwide Participation Conference in London on 8 and 9 July. Close to 200 delegates from 55 countries took part in an interactive forum centred around growing participation in sport and increasing physical activity across the globe. A total of 28 presentations were heard during 11 sessions, as attendees shared best practices and identified projects that have proved successful in boosting participation and retention rates in sport. More details here.

The World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) has announced that the hosting rights of the XXIX U-18 Baseball World Cup® 2019 have been awarded to the Korea Baseball Softball Association (KBSA), in collaboration with Gijang County, Busan. The bid received the official backing of the nation’s Ministry of Strategy and Finance, and the Ministry of Culture, Sport and Tourism. More info here.

The International Surfing Association (ISA) has welcomed the Angolan Water Sports Federation (FADEN) as its 104th member.  FADEN will join the ISA in working together to develop all the surfing disciplines in the country, for example by putting in place a programme to train technical officials and creating a national championship circuit. This year, FADEN has held its first coaching workshop and its first national championship. More details here.

NationaL Olympic committees

German Olympic Academy/Maria Schulz

For the fifth consecutive time, the German Olympic Academy celebrated Olympic Day on the premises of the German Sports and Olympic Museum in Cologne. More than 50 cooperation partners (mostly Olympic and Paralympic sports federations and clubs) offered over 40 activation and information booths for some 4,000 schoolchildren and teenagers from the region. As well as experiencing a variety of sports, the children also could learn about the values of sport, Olympic history and doping prevention, and test their Olympic knowledge in a quiz. As in previous years, top athletes from the German Olympic and Paralympic teams attended the celebrations and talked about their careers, reported on their experiences and answered the children’s questions. In addition to the activities at the Museum, the German Sport University Cologne, in cooperation with the Olympic Studies Centre, offered a special Olympic Day lecture and seminar programme for students. Full details here on the official website of the German Olympic Committee.

Hellenic NOC

On a visit to the Hellenic NOC, International Handball Federation (IHF) President Hassan Mustafa was greeted by NOC President Spyros Capralos, First Vice-President Stelios Angeloudis, Secretary General Manolis Kolympadis and NOC member and Greek Olympic Academy President Giorgos Alikakos. The NOC President congratulated the IHF President for his contribution to the Olympic Movement and his support for Greek handball. The Under-19 World Championships being held in Greece in 2021 were among the subjects discussed at a meeting.

Mongolian NOC

The 2018 edition of Olympic Day was a success in Mongolia. More than 200 schoolchildren took part in the Olympic Day Run organised in Terelj. In the capital, Ulaanbaatar, Olympians, athletes with disabilities, and representatives of the government and the media took part in the various activities on offer. This year, the Mongolian NOC celebrated its first Olympic medals (a silver and three bronze), won by wrestlers at the Olympic Games Mexico City 1968, and its first Olympic gold medals, won at the Games in Beijing in 2008. On this occasion, the two 2008 champions, judoka Naidan Tuvshinbayar and boxer Enkhbat Badar-Uugan were presented with the Olympic Star, the NOC’s highest distinction, by NOC President Demchigjav Zagdsuren.

NOC of Tajikistan

Early in the morning of 23 June, athletes, Olympians, volunteers and officials of the NOC of Tajikistan, including Vice-President Abdullozoda Ahtam Rustam, and representatives of the Committee for Youth Affairs and Sports, gathered at the Youth Park in Dushanbe to kick off the Olympic Day 2018 celebrations, joined by around 1,000 other participants. The IOC President’s message was read by Olympic Games London 2012 bronze medallist Mavzuna Chorieva. In all, 409 sports events were held on the same day around the country, with 22,679 people taking part, 4,800 of them women. The northern province of Soughd held an international swimming competition, in which almost 500 people from the Commonwealth of Independent States (Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, Russia and Belarus) took part. In the eastern, western and southern provinces, competitions in several Olympic sports attracted more than 4,000 participants. More details on

Venezuelan NOC

From 9 to 14 July, at the National Judo Centre in El Paraíso, a level 1 regional course for coaches brought together almost 40 judo coaches from four countries. Held as part of an Olympic Solidarity programme, the course was attended by Vladimir Barta, Director of the International Judo Federation (IJF), who took advantage of the visit to sign an agreement with the Venezuelan Judo Federation, the Venezuelan NOC and the Ministry of Youth and Sport. The purpose of the agreement is to develop judo in the country, particularly in schools. To this end, the IJF will provide tatamis and judogis, and pay a share of the coaching costs for 20 schools around the country. More details here.

Organising Committees for the Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020/Paris 2024

Tokyo 2020 / Shugo Takemi

On 11 July in Tokyo, the Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020 (Tokyo 2020) and the Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games Paris 2024 (Paris 2024) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), under the terms of which both organisations will cooperate with the aim of ensuring the successful delivery of their respective Games. The two Committees will share their experiences of preparing for and managing major sports events, covering areas such as exchange of personnel, volunteer recruitment, language services, communications and ceremony planning. The MoU also addresses the sharing of best practices in the promotion of the Olympic and Paralympic Movements through seminars and other events, covering areas of mutual interest such as education programmes, engagement activities, the Cultural Olympiad, sustainability and legacy planning. Tokyo 2020 CEO Toshiro Muto (right of photo) and Paris 2024 CEO Etienne Thobois (left) signed the MoU during the visit of the IOC Coordination Commission to Tokyo. Read the full press release here.


Buenos Aires 2018

Buenos Aires 2018

The Organising Committee for the Youth Olympic Games Buenos Aires 2018 has announced the Youth Olympic flame lighting date and the route of the Torch Tour. The flame will be lit with the sun’s rays on 24 July at a ceremony held in the Panathenaic Stadium in Athens and will arrive in Buenos Aires the following day. The flame will start its journey in the province of Buenos Aires, before taking a 14,000-kilometre tour of the country from the very south to the north of the country. The Torch Tour will be represented by the #UnitedBy the Flame campaign, which will invite social media users to carry their own digital flame. The initiative, which is to be launched in the coming weeks, is part of the #UnitedBy concept created by the IOC to promote the values of Olympism around the world. Read the press release here.

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