The IOC President was in Aarhus (Denmark) on Sunday 5 August to attend the World Sailing Championships. He was joined by IOC Vice-President Uğur Erdener and IOC Executive Board member Ser Miang Ng and was welcomed by IOC Member Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark.
During the visit, the President was accompanied by the President of World Sailing, Kim Andersen, with whom he discussed various topics related to the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020. He also had the opportunity to attend an interactive presentation on the future of sailing before embarking on a boat to follow the competitions.
President Bach praised the “great Olympic spirit” he found among the athletes. He added: “It's great to see the development of your sport using new technology and reaching out to youth. You really are setting a benchmark."
Danish NOC President Niels Nygaard was also present throughout the visit.
Earlier in the week, the IOC President visited the construction site of Olympic House, the new IOC headquarters in Vidy. The inauguration is scheduled for 23 June 2019, to coincide with Olympic Day.
This week, the President met IOC Vice-President Zaiqing Yu and IOC Member Mamadou Ndiaye, with whom he discussed various topical Olympic matters.
With Andrew Liveris, outgoing CEO of Worldwide Olympic Partner Dow, discussions focused on reviewing the excellent relationship between the two organisations and on Dow’s commitment to the Olympic Movement, particularly with regard to the IOC’s Sustainability Strategy.
At The Olympic Museum in Lausanne, President Bach attended the inauguration of an exhibition devoted to the work of Chinese artist Lv Junjie, whose ceramic works (traditional teapots sculpted from purple clay) were inspired by the Olympic Games and Olympic history. The artist received the Pierre de Coubertin medal in January. The President was accompanied by IOC Vice-President Zaiqing Yu.
On 1 August, President Bach took part in the official ceremony to mark Swiss National Day in Lausanne, alongside Federal Councillor Doris Leuthard and the Mayor of Lausanne, Grégoire Junod.
IOC / Benoît Fontaine
The IOC is deeply sorrowed to learn of the death of Nat Indrapana, IOC Member in Thailand, at the age of 80. With a strong academic background, Nat Indrapana was a key figure for the development of sport in Thailand and Asia, holding numerous positions within sports organisations in the country and continent. He was Deputy Secretary General of the NOC of Thailand, Chairman of the Sports Development and Improvement Committee at the Southeast Asian Federation, President of the Asian Trap and Skeet Shooting Federation, a Council Member of the Asian Games Federation and of the Olympic Council of Asia as well as a member of the University Sports Board of Thailand. IOC President Thomas Bach said: “With Nat Indrapana the IOC loses a true gentleman of sports. With his outstanding gentleness he made many friends around the world including me. Over the years of his membership, Nat contributed greatly to the Olympic Movement and the protection of its values. For this, he mobilised all his personal forces to serve the IOC even while fighting his serious disease. We all will miss him greatly.” Indrapana entered the IOC in 1990 and had more recently been a member of the Culture and Olympic Heritage Commission since 2015 after serving on many other Commissions, namely Eligibility, Radio and Television, Culture and Olympic Education and Olympic Programme. He followed closely the organisation of several Olympic Games by sitting on the Coordination Commissions for Sydney 2000, Beijing 2008, Rio 2016 and the 1st Youth Olympic Games Singapore 2010, in addition to taking part in the Evaluation Commission for the 2020 Games. Full press release here.
The IOC and Visa Inc. have announced an extension to their global Olympic partnership through to 2032. Speaking about the extension, the IOC President said: "Our partnership with Visa demonstrates a shared commitment to the legacy of the Olympic Games and the global Olympic Movement. Visa has always been a driving force for innovation on the world stage." Al Kelly, Chief Executive Officer of Visa Inc., said: "By continuing our support of the Olympic Movement and the Olympic Games through 2032, we will ensure the next generation of athletes, fans, cardholders and clients are able to get more out of their Olympic experience, and be part of a movement that inspires and unites us all to do great things." In 1986, Visa became one of the founding members of the Worldwide TOP Partner programme. Full press release here.
At its meeting held end of July in Buenos Aires (Argentina), the Council of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) took a number of key decisions on subjects including the new host city bidding rules, transfer of allegiance, the anti-doping obligations of member federations and the Russian Taskforce. The Council also selected Nairobi, Kenya, as the host city of the IAAF World U20 Championships (more details here). In addition, the Council approved a position statement on protecting athletes from abuse and harassment, as part of an ongoing athlete welfare campaign (see here). Furthermore, the IAAF has published the qualification system for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, which was approved at the IAAF Council meeting in Buenos Aires (more info here).
The 2018 Fencing World Championships were the first full Fencing World Championships hosted by China. Of the 153 International Fencing Federation (FIE) national federations, 108 countries competed with 771 athletes (men and women) participating in the event organised in the city of Wuxi from 19 to 27 July. The event featured a new dazzling LED and digitally enhanced finals competition floor, able to actively display videos, athlete name and country, scoring, and other features live beneath the fencing pistes. A number of camps, programmes for underprivileged fencers and federations, and other educational programmes were held for athletes throughout the week in addition to the competition. The next World Championships will be held in 2019 in Budapest (Hungary). More info at www.fie.org
The International Modern Pentathlon Union (UIPM) has published its first Athlete Safeguarding Policy (ASP), which is fully compliant with IOC standards. The policy document is aligned with the UIPM’s Code of Ethics, which has been updated to cover the areas of harassment and abuse highlighted in the ASP. More info at www.uipmworld.org.
World Rugby has announced the launch of a new initiative for the Pacific region whose goal is to use rugby to prevent violence against women and girls and promote gender equality. The initiative has been launched on 2 August by the European Union, Australian Government, UN Women Fiji Multi-Country Office and Oceania Rugby. It will be implemented through a new agreement between Oceania Rugby and UN Women Fiji MCO, starting with pilot testing of the new Get Into Rugby PLUS life-skills programme for girls and boys keen to play rugby. Regional research is also planned to better understand the interaction between violence against women and girls and sport in the Pacific Islands, and a focus on women’s equal participation in community rugby sevens events. Full details here.
International Surfing Association (ISA) President Fernando Aguerre has been inducted into the Surfing Walk of Fame, alongside some of the sport's most famous faces, at the annual ceremony held in Huntington Beach, California (USA). President Aguerre was honoured for his contribution to the sport of surfing after the IOC added surfing to the programme for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 during a vote held at its 129th Session in Rio de Janeiro in 2016. More info here.
On 2 August, the International Triathlon Union (ITU) and the Tokyo Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (Tokyo 2020) announced the courses for the Tokyo 2020 individual triathlon, mixed relay and Paratriathlon events. The races will start and finish in Odaiba Marine Park in Tokyo Bay which has been used as the venue for Japan’s National Triathlon Championships for more than 20 years. More info here.
The International Ski Federation (FIS) has announced the tragic death of 38-year old Vibeke Skofterud (see photo), on 29 July near Arendal (Norway). She was a member of the Norwegian cross-country team and won the gold medal in the 4 x 5km relay at the Olympic Winter Games Vancouver 2010. She also won two gold medals, one silver and one bronze at the World Ski Championships and finished on the World Cup podium 15 times. More info here on website.
national olympic committees
The President of the Albanian NOC, Viron Bezhani, and Secretary General Stavri Bello welcomed two Japanese parliamentarians, Hiroshi Hase and Minoru Kiuchi, accompanied by the Albanian Ambassador to Japan, Gjergji Teneqexhiu, and the Japanese Ambassador to Albania, Mokoto Ito, in a special visit to the NOC’s offices. The meeting took place in the framework of promoting the upcoming Olympic Games Tokyo 2020. The NOC’s work, the preparations for the Games and concrete cooperation opportunities such as assistance for Olympic education projects in schools and the training of trainers and athletes were presented to the guests. The President of the Albanian Federation of Wrestling, Martin Biba, was also present at the meeting. More info at www.nocalbania.org
On 27 July, the Women in Sport Commission of the Argentine NOC organised the first edition of a themed day entitled “Road to Gender Equality within the Olympic Movement” (“Caminando hacia la igualdad de género en el marco del Movimiento Olímpico”) in the city of Posadas (Misiones Province). Organised in conjunction with the Province’s Ministry of Sport, the event brought together over 200 people – most of whom were women – including representatives from the Paraguayan NOC. The Argentine NOC Vice-President, Alicia Masoni de Morea, led the discussions alongside the Province’s Minister for Sport, Rafael Morgenstern, and other members of the Ministry and the NOC Commission. Topics addressed included the history and development of women’s participation in the Olympic Movement; the agreement with UN Women; the IOC’s Gender Equality Review Project; the role of women in sports organisations; and strategies to bring about change. More info here.
Cyprus Olympic Committee
The Cyprus Olympic Committee has announced the death of one of the most important figures in Cypriot sport and a pioneer of women’s sporting rights on the island, Iro Mitsidou (r, on photo), who passed away aged 87 on July 25. Mitsidou, a track and field athlete, won Pan-Hellenic accolades during the 1940s before going on to serve as a Cypriot sports official. She became the first ever woman to serve on the boards of the NOC (2003), the Cyprus Sports Organisation (1988) and the “Pancyprian” Gymnastics Club (1990), the very athletics club she competed for. More info at www.olympic.org.cy.
The Spanish NOC and the Government of the Canary Islands have signed an agreement on esports promotion. The agreement was signed by the NOC President, Alejandro Blanco, and the President of the Canary Islands, Fernando Clavijo. At the signing ceremony, the NOC President said that the Olympic Movement is stepping up its engagement with esports because it recognises that they are played by millions of people of different ages. More details here.
The NOC of Kazakhstan, Fukuoka Prefecture and the City of Kurume have signed a memorandum of understanding on the training camp for the Olympic team of the Republic of Kazakhstan prior to the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020. The signing ceremony took place on 24 July in Kurume in the prefecture of Fukuoka, Japan. The NOC’s Sports Department Director, Elsiyar Kanagatov, the Governor of Fukuoka, Hiroshi Ogawa, and the Mayor of Kurume, Tsutomu Okubo, signed the MoU, which will allow Kazakh athletes to undergo a high-quality preparation process and acclimatise just before the Olympic Games. More info on www.olympic.kz.
organising committees for the olympic games
The Tokyo Organising Committee for the Olympic and Paralympic Games (Tokyo 2020) has announced the Creative Directors for the Opening and Closing Ceremonies of the Olympic and Paralympic Games. Mansai Nomura (centre) a kyogen (Japanese comic theatre) actor, has been appointed Chief Executive Creative Director and will oversee all the ceremonies. Film director Takashi Yamazaki (left) will take on the role of Executive Creative Director for the Opening and Closing Ceremonies of the Olympic Games, while Hiroshi Sasaki (right), who was the Creative Director for the handover ceremony at the Olympic Games Rio 2016, has been named Executive Creative Director for the Opening and Closing Ceremonies of the Paralympic Games. Tokyo 2020 also announced the Basic Plan for the ceremonies, in which their narrative structure is laid out. More info here.
Organising Committees for the Youth Olympic Games
Buenos Aires 2018
On 3 August, the Buenos Aires 2018 Youth Olympic Games Organising Committee launched its #UnitedByTheFlame campaign, which invites social media users to carry their own digital flame during the 60-day Torch Tour.
The initiative aims to raise awareness of the Youth Olympic Games in the spirit of hope, solidarity and peace represented by the “sacred flame”, which will start its journey to all corners of Argentina on 5 August. The campaign will invite social media users to share their stories on Instagram using the hashtag #UnitedByTheFlame, with a gif bearing the Youth Olympic flame logo designed by Buenos Aires 2018. They will also be invited to write a message for the image that relates to the Olympic values. Read the full press release here.
The International University Sports Federation (FISU) has reported that the 4th European Universities Games brought together more than 4,000 participants, representing 291 universities from 38 countries. The Games were held in Coimbra (Portugal) from 15 to 28 July. Under the auspices of the European University Sports Association (EUSA), the event was organised by the Portuguese University Sport Federation (FADU), the City of Coimbra, the University of Coimbra and the Academic Association of Coimbra (Academica). Alongside the competitions in 13 sports, focus was placed on the educational and social aspects of university sport, with talks and workshops on anti-doping, diversity, inclusion and the dual career programme. The next edition will take place in Belgrade (Serbia) in 2020. More details here.
The countdown to the 2019 Pan-American Games in Lima has officially begun. On 26 July 2019, more than 6,900 athletes, representing 41 countries from the Panam Sports family, will enter the National Stadium of Peru. Over the course of 17 days, they will compete in 39 sports, with 22 disciplines to serve as qualifying events for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020. To mark the one-year-to-go milestone until the opening of the 2019 Pan-American Games, the Organising Committee held an event that brought together hundreds of people, including high-level athletes; featured various sports demonstrations; and saw the start of the countdown clock. The 2019 Pan-American Games will be held from 26 July to 11 August and will be followed by the Parapan-American Games from 21 August to 1 September. More details here on the Pan-American Sports Organisation (PASO) website.