IOC President Thomas Bach was in Budapest, the Hungarian capital at the weekend for the Wrestling World Championships. The IOC President watched a number of finals on Friday and Saturday and met many of the athletes.
A guest of United World Wrestling President Nenad Lalović, also an IOC Executive Board Member, President Bach praised the great attendance at the World Championships and the “fantastic atmosphere”, noting the “huge transformation of the sport that has taken place under President Lalović”. During the tournament, President Bach was also accompanied by IOC Members in Hungary Pál Schmitt and Daniel Gyurta. He was also joined by IOC Executive Board Member Sergey Bubka.
Earlier on Saturday, President Bach met the President of the Hungarian NOC, Krisztian Kulcsar, at the NOC headquarters, where they discussed the recent Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires and the preparations for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, as well as reforms underway at the Hungarian NOC.
Earlier that day, President Bach met Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban as they visited a newly completed high-performance sports centre and academy on the outskirts of Budapest. Mr Orban took the IOC President on a tour of the facilities, of which the Prime Minister is the patron. Afterwards, President Bach said he was highly impressed with the state-of-the-art centre, which includes the football stadium for local club FC Felcsut. “The Academy is the perfect concept, combining sport and education, as well as helping with future careers for young people. In many ways, the centre is an example of the Olympic values in action.”
Earlier in the week at The Olympic Museum, the IOC President welcomed the President of Mongolia, Khaltmaa Battulga. Joined by a delegation including the country’s ambassador in Geneva and the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, they toured the Museum after talks between both presidents. The delegation also included Naidan Tuvshinibayar, the winner of Mongolia’s first Olympic gold medal, in judo, at the Olympic Games Beijing 2008. After touring The Olympic Museum, the two leaders discussed the development of sport in Mongolia and especially the contribution of Olympic Solidarity to helping athletes from Mongolia with Olympic scholarships and helping with coaching. They also discussed Mongolia’s participation in the upcoming Olympic Games in Tokyo and Beijing.
For the first time, the IOC, together with the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), has jointly organised a high-level discussion during the World Investment Forum, dedicated to investing in sport for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This took place on 23 October at the UN headquarters in Geneva. IOC Vice-President Juan Antonio Samaranch opened the discussion with a keynote speech. “Investing in sport is investing in the Sustainable Development Goals,” he said. “The enormous potential of sport – its global reach, its universal language, its impact on communities in general, and young people in particular – is a fact and is increasingly recognised around the world.” Read the full news release here.
As the United Nations Human Rights Council Social Forum dedicated for the first time its annual session to sport and the Olympic ideal, various IOC representatives attended the event at the beginning of October, joining UN Member States, UN agencies, international organisations, NGOs and several civil society representatives at the Palais des Nations in Geneva (Switzerland). Taking part as a keynote speaker on behalf of the IOC President, Nawal El Moutawakel spoke of the IOC’s strong commitment to improving the promotion of and respect for human rights in relation to its own operations and the organisation of the Olympic Games, in cooperation with NOCs, International Sports Federations and other partners. In turn, Emma Terho emphasised the power of sport to promote gender equality and non-discrimination and inclusion in society, while Danka Bartekova addressed the work being done by athletes to better frame their rights and responsibilities. Read the full news release here.
OTHER OLYMPIC NEWS
INTERPOL and the IOC have provided training to enhance Malaysia’s efforts in investigating and sanctioning competition manipulation in sport. The training course brought together more than 130 representatives from Malaysian law enforcement, government, betting entities and sports organisations, as well as representatives from Indonesia. The event was hosted in close cooperation with the Royal Malaysia Police (RMP), the Malaysia Anti-Corruption Commission, the Olympic Council of Malaysia and the Badminton World Federation. It was supported by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and Sportradar. Following the multi-stakeholder workshop, an investigators’ training course took place for sports governing bodies and law enforcement agencies tasked with investigating allegations, suspicions or reports related to the manipulation of a sports competition and other breaches of sports integrity. INTERPOL and the IOC recently expanded their joint global capacity-building and training programme until 2021 to protect the integrity of sport. Full details here.
international sportS FEDERATIONS
In the framework of helping its members to strengthen national integrity programmes, the Badminton World Federation (BWF) brought together in Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia) Secretaries General and Council members from the badminton associations of India, Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand to share information and knowledge on four key pillars related to integrity: rules system; education and awareness; monitoring and investigations; and judicial processes. This BWF pilot project examined the current national structures around safeguarding the integrity of badminton and how to build capacity in that area and fortify the sport against corruption. The sessions also included a joint presentation from the IOC and INTERPOL. Full details here.
The new International Equestrian Federation (FEI) Athletes’ Committee has been elected. A total of 52 athletes from 26 countries spread over five continents stood for the eight athlete representative positions, which carry a four-year term and give athletes a voice in the FEI’s decision-making process. They are entirely elected by their peers via an online voting platform, and for this second edition (as the Athletes’ Committee was launched in 2014), the FEI witnessed a 100 per cent increase in participation in terms of numbers of candidates and a 160 per cent increase in terms of nations compared to 2014. The complete list of FEI Athletes’ Committee members can be found here.
Council of Europe Secretary General Thørbjorn Jagland (right of photo) and International Association Football Federation (FIFA) President Gianni Infantino (left) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding at the Palais de l’Europe in Strasbourg (France) to strengthen the cooperation between the two institutions and further develop synergies and partnerships in areas of shared interest. This agreement focuses on four main areas of co-operation: human rights, integrity and good governance in sport; safety and security at football matches; mutual dialogue and cooperation in view of major sports events; and institutional cooperation through regular exchanges of views and best practices, the development of joint initiatives and the coordination of operational activities. More info here.
The International Handball Federation (IHF) recently announced that the Republic of Korea and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea had accepted its invitation to participate in the 26th IHF Men’s World Championship next January in Germany and Denmark as a unified team. The unified team of Korea will play the opening match against World Championship co-hosts Germany on 10 January 2019 in Berlin. The IHF initiative had the full support of the IOC and IOC President Thomas Bach. More details here.
The International Judo Federation (IJF) recently signed two major-events agreements with Qatar. Marius Vizer (right of photo), the IJF President, and Khalid Hamad Al Atiya (left of photo), President of the Qatar Taekwondo, Judo and Karate Federation, signed the contract for the organisation of the World Championships Senior Individual and Teams 2023 in Doha and the World Masters 2020, also in Doha. Furthermore, they also agreed on a partnership for the implementation of a programme that will support the promotion and development of judo in Qatar, before and during the events that they will host. More info here.
The International Swimming Federation (FINA) has announced the 2019 calendar for the FINA/Hosa Marathon Swim World Series. The circuit will include seven legs: Doha (Qatar) on 15 February; Victoria (Seychelles) on 12 May; Setubal (Portugal) on 8 June; Balatonfured (Hungary) on 15 June; Lac St Jean (Canada) on 25 July; Lac Magentic (Canada) on 3 August; and finally Chun'An (People’s Republic of China) on 29 September. An additional two hosts might be joining the circuit. More info at www.fina.org.
The International Surfing Association (ISA) and the Japan Anti-Doping Agency (JADA) have welcomed the success of an Anti-Doping Education Outreach and Athlete Engagement Programme, which they conducted together at the 2018 Urban Research ISA World Surfing Games in Tahara City (Japan). The programme is the outcome of a new partnership between the ISA and JADA, aimed at creating an opportunity for athletes and their support personnel to develop their anti-doping knowledge and at raising awareness of responsibilities as role models in surfing ahead of the sport’s Olympic debut at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020. More details here.
During its first ever meeting in Alicante (Spain) in September, the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF)’s Future Events Working Group discussed strategies to ensure 100 per cent participation by all 226 member National Associations in the new World Championships system. The 2018 ITTF Board of Directors’ meeting in Halmstad (Sweden) approved the expansion of the ITTF World Table Tennis Championships starting in 2021, which will see the creation of regional and qualification stages that will lead to the World Table Tennis Championships final. Full details here.
The World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) confirmed three new members to a four-year term on the WBSC Athletes’ Commission, with the addition of Canadian women's national softball team member Erika Polidori, French women's national softball team member Pauline Prade and Canadian women's national baseball team member Ashley Stephenson. More info here.
Supported by the International Ski Federation (FIS) Solidary Fund, the Icelandic Ski Federation held two training camps for young athletes in all disciplines in Reykjavik and Akureryi in August and September. Forty athletes accompanied by coaches joined the four-day camps, which featured six different training sessions plus lectures. More info here.
NATIONAL Olympic COMMITTEES
A sports management course was recently organised by the Bahrain Olympic Committee (BOC)’s Olympic Academy in Seef. Sixteen sports officials – representing national sports associations, the Supreme Council for Youth and Sport and the BOC – attended the course. The themes addressed were: human resources; strategic management and sports management; financial affairs management; and sports activities management. More info at www.boc.bh.
The Brazilian Olympic Committee (COB) recently took Rio 2016 swimming marathon medallist Poliana Okimoto to visit the school that was named after her – the Espaço de Desenvolvimento Infantil Poliana Okimoto – in Santa Cruz, in the western zone of Rio de Janeiro. She was enthusiastically welcomed by the schoolchildren and was moved by the tribute, the main objective of which was to recognise Poliana’s efforts and courage in overcoming hardships, and to encourage new generations to get involved in sport. After the Olympic Games Rio 2016, several municipal schools were named after Team Brazil medallists. Now, the Transform programme is taking the athletes to visit these schools to see the homage first-hand and experience the appreciation of the children. In return, the children learn about the Olympic values and get to meet their idols face to face. The initiative resulted from a partnership between the Transform programme, designed to promote the Olympic values of the COB, and the Rio de Janeiro Municipal Secretariat of Education. More info here.
The Estonian Olympic Committee presented the renovated Olympic cauldron from the 1980 Olympic sailing regatta at the Tallinn Olympic Sailing Centre. The Olympic flame was re-ignited there by Vaiko Vooremaa, the sailing athlete who lit the Olympic flame in 1980, and 13-year-old Angeliina Maria Isabel Õunap, gold medallist at the 2018 Zoom8 Sailing World Championships. Also present were Urmas Sõõrumaa, NOC President, and Mihhail Kõlvart, Chairman of the Tallinn City Council and member of the NOC Executive Committee. The renovation of the cauldron was supported by Olympic Solidarity. More info here. In addition, the NOC organised for the fourth time the European Week of Sport, in collaboration with the Estonian Sport for All Association. In total, 890 fitness-related events and activities were organised and over 170,000 participants were registered within eight days. The European Week of Sport is an initiative by the European Commission that aims to increase people’s awareness of sport and the amount of physical activity practised throughout the European Union. More info here.
The British Olympic Association (BOA) has announced that three-time Olympian and former Team GB hockey captain Ben Hawes has been re-elected as the Chair of its Athletes’ Commission. He will serve a further two years. The Commission has 12 members in total, made up of a mixture of past and present athletes from team, individual, summer and winter sports. Full details here.
A partnership agreement was signed between the Japanese Olympic Committee (JOC) and the Uruguayan Olympic Committee on 10 October at the Embassy of Uruguay in Buenos Aires. Simultaneously, the Japan Sports Agency and the Uruguayan National Department of Sport signed a cooperation Memorandum of Understanding. The agreement was signed by the two NOC Presidents, Tsunekazu Takeda (left of photo) and Julio César Maglione (right). According to the agreement, both parties will actively support officials, staff and their own athletes and coaches so that they can benefit from exchange programmes and opportunities, and will exchange knowledge and information in medical science and anti-doping, as well as sharing Olympic Movement information. The JOC has already signed agreements with 44 NOCs (not including the Uruguayan NOC). More info at www.joc.or.jp.
Following a working meeting, the NOC of Kazakhstan and UNESCO Almaty decided to strengthen efforts around sports-based initiatives for the further development and promotion of the following four main areas: education, sport for all, gender equality and the fight against doping. Full details here.
The Mongolian NOC co-organised the 60th anniversary of the Mongolian Ski Federation at Olympic House in Ulaanbaatar, in the presence of winter Olympians and local and foreign guests. During the ceremony, the first-ever documentary film about Olympic skiing in the country was shown, and a snow gala was held at the Dugana Had training camp near Ulaanbaatar. The Mongolian ski team has competed at 12 Olympic Winter Games, starting at Innsbruck 1964, and at all Asian Winter Games. In addition, the Mongolian NOC, in close cooperation with the local Sydney Olympic Council, organised the first-ever “Beach Sports & Art Games” in Sevrei county, with the participation of 1,200 people. The programme included beach volleyball, wrestling, marathon, sand mountain climbing, best desert songs and sand sculptures.
Some of the Czech Republic’s leading sports stars have signed up for the Czech Olympic Committee’s sports diplomacy course, which aims to prepare future sports officials by equipping them with the necessary skills, knowledge and international insight. The course was launched last year and recently concluded with a total of 16 students successfully completing the programme. Among the 16 students were world-famous sprint canoeist Jana Ježová and 2010 Triathlon World Cup winner Vendula Frintová. After the success of the first year’s course, a number of applicants have already registered for next year, including six-time Paralympic gold medallist Jiří Ježek, Olympian and former Alpine skier Klára Křížová, and Olympic basketball star Ilona Burgrová. The number of sports stars involved in the course reflects the NOC’s commitment to supporting its athletes’ transition into new positions following their sporting careers. More details here.
The Venezuelan NOC has entered into an agreement with 10 clubs to carry out the “Social Clubs” project for athletes. The aim of the project is to enable athletes to make use of the facilities at these clubs, and to organise sports activities for the children at each club. The NOC President, Eduardo Álvarez, said that all the clubs would grant 5 to 10 weekly passes for each athlete.
The NOC of Zambia (NOCZ) has published the first edition of its Newsletter, which it intends to publish on a quarterly basis. The Newsletter will provide news and report developments related to the NOCZ, the National Federations, partners and other stakeholders on various implementation activities.
ORGANISING COMMITTEES FOR THE Olympic GAMES
The Organising Committees for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 and Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022 recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) under which both organisations will work together to ensure that they each deliver fantastic Olympic Games and promote the Olympic and Paralympic Movements in East Asia, in the spirit of Olympism. The two Organising Committees will exchange knowledge via the IOC’s transfer of knowledge programme and through an exchange of personnel, as well as by sharing their experiences related to sustainability, Olympic and Paralympic education and the use of emerging technology. In addition to sharing Games-specific information, Tokyo 2020 and Beijing 2022 envisage promoting sports and cultural exchanges between the two countries, underlining the power of sport to bring cultures together in the spirit of friendship, excellence and respect. Tokyo 2020 CEO Toshiro Muto and Beijing 2022 Executive Vice-President & Beijing Vice-Mayor Zhang Jiandong were both on site to sign the MOU. More details here.
Tokyo 2020 also announced the first part of its planned test event schedule, which kicked off this autumn and which will run until May 2020. Approximately 50 test events will be held – some during scheduled international sporting events that happen to be taking place in Japan during the build-up to the Tokyo 2020 Games, with others constituting dedicated Olympic and Paralympic test events organised by Tokyo 2020. More details here.