IOC President Thomas Bach met Jean Todt, President of the International Automobile Federation (FIA). The two leaders discussed the cooperation between their organisations, mainly with regard to mobility and sustainability, as well as gender equality. President Bach welcomed the launch of the FIA’s Road Safety campaign, noting its importance to athletes and everyone involved in sport, whether they are training or on their way to competition. The FIA and IOC also confirmed their intention to work in partnership on the Youth Olympic Games Buenos Aires 2018.
The President welcomed a delegation from Tsukuba University, from which he received an Honorary Doctorate degree during a visit in October 2016. A number of projects related to sports studies, sports participation and the revival of the tsunami disaster area through sport were discussed. The President of the University, Kyosuke Nagata; the Vice-President, Caroline Benton; and the Director General of the University Centre for Olympic Research and Education, Hisashi Sanada, were accompanied by the Governor of the Ibaraki Prefecture, Kazuhiko Oigawa, and the Mayor of Tsukuba, Tatsuo Igarashi.
IOC / Greg Martin
At The Olympic Museum, President Bach attended the opening of an exhibition by the Korean artist Lee Yong Joo, who embroiders images from the Olympic Games and from Olympic history (see photo).
President Bach welcomed Marton Simitsek, who was the Chief Operating Officer of the Organising Committee for the Olympic Games Athens 2004, for a courtesy visit.
Meetings were also held with IOC Executive Board member Ser Miang Ng and IOC Member Alex Gilady.
IOC Vice-President Anita L. DeFrantz delivered a speech on behalf of the IOC at a conference entitled “Crime Prevention and Sustainable Development through Sports: Youth as Agents of Change”. This Conference was organised at the United Nations headquarters in New York by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) on 9 April, on the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace (IDSDP).
IOC / Greg Martin
IOC Executive Board member Willi Kaltschmitt Luján represented the IOC at the Second Forum for the Americas entitled “Sport for Development and Peace – Promoting Social Transformation through Sport”. The Forum was organised by the NOC of Guatemala on 6 and 7 April on the occasion of the IDSDP.
Other Olympic news
As the UN celebrated the IDSDP on 6 April, the IOC welcomed the Day with its own message of how sport can help to build bridges and promote reconciliation for a peaceful and better world. The IOC cooperates extensively with partners, including NOCs and numerous UN agencies, as well as international governmental and non-governmental institutions, on activities and educational initiatives which use sport as a tool for development and social change, contributing to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Full press release here.
On 3 April, the IOC announced that seven NOCs have expressed official interest in hosting the Olympic Winter Games 2026 – with others already considering 2030 and beyond, including the United States Olympic Committee. This is the first group to benefit entirely from the Olympic Agenda 2020 reforms, which offer a cost-efficient, transparent and flexible delivery of the Games from candidature through to legacy. The NOCs and cities for 2026 are: the Austrian Olympic Committee (Graz); the Canadian Olympic Committee (Calgary); the Italian Olympic Committee (Cortina d’Ampezzo /Milan/Turin); the Japanese Olympic Committee (Sapporo); the Swedish Olympic Committee (Stockholm); the Swiss Olympic Association (Sion); and the Turkish Olympic Committee (Erzurum). Full press release here.
Endorsed by the IOC, a new guide entitled Sport and Biodiversity aims to help sports organisations better understand how their activities impact on nature and identify new opportunities to enhance conservation. Produced by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the guide was officially unveiled on 9 April during a workshop hosted by the IUCN at its offices in Switzerland. The event was attended by the IOC and a number IFs. The IOC has been working closely with the IUCN since 2016, and the new guide is a tangible outcome resulting from the IOC’s Sustainability Strategy, which maps out a detailed action plan to address specific recommendations of Olympic Agenda 2020. Full press release here.
international sports federations
On the occasion of the IDSDP, the International Basketball Foundation (IBF), the Foundation of the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) launched its #BasketballForGood campaign for the second year in a row. This campaign invites individuals to show their support for the cause and how sport, especially basketball, can impact for good. More info on www.fiba.com
During its meeting in Colorado Springs (USA), the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) Executive Board received an update on the progress the IWF has made in the implementation of the IWF Clean Sport Commission’s recommendations which were presented to the IOC last year. The agenda included presentations on the introduction of the new IWF Anti-Doping Policy, which will come into effect next month; the IOC-approved Tokyo 2020 Qualification System; and the plans to hold an educational seminar in Moscow (Russian Federation) in May with WADA’s support, that will include representatives from the suspended member federations. Detailed info here.
To mark the IDSDP, the International Hockey Federation (FIH) outlined three areas in which hockey in one form or another is making a difference in the community. In Australia, an annual hockey programme is helping young people in remote communities to develop sports and life skills. In one state in India, hockey is the focal point that brings a diverse tribal community together. And finally a hockey coach is combining his two passions – hockey and Africa – to help a war-torn community heal. Full details here.
The International Swimming Federation (FINA) has announced the dates of the FINA Men’s and Women's Water Polo World Cups. The events will take place in Berlin (Germany) from 11 to 16 September for the men's tournament, while Russia (city to be confirmed) will stage the women's competition a week before, from 4 to 9 September. The FINA Water Polo World League Super Finals will be held in Kunshan (People’s Republic of China) from 28 May to 2 June for the women and in Russia (city to be confirmed) from 18 to 23 June for the men. More info on www.fina.org.
Ahead of its Olympic debut at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, the International Surfing Association (ISA) has ramped up the development of its coaching and instructing initiatives to help promote the worldwide growth of surfing and stand-up paddling (SUP). For 2018, nearly 200 surfing and SUP courses are scheduled across all five continents of the globe. The ISA will continue to work with its members to use the Olympic Solidarity programme to develop the sport, with particular emphasis on Asia, Africa, Oceania and Latin America. Full details here.
The International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF), together with the Peace & Sport organisation, brought table tennis to the Za’atari Refugee Camp at the Jordan border with Syria, in celebration of the IDSDP and World Table Tennis Day. Alongside the main event at the Za’atari Refugee Camp, 443 events were held in 93 countries across the globe, including large mass participation table tennis fun parks and a game of table tennis on a boat sailing on the Black Sea in Turkey. More info on www.ittf.com.
In addition, on 31 March, the ITTF Museum officially opened in Shanghai (People’s Republic of China), together with the China Table Tennis Museum. The ITTF Museum, which was originally housed at the ITTF Headquarters in Lausanne, was inaugurated in the presence of ITTF President Thomas Weikert. Full details here. The ITTF has also confirmed the 12 host cities for the 2019 ITTF World Tour.
Christin Cooper (USA) was presented with the International Ski Federation (FIS) Journalist Award in recognition of over two decades as one of the sport’s most noted analysts. The long-time NBC commentator, who retired a year ago, was presented with the award by US Ski and Snowboard CEO Tiger Shaw, during a ceremony held in Sun Valley during the US Alpine Championships. A former Alpine racer on the FIS World Cup circuit, Cooper won giant slalom silver at the Olympic Winter Games Sarajevo 1984. More info here.
To mark the IDSDP, the International Skating Union (ISU) highlighted on its website its development efforts in countries that are not usually known for winter sports and also the participation of North Korea in the skating disciplines. The ISU has an extensive development programme, which was started in 1996, with the goal of improving the skating activities of ISU members in a sustainable way. Most recently, an ISU development transition programme was designed to help athletes from skating sports such as inline speed skating and hockey transition to speed skating. The programme provides the best training environment available and resulted in five athletes from the programme qualifying for the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018. Full details here.
national olympic committees
The Algerian NOC celebrated the IDSDP on 5 April in Béchar. The delegation taking part was led by NOC President Mustapha Berraf and the patron of the Day in Algeria, Olympic champion Nouria Benida Merah, and included IOC Honorary Member Mustapha Larfaoui, NOC Secretary General Abdelhafid Izem and NOC Executive Committee member Nabil Sadi. The programme featured sports competitions, a tree-planting operation at El Hamra and a Kids Athletics event in Kenadsa.
On 26 March at its headquarters, the Argentinian NOC welcomed Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah, President of the Association of National Olympic Committees (ANOC) and IOC Member. The NOC President and President of the Organising Committee for the Youth Olympic Games Buenos Aires 2018, Gerardo Werthein, accompanied by several NOC Executive Committee members, received his IOC colleague. As well as a visit to the NOC facilities, the Argentinian Olympic Museum and the Buenos Aires 2018 Olympic Park, the programme also included a meeting with the Argentinian President, Mauricio Macri. More details on www.coarg.org.ar.
Judoka Mayra Aguiar and tennis player Marcelo Melo were elected as the Best Brazilian Athletes of the Year 2017 (photo above) during the Brazil Olympic Awards ceremony, held on 28 March in Rio de Janeiro. Sponsored by the Brazil Olympic Committee, the 19th edition of this Olympic sports gala also selected the 51 best athletes of the year in each sport and paid other tributes. The Adhemar Ferreira da Silva Trophy, which recognises sports idols who represent the positive values of sport, was presented to the sailor, Lars Grael. Full details here.
To mark the IDSDP, the Colombian NOC organised a conference at the Coldeportes headquarters. The Colombian sports representatives present included the NOC President, Armando Farfán Peña, and the Deputy Director General of Coldeportes, Afranio Restrepo Villarroel. The topics covered were: the historical relationship between sport and peace; the characteristics for sport to build peace in Colombia; sports schools for peace in Colombia; and sports practice in a post-conflict scenario. More details here.
The British Olympic Association (BOA) has announced that Mark England (photo) will be the Chef de Mission for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020. England successfully managed Team GB as Chef de Mission at the Olympic Games Rio 2016. He was awarded an OBE for his services to Olympic sport in 2016. Full details here.
The Olympic Committee of Israel held a special reception in honour of Ludwig Spaenle, former Minister of Culture and Education of Bavaria (Germany), the man behind the establishment of the Olympic Museum in Munich last September, in memory of the 11 victims of the Olympic Games 1972. Attending this event were Igal Carmi, NOC President; Clemens Von Goetze, Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany; Gilad Lustig, NOC CEO; Ankie Spitzer and Ilana Romano, as well as families of the Munich victims. The athletes and Olympians, Esther Rot Shahamorov, Yael Arad, Vered Buskila, Neta Rivkin and Artium Dolgopiat, also attended the event.
The Annual General Assembly of the Mongolian NOC was held on 28 March in Ulaanbaatar, during which NOC members approved the 2017 activities and financial reports and the Audit Commission report. Among its decisions, the Assembly approved the Mongolian Kendo Federation as a Member Federation. The Assembly also supported the organisation of celebrations to mark the 50th anniversary of the country’s first-ever Olympic medals and the 10th anniversary of the first-ever Olympic gold medals won by Mongolian athletes.
The Singapore National Olympic Council has announced the names of the chefs de mission for Team Singapore at the upcoming Asian Games and Youth Olympic Games. Three-time Olympian shooter Lee Wung Yew (left of photo) will lead Team Singapore at the Jakarta and Palembang Asian Games in August. Former national rugby player Mohammad Azhar bin Yusof (right) and fencer Ruth Ng (second from right) will take on the tole of assistant chef de mission. Leading the contingent to the Youth Olympic Games Buenos Aires is Olympic swimmer Tao Li (second from left), who remains the only Singaporean woman to reach an Olympic swimming final. Full story here.
The Swaziland Olympic and Commonwealth Games Association (SOCGA) has appointed Sidney Simelane (photo) as its CEO. Previously, he held several senior positions within sports organisations, including CEO of the Premier League of Swaziland and Marketing Manager for the African Union Sports Council Region 5 based in Botswana. More info at www.socga.org.sz.
The Uruguayan NOC celebrated the IDSDP in its headquarters in the presence of national sports authorities, presidents and delegates of NOC-affiliated federations, Olympic athletes and media representatives. NOC President and IOC Honorary Member Julio César Maglione (photo) highlighted the Olympic Movement’s latest achievements regarding peace, mutual understanding and the development of humanity, with a brief reference to what happened around the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018. More info at www.cou.org.uy
The headquarters of the Venezuelan NOC hosted a workshop on sports equipment and recycling, organised in the framework of the IDSDP. This was an opportunity to inform high-level athletes about this subject (see photo above). The NOC then organised a visit to the “Carlos Delgado Chalbaud” national education unit, where a presentation was given on the “Olympism goes to school” project. In addition, the NOC joined the celebration of the World Anti-Doping Agency’s “Play True Day” on 10 April.
organising committees for the olympic games
The Tokyo Organising Committee for the Olympic and Paralympic Games (Tokyo 2020) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Joint Venture Group for Tokyo 2020 Games Security, a collaborative venture between 14 security companies. The agreement will allow Tokyo 2020 to delegate the management of venue and facility security in Tokyo and surrounding areas during the Games to the new joint venture. Full press release here.
Tokyo 2020 also announced that the concept for the Olympic Torch Relay across Japan will be “Hope Lights Our Way”, uniting the Japanese people around messages of supporting, accepting and encouraging one another. Upon its arrival in Japan, the Olympic flame will initially be put on display at various locations in the Tohoku region, to help underscore this message of hope in the areas affected by the 2011 earthquake and tsunami. Only after this will the actual Olympic Torch Relay begin, taking in all 47 prefectures of Japan. Full details here.
On 10 April, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) celebrated its “Play True Day”, along with athletes, National and Regional Anti-Doping Organisations, sports federations, Major Event Organisers and others around the world. The “Play True Day” is dedicated to clean sport, and is intended to raise awareness among athletes, the sporting public and others about the global fight against doping. Full details on www.wada-ama.org.