IOC President Thomas Bach has paid a visit to Asia, first in Bangkok (Thailand), where the SportAccord Convention has been taking place, and then in New Delhi and Mumbai (India).
The IOC President met Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha at the Government House in Bangkok. The two leaders discussed the country’s Olympic performances as well as Thailand’s desire to be a candidate for the Youth Olympic Games in 2026 and the role of sport in general in society. IOC Vice-Presidents Juan Antonio Samaranch, Uğur Erdener, Anita L. DeFrantz and Yu Zaiqing, as well as IOC Member in Thailand Patama Leeswadtrakul, attended the meeting.
During his meeting with Thai NOC President Prawit Wongsuwon, President Bach discussed sport in the country, and the possible candidature of Thailand for the YOG 2026. IOC Member in Thailand Nat Indrapana was also present.
The President visited the Sport Authority of Thailand, where he met a number of leading Thai athletes and teams training for upcoming events.
IOC Member Leeswadtrakul accompanied the IOC President throughout his visit in Bangkok, and hosted a dinner for the IOC delegation with the deputy Prime Minister, members of his cabinet and leading Thai business, political, sports and social personalities.
In his speech at the SportAccord Convention Opening ceremony, the IOC President recalled the importance of partnership and cooperation to unite a global audience in a digital world. President Bach said that “we can only achieve our mission by promoting the role of sport, by inspiring and engaging the next generation with the values of sport. We know that we can only achieve our mission in partnership – in partnership with sport organisations like you. We want everyone gathered here at SportAccord to be part of this digital future.”
At a joint meeting with the Association of Summer Olympic International Sports Federations (ASOIF), whose President is Francesco Ricci Bitti, President Bach and the IOC Vice Presidents discussed preparations for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 and the IF governance review. President Bach also asked the IFs to follow up on the Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS) database from the Moscow anti-doping laboratory, and to take the appropriate sanctions against individuals and organisations.
With the Association of International Olympic Winter Sports Federations (AIOWF), whose President is IOC Executive Board member Gian-Franco Kasper, the IOC President and the IOC Vice Presidents spoke about the follow up of the success of the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018, the next edition of the Olympic Winter Games and the candidature procedure for the Winter Games, as well as the growing risk of political interference in sport and the threat of boycotts.
In a meeting between the IOC President and the IOC Vice Presidents and the Council of the Global Association of International Sports Federations (GAISF), whose President is IOC Member Patrick Baumann, the talks focused on cooperation between the two organisations and other topical Olympic issues. President Bach also asked for the solidarity of all the IFs with regard to political interference in sport and even the threat by some countries to boycott events.
The IOC President and the IOC Vice Presidents also had a joint meeting with the Council of the Association of IOC-Recognised International Sports Federations (ARISF) chaired by Raffaele Chiulli, as well as with the Alliance of Independent Recognised Members of Sport (AIMS), whose President is Stephan Fox.
During his stay in Bangkok, the IOC President met Olegario Vazquez Raña, IOC Honorary Member and President of the International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF); Sebastian Coe, President of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF); Marius Vizer, President of the International Judo Federation (IJF); Joël Bouzou, President of the World Olympians Association (WOA); Max Cobb, Vice President of the International Biathlon Union (IBU); and Tegla Lorupe who was the Chef de Mission of the Refugee Olympic Team at the Olympic Games Rio 2016.
From Bangkok, the President flew to New Delhi where he began his trip with a meeting with the President of the Indian Olympic Association (IOA), Narinder Dhruv Batra. President Bach discussed the future of Olympic sport in the country - particularly looking ahead to the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020. They also spoke about a possible candidature of India to host the Youth Olympic Games 2026 and a strong interest in the Olympic Games 2032.
During a meeting, Sports Minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore presented his new plans for Indian sport, particularly at grass roots level and in schools, with his “Khelo India” campaign as well as plans to find and help fund the best young athletes in the country. The pair discussed sport for all and role of sport in society. They also addressed the issues of good governance and the autonomy of sport. During the meeting, it was proposed that a four-party task force would be set up. The task force will consist of a representative of the IOC, the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA), the IOA and the Indian Sports Ministry. This plan was later endorsed at the meeting with the IOA Executive Board during which IOC President had the opportunity to meet Randhir Singh, IOA Life President and IOC Honorary Member in India.
President Bach went to the National Hockey Stadium to see an innovative format of five-a-side mixed hockey, which is being promoted by the International Hockey Federation (FIH) whose President is also Narinder Dhruv Batra. Two Indian sides, including several Indian national team members, played an exciting game in front of a large crowd of school children. Later at a gala dinner hosted by Mr Batra, the IOC President met Indian Olympic medallists past and present.
After New Delhi, President Bach flew to Mumbai to meet Indian athletes and see educational and sporting projects in the city. Accompanied by IOC Member in India, Nita Ambani, first stop was an International school where pupils gave sports demonstrations ranging from taekwondo, judo and gymnastics to local Indian disciplines. President Bach went on to meet children benefiting from the various grassroots sporting programmes supported by Mrs Ambani's Reliance Foundation. He joined children for basketball training and a demonstration five-a-side football match.
Later, the President met the Chief Minister of the state of Maharashtra, Devendra Fadnavis. With the backing of IOA President Narinder Batra and IOC Member Nita Ambani, he expressed a commitment for a Mumbai candidature for the Youth Olympic Games 2026, as well as a strong interest in the Olympic Games 2032. The IOC President was also guest of honour at a reception hosted by Mrs Ambani where he met many Indian athletes and Olympians as well as leading Indian business, political, sports and social personalities.
The ANOC and OCA President and IOC Member, Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah, was with the President throughout the trip in India.
IOC / Ian Jones
IOC Executive Board member Nenad Lalovic was elected a member of the ASOIF Council, replacing Ching-kuo Wu, at the ASOIF General Assembly in Bangkok. His term will be for three years. (See also “Recognised Organisations”.)
Jose Perurena was re-elected as President of the International World Games Association (IGWA), at its General Assembly in Bangkok. He will serve a new four-year term.
Other Olympic news
The Olympic Channel announced that it has reached cooperation agreements with the World Association of Kickboxing Associations (WAKO), International SAMBO Federation (FIAS), Professional Squash Association in collaboration with the World Squash Federation (WSF) and the Fédération Internationale Cinéma Télévision Sportifs (FICTS) to collaborate on content for the multi-platform global media destination. These agreements bring the number of partners who have announced similar agreements with the Olympic Channel to 67. Full news release here.
international sportS FEDERATIONS
British Olympic legend Katherine Grainger recently visited the International Hockey Federation (FIH)’s Targeted Assistance Programme (TAP) in Ghana. She was able to see the progress made through hockey in Ghana – whose women’s team has just competed in its first major international competition (the Commonwealth Games), and whose capital, Accra, will host the West Africa Hockey5s tournament. This progress represents key milestones in the TAP, which has transformed hockey in this West African country. This project began in 2014 as part of England Hockey’s bid to host the 2018 World Cup. It is run in conjunction with the African Hockey Federation and the Ghana Hockey Association, and is supported by FIH. Full details here.
The International Swimming Federation (FINA) has announced the dates of its Artistic Swimming Junior World Championships. The competition will be held in Budapest (Hungary) from 18 to 22 July 2018 at the Duna Arena, a brand new state-of-the-art swimming venue. The traditional artistic swimming events as well as the mixed duets will be on the programme. More info at www.fina.org.
#RecogniseAndRemove concussion education continued to be prioritised by World Rugby and national unions in 2017, with 61,000 players, coaches and medics participating in face-to-face and online courses. Reaffirming a joint commitment to evidence-based injury prevention at all levels of the sport, World Rugby and its member unions continue to prioritise the education of elite medical staff to ensure compliance with tournament player-welfare standards, and the delivery of online education for the community game, via its Rugby Ready courses and playerwelfare.worldrugby.org resource. Full details here.
The International Tennis Federation (ITF) has launched a new programme named “Empowering Female Leaders”, to improve gender equality in leadership positions in tennis worldwide through a variety of educational opportunities. The initiative will be supported for the next three years by the Foundation for Global Sports Development (GSD). This is in line with the ITF2024 strategy, whose key priorities include upholding the highest levels of governance, and increasing development funding to grow tennis around the world. The announcement follows the creation in December 2017 of the ITF’s Women in Sport Committee, which is chaired by USTA President and ITF Vice-President Katrina Adams. More details here.
World Sailing has announced that the inaugural World Sailing Offshore World Championship will be held in 2019. The Championship will be a powerful platform to accelerate the interest and growth of offshore one-design sailing amongst the sailing community. It is also a new annual offshore double-handed mixed competition between nations, featuring 20 boats. An important goal is to engage with new countries by providing turnkey equipment ready to use at the event venue as well as a training academy. Full details here.
The World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) has announced the launch of Base, a new commercial and marketing entity with offices in London, Miami and Tokyo. Taking immediate effect, Base will oversee the media and sponsorship rights distribution of the WBSC’s available portfolio of properties. Base’s objectives will be in coordination with and supplement the WBSC’s current long-term campaign of building a major global sport with over a billion players and fans over the next decade. Full details here.
NATIONAL Olympic COMMITTEES
On 17 April, the Minister of Youth and Sport, Mohamed Hattab, officially instituted the Organising Committee of the Youth African Games Algiers 2018 (COJAJ). The ceremony took place at the Mohamed-Boudiaf Olympic Complex in Algiers, in the presence of Algerian NOC President Mustapha Berraf and the Wali of Algiers, Abdelkader Zoukh, who will respectively be the first and second COJAJ Vice-Presidents. The Minister will be the President of the COJAJ.
The Agustín Fernández Educational Institution in Bogotá was selected to host the inauguration of the Olympic Professorship, a programme centring on education and promoting the Olympic values. Present on this occasion were Colombian NOC President Baltazar Medina, university professor Jose Antonio García, Colombian Olympic Academy member Nestor Ordóñez and NOC Academic Director Constanza Castellanos. The Agustín Fernández Institution is the first in the country to implement this programme. More details here.
For five years, the NOC of El Salvador, through its Olympic academy, and with the NOC of Chile, has aimed to promote the professionalisation of coaches of the Salvadorian team. On 19 April, 12 coaches from national sports federations received their diplomas. The same day saw the launch of the beginner and advanced level course for high-level specialists in sciences applied to training, a course certified and backed by the NOCs of Chile and El Salvador, with the support of Olympic Solidarity. More info here.
In a videoconference hosted by Spanish NOC (COE) President Alejandro Blanco, the COE and 27 NOCs from three continents approved the launch of an IT project led, developed and coordinated by the COE. This project will be financed by Olympic Solidarity and backed by the IOC. It involves creating an NOC service platform, named CONPaaS (CON for National Olympic Committee [in Spanish], and PaaS for Platform as a Service). This idea was presented for the first time at a seminar organised in Madrid in November 2015 in which 27 NOCs from Spanish- and Portuguese-speaking countries took part (photo above): Andorra, Angola, Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Cape Verde, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Ecuador, El Salvador, Spain, Guatemala, Equatorial Guinea, Honduras, Mexico, Mozambique, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Portugal, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, Uruguay and Venezuela. This project will cover five areas: ICT services; applications; specific training; the service integration layer; and user services, administration and finance. More info at www.coe.es
The Georgian NOC headquarters hosted about 100 students from 18 public schools in Tbilisi for the conclusive joint educational “Olympism” project implemented by the NOC and the Ministry of Education and Science. The project aims at promoting Olympism and healthy lifestyles among schoolchildren. The participants were welcomed by the first Vice President of the Georgian NOC, E. Berishvili, and a physical education and sports expert from the Ministry, G. Begiashvili, in the presence of Olympic champions Ketevan Losaberidze and Kakhi Kakhiashvili, who is also President of the Georgian Weightlifting Federation. Through their presentations, attended by NOC Secretary General E. Zenaishvili and NOC Vice-President M. Khabareli, the students shared their knowledge of the ancient and modern Olympic Games, the Olympic history of Georgian sport, and moments in the lives of well-known Olympic champions. A jury selected the best presentations, and the winners were awarded NOC commemorative gifts (photo above). More info at www.geonoc.org.ge.
The Medical Commission of the Mongolian NOC, whose President is Demchigjav Zagdsuren, has decided to launch a nationwide appeal inviting people to do exercise in order to combat cardiovascular diseases, one of the main causes of death in Mongolia. The NOC has launched a campaign entitled: “Let’s all walk 10,000 steps per day.” In addition, the NOC has announced the death at 77 of Jigjid Munkhbat, a freestyle wrestling silver medallist at the Olympic Games Mexico City 1968, and former coach of the national team. He received the IOC Trophy in 1994 and the title of National Hero and Merited Athlete, the highest honour in the country. His son, Munkhbat Davaajargal “Hakuho”, a professional sumo wrestler in Japan, is an Olympic Ambassador of Team Mongolia for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020.
Palestine Olympic Committee
The Palestine Olympic Committee and the Ministry of Education, represented by Jibril Rajoub and Sabri Saidam, inaugurated the 4th School Olympic Week during an opening ceremony held at the Arab American University-Jinin city closed stadium. During the week, various Olympic activities were organised across various Palestinian cities where talented, trained and skilled schoolchildren (58 per cent of the participants were female) competed in several activities, including athletics, judo, kung fu, gymnastics and basketball. This year, university students and school instructors served as volunteers. Held by the Palestine Olympic Committee and involving government at the highest level, the School Olympic Week aims to integrate sport into routine education to promote and develop Olympic sports in Palestine, starting from schools.
The Venezuelan NOC hosted a meeting in the framework of preparations for the YOG Buenos Aires 2018. The NOC’s assignment manager for these Games met representatives of 18 national federations. The meeting, led by Zuleika Seijas, Chef de Mission, was attended by Deputy Chef de Mission Esteban Álvarez, Technical Director Magdampi Marín and representatives of the Ministry of Sports, the Institute of Sport and the Medical and Logistics team. In addition, the NOC has kicked off meetings to create the National Commission for Sports Justice. This initiative will aim to organise seminars on doping, sports law, disciplinary law and electoral and contractual law.
ORGANISING COMMITTEES FOR THE OLYMPIC GAMES
The Organising Committee for the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020 has welcomed Marudai Food Co., Ltd as an Official Supporter as part of its sponsorship programme. Tokyo 2020 now has 49 domestic partners. Press release here.
GAISF and ANOC have signed a landmark partnership agreement covering the organisation of the World Beach Games after 2019. The deal recognises ANOC’s important efforts in launching the World Beach Games and GAISF’s critical role in multi-sport games. The agreement was signed in Bangkok during the SportAccord Convention by GAISF President Patrick Baumann and ANOC President Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah, in the presence of the IOC President. Under the terms of the agreement, ANOC and GAISF will form a 50-50 partnership to run the World Beach Games through a jointly held event company registered in Switzerland. The World Beach Games will be held every two years after the edition being organised by ANOC in San Diego in 2019. The sports programme will be determined in agreement with the IOC, and in principle no Olympic events will be included in future Beach Games. Full press release here.
IF governance featured high on the agenda of the ASOIF General Assembly held in Bangkok, alongside the SportAccord Convention. The meeting offered an opportunity to present and discuss the outcomes of the second IF governance review, which assessed all ASOIF member federations, including the new associate members. The objectives of this second review were to provide continued impetus for IFs to reach or maintain a high standard of governance; track governance improvements since the initial review last year; and identify best practice. The other agenda items included ASOIF’s new project on the “Role of the IFs & Future of Global Sport”; the fight against doping, with a report by WADA; the preparations for the next Olympic Games; and a presentation by the IOC on “The Olympic Games: the New Norm” report. Full press release here.