IOC President Thomas Bach welcomed the President of the Nicaraguan NOC Emmett Lang Salmerón. They discussed the NOC’s current situation, the success of the 11th Central American Games held in Managua last year and the next editions of the Olympic Games and Youth Olympic Games (YOG). The country’s desire to be a candidate for the YOG 2026 was also discussed.
The Olympic Foundation for Culture and Heritage and the City of Gangneung (Republic of Korea) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding on mutual cooperation and collaboration in view of the creation of the Gangneung Olympic Museum (GOM) by the City of Gangneung. The MoU was signed by the IOC President and the Mayor of Gangneung, Choi Myeong-hee. Gangneung successfully hosted the ice sports events at the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018. President Bach was made an Honorary Citizen of Gangneung following the Games.
Discussions with the President of the International University Sports Federation (FISU), Oleg Matytsin, mainly focused on the excellent cooperation between the IOC and FISU in areas relating to education through sport.
In Lausanne, President Bach welcomed the President of the German Football Federation (DFB), Reinhard Grindel; Philipp Lahm, the former captain of the German national team; and Harald Stenger, the DFB’s Press Officer, for a courtesy visit.
President Bach welcomed Chinese artist Han Meilin, the creator of the Olympic Games Beijing 2008 mascots and recipient of the Pierre de Coubertin medal. The artist was accompanied by IOC Vice-President Yu Zaiqing.
President Bach received IOC Vice-President Uğur Erdener, who has just been appointed Chair of the Evaluation Commission for the Summer Youth Olympic Games in 2022 (see under “Commissions”). They discussed several topical issues.
At the invitation of the President of the Swiss Confederation, Alain Berset, the IOC President attended a dinner in Bern, held in honour of the President of the Federal Republic of Germany, Frank-Walter Steinmeier.
Before starting their long bicycle journey back home in New Zealand, three IOC staff members shared their project and their enthusiasm with the IOC President who congratulated them on this extraordinary sporting adventure. Rebecca Wardell (Beijing 2008 Olympian in athletics), Emma Twigg (Beijing 2008, London 2012 and Rio 2016 Olympian in rowing) and Sarah Van Ballekom (marathon runner and rower) have decided to leave their jobs in the IOC Sports and Olympic Games Departments and cycle back to their home country, New Zealand. During their long ride home which starts on 30 April in Lausanne, Rebecca, Emma et Sarah will raise money to help aspiring young women, and will connect with Olympians along the way who will follow their adventure on social platforms and on their special homepage.
On Saturday 28 April, the President took part in a fun run organised in the Olympic Capital. The following day, thousands of people took part in the Lausanne 20km race, one of the largest popular sports events in Switzerland.
IOC Executive Board member Gian-Franco Kasper was re-elected President of the Association of International Olympic Winter Sports Federations (AIOWF) for a new four-year term at the recent AIOWF General Assembly in Bangkok (Thailand).
The IOC has announced the composition of the Evaluation Commission for the 4th Summer Youth Olympic Games (YOG), which will be held in Africa in 2022. The IOC President has appointed IOC Vice-President Uğur Erdener as Chair. He will lead an experienced team of Evaluation Commission members responsible for assisting and guiding the selection process to elect the African host for 2022. The IOC Evaluation Commission composition reflects the diversity of the Olympic Movement, and includes members from all continents, representing athletes, NOCs and IFs. The Evaluation Commission will act as a link between the interested parties, the IOC and Olympic Movement stakeholders, thereby ensuring that the best partner to co-construct the YOG 2022 is found. Full press release here.
The Medical and Scientific Commission hosted the 12th Sports Nutrition Diploma graduation ceremony on 27 April in Lausanne. The Commission Chair, Uğur Erdener, welcomed 26 students out of the 72 diploma recipients from 25 countries. Recognising the importance of nutrition for both health and performance, the Commission decided to launch this postgraduate programme in sports nutrition in 2006. A further 95 students from 35 countries enrolled in part 1 of this two-year online programme. Eighty-three students passed part 1 and continued with part 2 of the course.
OTHER OLYMPIC NEWS
Consultations with representatives of the Government of Kuwait, led by Humood Fleteh Alshammari, Director General of the Public Authority for Sports, were held on 25 April at the IOC headquarters in Lausanne. The talks were aimed at finding an amicable resolution to the situation of the Olympic Movement in Kuwait. Discussions between the IOC and the Kuwaiti sports authorities will continue over the next few weeks. Read the full press release here.
INTERNATIONAL SPORTS FEDERATIONS
After the success of the 2017 World Championships, the International Swimming Federation (FINA) was back in Budapest from 26 to 28 April. The Hungarian capital hosted the FINA World Water Polo Conference, which brought together over 250 participants, including 163 National Federation delegates, to discuss the future of this Olympic discipline. The Conference saw more than 40 speakers address 19 topics, including rules and competition formats. More details here.
Three years on from the earthquake that hit Nepal in April 2015, the development programme of the International Triathlon Union (ITU) returned to Kathmandu to host a level 1 coaches course. Supported by Olympic Solidarity, the course provided 10 coaches with the opportunity to learn the latest international training methods and obtain the first ITU qualification, vital for the continued growth of triathlon in the region. Led by Eugene Lee (Singapore) and Vicent Beltran (Spain), the five-day course was inaugurated by Jeevan Ram Shrestha, the President of the Nepalese NOC, and Nilendra Raj Shrestha, the newly elected President of the Nepal Triathlon Federation. In 2015, an ITU solidarity campaign raised more than USD 10,000 in emergency funds. A Triathlon Talent School was also created to help identify promising young athletes and use the power of sport to help the recovery effort. Some of those young talents will now have coaches to help them in their path to triathlon success. More details here.
The International Surfing Association (ISA) has announced the formation of a new Athletes’ Commission to ensure that athletes’ opinions are heard in all surf-related disciplines in the run-up to the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020. The Commission, composed of eight members, will be chaired by France’s Justine Dupont, a medallist in three disciplines (shortboard, longboard and stand-up paddle). New Zealand’s Barbara Kendall, the ISA Vice-President and Chair of the ANOC Athletes’ Commission, will serve as an ex-officio member. Full composition here.
NATIONAL OLYMPIC COMMITTEES
Cape Verde NOC
The Cape Verde NOC has announced that on 21 April in the city of Praia, another great edition of Sport for Life (Sport4life), called the Sport Festival for Peace, was organised. Several sports activities were organised for the children. The main objective of the Festival was to promote a message of peace through sport and to invite children to engage in sport.
The Spanish NOC paid recently tribute to several sports personalities. President Alejandro Blanco awarded the Olympic Insignia to Javier Godó at a ceremony held at the NOC headquarters. This honour recognises a person who has worked altruistically with the NOC or the Olympic Movement. Through the Godó Group, which includes the Vanguardia and Mundo Deportivo newspapers, Godó played a decisive role in connection with the Olympic Games Barcelona 1992, which transformed the Catalan city. The Olympic Insignia was also awarded to Juan Viota, who was President of the Andalusian Swimming Federation and Vice-President of the Spanish Federation (RFEN) from 1997 to 2017. He was also Chef de Mission of the RFEN at the Olympic Games from 1996 to 2016. In addition, the NOC Olympic Order has been awarded to Miguel Roca, a key figure in Spanish handball who was also Vice-President of the International Handball Federation (IHF) from 2009 to 2017. More info on www.coe.es.
ORGANISING COMMITTEES FOR THE OLYMPIC GAMES
Shugo Takemi / Tokyo 2020 Marcel Crozet / ILO
The Tokyo Organising Committee for the Olympic and Paralympic Games (Tokyo 2020) and the International Labour Organisation (ILO) signed a unique partnership agreement aimed at advancing “decent work” through socially responsible labour practices amongst Games delivery partners. Tokyo CEO Toshiro Muto (left) and ILO Director General Guy Rider (right) signed the agreement during a ceremony held on 26 April. This constitutes Tokyo 2020's first partnership with a UN organisation, and the first time that the ILO has officially entered into a relationship with an Olympic and Paralympic Organising Committee. Read the full story here.
In addition, Tokyo 2020 has invited the public to submit feedback on its draft Sustainability Plan Version 2. The feedback period runs from 25 April to 9 May 2018, and the finalised Plan will be published in June 2018. Tokyo 2020 is working to ensure the broad sustainability of the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 in environmental, social and economic terms. The Plan illustrates the directions, objectives and some examples of sustainability measures due to be implemented during preparations for the Games and during Games time, and is intended to be a reference for all Games-related entities. More info on www.tokyo2020.org.
ORGANISING COMMITTEES FOR THE YOUTH OLYMPIC GAMES
Buenos Aires 2018
Around 280 Chefs de Mission gathered at a seminar in Buenos Aires just under six months before the Youth Olympic Games (YOG). The programme saw the participants visit the competition venues and the Athletes’ Village, and review matters relating to transport, logistics, catering and ceremonies, among other things. The seminar was opened by the President of the Organising Committee for the YOG Buenos Aires 2018, Gerardo Werthein, who is also the President of the Argentine NOC and an IOC Member. More info on www.buenosaires2018.com