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Olympic Highlights 13/12/2019

IOC / Greg Martin
13 Dec 2019
Olympic News, IOC News, Olympic Highlights



On 9 December in New York (USA), the 74th session of the United Nations (UN) General Assembly adopted a resolution for the observance of an Olympic Truce for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 next year. The resolution “Building a peaceful and better world through sport and the Olympic ideal” was passed unanimously and co-sponsored by 186 of the 193 UN Member States.

Speaking at the General Assembly, IOC President Thomas Bach emphasised the shared values on which the UN and the IOC are built, highlighting the importance of peace, solidarity and respect in a fast-changing world: “In our fragile world, we see our shared values and principles challenged in many ways, not only in the international community but also in sport,” he said. “The IOC is fully committed to preserving and strengthening these values and principles of respect for the rule of law, solidarity and political neutrality. But our commitment is not enough. We depend on the support of you, the governments, for our mission and our neutrality”. He continued: “With this resolution, you are also supporting these values and principles that unite us. In this Olympic spirit of universality, solidarity and peace, I invite you all to join hands and to celebrate our unity in all our diversity at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 and beyond. Let us demonstrate together that our shared humanity is stronger than all the forces that want to divide us”. Full speech here.

The resolution was formally submitted to the General Assembly by the President of the Organising Committee for the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020, Yoshiro Mori, on behalf of the government of Japan and the Olympic Movement. Full press release here.

Before speaking at the UN General Assembly, the IOC President held a meeting with President Mori and the Japanese Ambassador to the UN, Kimihiro Ishikane. The discussions focused on the upcoming milestones in the preparations for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020.

IOC / Greg Martin

Earlier, President Bach had taken part in a meeting organised by the United Nations Group of Friends of Sport, which is co-chaired by the Permanent Representatives of the Principality of Monaco and of Qatar to the United Nations. The meeting was open to all UN Member States.

The IOC President also hosted a lunch with Tokyo 2020 President Mori, the Ambassadors of Greece, Switzerland and Germany, the Ambassadors of past and future Olympic Games host countries (Republic of Korea, Japan, People’s Republic of China, France and Italy), and the co-chairs of the UN Group of Friends of Sport. 

While in New York, President Bach was accompanied by Luis Alberto Moreno, an IOC Member and the IOC’s Permanent Observer at the UN.



IOC Vice-President Anita DeFrantz has received the George M. Steinbrenner III Sport Leadership Award in recognition of her outstanding contribution to sport. This Award, which is named after the former United States Olympic Committee President, was presented by the United States Olympic Endowment, a non-profit agency established by the NOC after the Olympic Games Los Angeles 1984 to help support Olympic sport.    


At the 14th Spanish NOC gala evening, IOC Vice-President Juan Antonio Samaranch was awarded the NOC’s Olympic Order. IOC Members Marisol Casado and José Perurena received the 2019 Olympic Values Award. The awards ceremony took place at the NOC headquarters in Madrid (see also under “National Olympic Committees”). 


On 9 December, the IOC issued a statement following the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA)’s unanimous endorsement of the recommendation by the independent Compliance Review Committee that the Russian Anti-Doping Agency be declared non-compliant with the World Anti-Doping Code for a period of four years. The IOC’s statement was as follows: “The representatives of the Olympic Movement today supported this unanimous decision by the WADA Executive Committee, which is in line with the statement made by the IOC Executive Board last week and endorsed by the Olympic Summit. You can find the IOC statement from 26 November 2019 here.”

On the occasion of International Anti-Corruption Day, celebrated worldwide on 9 December, the IOC reiterated its determination to protect the integrity of sport at all levels. In line with this year’s theme of “United Against Corruption - Take action - Lead the change - Be the change” proclaimed by the UN, the IOC fights corruption at organisational level as well as on the field of play. As this is a complex undertaking which often goes beyond sporting jurisdiction, the IOC works with a range of stakeholders to maximise the efficiency and impact of its activities. One important initiative that exemplifies the IOC’s commitment to fighting corruption is the International Partnership against Corruption in Sport (IPACS), which was launched at the IOC’s International Forum for Sports Integrity (IFSI) in February 2017. The IOC President will be attending the next IPACS General Conference on 14 and 15 December in Abu Dhabi (United Arab Emirates). Full news release here.

On 10 December, the IOC and the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) announced that a movement consisting of over 70 partners had expressed its commitment to providing sports opportunities to refugees. Ahead of the first-ever Global Refugee Forum, which will take place in Geneva, Switzerland, on 17 and 18 December, this unprecedented global initiative has made three important pledges, building on the work which each organisation has already done for refugees. The pledges are as follows: to promote and ensure access for all refugees, without distinction of any kind, to safe and inclusive sporting facilities; to increase availability and access to organised sports and sport-based initiatives for refugee and hosting communities, actively considering age, gender, ability and other diversity needs; and to promote and facilitate equal access to and the participation of refugees in sporting events and competitions at all levels. Full news release here.

To mark International Mountain Day, the IOC announced on 11 December the launch of the Mountain Summit – a group of sports organisations concerned with the current state of the world’s mountains and committed to protecting them. The group currently includes 11 members – organisations engaged in sports that are practised on or around mountains. Their aim is to assess and minimise the negative impact of sports activities on mountain environments, and leverage the power of sport to raise awareness about the importance of these environments. Full news release here.

International Federations

Summer Ifs


The International Fencing Federation (FIE) held interactive fencing exhibitions for schoolchildren in Japan as it prepares for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020. Several thousand students from elementary schools around Tokyo’s Bunkyo City were invited, and many schoolchildren were able to experience fencing first-hand with a coach at Bunkyo Sports Centre. In addition, Japanese Olympic fencer Nozomi Sato, who competed in epee at the Olympic Games in London and Rio, joined fencers Ikuo Furuta and Seiya Matsuura in giving about 400 students an introduction to fencing at Sakuradai Elementary School in Chiba. The events took place prior to the upcoming Senior Men’s Foil World Cup, to be held from 13 to 15 December at Makuhari Messe in Chiba, the venue for the Tokyo 2020 fencing competitions. The World Cup will serve as the official Tokyo 2020 Olympic test event. More details here.


International Association Football Federation (FIFA) President Gianni Infantino (left) and European Parliament President David Sassoli (right) have agreed to organise a joint event next year with the objective of addressing critical social issues via football, following a meeting held in Brussels (Belgium). The two leaders also discussed FIFA’s ongoing reform of the football transfer system. Full details here.

The International Swimming Federation (FINA) held its Executive and Bureau meeting in Kuwait City (Kuwait) before the start of the 2019 edition of the FINA World Men’s Junior Water Polo Championships, which are bringing together 20 teams from the five continents from 12 to 20 December. The organisation of the upcoming FINA competitions and the preparations for the aquatics events at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 were among the points discussed during the FINA gathering. More info at

For the very first time in an International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) event, players will be able to review decisions made by umpires with the support of Table Tennis Review (TTR), to be introduced at the upcoming 2019 ITTF World Tour Grand Finals, being held from 12 to 15 December in Zhengzhou, (People’s Republic of China). With the help of highly accurate ball tracking technology, it will be possible to have a point replayed instantly and reviewed by a video match official, who will have the authority to overturn the original decision based on the evidence. Full details here.


The President of the International Surfing Association (ISA), Fernando Aguerre (photo), was presented with the “Lobo de Mar” award on 8 December in his native Mar del Plata (Argentina). Aguerre received the award for his lifetime achievements in developing and growing surfing worldwide and in spreading the message to respect the ocean and its waves. The Lobo de Mar award celebrates citizens of Mar del Plata for their achievements and contributions to sport and the culture of the city, the country and the world. Recipients are voted for by the Association of Sports Journalists of Mar del Plata. More details here


Alexandre Loureiro / COB

At the Brazil Olympic Awards, gymnast Arthur Nory and boxer Beatriz Ferreira (photo) were named the Best Athletes of 2019. The world and Pan-American champions celebrated another unprecedented career achievement, at a party organised by the Brazil Olympic Committee (COB) on 10 December in Rio de Janeiro. In addition to the best athletes of 2019, the Olympic Brazil Awards honoured the medallists of the Lima 2019 Pan-American Games. Oscar Schmidt, the highest scoring player in the history of world basketball, who has taken part in five Olympic Games editions, received the Adhemar Ferreira da Silva Trophy.  This trophy, named after the Olympic triple jump champion, recognises a sports personality who represents the values of ethics, collective spirit, technical and physical efficiency, respect for others, and camaraderie. Full details here.

Chinese Taipei Olympic Committee

The Chinese Taipei Olympic Committee (CTOC) held its 2019 year-end celebration on 6 December. The event underlined the preparation work for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020. In 2019, two pre-Games observation delegation programmes were organised by the CTOC with a clear mission to provide the best support possible for Chinese Taipei athletes next year. Another highlight showcased was the uniform of the Chinese Taipei delegation for the 1st ANOC World Beach Games and Arafura Games in 2019, together with the promotion materials the NOC has produced and published regarding the conduct of the Olympic Movement. Other highlights mentioned at this year-end wrap-up included the Olympic Day Run, the 9th edition of the International Sports Affairs Training Course, the signing of bilateral cooperation agreements with five NOCs (Vietnam, Indonesia, Hong Kong, Greece and Saint Lucia) and the awarding of the “Athena” prize by the International Olympic Academy (IOA). More info at

COE / Nacho Casares

On 11 December, the Goyeneche Auditorium at the Spanish NOC headquarters in Madrid played host to the NOC’s 14th gala evening, which saw the NOC present its annual awards to athletes, sports federations, institutions and media organisations. The ceremony, which was attended by NOC President Alejandro Blanco, was broadcast live by RTVE, the Spanish public broadcaster. A video message from the IOC President was shown at the start of the ceremony. See the full list of award winners at

NOC of Malawi

Looking to venture into sports marketing in a move to attain self-reliance, the NOC of Malawi held a sports marketing seminar from 2 to 4 December in Lilongwe. Speaking on the sidelines of the seminar, NOC President Oscar Kanjala said that most sports organisations in Malawi were not developing due to their excessive dependence on government subsidies and other financial support. He underlined the need for sports organisations to develop marketing products and strategies to help them generate revenue for their operations in the long term. More details here

Turkish Olympic Committee

The Turkish Olympic Committee (TOC) and International Canoeing Federation (ICF) delivered a workshop for canoe and kayak coaches in the city of Antalya from 6 to 8 December. The workshop was conducted by the ICF and the Turkish Canoeing Federation, with financial support from the TOC and the Olympic Solidarity fund. The workshop is part of the TOC’s “Coach Development Seminars and Support Programmes”, which aim to develop the skills and quality of professional sports coaches in Turkey. Among other subjects, the workshop focused on preparations for competitions, competition rules, preventive medicine in sport and training planning. Full details here.

Venezuelan NOC

On 7 December in Paracotos in Miranda State, the 2019 edition of the Olympic Water Sports Festival brought together 161 children and teenagers from a range of water sports schools. These schools were set up with the support of the Venezuelan NOC and in partnership with Club Paracotos. The Festival programme featured sports initiation courses, a diving demonstration and a workshop on the use of video in sport. More details here.

organising committees for the olympic games

Paris 2024

Lottery Operator FDJ will become an Official Partner of the Olympic and Paralympic Games Paris 2024 in the second quarter of 2020 and join the Paris 2024 national partnership programme. This partnership is an opportunity for FDJ to highlight its historical commitment to developing French sport and to promoting its values. Echoing the social legacy objectives set by Paris 2024, FDJ carries out initiatives to promote ethics and diversity, for example by supporting women’s sport and sport for persons with disabilities. In addition, as part of an almost 30-year commitment to supporting young champions, the company is now launching the “FDJ Sport Factory” to help top athletes achieve their goals. The team brings together 27 athletes who are all looking to take home medals from the Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2020, 2022 and 2024. Full details at  

Milano Cortina 2026

Getty Images

On 9 December in Milan, the Organising Committee for the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games Milano Cortina 2026 was created at the headquarters of the Lombardy Region. The Board of Directors of the “Milano Cortina 2026 Foundation” will be composed of 22 members, including 10 members from the world of sport, 10 members from the territories involved in the organisation of the Games, a representative of the Government and the President of the Foundation. Full news release here.

On the day following its creation, the Milano Cortina 2026 Organising Committee got to work with the IOC and Milano Cortina 2026 Delivery Partners Kick-off Meeting, which was held in Milan on 10 and 11 December. Attended by athletes, members of the local sports movement, representatives of the authorities and IOC experts, the meeting was an opportunity for all the partners to get up to date with the Milano Cortina 2026 project and the latest innovations in Games management from the IOC. It was also the ideal occasion for the newly appointed Chair of the IOC’s Coordination Commission for the Olympic Winter Games Milano Cortina 2026, Sari Essayah, to meet all the partners who will be delivering the Games over the next seven years. Full news release here.

recognised organisations

On 9 December, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA)’s Executive Committee (ExCo) unanimously endorsed the recommendation made by the independent Compliance Review Committee that the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) be declared non-compliant with the World Anti-Doping Code  for a period of four years. Meeting in Lausanne, the 12-member ExCo supported the CRC’s recommendation, which includes a series of strong consequences and conditions of reinstatement in accordance with the International Standard for Code Compliance by Signatories (ISCCS). Full news release here.

The International Association of Olympic Collectors (AICO) has announced that the Olympic Foundation for Culture and Heritage has officially awarded the 26th World Olympic Collectors’ Fair to Artena near Rome (Italy). The event will be co-organised by the AICO and the Italian Union of Olympic and Sports Collectors (UICOS) and, from 4 to 6 September 2020, will bring together Olympic collectors from all over the world to share their passion and exchange ideas about Olympic culture. More info at

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