Meeting in Lausanne, the IOC Executive Board (EB) reviewed the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018, the next editions of the Olympic Games, the protection of the integrity of sport and the athletes and other institutional matters.
The EB received a review and evaluation of the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018, highlighting the success and impact of the first Olympic Winter Games in the Republic of Korea. Gunilla Lindberg, Chair of the IOC Coordination Commission, emphasised that the success of the Games went beyond sport, as the current Korean Peninsula peace talks at the political level clearly demonstrate. President Bach also gave an update on his recent visit to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, where he met DPRK leader Kim Jong-un, who praised the IOC for making the participation of athletes from the DPRK in PyeongChang possible. Kim Jong-un also said that the path of reconciliation between the two Koreas was “totally attributable to the efforts of the IOC which offered an opportunity and paved a path for it”. President Bach emphasised that the IOC is committed to continuing to accompany the political process through sport. More info here.
Concerning the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, Yoshiro Mori, President of the Organising Committee, Toshiro Muto, CEO of the Organising Committee, and John Coates, Chair of the IOC Coordination Commission, gave their respective updates on the latest activities. Tokyo 2020 welcomed the opportunities presented by the Olympic Agenda 2020 reforms to further reduce the costs of organising the Games, and has begun to consider several areas in which this “New Norm” could potentially benefit the OCOG by optimising the budget and reducing complexity. Tokyo 2020 and FIFA have come to an agreement on the seven football venues for the Olympic tournament, the EB approved these venues. The EB also approved the qualification system for athletics, as proposed by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF). More info here.
Juan Antonio Samaranch, the interim Chair of the IOC Coordination Commission for the Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022, presented his report on the latest activities. The Beijing 2022 Organising Committee is working closely with the IOC and its stakeholders to identify which elements of the New Norm will be adopted into its Games planning and delivery.
IOC Olympic Games Executive Director Christophe Dubi presented a progress report on the preparations of the Olympic Games Paris 2024. Paris 2024 and Los Angeles 2028 have started to discuss potential synergies in various areas, including working closely with each other and sharing best practices in the areas of sustainability, inclusiveness and innovation. A meeting between the two Organising Committees will take place around the June Coordination Commission meeting. The IOC EB confirmed the dates of 26 July - 11 August 2024 for the Olympic Games Paris 2024 as proposed by the Organising Committee.
Chair of the IOC Working Group 2026 Juan Antonio Samaranch gave an update on the reformed candidature process for the Olympic Winter Games 2026.
Updates were also presented on the Youth Olympic Games Buenos Aires 2018 and the Winter Youth Olympic Games Lausanne 2020. IOC Member Gerardo Werthein and Leandro Larrosa, CEO of the Buenos Aires Youth Olympic Games Organising Committee (BAYOGOC), reported that the Opening Ceremony in the city centre will have a street party atmosphere and, in line with the rest of the Games, will be free for the public to attend. The construction of the Youth Olympic Village has been completed and this has been handed over to BAYOGOC.
Christophe Dubi presented a progress report on behalf of the Organising Committee of the Lausanne Winter Youth Olympic Games. He highlighted that after the withdrawal of Morges, Lausanne 2020 has selected Champéry as the new curling venue, in agreement with the World Curling Federation (WCF).
YOG Evaluation Commission Chair Uğur Erdener presented an overview of the selection process for the Youth Olympic Games 2022. He highlighted that the process aims to be simpler, shorter and more cost-effective than before. The IOC Executive Board approved the Rules of Conduct Applicable to the Youth Olympic Games 2022 Host Selection Process, implementing the IOC Code of Ethics. More info here.
Concerning anti-doping activities, there was an update on the on-going investigation into the International Biathlon Union (IBU. With regard to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) decision overturning doping bans imposed on 28 Russian athletes by the Oswald Commission, the IOC EB decided that the IOC will go ahead and appeal the decision before the Swiss Federal Tribunal, in order to do everything possible and exhaust all possibilities to defend the interests of the clean athletes. More info here.
Regarding the situation within the International Boxing Association (AIBA), the IOC EB took note of the official report asked for and provided by AIBA. It was highlighted that there are continuing concerns about governance, ethics, management, finance and sporting integrity areas. In light of these continuing concerns, a number of actions are still required and further information and confirmation needed from AIBA. These further actions are to be completed by AIBA by 6 July ahead of the next IOC EB meeting, and in the meantime the key decisions taken previously by the EB will remain in place. This includes the IOC decision to retain its right to review the inclusion of boxing in the programme for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020; however, for the sake of the young athletes, it will go ahead to include boxing at the Youth Olympic Games Buenos Aires 2018.
The Executive Board received updates on the activities of the Association of Summer Olympic International Federations (ASOIF), which reported on the recent ASOIF governance report. There was also an update from the Association of International Olympic Winter Sports Federations (AIOWF), in which the great collaboration between AIOWF and the IOC in PyeongChang was highlighted. The update on the activities of Association of National Olympic Committees (ANOC) included a report on from the recent General Assembly in Santiago, Chile, during which it was decided that ANOC and GAISF will work together for the World Beach Games 2021.
Kirsty Coventry, the newly elected Chair of the IOC Athletes’ Commission, gave an update on the development of the Athlete Charter of Rights and Responsibilities. She also presented the principles that will guide the Olympic Medal Reallocation Principles, which provide a clear process for how athletes will be considered eligible for Olympic medal reallocation, as well as the six options available to athletes for the medal reallocation ceremony. The IOC Executive Board approved the Olympic Medal Reallocation Principles and Ceremony options.
Concerning NOC matters, IOC Director of NOC Relations Pere Miró pointed to an increasing number of cases of governments intervening in sport for political reasons, such as refusing to allow athletes from certain countries to participate in competitions, and preventing their athletes from competing abroad or competing against other athletes. The Executive Board re-stated its zero-tolerance approach to these positions and deliberated on possible prevention and reaction measures in coordination with various organisers and federations.
There was an update on the continued implementation of the Olympic Agenda 2020 recommendations. The EB members also heard a report on the preparations for the Olympism in Action Forum in Buenos Aires, which included an overview of key sessions from the programme and a preview of confirmed speakers for the event (more info here). The IOC EB approved the launch of the NOC Culture and Education Champions project. The goal of the project is to establish a network of 139 champions responsible for culture and education within their respective NOCs.
The EB also received updates on the Olympic Channel activities. During the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018, the Olympic Channel achieved some key results, including over 200 million social media video views. Since its launch, the Channel has had over 1.5 billion video views, confirming its growing success and popularity. A key priority in the marketing plans is the promotion of the YOG Buenos Aires 2018, which will be broadcast on the Channel.
The IOC Executive Board visited the Olympic House to see the progress in the building construction.
This week, the President had meetings with IOC Vice-Presidents Juan Antonio Samaranch, Anita L. DeFrantz and Yu Zaiqing, and IOC EB members Sergey Bubka, Willi Kaltschmitt Luján and Kirsty Coventry. He also met the President of World Sailing (ISAF), Kim Andersen, and Alain Lunzenfichter, a member of the IOC Communications Commission.
The President met with IOC member and WADA President, Sir Craig Reedie, and discussed a wide range of issues with regard to the protection of clean athletes.
President Thomas Bach received a visit from Shiva Keshavan, an Indian luger who has taken part in six Olympic Winter Games, and is a member of the Athletes’ Commission of the Indian NOC. Keshavan is also one of the heroes spotlighted in the Olympic Channel’s original series, ‘Far From Home’.
OTHER OLYMPIC NEWS
A team of twelve athletes from the NOC of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea is currently competing in the World Table Tennis Championships in Sweden, thanks to the support of the IOC. Olympic Solidarity is covering all costs related to the participation of North Korean athletes, including air tickets and accommodation, in close cooperation with the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) and the Organising Committee of the World Championships. The tournament, which is taking place from 29 April to 6 May, is the first step of preparations for the 18th Asian Games that will be held in August, and ultimately for potential qualification for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020. Read the press release here.
INTERNATIONAL SPORTS FEDERATIONS
Delegates from 135 associations were present for the Annual General Assembly of the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) in Halmstad (Sweden) on 1 May. At the meeting, chaired by ITTF President Thomas Weikert, the Assembly decided to award the 2020 World Championships to the Korean city of Busan. For the first time, the ITTF presented a Strategic Plan for the next six years. The plan, which was accepted by the AGM, combined the input of all global table tennis stakeholders, with over 2,500 people taking the opportunity to contribute. More details here.
The Executive Board of the International Triathlon Union (ITU) has met in Hamilton (Bermuda) ahead of the country’s hosting debut in the World Triathlon Series. Among the main topics on the agenda were the development initiatives organised by the ITU and its Continental Confederations, and the new National Federations Survey. This survey collects data from all NFs on a range of triathlon subjects, with a view to helping the ITU not only to improve its development programmes, but also to have a clearer picture of how the sport is evolving worldwide, while maintaining standards of excellence and good governance within the ITU. Among the other topics on the agenda were the new calendar for the World Triathlon Series in 2019, major upcoming events including the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 and the Youth Olympic Games Buenos Aires 2018, as well as an update on the progress of the new Strategic Plan, which has been in place since December 2017. Full details here.
World Sailing (ISAF) has appointed Maria Clarke (New Zealand) as the Independent Chair of its Governance Commission. Maria is a sports lawyer and sports governance expert, who steered through governance reforms at the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) and has recently been appointed to chair the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) governance review. The Governance Commission was approved at World Sailing’s 2017 Annual Conference in Puerto Vallarta (Mexico) and is tasked with undertaking an in-depth and wide-ranging review of the governance structure and procedures of World Sailing. More details here.
More than 55 cross-country skiing coaches and experts from 14 nations gathered in Skeikampen, Lillehammer (Norway) from 27 to 29 April for the first Youth & Children’s Coaches Seminar. The seminar was organised by the International Ski Federation (FIS) Sub-Committee for Cross-Country Youth & Children’s Questions, together with the Norwegian Ski Association. Alongside practical sessions, the seminar also served as a perfect opportunity for participants from different countries to exchange knowledge and experience. Detailed info here. Elsewhere, the FIS has announced that Koji Aoki and Yoshio Takusagawa of Japan have received FIS Journalist Awards to honour their contributions to the sport of skiing. More info here.
NATIONAL OLYMPIC COMMITTEES
In March and April, the Women in Sport Commission of the NOC of Argentina organised two “Women in Sport” working days on the theme “50-50 target achieved, 30-70 starting point”. These meetings, attended by women athletes and national federation leaders, were led by the NOC first vice-president Alicia Masoni de Morea and members of the commission. The aim is to promote the presence of women in management, leadership and decision-making in the world of sport and the Olympic Movement, and to encourage more women to become involved in sport and physical activity. More info at www.coarg.org.ar.
The Annual General Meeting of the Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) on 28 April was notable for highlighting some significant reforms to secure the financial future of the AOC, and for recognising some of Australia’s greatest Olympians and other major sporting figures. Olympic champions Catherine Freeman (right) and Shane Gould (left) spoke of the enormous impact Olympic success had had on their lives well beyond the bounds of competition. They received their Orders of Merit from NOC President John Coates. Olympic champion Ian Thorpe and silver medallist Raelene Boyle were also awarded the distinction. Peter Norman, who won a silver medal in the 200 metres at the 1968 Olympic Games in Mexico, was honoured posthumously. Other Australians were honoured for their contributions off the sports field (more details here). In his address to the Assembly, President John Coates highlighted the need to protect the Australian Olympic Foundation (AOF) and to implement the necessary reforms to preserve the autonomy of the NOC. More info at www.olympics.com.au.
The Belgian NOC has informed us that, in preparation for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, some 45 Olympic coaches met on 26 April at the Eurovolleycenter in Vilvorde to try to identify the best possible preparation strategy for the Games. The NOC invited Adam Commens, high performance director for hockey, Dirk Crois, Olympic silver medallist and rowing coach, and Roger Lespagnard, Olympian and coach of Olympic champion Nafi Thiam to speak at this Olympic Coaching Platform event. More info here.
On 27 April, skier Carolina Ruiz Castillo was elected to the Spanish NOC as a representative of Olympic winter sports athletes. The electoral committee comprised NOC Vice-President Francisco Blázquez, NOC Athletes’ Commission Chair Ignacio Sola and NOC Secretary General Victoria Cabezas. More info on www.coe.es.
On 23 and 24 April, the city of Astana hosted a PR and Sports Marketing Seminar on “Communication and marketing in sports organizations: new trends of sports journalism” with the participation of leading sports journalists and commentators. For two days, sports journalists, press service employees and marketing specialists from national sports federations and organizations, and journalism students participated in a workshop organised by the NOC of Kazakhstan with the support of the Olympic Solidarity programme. The seminar, which was hosted by the "Kazmedia Ortalygy” media school, registered around 200 participants from Astana as well as from Almaty, Mangistau, Karaganda, and the North Kazakhstan, East Kazakhstan and Akmola regions. More info on www.olympic.kz.
In the framework of the Memorandum of Understanding between the NOCs of Mongolia and Ukraine signed last October, the NOC of Mongolia invited V. Platonov, Professor of the Department of Theory and History of Olympic Sports at the National University of Ukraine and Maria Bulatova, President of the Olympic Academy of Ukraine, as keynote speakers for the seminar on “Olympism and Olympic Education” and “Theory and Methods of Sport Preparation” held in Ulaanbaatar. The 100 and more participants were university teachers, coaches, representatives from Olympic councils, and delegates involved in physical culture and sport of Inner Mongolia, China and Russia.
The Turkish Olympic Committee (TOC) and German Olympic Sport Confederation (DOSB) held an Olympic Day event for children and Syrian refugees in the Turkish city of Gaziantep, close to the Syrian border. The event, which took place in Erikçe Park on 3 May, saw 500 children, including 250 Syrian refugees, taking part in a wide range of sporting activities. The activities were coordinated with the Gaziantep Metropolitan Municipality and conducted under the supervision of the TOC and DOSB staff, which included 10 instructors, two interpreters and 30 volunteers. Some instructors, who are from Turkey and Syria, were trained in a joint project with the DOSB. Amongst the instructors were Turkish national athletes who took part in activities and signed autographs for children. TOC Vice President and Board Member Nihat Usta, TOC Board Member Bilal Porsun and TOC Secretary General Neşe Gündoğan were also in attendance. All the children received Olympic Day T-shirts and certificates signed by the IOC President and TOC President and IOC Vice President Uğur Erdener. More info here.
The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has announced the appointment of Sébastian Gillot as Director, European Regional Office and International Federation Relations. Sébastian Gillot, currently Head of Communications for the International Cycling Union (UCI), will take up the role in Lausanne on 13 August 2018. Complete press release here.