IOC President Thomas Bach has received a delegation from the Tunisian NOC led by its President, Mehrez Boussayene. The meeting was arranged in particular to discuss the situation of the Tunisian Olympic Movement and the autonomy of sport in Tunisia. Discussions between the IOC and the Tunisian NOC will continue during the coming weeks. Meetings were also held with various IOC departments with topics including the development of sport in Tunisia, the Olympic Solidarity programmes, participation in the Youth Olympic Games Buenos Aires 2018 as well as the athletes’ preparations for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020.
President Bach has attended Swiss Schools Sports Day, organised by the Canton of Vaud’s Department of Physical Education and Sport. Some 2,500 pupils and guests from across the country participated in 12 sports disciplines at competition venues in Lausanne and neighbouring towns. More info here.
President Bach met IOC Vice-President Uğur Erdener and IOC Member Nawal El Moutawakel, with whom he discussed various Olympic-related topics.
On 31 May, a Steering Committee of 20 athlete representatives from around the world, assembled by the IOC Athletes’ Commission (AC) released the initial components of an Athlete Charter to address and protect the fundamental rights and responsibilities of athletes around the world. The current draft of the Athlete Charter has been shaped by the input of almost 200 athlete representatives representing all continents across the globe. The initiative is another concrete step in the implementation of the IOC AC’s strategy. 31st May marks the next phase of the Athlete Charter’s development, whereby the Steering Committee is inviting elite-level athletes worldwide to share their voice and contribute to a second-phase survey that will continue to shape this important document. This aims to become the world’s largest athlete-focused survey ever commissioned. Full news release here.
INTERNATIONAL SPORTS FEDERATIONS
On 28 May, UN Environment and the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) announced a new partnership to address the issue of air quality. The partnership will be supported by the Climate and Clean Air Coalition (CCAC), which will be working to create an air quality monitoring network that will eventually link almost 1,000 athletics tracks around the world. By engaging a community of professional athletes, local and national governments, community leaders and a growing number of people worldwide who choose to run as their main form of exercise, the IAAF pledges to not only raise awareness about air pollution, but also contribute key data in the battle to combat it as well. Full details here.
On 29 May, the International Association Football Federation (FIFA) launched a complaints mechanism for human rights defenders and media representatives who consider their rights to have been violated while performing work related to FIFA’s activities. The mechanism is complemented by a detailed statement, specifying the commitment outlined in paragraph 11 of FIFA’s Human Rights Policy to respect and help protect the rights of human rights defenders and media representatives. Both the complaints mechanism and the statement are the result of a nearly one-year process, and incorporate input from a range of stakeholders and expert organisations, including FIFA’s Human Rights Advisory Board. Full details here.
United World Wrestling (UWW) has partnered with OlympAfrica in Ivory Coast to host that nation's largest-ever wrestling event. The two-month programme includes more than 2,000 students from Soubré, Meagui and Okrouyo, who are taking part in various camps and competitions until 23 June. UWW development officer Vincent Aka, who was born in Ivory Coast and wrestled for France, is also leading a Level 1 coaching course in the country. This is an excellent talent identification tool, particularly with a view to the Youth Olympic Games. Full details here.
The International Swimming Federation (FINA) has just launched the FINA Learning Platform, an online tool accessible on computers and mobile devices to the entire aquatics community, who will be able to share and learn the latest trends and techniques, but also promote FINA disciplines worldwide. The main goal is to provide a platform to all national member federations to educate coaches, officials and administrators. The platform will host the theoretical part of the FINA Coaches Certification Programme, as well as the update and annual exams for technical officials, and will continuously provide information and tips for coaches, officials and sports medicine representatives. The date and location of courses, clinics and schools staged under FINA’s Development Programme will also be available. More info at www.fina.org.
The International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) has announced that the newest table tennis Olympic gold medal event, the mixed doubles, is making its ITTF World Tour debut at the China Open in Shenzhen, China in the lead-up to the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020. In order to promote this event for its Olympic debut, and to provide more value for the ITTF World Tour, the mixed doubles will be played at five World Tour events (China, Japan, Korea, Australia and Austria) and the World Tour Grand Finals in 2018, as well as at all 12 ITTF World Tour events in 2019 and beyond. Full details here.
The list of FIS Committee members nominated by the International Ski Federation (FIS) Council for the period 2018-2020 at the FIS Congress in Costa Navarino (Greece) is now available. Chairs and members of committees, sub-committees and working groups play a key advisory role for the FIS Council, and are responsible for technical and other specified activities. More info here.
NATIONAL OLYMPIC COMMITTEES
The 23 May, the Brazilian NOC launched the sixth edition of its seven-month Athlete Career Programme. An initiative of the Brazilian Olympic Institute (IOB) and NOC Education Department, the programme’s aim is to prepare athletes and former athletes for a more efficient career transition and help them find the best approach to enter the labour market. NOC President Paulo Wanderley welcomed the 21 participants of this 2018 edition. The programme’s services include internship opportunities, trainee programmes and professional experience, and scholarships in several areas. More info at www.cob.org.br.
Over 900 people took part in the “Month of Europe” Olympic Marathon organised by the NOC of El Salvador in cooperation with the European Union and the Embassy of Germany. Three runs were available: a marathon, a half-marathon and an 11km run. The various runs were started by NOC President Eduardo Palomo Pacas; the Mayor of Antiguo Cuscatlán, Milagro Navas; German Ambassador Bernd Finke; and the German Consul, Norbert Eichler; as well as members of the NOC’s Executive Committee. The event was completed by Olympic Day, during which sports federations put on demonstrations including gymnastics, taekwondo, badminton, golf, archery, bowling, athletics and karate. More details here.
On 28 May at the NOC headquarters, Spanish NOC President Alejandro Blanco met Princess Margarita of Romania, accompanied by her husband, Prince Radu; the Ambassador of Romania in Spain, Gabriela Dancau; and Romanian NOC President Mihai Covaliu (photo above). The discussions focused on the sports model implemented by the Spanish NOC since the Barcelona 1992 Games, the NOC’s various programmes, the promotion of the Olympic values in educational centres, and the development of sports activity in the two countries. More info here.
The “Alley of Champions” in the “Park of Lovers” Square in Astana has just got bigger. New trees have been planted by four great Kazakh athletes: Denis Ten (bronze medal, Sochi 2014), Otgontsetseg Galbadrakh (bronze medal, Rio 2016), Merey Akshalov (world boxing champion) and Abzal Azhgaliyev (PyeongChang 2018 flagbearer). This joint eco-initiative of the NOC of Kazakhstan and the City Council of Astana was launched after the Olympic Games Rio 2016. The first trees were planted by the winners and diploma-winners of the 2016 Games, followed by respected national sports veterans. Info at www.olympic.kz.
Stanislav Pozdnyakov (photo) was elected as President of the Russian Olympic Committee during the NOC’s General Assembly on 29 May in Moscow. NOC Vice-President since 2016, as an athlete he won four Olympic gold medals in sabre (one individual, three team) and an Olympic bronze medal (team event). He also headed the Olympic Athlete from Russia team at the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018. The NOC General Assembly also re-elected Anastasia Davydova as NOC Secretary General. Info at www.roc.ru
ORGANISING COMMITTEES FOR THE OLYMPIC GAMES
The Organising Committee for the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020 (Tokyo 2020) has announced the establishment of a grievance mechanism, allowing members of the public to file reports or claims of non-compliance with its Sustainable Sourcing Code. With the creation of this reporting channel, Tokyo 2020 aims to promptly and appropriately respond to reports in a fair and transparent manner in a process similar to that adopted by the Organising Committee for the Olympic and Paralympic Games London 2012. More info at www.tokyo2020.org.
ORGANISING COMMITTEES FOR THE YOUTH OLYMPIC GAMES
Buenos Aires 2018
The Organising Committee for the Youth Olympic Games Buenos Aires 2018 (BAYOGOC) has unveiled the event’s official mascot (photo). Named #Pandi, it is inspired by the jaguar, one of the most emblematic wildcat species, found in Northern Argentina and one of the species’ risk of extinction. According to the organisers, #Pandi symbolises the desire for Buenos Aires 2018 to serve as an important source of inspiration to build a better world through sport. Full press release here.
This week, BAYOGOC outlined, at the final meeting with the IOC's Coordination Commission, how its vision of bringing sport to the young people of Argentina has come to fruition and that preparations are on track with just over four months to go to the 3rd Summer YOG. Using the YOG as a catalyst, BAYOGOC has implemented a very ambitious youth engagement programme by organising over 1,300 sporting and cultural events and initiatives in schools and community sports clubs over the last four years. One million young people will have actively participated in YOG-themed activities, from sport initiation and inspirational talks with Olympians to sport-themed cultural projects – all implemented by a dedicated young team. Full press release here.