From 4 to 11 May, IOC President Thomas Bach was on a trip through Oceania including attending SportAccord 2019. After a stop in Sydney (Australia), he travelled to Brisbane, then Gold Coast in Queensland, before going to Papua New Guinea, Palau and Guam.
On 4 May, in Sydney, the IOC President addressed the Annual General Assembly (AGM) of the Australian Olympic Committee (AOC). After recalling the Olympic Games Sydney 2000, he turned to the future of the Olympic Movement. The first IOC President to address the AOC AGM, President Bach backed a call by AOC President and IOC Member John Coates for autonomy for the Olympic Movement and the need for political neutrality. “By enshrining the principle of political neutrality in the AOC Constitution, you are demonstrating once more your steadfast commitment to the overarching mission of the IOC of making the world a better place through sport,” he said.
IOC Member James Tomkins and IOC Honorary Members Phillip Walter Coles and Richard Kevan Gosper also attended the AOC AGM. IOC Member and Vice Chair of the Coordination Commission for Tokyo 2020, Alex Gilady, was also in Sydney. Read the full story here.
On 6 May in Brisbane, accompanied by IOC Members John Coates and James Tomkins, the President held a meeting with the new Lord Mayor, Councillor Adrian Shrinner, and the outgoing Lord Mayor, Councillor Graham Quirk, and with the Sunshine Coast Mayor, Councillor Mark Jamieson. When asked about a possible candidature by Brisbane to host the Olympic Games in 2032, the IOC President replied: “It is at a pretty early stage, but from what I have seen of the feasibility study it looks pretty impressive,” adding: “it is now up to the Australians to make up their minds if they want to welcome teams from around the world from the 206 National Olympic Committees.”
Leaving Brisbane, the President arrived in the Gold Coast for SportAccord and held a lunch with IOC Vice Presidents Uğur Erdener and Anita DeFrantz, IOC Executive Board (EB) members, Gunilla Lindberg, Robin Mitchell, Denis Oswald, Nenad Lalovic and Ivo Ferriani, and IOC Members John Coates and James Tomkins.
On 7 May, speaking at the Opening Ceremony of SportAccord 2019 in Gold Coast, where the focus was on the “Future of Big Data and Analytics”, the IOC President stressed that “already today, technology is shaping the world of sport in profound ways”, recalling also that “the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018 were the most digitally viewed Olympic Winter Games ever”. He added: “We see the digital future as a huge opportunity. We can reach even more people with the values of sport and the magic of the Olympic Games.”
After the opening the President met the Premier of Queensland, Annastacia Palaszczuk with whom he discussed sport in the region and a potential candidature for the Olympic Games.
The next day, 8 May, at a joint meeting with the Association of Summer Olympic International Sports Federations (ASOIF), whose President is Francesco Ricci Bitti, President Bach and the four IOC Vice-Presidents Juan Antonio Samaranch, Uğur Erdener, Anita DeFrantz and Zaiqing Yu, discussed preparations for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 and Paris 2024, as well as IF governance.
With the Association of International Olympic Winter Sports Federations (AIOWF), whose President is IOC Honorary Member Gian-Franco Kasper, the IOC President and the IOC Vice-Presidents spoke about the next edition of the Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022 and the organisation of the Olympic Winter Games 2026.
In a meeting between the IOC President, the IOC Vice-Presidents and the Council of the Global Association of International Sports Federations (GAISF), of which Raffaele Chiulli is the new President, the discussions focused on cooperation between the two organisations and other topical Olympic issues.
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), whose President is Raffaele Chiulli.
The President also attended the opening of the “United Through Youth Initiative and Gold Coast Festival” organised by the Alliance of Independent Recognised Members of Sport (AIMS), whose President is Stephan Fox. He told them, “in a world with many big differences in society and among nations, the youth of the world are determined to shape the future. They are determined to overcome this fragmentation, this divide, and in such a way create their own future. And at the same time they are teaching us what we should do.”
President Bach also met the Presidents of four newly recognised International Federations: the International Federation of Icestock Sport (IFI); the Federation of International Lacrosse (FILx); the International SAMBO Federation (FIAS); and the World Association of Kickboxing Organisations (WAKO).
During his stay at the Gold Coast, the IOC President met IOC EB member and President of the United World Wrestling (UWW), Nenad Lalovic; IOC EB member and President of the International Bobsleigh and Tobogganing Federation (IBSF), Ivo Ferriani; IOC Member HRH Prince Feisal Al Hussein; Mori Watanabe, IOC Member and President of the International Gymnastics Federation (FIG); José Perurena, IOC Member and President of the International World Games Association (IWGA); Karl Stoss, IOC Member and President of the Austrian NOC; Gian-Franco Kasper, IOC Honorary Member and President of the International Ski Federation (FIS) and of the AIOWF ; Olle Dahlin, President of the International Biathlon Union (IBU); Jan Dijkema, President of the International Skating Union (ISU); Francesco Ricci Bitti, ASOIF President; Raffaele Chiulli, ARISF and GAISF President; Hervé Piccirillo, President of the International Council of Military Sport (CISM); and Luo Qiang, Mayor of the Municipal Government of Chengdu, host city for the 2025 World Games.
A meeting was also held with Ban Ki-moon, Chair of the IOC Ethics Commission and main speaker at SportAccord.
From Gold Coast, President Bach flew to Papua New Guinea on 8 May, as a guest of the NOC. During the day, he met young athletes at the Taurama Aquatic & Indoor Centre in the capital, Port Moresby, joining in with basketball and badminton practice before taking on some of the youngsters who were learning to fence. The Taurama Aquatic & Indoor Centre and High-Performance Sport PNG are impressive legacies of the 2015 Pacific Games.
During the visit, President Bach was joined by members of the NOC, including its President, John Dawanincura, and IOC Member and NOC Secretary General Auvita Ripalla. The IOC President was also a guest of honour as he inaugurated the new NOC headquarters in Port Moresby.
Later, he met the Prime Minister Peter O’Neill and the two then joined a signing of an MoU between the NOC in partnership with the government-run PNG Sports Foundation.
From Papua New Guinea, President Bach went to Palau on 9 May, where he visited several sports facilities, meeting and talking to young athletes and a number of Olympic Solidarity scholarship-holders. During the visit, he was accompanied by Frank Kyota and IOC Member in Palau and Secretary General of the NOC Baklai Temengil.
In a meeting, President Bach and the President of Palau, Tommy Remengesau, discussed sports development in the nation and support for its young athletes from other NOCs. The President of Palau highlighted the health challenge in the Pacific region, pointing out in particular “the prevalence of non-communicable diseases and obesity”. President Bach highlighted the many successful schemes in schools that can “combine physical activity and values education”.
The Palau President granted President Bach the Freedom of the Nation and conferred on him the honorary name of Palau's bravest warrior.
Later, the President was invited to address both Houses of the Congress. President Bach reiterated the Olympic message that: “In Olympic sport, all people are equal, regardless of their race, gender, cultural background or political beliefs. In our fragile world, this great symbol of peace is maybe more important than ever before. Only through solidarity can the universality of the Olympic Games be realised.”
On 10 May, President Bach wrapped up a tour of the NOC of three islands in Oceania with a stop in Guam. After a gala dinner as the guest of the NOC and its President Rick Blas, the next day he attended a traditional outrigger canoe competition between local schools before visiting a newly renovated basketball centre and the new NOC headquarters. He later visited the Governor of the island, Lourdes Leon Guerrero. The two leaders discussed the benefits of sport for health and education, and also the development of Olympic sport on the island.
Throughout the whole trip, the President was accompanied by IOC EB member and President of the Oceania National Olympic Committees (ONOC) and acting head of the Association of National Olympic Committees (ANOC) Robin Mitchell.
Before flying to Sydney, the President welcomed the new Secretary General of the Francophonie organisation, Louise Mushikiwabo. The meeting focused on the collaboration between the two organisations as well as the preparations for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, and more specifically the operations linked to language services offered in French to all the stakeholders.
IOC Executive Board member Gunilla Lindberg (centre) has received Sweden’s highest distinction for sports leaders, the “RF:s förtjänsttecken”. The award was presented by the President of the Swedish Sports Confederation, Björn Eriksson (left) and the Secretary General, Stefan Bergh (right), during the Swedish NOC’s AGM in Stockholm last month. Gunilla Lindberg has devoted most of her life to sport, starting work at the NOC in 1969 at the age of 22, and becoming its Secretary General in 1989, a position she still holds today. A member of the Executive Committee of the European Olympic Committees (EOC) since 1993, she has also been Secretary General of the Association of National Olympic Committees (ANOC) since 2004.
IOC Vice President Uğur Erdener, IOC Members Marisol Casado and José Perurena, and IOC Honorary Members Támas Aján (not in attendance), Julio César Maglione and Gian-Franco Kasper have been awarded the President’s Trophy by the Australian Olympic Committee (AOC), in recognition of their contribution to Olympic sport and as IF president. They received the award from AOC President and IOC Member John Coates and AOC Executive and IOC Member James Tomkins, during a ceremony held during SportAccord. They were also joined by presidents of other IFs in receiving the award.
During the ASOIF General Assembly held during SportAccord, IOC Members Marisol Casado, Ingmar De Vos and Morinari Watanabe were elected as Council members for a four-year term of office.
Other Olympic news
The Olympic Channel has reached cooperation agreements with the international governing bodies for billiards, cheerleading, mini-golf, savate and sled-dog sports. The five new agreements bring the number of the global platform’s federation partners to 83. Full news release here.
As part of the process of additional analyses on the samples collected from the Olympic Games London 2012, the IOC announced on 10 May that two athletes have been sanctioned for failing anti-doping tests at these Games. They are: Meline Daluzyan of Armenia, competing in the women’s 69kg weightlifting event, and Ineta Radevica of Latvia, competing in the women’s long jump event. As the International Testing Agency (ITA) is now operational, the IOC has delegated the selection of samples to be reanalysed and the results management to the ITA, which will therefore review all the test results and notify the athletes concerned. Full details here.
The NBA, the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) and the Colombian Basketball Federation have announced that the 10th edition of Basketball Without Borders (BWB) Americas will be held from 24 to 27 June this year in Medellin, marking the first time that the NBA and FIBA's global basketball development and community outreach programme will be held in Colombia. BWB Americas 2019 will bring together more than 60 of the top high school-age boys and girls from North and South America to learn directly from NBA and FIBA players and coaches, and to compete against the best young players from the region. More details here.
The eighth edition of the International Equestrian Federation (FEI)’s Sports Forum, held at the IMD Business School mid-April in Lausanne, brought together 265 delegates for a two-day programme covering a diverse array of topics. One session was devoted to gender equality and female representation in governance-related positions (committees, national federations, etc.) and the benefits of diversity at the decision-making level. The Tokyo 2020 session provided delegates with an update on the progress of the two equestrian venues and scheduling. Consultation and transparency were at the core of the third session of the day, with proposed reforms to the FEI legal system. The feedback from the Forum will be incorporated into proposed rule modifications which will go through a full consultation process with national federations and stakeholders prior to a vote at the FEI General Assembly in Moscow (Russian Federation) in November 2019. More details on www.fei.org.
Meeting in St Petersburg (Russian Federation) on 2 and 3 May, the International Gymnastics Federation (FIG) Council took a number of important decisions, including the adoption of new formats for the Artistic Gymnastics and Rhythmic Gymnastics World Championships and the qualification system for the Olympic Games Paris 2024. More details here.
As part of its new development strategy, approved at its Congress in November 2018, the International Hockey Federation (FIH) has launched its “Sticks for the World” campaign, with the aim of collecting and distributing hockey equipment to projects and organisations. The FIH has urged its 137 member national associations around the world to put in place schemes to collect this donated equipment and to encourage their members – leagues and clubs – to do the same. The goal is to reach 101,000 donated sticks by 2020. This campaign is the first phase of the “HockeyREADY” development project, which is a global initiative to support continental federations, national associations and recognised development organisations to be ready to deliver hockey around the world, therefore helping to grow the game. More details here.
Last month, International Swimming Federation (FINA) President and IOC honorary member Julio César Maglione was at the brand new FINA Aquatics Development Centre in Kazan (Russian Federation), as the complex opened its doors to the first scholarship-holders after opening officially in September 2018. The purpose of the visit was also to inspect the progress of the preparations for the FINA Artistic Swimming World Series 2019 in Kazan. On this occasion, schoolchildren were invited to visit the Aquatics Palace of Kazan, which staged the diving and water polo competitions of the 16th FINA World Championships in July and August 2015. The Centre provides athletes with the conditions they need for professional growth, and also allows them to take part in the FINA competitions held each year in Kazan, for example the Swimming World Cup or the Diving World Series. More details here.
The International Surfing Association (ISA) has launched the 2019 edition of its scholarship programme, which is aimed at supporting under-served young people with their academic and surfing ambitions, while boosting the development and growth of the sport in non-traditional surfing regions around the world. Since the programme’s inception in 2007, more than 300 surfers from all five continents have received assistance from the ISA. More details here.
NationaL Olympic COMMITTEes
The Albanian Olympic Academy, with the support of Olympic Solidarity and the Albanian NOC, recently organised a training seminar on the Olympic Values Education Programme (OVEP). Led by Ana De Azevedo from the IOC’s Olympic Foundation for Culture and Heritage, the seminar was aimed at including the OVEP in the programme of every school in the country. The 13 regional coordinators who attended were also able to create their own training groups with 80 physical education teachers from towns all over the country, who will be in direct contact with the pupils. More details on www.nocalbania.org.al.
On 4 May in Algiers, the Algerian NOC, in collaboration with Olympic Solidarity, organised a seminar on marketing and sport. Held in the presence of Youth and Sports Minister Raouf Salim Bernaoui and NOC President Mustapha Berraf (left of photo), the seminar was attended by sports federation representatives, teachers, academics and sports administrators. The topics addressed were sports marketing, event communication and sports sponsorship. More details here.
On 15 April, the Argentinian NOC hosted the first women in sport meeting of 2019, an initiative launched by the NOC’s Women in Sport Commission. In 2019, the Commission’s theme is “Equal Opportunities”. At the meeting, the representatives of various sports federations and associations discussed topics including harassment, abuse and violence in sport; hyperandrogenism; organising and managing sports events; and image, communication and social media. More details here.
On 12 April, an event entitled “100 days to the European Youth Olympic Festival” (EYOF), taking place in Baku this July, was held at the A. Huseynzade Secondary School, in the framework of the Azerbaijani NOC’s Olympic Culture and Education Programme. Attending were NOC Secretary General Aghajan Abiyev; Deputy Youth and Sports Minister Farhad Hajiyev; Olympic champions Zemfira Meftahaddinova, Namig Abdullayev and Nazim Huseynov; and representatives of the EYOF Organising Committee 2019. Financed by Olympic Solidarity, the NOC, the Organising Committee and the Youth and Sports Ministry, the programme is intended to promote culture, sport and the Olympic Movement among young people in the EOC member countries. More details here.
Sheikh Khalid bin Hamad Al Khalifa has been elected President of the NOC of Bahrain for the remainder of the 2017 to 2020 period. President of the Bahrain Athletics Association and First Deputy Chairman of the Supreme Council for Youth and Sport, he has taken over from Sheikh Nasser bin Hamad Al Khalifa.
On 20 April, the staff of the NOC of Belarus took part in the national cleaning day, at the “Olympic” Sports and Recreation Complex. They helped to landscape, clean and set up the site for the beach football competitions of the 2nd European Games, taking place in June. Working with the NOC staff were the head coach of the Belarusian beach football team, Nicholas Alvarado, his assistant, Jaime Paz, and the Secretary General of the Belarus Beach Football Association, Alexander Baranov. More details here.
To provide better training for coaches, the El Salvador Olympic Academy, part of the NOC of El Salvador, will this year be running a Master’s degree in high-level competition, taught by lecturers from the Chilean NOC. This Master’s consists of three modules and will be taught over two years. The subjects covered include the teaching principles applied to sports training, coaching planning and methodology, and the development of sports performance.
The Spanish NOC and the government of the Canary Islands have signed a cooperation agreement aimed at devising and developing projects linked to equality, inclusion and eliminating violence from sport. The agreement was signed by NOC President Alejandro Blanco and the President and the Minister for Tourism, Culture and Sport of the Canary Islands government, Fernando Clavijo and Isaac Castellano. More details here.
Greece and France expressed their joint position for the Olympic spirit to be included on the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage List during a meeting organised by the Hellenic Olympic Committee (HOC), and attended by representatives of the two countries, at the HOC headquarters. France was represented by IOC Member and Special Envoy for the IOC to UNESCO Guy Drut (left in photo). The Greek delegation was made up of HOC President Spyros Capralos (centre in photo), HOC Secretary General Manolis Kolympadis and representatives of the Ministry of Culture. The initiative to include the Olympic spirit on the UNESCO list was launched on 18 September 2018. The aim is for the Olympic spirit to be added to the Intangible Cultural Heritage List of a significant number of countries by early 2020 so that in 2021 the application can be submitted to UNESCO. Μore details here.
The Guatemalan NOC has announced that its Olympic Academy has been awarded the IOC “Olympism in Action” Trophy in recognition of its contribution towards building a better and more peaceful society through sport. IOC EB member Willi Kaltschmitt Luján (right of photo) presented the Trophy during the 3rd Forum for the Americas organised as part of the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace. More details on www.cog.org.gt.
The Association of Hungarian Coaches and the Hungarian NOC’s Women in Sport Committee held a joint coach training conference on the role of women in sport. Organised at the Centre for Hungarian Sport (Magyar Sport Háza), the conference was addressed by the Hungarian Secretary of State for Sport, Tünde Szabó, and the NOC President, Krisztián Kulcsár (photo). One of the main aims of the conference was to strengthen the presence of women in coaching and sports leadership. More details here.
In the framework of its “Olympic Scholarship Tokyo 2020” programme, the Moroccan NOC organised a meeting on 16 April with the 10 athletes chosen by Olympic Solidarity for its qualification and preparation for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 programme (photo above). The presidents and national technical directors of the federations concerned also attended, to talk about how the scholarship procedure will work. More details here. In addition, in the framework of the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace on 6 April, the NOC organised an open day devoted to the history of Olympism in Morocco. This event was a great success, and provided a chance to promote the Olympic values and the principles of peace and tolerance to 250 young athletes from more than 20 federations.
The Panamanian NOC’s “Move 2 Improve” project concluded at the end of April. The aim of the project was to offer recreation and empower women seeking to combat physical and/or psychological violence through sport. Around 45 women attended boxing, fencing and taekwondo workshops on seven Saturdays. The project was supported by the IOC and Worldwide Olympic Partner Panasonic, together with the Panama Mayor’s Office and the National Institute for Women. More details here.
The Venezuelan NOC has launched its SIRADOV (Venezuelan Olympic Sports Registration and Update System) platform. This will serve as the new database for the whole national sports network.
organising committees for the Olympic games
The legacy of the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018 lives on with the launch of the PyeongChang 2018 Legacy Foundation. The Foundation was established by the South Korean Ministry of Culture, Sport and Tourism and Gangwon province authorities with the surplus gained from the success of last year’s Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018. The Foundation will focus on sports-related activities for young people and the development of winter sport, as well as managing three venues used during the Games – the Alpensia Sliding Centre, Gangneung Hockey Centre and Gangneung Oval. The Foundation recently named Ryu Seung-min, IOC Member in the Republic of Korea, as its President at its inaugural general assembly on 25 March. More details here.
On 9 May, the Organising Committee for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 launched the lottery for the first phase of ticket sales for residents of Japan, marking the best opportunity to apply for the tickets to the world’s greatest sporting event. People living outside Japan will be able to purchase tickets through Authorised Ticket Resellers (ATRs). Full details here.
On 10 May, Beijing 2022 celebrated 1,000 days to go until the Opening Ceremony of the XXIV Olympic Winter Games in grand fashion, with a ceremony at the Linglong Tower on the Beijing Olympic Green. During the celebration, actor Jackie Chan, Olympic gold medallist Wu Dajing, para snowboarder Pang Qiaorong and IOC Vice-Presidents Juan Antonio Samaranch and Yu Zaiqing joined Cai Qi, Secretary of the CPC Beijing Municipal Committee and President of Beijing 2022, at Linglong Tower to unveil a large screen that started counting down to the Olympic Winter Games. More details here.
The future of global sport and the role of IFs were key topics on the agenda of the ASOIF General Assembly held in Gold Coast. ASOIF’s report on the “Future of Global Sport”, launched in February this year, received very positive reactions. On the topic of IF governance, ASOIF members agreed on the procedure for the third governance review, to be conducted between late 2019 and early 2020. The General Assembly also approved the Olympic revenue distribution model for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020. More details here.
Raffaele Chiulli was officially elected as President of SportAccord at the General Assembly held in Gold Coast. He succeeded Francesco Ricci Bitti, who had been serving as acting President since the death of Patrick Baumann last year. Chiulli will serve the same presidential role at GAISF on a full-time basis. More info at www.sportaccord.sport
The Flame of Peace for the 2nd European Games was lit at a ceremony on 3 May at the historic Ara Pacis in Rome (Italy). These Games will be held from 21 to 30 June in Minsk (Belarus). The ceremony, which marked the start of an international torch relay, was held in the presence of the EOC President, Janez Kocijančič, EOC Secretary General Raffaele Pagnozzi, European Games Coordination Commission Chair Spyros Capralos, and the Italian NOC President and IOC Member, Giovanni Malagò. The representatives from the Minsk 2019 Organising Committee were presented with the Dea Pax Golden Olive Tree sculpture, a symbol of peace and friendship whose branches represent the unfolding of the EOC umbrella to receive athletes from all the European NOCs. More details here.
Following a preliminary discussion by the IOC Executive Board and in order to support the project to modernise the facilities of the International Olympic Academy (IOA) at Ancient Olympia, Francis Gabet and Panos Tzivanidis (third and fourth from the right in the photo), representing the IOC, visited the IOA recently to assess the modernisation needs. The project, which will see the IOA totally revamped, will be also accompanied by a 360° reflection about the Academy’s future activities, proposed in 2016 by IOA President Isidoros Kouvelos (second from right in the photo). Work on the project will begin as soon as the IOC Executive Board takes a final decision. Dionyssis Gangas, Advisor to the IOA President (left in the photo) and Konstantinos Georgiadis, IOA Honorary Dean (right in the photo) were also present.
Ahead of the 2nd Mediterranean Beach Games, taking place in Patras (Greece) from 25 to 31 August this year, the International Mediterranean Games Committee (IMGC) Coordination Commission made an inspection visit at the beginning of May. All of the Organising Committee’s planning by sector was analysed, and the Commission congratulated the organisers on their commitment to the successful organisation of these Games. The next IMGC Coordination Commission visit will be on 4 June.
The International Paralympic Committee (IPC)’s “Transforming Lives Makes Sense for Everyone” campaign, which showcases the employment legacy of the London 2012 Paralympic Games, has won an important international award. The digital campaign – produced in partnership with the United Nations (UN) Human Rights Office – took home a UN Sustainable Development Goals Action Award, in the Includer category, from a ceremony held in Bonn (Germany) on 2 May. More details here.
The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has announced the appointment of Amanda Hudson as its Director of Education, as of 5 August 2019. Amanda Hudson, who is currently Head of Education for UK Anti-Doping (UKAD) in London, will lead the development and implementation of WADA’s education strategy, programmes and activities. More details here.