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05 Apr 2016
IOC News

Olympic Highlights



© WCF / Richard Gray

On 1 and 2 April IOC President Thomas Bach was in Basel (Switzerland) for the 50th anniversary of the World Curling Federation (WCF), which was celebrated in the presence of WCF President Kate Caithness and representatives of the federation’s 54 member associations. The President delivered the ceremonial stone at the 58th Men’s Curling Championships in Basel’s St Jakobshalle.



Sovereign Prince Albert II (left) and Alex Gilady (right) were appointed by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) to chair the International Relations Commission and the Television and Digital Advisory Group respectively.

© IOC / Ian Jones

Mamadou Diagna Ndiaye was made Honorary Life President of the African Tennis Confederation by the 26 delegates present at the body’s 34th Session, which took place in Pretoria (South Africa). He was President of the Confederation from 1997 to 2003.


The IOC President has announced additional changes to the IOC Commissions for 2016 that will bring women’s representation to over 33 per cent, a historic high. This milestone is a direct result of the reforms in Olympic Agenda 2020. There is also further growth in the number of members from Africa and Oceania as well as various stakeholders of the Olympic Movement. In total there are 449 Commission members in 2016, up from 430 in 2015, of whom 150 are now women. A full list of commissions and the complete press release can be found here.

The IOC Sport and Active Society Commission has announced that it has four development grants worth USD 20,000 each to award to organisations that are running effective Sport For All programmes in their communities. The development grants were created by the Commission to fulfil its mission to encourage people everywhere to participate in regular physical activity and to promote the health and social benefits of sport. They are also in keeping with the reforms of Olympic Agenda 2020. This year’s grants fall under three themes: sports legacy for the Olympic Games or other major events, community-wide promotion of physical activity and the engagement of youth. See complete press release here.

© Courtesy of ISEH

The Institute for Sports, Exercise and Health (ISEH) in London and the National Centre for Sports Exercise and Medicine (NCSEM) (United Kingdom) have jointly been selected as one of the nine research centres from across the five continents supported by the IOC. On 10 March, IOC Medical and Scientific Director Richard Budgett presented them with a plaque, welcoming ISEH and NCSM into the IOC Medical Research Network (see photo above). On 18 March the IOC Head of Scientific Activities, Lars Engebretsen, presented a similar plaque to VU University and Medical Centre in Amsterdam (Netherlands). Last November he awarded the plaque to the Institute of Sports Medicine of Copenhagen University Hospital (Denmark). Since 2009 the IOC, under the leadership of its Medical and Scientific Commission, has supported and partnered with established research centres on every continent to promote athletes’ health through the prevention of injury and illness. These centres have all demonstrated clinical, educational, and research expertise in the fields of sports medicine and elite sports. More information on the nine institutes can be found here.


On 21 and 22 March the IOC Ethics and Compliance Office hosted a meeting to finalise the Model Criminal Law Provisions in relation to competition manipulation. Comprehensive research undertaken by the IOC and the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) in 50 jurisdictions around the world will result in the identification of good practices and the drafting of Model Criminal Law Provisions. The study will be published in June 2016 with the aim of assisting countries in ensuring their criminal laws are prepared to prosecute competition manipulation insofar as it involves bribery, fraud, corruption and other coercive behaviour. The study complements the recently published Olympic Movement Code on the Prevention of Coercive Manipulation, which IFs, NFs and NOCs are called upon to implement. The IOC Ethics and Compliance Office also brought together for the first time a number of leading intergovernmental organisations including UNESCO, UNODC and the Council of Europe to define parameters for support and coordination in relation to integrity in sport. This coordination aims to strengthen the efforts already being undertaken by the IOC in protecting clean athletes, particularly in the framework of the global Capacity Building and Training initiative in partnership with INTERPOL that was launched in June 2015.

The IOC has awarded Sky Network Television Ltd. the right to broadcast the XXIII Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018, the Games of the XXXII Olympiad Tokyo 2020, the XXIV Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022, and the Olympic Games 2024, the host city of which has yet to be elected. SKY has acquired the broadcast rights for 2018-2024 on all media platforms in New Zealand and Pacific Island Territories. See complete press release here.

© IOC / Ubald Rutar

During the Youth Olympic Winter Games Lillehammer 2016 the great majority of the 1,100 participating athletes from 70 countries visited the IOC’s Fair Play booth and took part in the activities on offer (see photo above). The stand in the Youth Olympic Village used fun and interactive methods to raise the awareness of the 15-to-18-year-olds to the threats posed by competition fixing, and showed them how they could play an active role in preventing cheating in their sport. Olympians were also present to help to spread the message, by leading workshops and talking about the issues to the young athletes. See complete press release here.


The IOC’s medical team is working with Worldwide TOP Partner GE to harness cloud-based medical data management software that is set to facilitate injury treatment and boost research into injury prevention. At the Olympic Games Rio 2016, a cloud-based version of GE Healthcare’s Centricity Practice Solutions will be used as the official storage platform for electronic medical records. See complete press release here.



The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) has announced the chairs of its new commissions and advisory groups (list here) who will help to implement a fundamental programme of change to the sport’s global administration. These smaller groups have increased representation of women, younger age groups, coaches, former athletes and experts from outside athletics. More info on


Twenty-four nations from across the Americas travelled to the reservoir course close to Valparaiso (Chile) to decide 18 Olympic qualification places for the Olympic Games Rio 2016 (see photo above). FISA President Jean-Christophe Roland paid tribute to the Chilean organising committee and local authorities and all volunteers at the conclusion of the Olympic Qualification event. Likewise, the development of women’s rowing and of new nations in the Americas has shown that FISA’s efforts to position itself in line with the IOC’s Olympic Agenda 2020, is well on track. Compared to the 2012 Americas qualification regatta, this year's event showed a positive change. The number of countries competing in 2016 was an increase of eight. This corresponds to a 50 per cent increase and a 27 rower increase. The biggest rise was among women with a 64 per cent increase in participation. More info on the official website of the World Rowing Federation,

A wide range of badminton-related personnel – players, entourage, event staff, referees and volunteers – risk lifetime bans from the sport if they breach the Badminton World Federation’s (BWF) upgraded Code of Conduct in relation to Betting, Wagering and Irregular Match Results. Players who have competed in at least three international badminton events are now prohibited from betting on all badminton matches, as are BWF and continental confederation staff and BWF referees. The new Code, which was recently circulated to the international badminton community, has strengthened the governing body’s authority to investigate allegations of betting, match-fixing and other related corruption. The amended Code has put the BWF’s investigative framework on illegal betting and manipulation of results on a parallel with information-gathering rules under the enhanced BWF Anti-Doping Regulations (January 2015). More info on

The Central Board of the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) has announced that the Republic of Congo will host the African men’s basketball championships, FIBA AfroBasket, from 17 to 31 August 2017. Rwanda will host the men’s Africa U18 Championships in 2017, while the women’s event will take place in Egypt. The host of FIBA AfroBasket Women 2017 will be decided later. More info on


During a visit to attend the qualification tournament for Africa held in Yaoundé (Cameroon) from 11 to 19 March, IOC EB Member and President of the International Boxing Federation (AIBA) Ching-kuo Wu (right) met Cameroon’s Minister of Sports and Physical Education, Bidoung Kpwatt (left). The two men reflected on the positive collaboration between the Cameroon Boxing Federation, the African Confederation and AIBA throughout the event. The AIBA President, African Boxing Confederation President Kelani Bayor and AIBA Executive Director Karim Bouzidi were also invited by Cameroon NOC President Kalkaba Malboum to a working session. In recent weeks Olympic qualification tournaments have taken place in Buenos Aires (Argentina) for the Americas, and Qian’an (China) for Asia and Oceania. Following the example of the European and Asian Boxing Confederations, the African Confederation and the Americas Confederation, represented by their respective Presidents, Kelani Bayor and Osvaldo Bisbal, also signed the HeadsUp Charter. AIBA’s HeadsUp campaign is intended to promote boxers’ physical and professional well-being by developing and managing their careers from the boxing academies through elite competition and up to their retirement from sport. More info on

In July 2016 the International Federation of Association Football (FIFA) will present its first FIFA Diversity Award. The aim of the award is to recognise an outstanding organisation, group initiative or personality that is standing up for diversity and anti-discrimination in football. The date also marks the 15th anniversary of FIFA’s resolution against racism and discrimination, which was passed at the Extraordinary FIFA Congress in Buenos Aires in 2001. See complete press release here on

The President of the International Judo Federation (IJF), Marius L. Vizer, recently visited Mexico City for the launch of the new IFJ training centre. Mexico, and specifically the city of Guadalajara, will host one of the major events of the judo calendar, the World Masters, from 27–29 May 2016. This will be the final qualifying event for the Olympic Games Rio 2016. While in Mexico City the IJF President met the Minister of Sports, Alfredo Castillo, and Director of High Performance Valentin Yanes. The meeting focused on the growing interest in judo in Mexico and throughout the Americas. More info on

The Fédération Internationale de Natation (FINA) recently revealed the dates of the FINA World Junior Open Water Swimming Championships. The event will be hosted in Hoorn (Netherlands) from 16–18 July 2016, featuring athletes from 14 to 19 years old, competing in distances of 5, 7.5 or 10 km. The last edition, held in September 2014 on Lake Balaton (Hungary) brought together 153 athletes from the five continents. More info on

The International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) has informed us that because of the recent tragic events in Turkey, the European Table Tennis Union (ETTU) has decided to reschedule the European Qualification Tournament originally due to take place in Istanbul (Turkey) from 6 to 10 April. The tournament will now be held in Halmstad (Sweden) from 12 to 16 April. More info on


The President of the International Triathlon Union (ITU), IOC Member Marisol Casado (2nd from left) recently travelled to Ecuador, where the ITU will soon host a Technical Officials Course and a World Cup race, to encourage the growth of the sport. Marisol Casado also went to Chile for meetings with the Ministry of Sports, the Chilean NOC, presided over by Neven Ilic Alvarez (2nd from right) and the Triathlon National Federation, to assess the country’s needs for future triathlon projects in the coming years. More info on


© Albanian NOC

On 23 March the Albanian NOC held an Olympic education seminar in Durres. Around 95 people representing regional education directorates, children’s cultural centres and physical education teachers were present (see photo above). The aim of the seminar was to provide information on the implementation of Olympic Package 4 and the organisation of school activities for Olympic Week. The NOC presented four case studies that showed the best way to organise events during Olympic Week, and five new sets of teaching materials for Olympic Day 2016, which are available on the NOC website, The participants were invited to complete a questionnaire on the importance and effectiveness of the Olympic Package, and on the possibilities and limitations of organising Olympic Day. The information will help the NOC to improve the content of its materials for Olympic Day 2016.

© Argentinian NOC

On 21 March, at the opening ceremony of the advanced course for sports administration in Argentina, Olympic Solidarity diplomas were awarded to participants in the 2015 course (see photo above). The course has been instrumental in improving the management of sports federations in Argentina. The ceremony was attended by the Secretary General of the Argentinian NOC, Mario Moccia, course director Silvia Dalotto de Marcó and Olympic Solidarity programme coordinator Cristian Roldán. Fifty-five people are enrolled on the 2016 course. More info on

© Bahrain Olympic Committee

On 29 March the Bahrain Olympic Committee held its annual “Injaz 4” meeting in Manama (see photo above). The focus of the meeting was the NOC’s achievements over the last six months, as well as obstacles to the work of the NOC’s departments. Each head of department outlined the plans and programmes scheduled for 2016 in line with the NOC’s global strategy. NOC Secretary General Abdulrahman Sadiq Askar was also present. The NOC has just launched a new initiative to offer high-quality services to the national sports federations. A unified communication project is now available to the national federations of volleyball, table tennis, swimming, badminton and sports for special needs.

© NOC of Belarus

The press office of the NOC of Belarus has informed us that at the International Book Fair in Minsk, held at the beginning of February, a series of postcards on the theme “Olympic Stars of Belarus” and a book entitled “Olympic Glory of Belarus” were presented. The publications were produced to celebrate the NOC’s 25th anniversary, and are available in Belarusian and English. They are part of a joint project between the NOC, the Information Ministry and the Belarusian encyclopaedia “Petrus Brovka”. Visitors to the fair were able to secure the autographs of Olympic champions Alla Tsuper (freestyle skiing, right) and Yanina Karolchyk-Pravalinskaya (athletics, left). More info on

© Colombian NOC

The Colombian NOC informs us that the national government has ratified an agreement with the City of Barranquilla and the Atlántico region to host the 2018 Central American and Caribbean Games. The aim of the agreement is to provide a framework for technical and administrative cooperation, and to define a road map and management strategy between the institutions involved in terms of the sports infrastructure and operational plans required to host the Games. NOC President Baltazar Medina, the governor of the Atlántico Department, Eduardo Verano de la Rosa, the Mayor of Barranquilla, Alejandro Char Chaljub, and IOC Member and Director of Coldeportes Andrés Botero Phillipsbourne were present, along with representatives of the parties to the contract. The event will benefit the region and the entire country in terms of global positioning, revenue generation, the creation of sports infrastructure and job opportunities. Info on

© Costa Rican NOC

The Sports Day organised in the gardens of the Costa Rican NOC in Vázquez de Coronado provided an opportunity for young boys and girls to try various sports they had seen on television. For three hours they were able to follow demonstrations of gymnastics with Tarik Soto, football with members of the national women’s team, judo with Diana Brenes, weightlifting with Kristopher Lipton (see photo above), equestrian events with Cristina Servían, karate with Roy Lee Gatjens and finally fencing with Luis Cruz. Costa Rica has celebrated Sports Day annually since March 1970. Info at

© NOC of El Salvador

At its 2016 ordinary general assembly the NOC of El Salvador presented its financial report for 2015 and its programme of activities and budget for 2016 to the national sports federations (see photo above). Also on the agenda were the participation and performance of El Salvador’s athletes in the major competitions of 2015, and the educational work carried out by the Salvadoran Olympic Academy. The 2016 activity programme, which was presented by NOC President Eduardo Palomo (see photo above) and approved by the federations, covers four areas: marketing and the media, sports operations, Salvadoran Olympic Academy and finance.

© Georgian NOC

Between 25 and 28 March the Georgian NOC hosted the third Sports Administrator Course as part of its 2013–2016 quadrennial plan. Participants (see photo above) included sports specialists, administrators and volunteers from national sports federations, the University of Physical Culture and Sport and other sports organisations. Experts from the NOC and invited lecturers shared their knowledge of the Olympic Movement, sports administration, athlete development and team management. The next course will be held at the end of the year, after the Olympic Games Rio 2016. More info on

© New Zealand Olympic Committee

The New Zealand Olympic Committee informs us that New Zealand Olympic athletes will bring the spirit of the Games to underprivileged kids in Rio as part of a new partnership with the city’s Mangueira community. The relationship was announced at an event in Mangueira attended by New Zealand’s Ambassador to Brazil, Caroline Bilkey, the President of the Mangueira Community, Chinquinho, and New Zealand Chef de Mission Rob Waddell, an Olympic rowing gold medallist. Mangueira is an underprivileged neighbourhood in the hills of the northern part of Rio, with a population of around 45,000, 30 per cent of whom are under 14. Through its social programme, the Mangueira community provides opportunities for sport, art, education and culture to the local population. New Zealand athletes hope to have a positive impact on the young people of the community by means of Olympian visits, coaching sessions and equipment donations. At the announcement Rob Waddell showed his Olympic gold medal from the Sydney 2000 Games, and challenged the bravest of the youngsters to a 100m sprint on two new rowing machines donated by the New Zealand team (see photo above). The delegation also took part in a number of sporting activities with the youngsters, including athletics, rugby sevens and capoeira, a traditional Brazilian martial art. See complete press release on

© Oman Olympic Committee

Following the General Assembly of the Oman Olympic Committee the NOC opened a display hall for its historic acquisitions at the NOC headquarters, under the auspices of the NOC’s first Chairman, Abdallah bin Hamad Al Ali, and in the presence of all the sports personalities who have occupied the post since the NOC’s creation in 1982 (see photo above). The images on display illustrate historic moments of the sports and Olympic movement in the Sultanate, and activities of the chairmen and board members over the years. Olympic diplomas, medals, awards and photographs commemorating the Sultanate’s participation in the Olympic Games and other international competitions were also on display. More info on

© Venezuelan NOC

Over the Easter period the states of Anzoátegui, Carabobo, Distrito Capital, Falcón, Miranda, Nueva Esparta, Vargas and Zulia were chosen to implement the 3R programme – Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. The Venezuelan NOC, with the support of municipal councils and regional sports authorities, implemented the programme with the aim of raising awareness among participants, young people in particular, of the importance of preserving the environment (see photo above). Sports and leisure activities were also organised, with the participation of athletes, sports leaders, coaches and NOC members. At the ordinary general assembly of the sports federations in mid-March an Olympic radio station was officially launched at the NOC headquarters.



© PyeongChang 2018

On 28 March the PyeongChang Organising Committee for the 2018 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games (POCOG) launched its official account on Instagram, a global mobile platform for photo sharing, video sharing and social networking. Click here to find out more. The channel will provide content in English and Korean, and aims to share images and videos that will highlight the various fun aspects of PyeongChang 2018 and the host region, bringing the Games closer to winter sports fans and followers. To celebrate the new service, POCOG is holding a “Leave Your Comments” event until 6 April, encouraging Instagram followers to share and promote the PyeongChang 2018 Instagram account. More info on

TOKYO 2020

© Cidade das Artes

On 24 March, during a meeting of its Executive Board, the Organising Committee for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games announced plans for the Tokyo 2020 Japan House, the national hospitality centre for the Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games. The Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, the Japanese Olympic Committee and the Japanese Paralympic Committee will join forces to showcase the best in Japanese culture and sport, and provide a glimpse of how the Tokyo 2020 Games will look and feel. The Tokyo 2020 Japan House will be located in the Cidade das Artes (City of Arts) in the Games’ Barra Zone, home to the Olympic and Paralympic Village, the Olympic Park and the International Broadcasting Centre / Main Press Centre complex. It will be open from 5 to 21 August during the Olympic Games and from 7 to 18 September during the Paralympic Games.

Tokyo 2020 has welcomed four new Official Partners, the second domestic tier of Tokyo 2020 Sponsorship Programme. These are: Ajinomoto Co. Inc., in the category “Cooking Condiments, Dehydrated Soup, Amino Acid Based Granules and Prepared Frozen Foods” and the three travel agencies, KNT-CT Holdings Co., Ltd., JTB Corp. and Tobu Top Tours Co., Ltd. in the category “Travel agency services and national trip hospitality services”. These new partnerships bring the total number of Tokyo 2020 domestic partners to 32, including 17 Official Partners. See press releases on

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