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01 Oct 2015
IOC News

Olympic Highlights



The IOC President, Thomas Bach, took part in the historic United Nations Summit in New York which adopted the post-2015 development agenda. Sport was included in the final outcome document as an "important enabler" of sustainable development.

© IOC / Ian Jones

In his speech to this UN Summit on 26 September, President Bach praised the inclusion of sport in the post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), calling it a historic moment that recognised the important role that sport plays in promoting healthy lifestyles, education, peace and social inclusion. "Sport is natural partner when it comes to realising the ambitious agenda that will guide global development over the next 15 years", the IOC President said. "United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon put it best when he said: 'Olympic Principles are United Nations Principles,'" he continued. "The IOC shares the ambitious goals of peaceful development of humanity – and based on our shared values of tolerance, solidarity and peace, we are committed to continued cooperation with the United Nations and its Member States to make the Sustainable Development Goals a reality. Let us continue to strengthen our partnership so that we can work together for a better world." Read the full speech here. The IOC President was accompanied by IOC Member Angela Ruggiero. The UN Secretary-General asked all delegations to include one representative aged 30 or under in their official delegations to acknowledge the enthusiasm, interest and involvement of young people in formulating the post-2015 Development Agenda.

© IOC / Ian Jones

President Bach had a meeting with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon whom he thanked for putting sport at the centre of society after the UN General Assembly included sport as an "important enabler" of sustainable development in its post-2015 Development Agenda. The two leaders also spoke about other aspects of cooperation between the IOC and the UN.

© IOC / Ian Jones

On 27 September, the IOC President also addressed an interactive session at the United Nations on building effective, accountable and inclusive institutions to achieve sustainable development. At the session, chaired by Republic of Korea President Geun-hye Park and Chile President Michelle Bachelet, President Bach said that the IOC was "fully aligned with the United Nations Agenda 2030. Last December we adopted our Olympic Agenda 2020, which addresses many of the Sustainable Development Goals. Olympic Agenda 2020 is based on three pillars: the pillar of sustainability, the pillar of credibility and the pillar of youth." He continued: "If you want to enjoy credibility as an organisation, you have to be accountable, you need to be effective and you need to be inclusive. Therefore we have established a system of good governance which makes us accountable." Read the full speech here.

With regard to the candidates for the 2024 Olympic Games, President Bach met the President of the French Republic, Franois Hollande; the President of the Hungarian Republic, János Ader; and the Prime Minister of Italy, Matteo Renzi. During these meetings, the three leaders expressed their support for the candidatures of their countries for the Olympic Games in 2024, as well as their satisfaction with Olympic Agenda 2020 and the implementation of its recommendations with regard to the candidature process for the 2024 Games.

With regard to future host cities, the IOC President met the President of Brazil (2016), Dilma Rousseff; the President of the Republic of Korea (2018), Geun-hye Park; the Prime Minister of Japan (2020), Shinzo Abe who was accompanied by IOC Member Tsunekazu Takeda; and the President of the People's Republic of China (2022), Xi Jinping. Discussions focused on the state of preparations of the forthcoming editions of the Olympic Games in their respective countries.

The IOC President also met with a number of world leaders, to discuss the Sustainable Development Goals, the role of sport in society and other issues of mutual interest. He held talks with: King Felipe VI of Spain; the President of the Russian Federation, Vladimir Putin; the President of South Africa, Jacob Zuma; the President of the Republic of Finland, Sauli Väinämö Niinistö; the President of the Republic of Bulgaria, Rosen Plevneliev; King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands; Prince Albert II of Monaco; Queen Silvia of Sweden; the President of the Swiss Confederation, Simonetta Sommaruga; and the Prime Minister of Kuwait, Sheikh Jaber Mubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabah.

He also met a number of other heads of state and government including: the President of the Republic of Armenia; the Austrian Federal President; the President of the Republic of Botswana; the President of Chile; the President of the Republic of Gabon; the President of the Republic of Moldova; the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria; the President of the Republic of Poland; the Prime Minister of Greece; the Prime Minister of Solomon Islands; the Prime Minister of Tonga; and the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Tunisia.

Meetings were also held with Micha‘lle Jean, the Secretary General of the Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie, and with Luis Moreno, President of the Inter-American Development Bank, who was accompanied by IOC Member Gerardo Werthein.

© IOC / Ian Jones

On the side-lines of the UN General Assembly, IOC President had a meeting with the Executive Director of UN Women, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, during which an agreement was signed between the two organisations. The IOC is giving USD 600,000 to support a UN Women project in Rio de Janeiro State in Brazil. The project will target 2,500 girls aged 12-14. Entitled "One Win Leads to Another" it will use a series of sports programmes to build young women's leadership skills and improve their ability to influence decisions that impact their lives at all levels. In partnership with the NOC of Brazil, the programme targets the National Youth School Games to spread the messages of non-discrimination, non-violence, girls' empowerment and positive masculine traits among boys. This pilot project will be implemented initially in 50 schools across the state of Rio de Janeiro, and will serve as a model that can be rolled out nationally and internationally. "We value our strong partnership with the IOC and look forward with them to making a difference in the lives of young women and girls," said Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka. Full press release here.

© IOC / Ian Jones

During his stay in New York, President Bach met IOC Honour Member and former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger. The two men discussed the positive impact of Olympic Agenda 2020 on placing sport at the heart of society and the global political situation.


During a trip to Yerevan on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the NOC of Armenia, Patrick Joseph Hickey (right in the photo) and Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah (left in photo), presented an IOC Trophy to the President of the NOC, Gagik Tsarukyan (centre), in recognition of his services to sport in the country.


© PyeongChang 2018

The IOC's Coordination Commission for the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018 has concluded its fifth visit (22-24 September) to the Korean host city positive about the progress being made, while underlining the importance of test events for the Games preparations. The Commission, chaired by IOC Executive Board Member Gunilla Lindberg, was joined for the meeting by representatives of the seven International Federations of sports on the programme of the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018, who were able to share their expertise and actively contribute to shaping the project. Additionally, the Commission was informed that the PyeongChang 2018 Organising Committee (POCOG), the National Government and the Gangwon authorities were working together in a venue legacy advisory group in order to deliver on their commitment to complete the detailed legacy plans for the venues by December. As well as visiting the Jeongseon Alpine Centre and Alpensia Sliding Centre, the Commission members participated in the ground-breaking ceremony of the PyeongChang Olympic Village (see also "PyeongChang 2018"). Full press release here.



Worldwide TOP Partner Visa has unveiled its Team Visa programme for the Olympic Games Rio de Janeiro 2016 in San Francisco (USA). The initiative continues Visa's long-standing support for athletes from around the world as they prepare for the Olympic Games. Team Visa Rio includes more than 30 Olympic and Paralympic athletes, including Carli Lloyd (USA), Ashton Eaton (USA), Emanuel Rego (Brazil), Tiago Splitter (Brazil), Sally Pearson (Australia), Ryan Cochrane (Canada), Kim Jae-Bum (Korea), Daiya Seto (Japan), Ivan Garcia (Mexico) and Yana Kudryavtseva (Russia). Visa held a two-day Team Visa Summit for the Olympic hopefuls (photo above), where they could learn to use new payment technology that will be implemented at the Olympic Games Rio de Janeiro 2016. Full press release here.


The Théâtre de Liège, copyright holder of its logo (economic rights), has decided to drop the current procedure in Lige against the IOC. After examining the pleas and evidence submitted by the IOC and following the definitive withdrawal of Mr Sano's logo, the Théâtre de Liège acknowledges that the disputed emblem, regardless of any similarity with its logo, is not breaching its rights. In this way, the parties have put an end to any dispute related to this matter.

INTERPOL and the IOC have held the first three-day Fact-Finders Training workshop in Arnhem, (Netherlands) to develop internal investigation skills concerning competition manipulation allegations. Attending the course were officials from football, tennis, cycling and badminton, as well as the Dutch Court of Arbitration in Sports and the Dutch NOC. As part of Olympic Agenda 2020, the IOC has established a special fund of USD 20 million to better protect the clean athletes. The joint IOC-INTERPOL prevention programme for the fight against match-fixing and related corruption is being financed out of the USD 10 million portion for this purpose by the IOC. Full press release here.



The International Boxing Association (AIBA) has announced that 260 boxers, including 94 boxers from Europe, 66 from Asia, 51 from the Americas, 32 from Africa and 17 boxers from Oceania – will take part in the AIBA World Championships, which will be held in Doha (Qatar) from 5 to 15 October. They will compete to grab not only the World titles in the 10 categories, but also 23 Olympic quota places for the Olympic Games Rio de Janeiro 2016. Info at

The Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI)'s Management Committee has agreed a series of key changes to a number of disciplines to modernise and improve cycling's organisational structures and to help shape the future of the sport. Following the two-day meeting during the 2015 UCI Road World Championships in Richmond (USA), the Committee approved plans to ensure that all national federations will be supported in integrating BMX Freestyle Park in their activities to ensure the best possible first appearances of the discipline at both the 2017 UCI Urban Cycling World Championships and the Youth Olympic Games Buenos Aires 2018. It was also agreed to equalise the overall prize money at the UCI BMX Supercross World Cup for both men and women, starting from 2016. As of 2017, prize monies per World Cup round will also become equitable. The Committee also approved the creation of the UCI Women's WorldTour, which will be launched in 2016 and which will become the leading series of races for professional women road cyclists, replacing the former UCI Women Road World Cup, which ran from 1998 to 2015. Detailed decisions are at


The International Hockey Federation (FIH) has concluded testing around Project HG – the evolution of Hockey5s which is currently being developed following the success of this discipline at recent international events, most notably the Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing in 2014. The FIH worked with experts and athletes from Loughborough University, undertaking various tests based upon the existing rules of Hockey5s. The progress of Project HG has accelerated following the growing interest in Hockey5s over the past few years. As recently as this summer, international events have been taking place around the world, including the Pacific Games in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea, and the Mediterranean Cup in Malta. Info at


From 5 to 13 September, the International Judo Federation (IJF) successfully organised the third Judo Educational Journey Through China. Organised jointly by the IJF and the Chinese Judo association, this festival focused on the educational values and moral code of judo as well as the Olympic values. Four new cities and three provinces hosted this third edition. While the first two editions organised in 2013 and 2014 were successfully devoted to promoting the Summer Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing, this edition highlighted Chinese culture in all its dimensions. For over a week, judo sessions and demonstrations welcomed over 1,000 children and young judokas, who were joined by about 40 judo teachers. The tour stopped in Xi'an, capital of Shaanxi Province, where a demonstration was given in front of the 8,000 terracotta soldiers – a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Another leg was in the autonomous Province of Inner Mongolia, in Hohhot, where a session was held on the foothills of the Gobi Desert (photo above). Chinese Association President Zhou Jinqiang, a new IJF Executive Committee member, was present for this stage in Inner Mongolia. Info at

The Fédération Internationale de Natation (FINA) has announced the FINA Water Polo World League 2016 calendar. The European preliminaries will kick off as early as 20 October for the men and 27 October for the women's rounds, and the games will be held alternately in the teams' home venues. These events consist of six rounds, which will take place until May 2o16. Twelve men's teams and eight women's teams have been selected. Info at

The 2015 Rugby World Cup, currently being staged in England, will provide an unprecedented global stage to educate the next generation of rugby stars about the pitfalls and health dangers of doping, underscoring World Rugby's zero-tolerance approach to drug cheats in rugby. Thus, a dedicated Keep Rugby Clean Day will take place on 26 September. Keep Rugby Clean is recognised as one of the leading anti-doping education programmes, having supported more than 13,000 players and team management members since its launch in 2005. This programme aims to help players and support staff to understand their responsibilities when it comes to competing clean, and highlight the health and career dangers of taking shortcuts to make it to the top, using hard-hitting videos featuring players who have been banned for doping. Info at

© Paul Zimmer

David Haggerty (left on photo) was elected President of the International Tennis Federation (ITF) on 25 September at the ITF Annual General Meeting in Santiago (Chile) attended by over 280 delegates, partners and staff. The 58-year-old from the United States succeeds Francesco Ricci Bitti (right on photo). He will serve a four-year term from 2015 to 2019. Francesco Ricci Bitti, who served a 16- year term, has been named an ITF Honorary Life President. Elections also took place for the ITF Board of Directors for the period 2015-2019. Katrina Adams (USA), Anil Khanna (India) and René Stammbach (Switzerland) have been named as ITF Vice-Presidents by the new ITF Board of Directors. Info at

The International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) has just released its new and exciting "How to Play Table Tennis" coaching tutorial series. It will teach budding table tennis players worldwide how to play the key table tennis shots and serves, just like the stars of table tennis. Info at


The Executive Committee and the Administrative Council of the International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) held their annual meetings in Lonato (Italy) on 8 and 9 September (photo above). They voted on the locations of the 2016, 2017 and 2018 ISSF competitions, which were on 25 September. Detailed information here.

In a release, World Archery (WA) has announced that the archery's test event for the next Olympic Games Rio de Janeiro 2016, the Aquece Rio International Archery Challenge, ran from 15 to 22 September. One-hundred-and-twenty athletes from 27 nations competed at the test event in the city's iconic Sambodromo. The stadium in which Rio's famous carnival takes place each year was transformed into an international archery arena but kept its unique festival atmosphere. Athletes and officials used the eight-day event, run to a similar schedule to Games time, to familiarise themselves with the venue and logistics. The event was an opportunity to test the various operations (27 functional areas) needed for the Games next year including results and timing, venue operations, overlay and sport operations. Info at

The International Triathlon Union (ITU) has announced the schedule for the 2016 World Cup and World Paratriathlon Event races. The 2016 World Cup calendar will cover a minimum of 10 cities and includes a variety of new and familiar sites, as well as a combination of sprint and standard distances. Info at


The International Surfing Association (ISA) has welcomed Norway as its newest Member Federation. The ISA now has 97 Member Federations. Info at


© Bahrain NOC

The Bahrain NOC Sports Training and Development Centre, based in Juffair, hosted its second workshop of 2015 to highlight the theme "Positive Energy" on 22 September. NOC staff took part in this workshop, which aimed to motivate them and promote their energy and performance at work. NOC Secretary General Abdulrahman Askar and Human and Financial Resources Director Ali Zubari were also present.

The Colombian NOC is currently holding planning meetings with the national sports federations, which are presenting the status of their preparations for next year's sports season, the focal point of which is the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. Thus, the national and international activities developed by each federation and the objectives that each wants to achieve were discussed. For its part, the NOC has reaffirmed its backing and support for each federation's activities. These meetings will be held until 5 October. Info at

© Spanish NOC

Spanish NOC President Alejandro Blanco (left in photo) and the President of the Community of Extremadura, Guillermo Fernández Vara (right), met on 22 September at the NOC headquarters. Discussions focused on many areas of common interest, including the participation in the Olympic Games Rio de Janeiro of athletes from Extremadura, and programmes to promote and disseminate the Olympic values, which the NOC is developing with educational institutions from several autonomous communities in Spain. Info at

© Hellenic NOC

The Hellenic NOC has informed us of the death of choreographer Maria Hors (photo above). A professional dancer born in Piraeus in 1921, Maria Hors worked as a choreographer at the Greek National Theatre for 30 years. Her name was closely linked to the Olympic flame for almost 70 years. Indeed, she was one of the priestesses at the Olympic flame-lighting ceremony in 1936, when she was 14. From 1965 to 2006, she choreographed this ceremony, always with the same passion, fervour and enthusiasm for Olympism and sport. Maria Hors had received the Olympic Order. NOC President Spyros Capralos and International Olympic Academy President Isidoros Kouvelos attended her funeral. Info at

© Jordanian NOC

The Jordanian NOC has launched an innovative way to communicate the messages of sport and healthy living to the Kingdom's youngsters, with Nash the Black Iris, the brainchild of Prince Feisal Al Hussein, President of the NOC and an IOC Member. At the launch, school children were treated to the premier showing of "The Story of Nash", which explains how he became the NOC's children's ambassador (photo ci-above). They were also enrolled as the first members of the Nash Club after taking the Nash Pledge. Following this initial launch phase, more events will be planned through 2016 with the eventual goal for Nash to have reached out to every single child under the age on eight in Jordan. Minister of Education Mohammad Thneibat and NOC Board members were also present at this ceremony held at the Children's Museum. Info at

© José Avelino Rodrigues

On 18 September, Joseba Barreda was officially appointed Chef de Mission of the Venezuelan delegation for the Olympic Games Rio de Janeiro by Venezuelan NOC President Eduardo Álvarez. A ceremony was held at the NOC headquarters in the presence of NOC Executive Committee members (photo above). In addition, the NOC announced that working meetings will be held successively with the 28 national sports federations whose sports are on the programme of the 2016 Games.



© Rio 2016 / André Redlich

With the Aquece Rio archery test event due taking place at Rio's Sambódromo from 15 to 22 September, the local organising committee for the 2016 Games teamed up with the French Consulate to give a group of 50 children in the nearby Complexo São Carlos favela the chance to get a real feel for the sport. Helping to run the workshops were three Brazilian professional archers – Rio 2016 hopeful Fábio Emílio and his father, Renato Emílio - the four-time Olympian - and Suzui Mattei. They were joined by French-Brazilian para-archer Patricia Layolle. After three hours of being shown the basics of the sport, the children got to take part in a friendly competition. The Rio 2016 organisers also invited 160 youngsters from the favela to attend the actual test event at the Sambódromo, which is the hub of festivities during the world-famous Rio Carnival. During the event they had a chance to see some of the world's best archers in action, including no fewer than 11 Olympic medallists from London 2012. Full press release here.


© PyeongChang 2018

An important milestone in the preparations for the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018 was reached on 22 September, as the local Organising Committee (POCOG) staged a ceremony to break ground on the construction site for the Olympic Village (photo above). Among those attending the ceremony were POCOG President Yang-ho Cho; Chair of the IOC Coordination Commission for PyeongChang 2018 Gunilla Lindberg; various IOC Coordination Commission members; and the Mayor of PyeongChang City. Located in the PyeongChang Mountain Cluster, the Village will be built on the site of the Yongpyong Dome, drawing on investment from a private company, the Yongpyong Resort. Once the complex is completed in September 2017, it will be ready to house some 3,500 athletes competing in the 2018 Winter Games and the Paralympic Winter Games. With legacy planning very much at the heart of the concept for PyeongChang 2018, after the Games, the Olympic Village will be used to bolster the city's housing stock, with individual units sold off to members of the local community. Full press release here and on

TOKYO 2020

On 28 September, the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee (Tokyo 2020) announced that it had proposed 18 additional events from five sports to the IOC for inclusion in the Games of the XXXII Olympiad in 2020. It has thus become the first-ever Organising Committee to be given this unique opportunity to contribute to the design of the Olympic programme, thanks to Olympic Agenda 2020. The 18 proposed events were selected by the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee and its Additional Event Programme Panel through an open process that was initiated in May 2015. Twenty-six IOC-recognised International Federations originally applied, and eight of these were shortlisted in June 2015. The final decision will be made by the IOC at its 129th IOC Session in Rio de Janeiro in August 2016. More details here.


The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) has announced the programme for the seventh edition of the VISTA 2015 conference, now available at Organised from 7 to 10 October in Gerona (Spain) under the theme "Securing the future for young para-athletes", this conference will see a number of world-class academics, specialists and athletes discussing one of the key issues relating to the growth of the Paralympic Movement. Info at

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and the General Administration of Sport of China (GASC) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that will help track and eliminate the illegal manufacture and supply of Performance-Enhancing Drugs (PEDs) and raw materials for the production of PEDs in China. Under the agreement, WADA and INTERPOL will be instrumental in providing information to Chinese law enforcement organisations so that illegal manufacturers and suppliers of PEDs across China can be targeted and dismantled. The project will spur law enforcement agencies in other countries to investigate and arrest illegal buyers of PEDs based on intelligence that they receive from Chinese government agencies. The agreement will also allow anti-doping authorities worldwide to use information they receive from Chinese and other global government agencies to investigate possible anti-doping rule violations under the revised World Anti-Doping Code. Info at

© Generations for Peace

On 21 September, Prince Feisal Al Hussein, Founder and Chairman of Generations For Peace, marked the International Day of Peace by calling on the international sports community to harness the unique power of sport to ease the plight of refugees and build sustainable peace in Jordan and in communities affected by conflict around the world. In Jordan, with the support of the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), Generations For Peace programmes are utilising sport and other peace-building tools to improve social cohesion between Syrian refugees and host community members, and with support from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Belgium Ministry of Foreign Affairs, to reduce violence in schools. These programmes are benefiting nearly 7,000 young people living in vulnerable communities in Jordan. Info at

The first edition of the Brussels European FICTS Sports Film Festival European phase of the "World FICTS Challenge 2015" was held from 14 to 17 September in Brussels (Belgium). Promoted by the International Sport Movies and TV Federation (FICTS), this event was directed by Jean-Pierre Brouhon, Treasurer of Panathlon Wallonie-Brussels, the organiser of the event. FICTS President Franco Ascani was present on this occasion. Inaugurated in the presence of 30 Olympic and world champions, this Festival saw a record audience, including 1,500 school pupils. Info at and


Please note that the website address of the Brazilian NOC is, not as mentioned in last week's "Olympic Highlights".

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