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Olympic Highlights 20/12/2019

Swiss Parliament Swiss Parliament
20 Dec 2019
Olympic News, IOC News, Olympic Highlights



IOC President Thomas Bach was welcomed in both chambers of the Swiss Parliament in Bern following the invitation from the new President of the Swiss National Council, Isabelle Moret. Addressing the members of the Council, Isabelle Moret paid tribute to the President, “who does his utmost to modernise Olympism and adapt it to the spirit of our times”. At the Swiss National Council, the President received a standing ovation from all the members. The President was also attending a session of the Swiss Council of States where he was welcomed by its President, Hans Stöckli. During a lunch hosted by Isabelle Moret, he met members of the National Council. Together they discussed the excellent relations between Switzerland, the Canton of Vaud, Lausanne and the IOC, Olympic Agenda 2020, the development of sport, the sustainability of the Olympic Games and the importance of education through sport, as well as the upcoming Winter Youth Olympic Games Lausanne 2020, which are, for Isabelle Moret, “encouragement for our young people to become better and better and to just have fun while practising sport”. Read the full news release here.

Getty Images
President Thomas Bach reiterated the importance of strengthening the credibility and integrity of sport in order to safeguard the Olympic values and the power of sport as a vehicle for peace. Speaking at the General Conference of the International Partnership Against Corruption In Sport (IPACS) in Abu Dhabi (United Arab Emirates), he urged governments to join the global fight against corruption in sport. “We are a values-based organisation. We stand for the values of excellence, respect and fair play. In this sense, we have the double duty to uphold good governance and integrity in everything we do,” said the IOC President.  He continued: “We know we cannot win this fight on our own. We need the support of governments when it comes to anti-corruption legislation and law enforcement. This is why IPACS is so important. It brings together all actors that have a stake in fighting corruption in sport.”

The President addressed more than 250 representatives from governments, intergovernmental organisations, international sports organisations and dedicated expert organisations. He presented the initiatives the IOC has taken as part of the Olympic Agenda 2020 reform programme to strengthen the credibility and integrity of sport. To the representatives of more than 50 governments attending the meeting, he said: “With IPACS, we now have a platform where we can benefit from your law enforcement capacity. And likewise, through IPACS, we can support you, the government and law enforcement authorities, with regard to investigating criminal activity in the very specific environment of sport. In this way we can mutually benefit from each other’s expertise and we can complement our respective areas of responsibilities.” Full speech here. Read the full news release here.

UNHCR / Andrew McConnell
In Geneva, President Thomas Bach attended the first-ever Global Refugee Forum, organised by the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR). Guided by the Global Compact on Refugees, the Global Refugee Forum was created as an opportunity to translate the principle of international responsibility-sharing into concrete action. The Forum, which was attended by representatives of the 193 UN Member States, served as a platform for pledges and contributions and the exchange of best practices. Speaking at the event, President Bach praised the creation of a wide-ranging “Sport Coalition for Refugees” to secure access to sport, before adding: “The IOC has been supporting refugees through sport for many years. For the Olympic Games Rio 2016, we created the IOC Refugee Olympic Team and, to broaden our engagement, we later launched the Olympic Refuge Foundation. In all our efforts, we are working closely with UNHCR.” In addition to the three pledges announced by over 80 sports organisations, NGOs and governments to express their commitment to facilitate sports opportunities for refugees, President Bach added a fourth pledge on behalf of the IOC: “We will continue to give hope to refugees around the world and raise awareness about the magnitude of the global refugee crisis with the participation of the IOC Refugee Olympic Team at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020.”

On the sidelines of the Forum, the President also attended the official UN lunch, where he met the UN Secretary-General, António Guterres, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet Jeria, and a number of Ministers from different countries. Read the full news release here.

IOC / Christophe Moratal

The President received a delegation from the Indonesian NOC led by its President Raja Sapta Oktohari. They spoke about Indonesian athletes’ preparations for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 and various Olympic topics, including a candidature from Indonesia to host the Olympic Games in 2032, which had also been discussed with Indonesia’s Vice President, Jusuf Kalla, during his visit to Lausanne in May.

other olympic news
Global Refugee Forum

Fencer Wisam Sami (left) and boxer Farid Walizadeh (right) are two elite athletes who have experienced the power of sport in helping them overcome the challenges they had to face when they were forced to flee from their homes. These two refugee athletes talked about their journeys at an event organised jointly on 16 December by the IOC, the Olympic Refuge Foundation (ORF) and UNHCR ahead of the Global Refugee Forum. The session led the audience through the various situations young refugees may face from the moment they are forced to leave their home. Six stories were presented to the participants, each of them demonstrating the positive role that sport has or continues to play in the lives of young refugees and their communities. Full press release here.

As part of the process of additional analysis on the samples collected from the Olympic Games London 2012, the IOC today announced that one athlete has been disqualified from these Games. Full details here.

International Federations

summer iFs
Fédération Internationale de Gymnastique (FIG), © Japan Anti-Doping Agency
The International Gymnastics Federation (FIG) and the Japanese Anti-Doping Agency (JADA) have announced that the effective education programme on clean and fair sport was delivered to more than 1,500 elite-level senior and junior athletes and their support personnel at the 34th FIG Trampoline Gymnastics World Championships and the 27th FIG Trampoline Gymnastics Age Group Competitions in Tokyo recently, both of which were test events for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020. This joint initiative was aimed at raising awareness about athletes’ responsibilities for clean and fair sport, acting as role models or good influencers. The issue of how they can reflect their roles and responsibilities in their performance was also addressed. More details on


United World Wrestling (UWW) has announced the implementation of a new draw process for competitions that includes the use of Blockchain technology to ensure a certifiably random assignment of athletes into competition brackets. The IOC has welcomed and applauded the innovative development in the draw for wrestling. A number of other changes (details here) were made to age limitations, reporting of injuries, disqualifications, and medal reassignments in cases of doping. More details here.

At its recent Bureau Meeting in Kuwait City (Kuwait), the International Swimming Federation (FINA) confirmed the calendar for the 2020 edition of its Artistic Swimming World Series, a nine-leg circuit for the best athletes in the discipline. The Series will kick off on 6 March in Paris (France), and will then move to Hurghada (Egypt), Alexandroupolis (Greece), Budapest (Hungary), Kazan (Russian Federation), Suzhou (People’s Republic of China), Madrid (Spain) and Ypsilanti (USA). The ninth leg of the Series is the Super Final of the competition, which will be staged in Windsor (Canada) from 19 to 21 June 2020. More info at

The Tennis Integrity Supervisory Board and the International Tennis Federation (ITF) have agreed a major investment project to create a comprehensive integrity infrastructure for the ITF World Tennis Tour (WT T). the ITF will deliver new and improved anti-corruption protocols across the tour which will enable the progressive removal of live scoring data to be implemented at all WTT USD 15k events. More details here.

NationaL Olympic committees

Albanian NOC
On 13 December, the Albanian NOC organised a seminar entitled “The role and importance of the athletes’ commission” with athletes and students of the Sports University of Tirana. The seminar focused on creating the structures needed to create a platform for the athletes' voice and the reformation of the NOC’s Athletes’ Commission. In November, the NOC organised technical courses for weightlifting and canoe-kayak coaches, supported by Olympic Solidarity and the respective IFs, and in cooperation with the national federations. The two courses were led by IF experts, and attended by 20 participants for weightlifting and 18 for canoe-kayak. More details on

A delegation of the Algerian NOC, led by its President and IOC member, Mustapha Berraf, was in Ljubljana, Slovenia, on 15 and 16 December to finalise the acquisition of four domes to allow for the development of various sports disciplines in a number of wilayas. In addition, ANOCA and Olympafrica leaders will also be visiting in the near future, with a view to negotiating the acquisition of these inflatable structures for the Olympafrica centres. More details here.

Argentinian NOC
The Argentinian NOC presented its annual awards at its end-of-year gala. These awards honour the people and/or institutions whose work has promoted sport and the principles of the Olympic Movement. Athletes, leaders, journalists, sponsors and guests of honour attended the ceremony, which was led by NOC President and IOC member Gerardo Werthein, together with First Vice-President Alicia Masoni and Secretary General Mario Moccia. The 2019 IOC “Sport and Sustainable Development Trophy was presented to Juan Sebastián Verón, President of the La Plata Students Club, to recognise the construction of the first sustainable stadium in Argentina. More details about the winners and distinctions here.

NOC of El Salvador

The NOC of El Salvador has announced that a high-level sport specialisation course is being held for national coaches from 19 to 21 December, led by teaching staff from the Chilean NOC and the University of Chile, and in coordination with the El Salvador Olympic Academy. Around 50 coaches from various national sports federations are following the course, which is intended to provide them with the latest knowledge that they can then put into practice with their athletes. More details here.

Spanish NOC
The Spanish NOC’s “Todos Olímpicos” (All Olympic) campaign has reached Andalusia for the first time, following the agreement signed by NOC President Alejandro Blanco (right of photo), and the Andalusian Minister of Education and Sports, Javier Imbroda (left of photo). This campaign to promote the Olympic values is being run by high-level athletes from 7 January to 31 March 2020, in 102 education centres in Andalusia. More details on

Venezuelan NOC
The El Campito de Guanta stadium, in the state of Anzoátegui, recently hosted an Olympic Rowing Festival organised by the Venezuelan NOC. This time, the rowing was done on land rather than water, with the aid of rowing simulators used to provide training sessions for this sport. More details here. At the Aguasal Club in Higuerote, in the state of Miranda, beach volleyball had its own Olympic festival. The participants included athletes from several national teams. More details here.

organising Committees for the Olympic games

Tokyo 2020

Tokyo 2020
The new National Stadium, where the Opening and Closing Ceremonies of the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 will take place, is complete and has been officially opened on 16 December at a ceremony attended by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. Completely rebuilt for the 2020 Games, the stadium is a symbol of great pride in Japan, as it was used as the main stadium for the Olympic Games Tokyo 1964. After the Games, it will be used for sporting and cultural events. During the Games, the 68,000-seat capacity stadium will also host events in athletics and football. Full press release here.

In addition, Tokyo 2020 has announced the names of the torchbearers at the grand start of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Torch Relay, which will begin on 26 March 2020 at the J-Village National Training Centre. The torchbearers will include members of the Japan women’s national football team, who won the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Germany, the first-ever Japanese team to become FIFA world championships. Full details here.

On 19 December, Tokyo 2020 has unveiled the course for the marathon events in Sapporo, Hokkaido, following visits by and discussions among representatives from the International Olympic Committee, World Athletics, Tokyo 2020 and local authorities. The exciting marathon course features a larger loop, approximately the length of a half-marathon and a second smaller loop of approximately 10km that will be traversed twice. Full details here.

RECOgnised Organisations

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has issued a Call for Proposals for 2020 Scientific Research Grants. Since 2001, WADA has committed more than USD 80 million to helping researchers around the world develop breakthroughs in anti-doping science. These grants are critical because they increase the volume of research dedicated to developing new and improved detection methods for performance-enhancing substances and methods. Applications for grants must be submitted by 1 March 2020. More details here.

The International Committee for the Mediterranean Games (CIJM) has announced that three NOCs have officially submitted candidatures to host the 3rd edition of the Mediterranean Beach Games in 2023. The three are Cyprus, with the city of Larnaca; Italy, with the city of Pesaro; and Portugal, with the city of Figueira da Foz. The host will be elected by electronic vote during the first week of February 2020. More details here.

next edition

A special edition of the “Olympic Highlights” will be published at the beginning of 2020. We would like to take this opportunity to wish you an enjoyable festive period. 

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