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26 Oct 2015
IOC News

Olympic Highlights



© IOC / Greg Martin

On 21 October, IOC President Thomas Bach joined more than 150 Olympians from 120 countries in Moscow (Russian Federation) for the first World Olympians Association (WOA) Forum (Read the full speech here). The Olympians present included IOC Member and patron of the WOA Prince Albert II; IOC Executive Board (EB) Member and Chair of the Athletes’ Commission, Claudia Bokel; and fellow EB member and former Athletes’ Commission Chair, Sergey Bubka. Also in attendance were IOC Member and President of the Association of National Olympic Committees Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah, EB Member and European Olympic Committees President Patrick Joseph Hickey, and a number of IOC Members. The Forum adopted a declaration presented by the WOA President, Joël Bouzou, which supports the Olympic Charter and the IOC reforms under Olympic Agenda 2020. The declaration was signed on behalf of all Olympians by Prince Albert, Joël Bouzou and five Olympic medallists representing the five continents, Willie Banks, Anastasia Davydova, Hicham El Guerrouj, Michelle Ford-Eriksson and Koji Murofushi; and then presented to the IOC President. Read the full press release here. President Bouzou was later re-elected as President of the WOA.

During a private meeting with the President of the Russian Federation, Vladimir Putin, who had also addressed the Forum participants, the two leaders discussed the important role of sport in Russian society and the great opportunities opening up for Russia by the new Olympic Channel.

Also in Moscow, the IOC President attended the Kremlin Cup tennis tournament, along with Russian NOC President and IOC Member Alexander Zhukov, IOC Doyen Vitaly Smirnov and IOC Members in Russia Shamil Tarpischev and Alexander Popov, all four of whom accompanied the IOC President throughout the trip.

© IOC / Greg Martin

In his fencing uniform once again, the IOC President also attended an ‘Olympic Patrol’ master class aimed at young fencers, organised by the Russian NOC in Moscow. President Bach took on double Olympic champion Karina Aznavourian. Other Olympic champions joined him in sharing their Olympic Games experiences with an audience of children and teenagers: eight-time Olympic cross country skiing gold medallist Bjørn Dæhlie, five-time Olympic synchronised swimming champion Anastasia Davydova and four-time Olympic gymnastics champion Alexei Nemov.


© IOC / Ian Jones

On 23 October, Jacques Rogge addressed a conference commemorating the 70th anniversary of the foundation of the United Nations, organised by the Belgian Government, in the presence of King Philippe and Queen Mathilde of Belgium. The IOC Honorary President gave a summary of the activities led by the IOC in partnership with the United Nations. A week earlier, he had given the closing speech at the symposium on ‘The memory of sport’, organised by the Belgian sports museum (Sportimonium), one of whose objectives was to provide an overview of Belgian sporting heritage. Meanwhile, the University of Ghent (Belgium) has opened a sport research centre named after Jacques Rogge.



© IOC / Benoit Fontaine

Sam Ramsamy, also Chair of the Sport and Active Society Commission, represented the IOC at the opening ceremony of the 24th TAFISA (The Association for International Sport for All) World Congress held in Budapest (Hungary) from 14 to 18 October. Other Congress participants included IOC Member and Hungarian NOC Honorary President Pál Schmitt, the Hungarian Minister responsible for family affairs, culture, education and sport, Zoltán Balog, EU Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport Tibor Navracsics, and Indonesian Minister for Youth and Sport Imam Nahrawi. More information at


It is with great sadness that the IOC has learned of the death of

Ashwini Kumar, IOC Honorary Member in India, at the age of 94. Mr Kumar had joined the IOC in 1973 and became an Honorary Member in 2000. He was a Member of the Executive Board, IOC Vice-President (1983-1987) and Member of several Commissions. A long-serving member of the Indian police force, Ashwini Kumar played an important role in sport in India, particularly in hockey as President of the Indian Hockey Federation for 16 years and Vice-President of the International Hockey Federation (FIH) for more than 15 years. He also headed the Indian hockey delegation at the 1964 and 1968 Olympic Games, and was elected Life President of the Indian NOC. Full press release here



© Peruvian NOC

Protecting clean athletes from competition manipulation was the focus of a workshop organised jointly by the IOC and INTERPOL in Lima (Peru) in mid-October. Another tangible result of Olympic Agenda 2020, this event was attended by more than 70 representatives of the Peruvian NOC, national sports federations, police forces and the Peruvian judicial system. The workshop provided the participants with the opportunity to learn useful lessons from leading experts in the field, including from the UK Gambling Commission. The participants also identified the strengths and weaknesses of the current Peruvian system to deal with cases of competition manipulation. The IOC and INTERPOL provided them with a series of relevant tools, strategies and best practices. Furthermore, simulation exercises based on real-life scenarios enabled the participants to experience what specific operational collaboration between sport stakeholders, law enforcement agencies and betting regulators and operators could look like. The speakers included Iván Dibós, IOC Member in Peru, José Quiñones González, President of the Peruvian NOC, and Tim Morris, INTERPOL’s Executive Director of Police Services. Read the full press release here.

On 21 October, the IOC announced that it had awarded to CBC/Radio-Canada the exclusive broadcast rights in Canada for the XXIV Olympic Winter Games in Beijing in 2022 and the Games of the XXXIII Olympiad, the host city of which has yet to be elected. CBC/Radio-Canada, Canada’s national public radio and television broadcaster, has acquired the rights across all broadcast platforms, including free-to-air television, subscription television, internet and mobile, in all languages. Read the full press release here.



(l. to r.) Ju-Ho Chang, John Shearer and Wolfgang Baumann. © TAFISA

The Badminton World Federation (BWF) has received a TAFISA sustainability award for its development programme, Shuttle Time. TAFISA President Ju-Ho Chan and Secretary General Wolfgang Baumann presented the award to BWF Development Manager John Shearer at TAFISA’s gala dinner on 17 October, organised as part of the 24th TAFISA World Congress held in Budapest (Hungary) from 14 to 18 October. Shearer presented Shuttle Time, a schools badminton programme, at one of the Congress sessions, providing an overview of the programme and explaining its development and global implementation through the BWF’s continental confederations, member associations and various partners. Officially launched in 2012, this schools-based grassroots initiative has been implemented 94 times so far and is vital to achieving the BWF’s vision of making badminton ‘the most played school sport in primary and secondary schools worldwide’. Info at

During the recent World Boxing Championships in Doha (Qatar), a symposium brought together experts from all over the world to discuss orofacial trauma in boxing. The speakers included the President of the International Boxing Association (AIBA) and IOC EB Member, Ching-Kuo Wu. The symposium was held at Qatar’s Aspetar hospital, the first orthopaedic and sports medicine hospital in the Middle East. Info at

With 594 athletes registered and 87 countries represented, the 46th edition of the Artistic Gymnastics World Championships being held in Glasgow (Great Britain) from 23 October to 1 November has broken all previous records in terms of participation. The event will not only give the participants a chance to win a world title, but is also a qualifying competition for the Olympic Games Rio 2016. At the end of the qualification competitions (24 October for the women and 26 October for the men), the top eight teams will secure a quota of five Olympic places each. The next eight teams will have a second chance to qualify at the test event to be held in Rio from 16 to 19 April 2016. Info at, the website of the International Gymnastics Federation (FIG).


The United World Wrestling (UWW) Athletes’ Commission met in Vevey (Switzerland) in mid-October (photo above). Chaired by Carol Huynh, the Commission mainly discussed the 2015 World Championships and the improvements proposed by the IF, before issuing recommendations on how to improve the athlete experience at the championships. Having attended the 7th IOC International Athletes’ Forum in Lausanne, Carol Huynh reported back on the discussions, which had concerned athlete well-being and services in particular. Info at

The International Swimming Federation (FINA) has announced the 2016 calendar of the annual Diving World Series, which involves the world’s top divers. The 2016 edition will consist of four stops: Beijing (People’s Republic of China) from 11 to 13 March; Dubai (United Arab Emirates) from 17 to 19 March; Windsor (Canada) from 15 to 17 April; and the Russian Federation (city to be confirmed) from 22 to 24 April. In addition, 2016 will see the Diving World Cup held in Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) from 19 to 24 February. This edition will be both a qualifying event and a test event for the Olympic Games Rio 2016. Info at


The Chinese Curling Association will host the World Women’s Curling Championship for the first time in 2017. The competition will be held in Beijing from 18 to 26 March at venues still to be confirmed. This announcement by the World Curling Federation (WCF) comes three months after Beijing was elected to host the Olympic Winter Games in 2022. Info at

The International Skating Union (ISU) has informed us that its Short Track Speed Skating Media Guide is now available at


A combined clinic for technical delegates and judges for freestyle skiing and snowboard was held in Are (Sweden) from 16 to 18 October. The participants (photo above) received updates about rule changes, compared their experiences from recent seasons and educated new candidates. A total of 40 participants from the following eight European and Asian countries took part: Austria, Great Britain, Italy, Japan, Norway, Russian Federation, Spain and Sweden. Info at, website of the International Ski Federation (FIS).


The inaugural Women+Sustainability in Motorcycling Conference, organised by the International Motorcycling Federation (FIM), will be held on 19 and 20 November 2015 in Jerez de la Frontera (Spain). The main objective of this conference is to showcase the various viewpoints emanating from different sectors and countries on the two highly topical themes of women and sustainability. It will also be an opportunity to share experiences on the subject. Specific topics concerning the everyday activity of federations, clubs and stakeholders will be addressed, such as how to attract more volunteers and how to organise sustainable events. Info at

The 27th Softball Congress of the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) was recently held in Oklahoma City (United States of America). Delegates from 42 countries joined WBSC President Riccardo Fraccari and WBSC Softball President Dale McMann to discuss issues related to softball governance and global activities. Throughout the Congress, emphasis was placed on youth and modernisation inspired by Olympic Agenda 2020. Hosts for four world championships in 2018 and 2019 were chosen, as well as for the 2017 Congress, which will be held in Gaborone (Botswana). Info at


© Argentinian NOC

The 33rd Session of the Argentinian Olympic Academy was held from 19 to 23 October (photo above). The opening ceremony was chaired by the Academy President, Mario Moccia, accompanied by the Vice-President of the NOC of Argentina, Alicia Morea, and the Academy Director, Silvia Dalotto. A total of 43 young people representing national and provincial federations participated in the five-day Session, which included lectures, sports activities and group discussions. Info at

© Chilean NOC

A seminar on ‘Women in sports leadership: current challenge and discussion’ held on 20 October was attended by numerous athletes, sport administrators, sports federation officials, journalists and members of the public. The seminar was organised by the Women and Sport Department of the Chilean NOC, in cooperation with Olympic Solidarity. Presentations on the important role of women in sports leadership were given by NOC directors Caroline Sanz and Patricia López, sports psychologist and journalist Soledad Bacarreza, marathon runner and member of the Chilean national team Erika Olivera (photo), and NOC President Neven Ilic. Following the success of the seminar, the NOC plans to organise more events of this type, aimed at bringing together people from the world of sport and the general public to discuss topics related to the promotion of physical activity in the country. Info at

© Colombian NOC

More than 200 professionals and students attended the 5th International Sport Science Congress held in Bogota from 21 to 23 October. Officially opened by the President of the Colombian NOC, Baltazar Medina (photo above), the Congress tackled various subjects such as prevention and rehabilitation, strength and power in top-level sport, and the World Anti-Doping Code. Info at

© Spanish NOC

The Spanish NOC and the Bertelsmann group have launched a project entitled ‘Shape your future’ (‘Entrena tu futuro’), a groundbreaking programme that aims to help ten athletes (photo above) to gain professional experience and thereby significantly improve their future career prospects. The project is the result of collaboration between the NOC and the Bertelsmann group and focuses on shared values such as the spirit of excellence, team work and discipline, values present in the world of sport as well as in professional life. Info at

(l. to r.) Hew Chalmers, Hugh Robertson, Sebastian Coe, Annamarie Phelps and Ian Howard. © BOA

Former British Sports Minister Hugh Robertson has been named Vice Chairman of the British Olympic Association (BOA) following his election by NOC members. In addition, Annamarie Phelps, Hew Chalmers and Ian Howard have been elected onto the Board as National Governing Body Representatives. Hugh Robertson replaces outgoing Vice-Chairman David Hemery, who has served the maximum time in the post and has been made Life Vice-President by BOA Chairman Sebastian Coe. Info at

Spyros Capralos showing support for refugees. © Hellenic NOC

The Hellenic NOC showed its support and kindness to the refugees hosted at the Eleonas reception centre. NOC President Spyros Capralos, International Olympic Academy (IOA) President Isidoros Kouvelos, members of the NOC plenary assembly and representatives of the Hellenic Olympic Winners Association visited the refugees, who left their homes in search of a better future. They distributed hundreds of shoes, jackets, basketballs, volleyballs and footballs. The NOC President also donated four basketball courts, built by the NOC especially for the refugees. Speaking during the visit, he stressed that the NOC, as guardian of the Olympic ideal in Greece, could not be insensitive to the refugees’ suffering, especially since Greece was very familiar with immigration. He also thanked the IOC, which covered the cost of the programme and has promised to support the NOC with further actions. Info at

© Jordan NOC

An initiative supported by the Jordanian NOC, aimed at encouraging young people to practise sport and healthy activity, has attracted hundreds of participants. There are now plans to make it a long-term project. The ‘Five Rings Challenge’ is held every Saturday morning in Al Hussein Park in Amman for young men and women aged between 18 and 30 from a variety of backgrounds and organisations. Young people with physical and mental disabilities are also invited. Created by a small group of young volunteers and managed by the NOC’s Knowledge, Training and Education Department, the challenge brings the volunteers and young participants together for two hours, during which they are offered warm-ups, introductions to the sports and the chance to play in football, volleyball and basketball matches. A debrief is then held, where key messages are communicated about the power and benefits of sport and healthy activity. Info at

© Lituanian NOC

The Lithuanian NOC held a press conference to mark 300 days to go to the Olympic Games Rio 2016. NOC President Daina Gudzineviciute (right in photo) briefed the local media about the process of forming the Lithuanian Olympic delegation and the NOC’s preparations for the Games. She also took the opportunity to congratulate the Lithuanian athletes who had already won 13 medals at World and European Championships. The Chef de Mission of the Lithuanian delegation for Rio 2016, Einius Petkus (left in photo) talked about the current preparations and the various competition venues in Rio. After the press conference, athletes and their coaches received Lithuanian Olympic team pins before speaking to the media. Info at

© Oman Olympic Committee

A Sport and Environment Seminar, held under the auspices of Sheikh Saad bin Mohammed bin Said Al Mardhoof Al Saadi, Minister of Sport, and in the presence of Sheikh Khalid bin Mohammed Al Zubair, President of the Oman Olympic Committee, began on 21 October. Organised by the NOC’s Sport and Environment Committee, the seminar’s main theme is ‘Towards Sustainable Environmental Sport’. The purpose of the seminar is to support the NOC’s efforts to promote more environment-friendly resources and activities. During the seminar, the NOC’s Sport and Environment Committee was introduced to the audience, who were also informed about environmental values at all levels of sport, the use of sport in promoting the environment and sustainable development, the development of sports facilities that meet the latest environmental standards and the participation of various Omani clubs in the consolidation of the concept of the environment and sustainable development. Info at

© Chinese Taipei Olympic Committee

The Chinese Taipei Olympic Committee has launched a basketball coaching programme to be run at juvenile detention centres across the country, starting this month. On 7 October, two star members of the ‘Pure-Youth Construction Basketball Team’, Jin-Bang Lin and Li-Jen Lin, visited Chengjheng High School in Hsinchun, where they not only shared basketball techniques with the pupils but also encouraged them to turn defeat into victory in their lives through positive thinking. They explained to them that setbacks could also force them to grow up and that adversity would make them stronger. The two players were accompanied by their team’s general manager, Jiunn-Ching Liou, head coach Ben Metcalf, assistant coach Chi-Feng Huang and the NOC’s Deputy Secretary General, Shou-Chih Sung (photo above). This programme follows a successful badminton coaching programme held earlier in the year at the juvenile detention centre in Taipei. Info at

The Executive Board of the Venezuelan NOC and its President, Eduardo Álvarez Camacho, have informed us of the death of Oswaldo ‘Papelón’ Borges, NOC First Vice-President and President of the Venezuelan Table Tennis Federation. He was an elite volleyball player between 1957 and 1971, participating in two World Championships and four Pan American Games, South American Games and Central American Games.


TOKYO 2020

The Organising Committee for the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020 (Tokyo 2020) has welcomed Meiji Co., Ltd. (Meiji) as a new Gold Partner in the ‘Dairy Products & Confectionery’ category. Two new Official Partners have also been announced: SECOM Co., Ltd. (SECOM) and Sohgo Security Services Co., Ltd. (ALSOK), both in the ‘Security Services and Planning’ category. Tokyo 2020 now has 21 partners, comprising 14 Gold Partners and seven Official Partners. Info at



Representatives of 36 national athletes’ commissions gathered in Bratislava (Slovakia) on 17 October for the 8th European Athletes Forum (photo above). Slovakian NOC President Frantisek Chmelar and Secretary General Josef Liba welcomed the participants. Raffaele Pagnozzi, Secretary General of the European Olympic Committees (EOC), also attended the Forum, which was conducted by Jean-Michel Saive, Chairman of the EOC Athletes’ Commission. Reports were presented on important topical issues for athletes, such as behaviour at the Olympic Games, social media activity, the programmes of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and Olympic Solidarity, the inaugural European Games, dual careers and European Union sports projects. Danka Barteková and Tony Estanguet, members of the IOC Athletes’ Commission, also gave a report, as did athletes’ representatives in the various EOC commissions. Info at

The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) has announced that the eighth VISTA conference will be held in Toronto (Canada) from 19 to 22 September 2017. Organised in close collaboration between the IPC, the Canadian Paralympic Committee and the Canadian Sport Institute Ontario, the theme of this edition will be ‘Opportunities and challenges in Paralympic sport science and medicine support’. Around 300 of the world’s leading sports scientists, sport medicine practitioners, coaches, athletes and sport administrators are expected to attend. The seventh edition, held in Girona (Spain) from 7 to 10 October, focused on the theme of ‘Securing the future for young para-athletes’. Info at

The international ‘Sports Movies & TV 2015’ Festival, to be held in Milan (Italy) from 27 October to 1 November, will include a section entitled ‘Olympic Games – Olympic Spirit’. This will feature a series of works that won one of the 16 festivals organised in all five continents as part of the ‘World FICTS Challenge’. The event will be organised by the International Sport Movies and TV Federation (FICTS). A photographic exhibition on cinema and the Olympic Games will also be held, while the public will be able to play an interactive game called ‘Win your Olympic Medal’. Some 145 videos featuring 55 sports disciplines will be screened during the Festival. Info at


In the ‘Members’ section of ‘Olympic Highlights’ no. 1,145, we omitted to mention that the Moroccan NOC was an organiser of the first African Athletes’ Forum, alongside the Association of the National Olympic Committees of Africa.

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