IOC President Thomas Bach was in Doha, Qatar, for the General Assembly of the Association of National Olympic Committees (ANOC) last week. On the opening day, the President addressed the General Assembly, which was presided over by Acting President of ANOC and IOC Executive Board member Robin Mitchell. In his speech, President Bach said: “Our mission is to unite the entire world in peaceful competition. To achieve this, we must keep solidarity, political neutrality, respect and unity in everything we do and everything we say.” He added: “We are living in a diverse world where your neighbour may think differently and may not feel the same way and may have a different opinion. Respect your neighbour, respect all the members of the Olympic family and don’t take political sides. Concentrate on the unity of sport, concentrate on what unites us, not what divides us - and not on those who try to divide us.” Full news release here.
In Doha, the President also met the President of the Qatar NOC, Sheikh Joaan bin Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani. They discussed the growing role of Qatar in world sport and the Olympic Refuge Foundation, to which Qatar is a major donor.
President Bach also joined a meeting with the IOC Olympic Solidarity Commission and took part in a joint meeting between the IOC Olympic Solidarity Commission and the ANOC Executive Council.
Ahead of the ANOC General Assembly, an IOC Executive Board (EB) meeting was held. In close consultation with the Organising Committee for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, the EB announced plans to move the Olympic marathon and the race walking events to the city of Sapporo, which is 800km north of Tokyo and five to six degrees cooler, in order to protect the health and the well-being of the athletes. Full press release here.
During the ANOC General Assembly, the President also had a wide range of meetings with other IOC Members present and many Presidents of National Olympic Committees.
Before heading for Qatar, President Bach met with Claudia Bokel, the former Chair of the IOC Athletes’ Commission.
During the ANOC General Assembly in Doha, Habu Gumel, Nigerian NOC President and IOC Member, received the ANOC Order of Merit Award for his service as treasurer of the Association of National Olympic Committees of Africa (ANOCA). President Bach and Robin Mitchell presented him with the distinction.
IOC Honorary Member Sam Ramsamy has been awarded the Outstanding Lifetime Achievement Award at the sixth edition of the ANOC Awards. He received the award for his almost 20 years of campaigning against discrimination in sport as Chairman of the South African Non-Racial Olympic Committee (SANROC). Gunilla Lindberg, ANOC Secretary General and IOC Member, presented the award.
The African Football Confederation (CAF) Centre of Excellence in Guéréo, Senegal, now bears the name of IOC Honour Member Youssoupha Ndiaye. Officially inaugurated on 13 October, this centre is the fruit of a partnership between the CAF and the Senegalese Football Federation.
OTHER OLYMPIC NEWS
Wanting to adapt to a changing landscape and streamline its operations, the IOC had consultations with its HR Committee and Executive Board. The administration, under the leadership of Director General Christophe De Kepper, will change the portfolio of a number of and its departments and consolidate the centres of competence within the organisation. The IOC aims to adapt its organisational structure to the new activities and priorities under Olympic Agenda 2020. As part of this evolution, several appointments were announced. Full details here.
international sportS FEDERATIONS
The International Cycling Union (UCI) is exploring new avenues in a bid to step up the fight against doping in cycling. The UCI Management Committee decided at its last meeting, held from 24 to 26 September at the 2019 UCI Road World Championships in Yorkshire (Great Britain), to look into the possibility of working with the International Testing Agency (ITA) on anti-doping. Full details here.
International Association Football Federation (FIFA) President Gianni Infantino, accompanied by footballing legends Kaka, Laura Georges, Tim Cahill, Marcel Desailly, Samuel Eto’o and Jose Mourinho, visited schoolchildren in Lebanon on 13 and 14 October to host interactive sessions to mark the start of the second pilot project of the FIFA Football for Schools programme, set to be launched early next year. In total, 300 schoolchildren from various schools took part and had the chance to play football with these stars. More info here.
The International Modern Pentathlon Union (UIPM) has appointed 21 of the sport’s most respected individuals to two working groups that will make recommendations to change the format of modern pentathlon and tetrathlon. The composition of the New Pentathlon Working Group (NPWG) and New Tetrathlon Working Group (NTWG) was agreed upon by the UIPM Executive Board (EB) following its approval of a new tetrathlon format for the Youth Olympic Games Dakar 2022. The NPWG will now consider changes to modern pentathlon with a view to implementing them at the Olympic Games Paris 2024. Both groups will meet in Frankfurt (Germany) on 24 and 25 January 2020. Their proposals will go before the EB at its next meeting at Olympic House in Lausanne on January 30 and 31. The EB will then consider motions to be put before the UIPM 2020 Congress in Xiamen (People’s Republic of China) in November 2020. Find out more at www.pentathlon.org.
The International Tennis Federation (ITF) recently published the Global Tennis Report 2019, the largest survey of worldwide tennis participation and performance ever undertaken. The report contains data gathered from 195 tennis nations to give a game-changing insight into the global tennis landscape. More details here.
World Sailing Chief Executive Andy Hunt (see photo) will step down in December 2019 after four years. On 16 October, he informed the Board of Directors that he will be taking on a new role in international sport in early 2020. More info here.
NATIONAL Olympic COMMITTEES
On 6 October, the Georgian NOC celebrated its 30th anniversary. Founding members, Olympic champions, representatives of the Ministry of Education, Science, Culture and Sport, leaders of National Sports Federations, sports fans and the media gathered at the NOC headquarters, where NOC President Leri Khabelov, and the first President of the NOC and current Honorary President, Nona Gaprindashvili, gave speeches. In attendance was the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Japan to Georgia, Tadaharu Uehara. This 30th anniversary was devoted to Legacy Project, the first publication of the Georgian Olympic Encyclopaedia, written by E. Berishvili, the NOC’s First Vice-President, and created with the support of Olympic Solidarity. Before the celebrations, a commemorative monument was inaugurated at the entrance of the Tbilisi Chess Palace, as this building hosted the NOC’s Founding Conference on 6 October 1989. More info at www.geonoc.org.ge.
As part of version 2.0 of the IOC’s Olympic Values Education Programme (OVEP), the Lithuanian NOC will organise an Olympic values education training course from 27 January to 4 February 2020. The project developed by the NOC has been joined by eight partner organisations: the Estonian Sport and Olympic Museum; the German Olympic Academy; and the NOCs of North Macedonia, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia and the Czech Republic. Three participants from each partner country will be chosen to take this course, which is funded by the European Union’s Erasmus+ programme. More details here.
Several sports stars successfully completed the second year of a sports diplomacy programme run by the Czech NOC, including six-time Paralympic gold medallist Jiří Ježek; former basketballer Ilona Burgrová; Olympians Klára Křížová and Petra Juříčková; and representatives of other sports associations. This programme is organised in cooperation with the University of Economics, the Slovak NOC and other institutions. During the graduation ceremony, the athletes met students on the third edition of this programme, the first module of which was held on 5 and 6 October. During this module, Olympic bronze medallist Danka Bartekova, who is also an IOC Member and Chair of the IOC Coordination Commission for the Winter Youth Olympic Games Lausanne 2020, gave a presentation on her career in sports diplomacy. More info here.
The XXIV General Assembly of the Association of National Olympic Committees (ANOC) closed on 18 October following a week of important meetings and discussions in Doha, the Qatari capital, as ANOC continues to push for further reforms to help better serve the needs of the world’s NOCs. A total of 204 NOCs gathered in the city of Doha and agreed on several resolutions. Full details here. In addition, the sixth edition of the ANOC Awards honoured the best male and best female athletes from the five continental games which have taken place over the past 18 months. Four individual special awards were also presented. The ceremony was held in the Katara Cultural Village, one of the venues of the inaugural ANOC World Beach Games organised in Doha from 12 to 16 October. Full details here.
On 20 October, the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) launched a bold new look as part of a wider strategy to make the Paralympic brand more impactful and meaningful to a global audience. The Agitos, the Paralympic symbol, has been redrawn and recoloured, while a new brand narrative – “Change Starts with Sport” – has been created to better communicate the transformational impact the Paralympic Movement has on society and drive the human rights agenda. Full details here .