Olympic Highlights 23/09/2019
The IOC President, Thomas Bach, was in Beijing, where he attended the official unveiling ceremony for the mascot of the Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022. The mascot is a cheerful panda called Bing Dwen Dwen. Speaking at the ceremony, the President said: “Everywhere you go, you can feel the excitement and the anticipation that the Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022 are generating already. This demonstrates that the legacy of the Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022, spreading the joy and benefits of sport to all Chinese people, is already taking shape.” He added: “The launch of the mascot today will generate even more interest for these Games, especially among young people. The mascot incorporates the best elements and characteristics of China and the Chinese people. What I can say already is that it will be a wonderful ambassador for China and the Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022.” (See also “Beijing 2022”.)
President Bach had a meeting with the President of the Organising Committee for the Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022, Cai Qi, who was accompanied by Zhang Jiandong, Executive Vice-President of Beijing 2022. Their discussions focused on the legacy programme, the progress made with the Games preparations and the Olympic Channel in China.
The previous day, the President had attended the final of the Basketball World Cup between Argentina and Spain at the Wukesong Arena in Beijing, and presented the medals to the winning Spanish team. Having been welcomed by Andreas Zagklis, Secretary General of the International Basketball Federation (FIBA), President Bach met the new FIBA President, Hamane Niang, FIBA Honorary President Horacio Muratore and FIBA Treasurer Ingo Weiss. With Lincoln Zhang, President of FIBA partner Wanda Corporation, the IOC President discussed the “Little Champions” initiative, which aims to give children from underprivileged areas the chance to play basketball. More details here.
While in Beijing, President Bach met the President of the HYX group, Liu Ruiqi. At this meeting, the IOC announced that HYX will supply the official formal uniforms to the IOC Members and administration for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 and Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022. HYX has a history of supporting sport in China, including as a sponsor of the Olympic Games Beijing 2008, and as a Chinese NOC partner. Full news release here.
President Bach held a meeting with the President of the Chinese NOC, Gou Zhongwen, who is also the Minister for Sport. The excellent cooperation with the NOC was addressed, as were the preparations for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020. They also discussed the development of the home team in view of the Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022.
President Bach also met Yang Jiechi, a member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China and Director of the Central Foreign Affairs Commission of the Party’s Central Committee. The two men discussed the preparations for the upcoming Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022 and the Chinese Government’s support in this respect.
The President presented the Pierre de Coubertin Medal to Chinese painter Fan Yang in recognition of his contribution to the Olympic Movement through his various sports-based works. He also met Chinese painters Li Yansheng and Huang Jiannan and sculptor Huang Jian.
During his stay in Beijing, the President also met designated WADA Vice-President and double Olympic champion Yang Yang, with whom he discussed her future role and activities with regard to the protection of clean athletes.
Hel also met Chen Shaoshu, Chairman and CEO of the Honav Company, official licensee and retailer for the Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022 and IOC official licensee for the Olympic Heritage Collection; as well as Ding Shizong, Chairman and CEO of Anta, IOC uniforms supplier for the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018.
Throughout his trip, the President was accompanied by IOC Vice-President Zaiqing Yu and IOC Members in China Li Lingwei and Hong Zhang.
Back in Lausanne, the IOC President took part in a ceremony, in the Pierre de Coubertin Stadium, which brought together 3,000 school children and 400 guests from across the canton of Vaud to celebrate the forthcoming Winter Youth Olympic Games Lausanne 2020. The ceremony, the theme of which was “One Lausanne 2020 flag in each commune in Vaud”, was attended by IOC Executive Board members Denis Oswald and Ivo Ferriani; Danka Bartekova, IOC Member and Chair of the IOC Coordination Commission for these Games; and representatives from the City of Lausanne and Canton of Vaud authorities and the Lausanne 2020 Organising Committee (see also under “Lausanne 2020”).
President Bach welcomed the newly elected President of the NOC of Kuwait, Fahad Nasser Sabah Al Ahmad Al Jaber Al-Sabah, and the NOC Secretary General, Husain Al Musallam, for a courtesy meeting at the IOC. The NOC elections allowed the lifting of the suspension of the NOC by the IOC Executive Board last July. The discussions were focused on the current situation of sport in the country and the preparations of the athletes for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020. On this visit, they were accompanied by the full NOC Board.
Discussions with International Volleyball Federation (FIVB) President Ary Graça focused on the preparations for the Olympic volleyball tournaments at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, as well as the successful development of the FIVB and its competitions.
President Bach welcomed the President of the International University Sports Federation (FISU), Oleg Matytsin and the members of the Advisory Board, which held its meeting at Olympic House. The main topics of discussion were the excellent cooperation between the IOC and FISU and the success of the 2019 Summer and Winter Universiades.
The IOC President welcomed a delegation from the Sports Committee of the German Bundestag to the IOC. They were introduced to the reforms of Olympic Agenda 2020 and the New Norm, the funding model of the Olympic Movement, the IOC’s athlete support programmes and the measures the IOC has taken with regard to good governance. The group, which included politicians from all parties represented in parliament, were also given a tour of Olympic House and visited The Olympic Museum.
President Bach also welcomed So-Young Kim, a member of the Culture, Sports and Tourism Committee of the Seoul Metropolitan Council and a former member of the Republic of Korea artistic gymnastics team. In 1986, a gymnastics accident left her paralysed at the age of 15 which ended her Olympic dream to compete in the Olympic Games Seoul 1988. She never gave up her passion and love for sport and has been active to promote sport for all.
Other Olympic news
Signatories of the UN Sports for Climate Action Framework gathered at The Olympic Museum to define the next steps for the sports community to address climate change. Their meeting – which was the first official gathering of the Framework’s participants – was hosted by the IOC, ahead of the UN Climate Summit, which starts next week in New York. The meeting served as the official launch of the working groups tasked with the implementation of the Framework. The participants discussed the scope of the Framework’s principles, potential gaps, mechanisms for measuring impact and the level of involvement of the various sports organisations in their implementation. Eighty sports organisations have joined the Framework so far, including 14 IFs and the Organising Committees for the next three Olympic Games editions: Tokyo 2020, Beijing 2022 and Paris 2024. Full news release here.
The new Central Board of the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) for 2019-2023 met for the first time in Beijing under the leadership of its President Hamane Niang. Two new members were co-opted: Yao Ming from China and Manuel V. Pangilinan from the Philippines. Dirk Nowitzki, from Germany, was appointed Chair of the FIBA Players’ Commission. More details here. In addition, Horacio Muratore was named President of the International Basketball Foundation (IBF). More details here.
The International Association Football Federation (FIFA) Foundation has announced the appointment of Youri Djorkaeff as its Chief Executive Officer and Joyce Cook as its General Secretary. Djorkaeff, a World Cup winner with France in 1998, has been involved in several social development projects, even setting up his own foundation in 2014. Cook, who has served as FIFA’s Chief Members Association Officer since November 2016 and has been at the helm of the implementation of the FIFA Forward Programme for football development, was also appointed FIFA’s Chief Social Responsibility & Education Officer. More info at www.fifa.com.
Representatives from the International Hockey Federation (FIH) were invited to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime’s Conference on Safeguarding Sport from Corruption, held on 3 and 4 September in Vienna (Austria), to speak about the lessons learned from the Federation’s efforts to strengthen good governance and integrity in hockey. Among the high-profile speakers was Valérie Horyna, FIH Senior Legal Counsel, who presented the FIH’s work on good governance. She spoke about the setting-up of the FIH’s Integrity Unit in 2018 and its work related to the FIH Integrity Code, and gave some insights about the FIH’s anti-doping programme and its Gender Equality Policy. More details here.
The International Swimming Federation (FINA) has announced that the 2020 Water Polo World League will kick off on 17 October with a new initial qualification phase before the men’s tournament debuts with the first game day on 12 November. The best European men’s squads will have to take part in a preliminary four-day tournament from 17 to 20 October (city to be confirmed) in order to qualify for the six European game days on 11 November, 17 December, 11 February, 17 March, 14 April and 28 April. The 2020 Intercontinental Cup, a tournament open to non-European squads, will be held in the USA from 28 April to 2 May, and the Super Final will be organised from 23 to 28 June 2020. The women’s European qualification phase will begin on 19 November. Another five game days will be organised throughout Europe on 17 December, 25 February, 24 March, and 21 and 28 April. The women’s Intercontinental Cup will be held in parallel to the men’s tournament from 28 April to 2 May in the USA. The Super Final will take place from 9 to 14 June 2020. More info at www.fina.org.
The International Triathlon Union (ITU) has announced that the 2020 Winter Triathlon World Championships will take place for the second consecutive year in the Italian town of Asiago from 7 to 9 February. The first ever World Championships in this discipline were also held in Italy, in 1997. The 2020 edition in Asiago will feature not just elite athletes, but also athletes in the U23, Para, mixed relay and “age group” categories. More info here.
national olympic committees
The Spanish NOC President, Alejandro Blanco, recently signed cooperation agreements with his counterparts from the NOC of Bahrain, Khalid bin Hamad Al Khalifa, and the NOC of Equatorial Guinea, Manuel Sabino Asumu. Under these agreements, the signatories have pledged to join forces to promote the Olympic values in their respective countries and aim to implement joint projects. The Spanish NOC continues to strengthen its relations with other NOCs through such agreements. More info on www.coe.es.
Representatives from 16 national sports federations took part in the first pre-Tokyo 2020 preparatory meeting organised by the Venezuelan NOC. The NOC presented its “Let’s go for 20 at Tokyo 2020” initiative, the aim of which is to gain a minimum of 20 Olympic diplomas next year in Tokyo. The NOC President, Eduardo Álvarez (see photo), said that the NOC wanted to have between 60 and 70 athletes competing in the Japanese capital.
Olympic Games Organising Committees
A cheerful panda called Bing Dwen Dwen has been chosen as the Olympic mascot for the Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022. “Bing” means ice and also symbolises purity and strength, and “Dwen Dwen” represents children. The mascot embodies the strength and willpower of athletes and will help to promote the Olympic spirit. The Paralympic mascot is called Shuey Rhon Rhon, a lantern child ready to welcome friends from around the world. The name signifies warmth, friendship, courage and perseverance. Mascots will be available in stores throughout China in the coming weeks. As part of Beijing 2022’s commitment to sustainability, many of the licensed products are made from environmentally friendly materials. Full news release here.
On 18 September in Dakar (Senegal), the Organising Committees for the Olympic and Paralympic Games Paris 2024 andthe Youth Olympic Games Dakar 2022 signed a cooperation agreement that aims to contribute to the success of Dakar 2022 and share the positive impact of the first Youth Olympic Games to be held in Africa. The agreement also marks the start of a new model of international cooperation between Organising Committees. In signing a cooperation agreement, Dakar 2022 and Paris 2024 have come together in pursuit of a shared objective by contributing, in conjunction with the IOC, to a new form of international cooperation between OCOGs – one that uses sport as a driver for development. The agreement will see Paris 2024 become the coordinator of the Dioko/Dakar 2022 Alliance. The cooperation agreement was signed by Paris 2024 President Tony Estanguet and Mamadou Diagna Ndiaye, President of Dakar 2022 and of the Senegalese NOC, both of whom are IOC Members. Also in attendance were the French Minister for Sport, Roxana Maracineanu, the French NOC President, Denis Masseglia, and Rémy Rioux, Chief Executive of the French Development Agency (AFD). More details here.
youth olympic games organising committees
On 19 September, just a few metres from Olympic House, 3,000 school children and 400 guests from across the canton of Vaud gathered at the Pierre de Coubertin Stadium to celebrate the forthcoming Winter Youth Olympic Games Lausanne 2020. The extraordinary event for children between the ages of 10 and 15 – the theme of which was “One Lausanne 2020 flag in each commune in Vaud” – was organised by the Canton of Vaud in collaboration with the City of Lausanne and Lausanne 2020 organisers. The surprise appearance of the Youth Olympic flame, which had only arrived in Lausanne the night before, wowed the onlooking crowd when it was carried in by four young athletes all aiming to get to Lausanne 2020, who then lit a ceremonial cauldron in the stadium. One of the most spectacular moments of the event was the “flash mob” by exactly 2,020 students, who created a giant cantonal flag in a celebration of unity. The Youth Olympic Flame was lit in the Panathenaic Stadium in Athens (Greece) on 17 September. The flame will remain in Lausanne until 21 September, from when it will depart on a 110-day journey during which it will visit each of the 26 Swiss cantons and Les Tuffes in France. Full news release here.
The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has published its 2018 Annual Report, which outlines the various activities it conducted last year, alongside its partners, to strengthen the global anti-doping system. Entitled “The Right Way Together”, the Annual Report is an important part of WADA’s commitment to accountability and transparency. Full details here.