Olympic Highlights 25/02/2019
IOC President Thomas Bach met Gene Sykes, a member of the Board of the Organising Committee for the Olympic Games Los Angeles 2028, who updated him on the preparations for these Games.
President Bach met with the President of the Cape Verde NOC, Filomena Fortes. The situation of sport in the country, the Olympic Solidarity programmes and the Cape Verde athletes’ preparations for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 were discussed.
With Mustapha Berraf, President of the Association of National Olympic Committees of Africa (ANOCA), the IOC President spoke about the excellent cooperation between the IOC and ANOCA and various matters of joint interest.
The IOC President welcomed the new International Basketball Federation (FIBA) Secretary General, Andreas Zagklis, accompanied by FIBA Executive Committee member Ingo Weiss. They discussed the plans of the new Secretary General and in particular the importance of the 3x3 basketball competition at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020.
With World Karate Federation (WKF) President Antonio Espinós, discussions centred mainly on the Olympic programme for Tokyo 2020 and Paris 2024.
President Bach and IOC Member Mamadou Ndiaye, who is also President of the Senegalese NOC, talked about the next steps in the organisation of the Youth Olympic Games Dakar 2022.
Meetings were also held with IOC Vice-President Uğur Erdener and IOC Members Gerardo Werthein, Emma Terho and Morinari Watanabe, during which various general topical Olympic matters were discussed.
Former International Gymnastics Federation (FIG) President Bruno Grandi paid a courtesy visit to the IOC President.
On 21 February, the IOC Executive Board revoked the Olympic qualification status of the 25m rapid fire pistol event of the International Sports Shooting Federation (ISSF) World Cup Rifle/Pistol. The competition is taking place in New Delhi, India, from 20 to 28 February 2019. In spite of intense last-minute joint efforts by the IOC, the ISSF and the Indian NOC, and discussions with the Indian government authorities, no solution has been found to allow the Pakistani delegation to enter India in time to compete. As a result, the IOC Executive Board also decided to suspend all discussions with the Indian NOC and government regarding the potential applications for hosting future sports and Olympic-related events in India, until clear written guarantees are obtained from the Indian government to ensure the entry of all participants in such events in full compliance with the rules of the Olympic Charter – and to recommend that the IFs neither award to nor hold sports events in India until the above-mentioned guarantees are obtained. Read the full news release here.
international sportS FEDERATIONS
1960 / IOC
The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) has announced the death of the USA’s Don Bragg (photo), an Olympic pole vault champion, at the age of 83. In 1960, in the US Olympic qualifiers, Bragg set a world record with a height of 4.80m. Later, he won the gold medal at the Olympic Games Rome 1960 with a new Olympic record, thanks to a leap of 4.70m. More info here.
The Council of the Gymnastics Ethics Foundation, chaired by Micheline Calmy-Rey, a former President of Switzerland, held its first meeting on 19 February in Lausanne. Welcomed by International Gymnastics Federation (FIG) President Morinari Watanabe, the Council members mainly worked on the practical details necessary for the functioning of the Foundation, which is made up of three sections: “Safeguarding”, including a helpdesk for reporting any case of harassment or abuse; “Disciplinary”, which includes the two existing FIG disciplinary bodies, the Disciplinary Commission and the Appeal Tribunal; and “Compliance”, to monitor good governance and respect for the ethical principles of the FIG. More info here. Furthermore, during its 20 February meeting in Lausanne, the FIG Executive Committee awarded the 2023 World Gymnaestrada to Amsterdam, the capital of the Netherlands. More info here.
With two-and-a-half months to the kick-off of the brand new International Swimming Federation (FINA) event, “Champions Swim Series”, many swimming stars have already confirmed their participation in the three-leg competition, taking place on 27 and 28 April in Guangzhou (People’s Republic of China), 11 and 12 May in Budapest (Hungary) and 31 May and 1 June in Indianapolis (USA). All the Series meets will serve as qualifying events for both the FINA World Championships Gwangju 2019 and the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020. More info at www.fina.org.
The International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) is looking for cities to house its future headquarters, training centre and high-performance development base. The ITTF is currently based in Lausanne, though half of its staff are located in Singapore, home to the Asia-Pacific Office. With the number of staff set to increase by 50 per cent over the next few years, the ITTF is on the lookout for new headquarters. The bid process begins with an expression-of-interest phase, which runs until 15 April 2019. More info here.
International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) President Vladimir Lisin (left in photo) held a serious of meetings in Tokyo linked to the preparations for the shooting competitions at the Olympic Games 2020. The ISSF delegation discussed several important topics such as transport, venue management and accommodation with representatives of the Sports Department of the Organising Committee for the Games (Tokyo 2020). The ISSF President also met Tokyo 2020 President Yoshiro Mori (right in photo), National Rifle Association of Japan (NRAJ) President Kiichiro Matsumaru and Japan Clay Target Shooting Association (JCTSA) President Yoshihiro Takahashi. More info here.
NATIONAL Olympic COMMITTEES
Managed by the Brazilian NOC since 2008, the Team Brazil Training Centre brings together leading Brazilian athletes from various sports every day. Many athletes from various countries also use the facilities at the Maria Lenk Aquatic Park in Rio de Janeiro. Since the start of 2019, athletes and coaches from the USA, Great Britain, Italy, Russia, Ukraine and other countries have been training at this site, which offers a state-of-the art structure for elite athlete training. More info here.
The Spanish NOC headquarters hosted the 5th session of the 3rd edition of its sports management programme, organised jointly by the Higher Institute of Law and Economics and the NOC. The session’s theme was “The Responsibilities of a Sports Event Organiser”, and was presented by Cesáreo Duro Ventura, President of Chamber 11 of the Provincial Tribunal of Madrid. Also present were NOC Secretary General Victoria Cabeza and Alberto Palomar, a lawyer and member of the NOC. More info here.
The 2019 Olympism camp organised by the NOC of Hong Kong, China, and the Hong Kong Sports Institute (HKSI) was held from 11 to 13 February. The camp’s goal is to allow the young participants to take part in interactive games, team activities and seminars to learn about the importance of Olympism and team spirit. Following last year’s successful experience of mixing elite HKSI athletes and student athletes who have participated in the Olympism Education Programme, there were a total of 61 participants in this year’s edition. More info here.
The 2019 sports management course organised by the NOC of Uruguay under the auspices of Olympic Solidarity was successfully held on 5, 7, 12 and 14 February at the NOC headquarters. A total of 27 people attended this course, which was brought to a close by the National Sports Secretary, Fernando Cáceres, and NOC President Julio César Maglione, who is also an IOC Honorary Member. More info here.
The Venezuelan karate do Federation, with the support of the Venezuelan NOC, organised a refresher course for referees, which was attended by over 100 coaches and referees. The aim was to pass on the new rules implemented by the World Karate Federation (WKF) in the kata and kumite events for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020.
ORGANISING COMMITTEES FOR THE OLYMPIC GAMES
On 19 February, the Organising Committee for the Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022 launched the first version of its legacy plan, setting its sights on projects that will benefit Beijing for decades to come, starting now. With a goal of encouraging millions to embrace winter sports, the plan is centred around inspiring young people with the Olympic spirit, promoting social progress and creating a harmonious world of better mutual understanding. Beijing already had a clear focus on legacy from the outset, as its project will make use of eight venues from 2008 for the Games in 2022. That focus on long-term stadium use is magnified even more, with Beijing 2022 having already identified the post-Games use for all new permanent venues. Full press release here.
On 21 February, the Organising Committee for the Olympic Games Paris 2024 put forward its proposal to the IOC for new sports to be included on the Olympic programme, which included breaking, skateboarding, sport climbing and surfing. The sports proposed by Paris 2024 will be reviewed by the Olympic Programme Commission. A recommendation by the Commission will then be presented to the IOC Executive Board in March. If accepted, it will then be presented to the IOC Session. Full news release here.
On 21 February, with 150 days to go to the 15th Summer European Youth Olympic Festival (EYOF), the official mascots were officially unveiled. They are Jirtdan the little boy and Babir the Caucasian leopard. This 15th edition will take place in Baku (Azerbaijan) from 21 to 27 July 2019. More info here on the website of the European Olympic Committees (EOC).
A memorandum of cooperation for Olympic education programmes has been signed between the Olympic Museum of Thessaloniki and the International Olympic Academy (IOA). The memorandum was signed by the first Vice-President of the Olympic Museum Executive Board, Stelios Aggeloudis (centre of photo), and IOA President Isidoros Kouvelos (left in photo), in the presence of Museum Director Kiriaki Oudatzi (right in photo). The two institutions will jointly implement actions that will have valuable benefits for promoting the history of sport and the Olympic ideal in Greece. More info at www.ioa.org.gr.