On Olympic Day, IOC President Thomas Bach recalled in a video that, while this year’s celebration may be different from previous years, “our message of the power of sport to bring hope and optimism to everyone resonates even more strongly. In these difficult times we need the values of sport, and our shared Olympic values of excellence, friendship, respect and solidarity, more than ever.” He added: “Let us join together to use this power of sport to prepare the postponed Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 as a moment of solidarity and a demonstration of the resilience of humankind.”
Olympic Day 2020 saw Olympians, athletes and fans all over the globe get active in the world’s largest 24-hour digital Olympic workout which reached half a billion people (see also under ‘Other Olympic News’).
President Bach also welcomed a new partnership between the IOC, the Word Health Organization, and the United Nations. The three are launching a partnership #HEALTHYTogether. In the coming weeks, Olympic athletes will help deliver important public health information, inspiring people to adopt or continue behaviours that help to reduce the spread and impact of COVID-19. Tedros Adhanom, Director-General of the World Health Organization, commented: “We are pleased to partner with the International Olympic Committee to spread important health messages that will save lives. Olympians will help us advocate for healthier populations to ensure that people are as resilient as our health systems must be to fight COVID-19.” António Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations, added: “During this time of unprecedented challenges and change -- from the COVID-19 pandemic to the ongoing struggle for racial and social justice and the climate crisis -- there has never been a greater need for global solidarity and hope. The Olympic Movement and its athletes have always brought out the best in humanity, and the United Nations is pleased to work with the International Olympic Committee and the World Health Organization in calling on people everywhere to unite and be #HEALTHYTogether.” Full news release here.
On 25 June, the IOC President sent a message to the second edition of #UN75, a series of discussions organised by the United Nations. The focus of the conversation, named “Multilateralism in the time of Covid-19”, was the impact of COVID-19 on culture, sport and tourism. In his video message, President Bach called upon governments of the world to include sport in their post-coronavirus support programmes because of the essential contribution that sport brings to society. He also stressed that no concrete results can be achieved without solidarity, a key value promoted by sport: “The first lesson we all learnt from this crisis is… We need more solidarity! Solidarity within societies and solidarity among the nations of this world,” he concluded. Vice-Chair of the IOC Athletes’ Commission, Danka Bartekova, took part in a Q and A Session that followed the President’s address. Full news release here.
IOC President Thomas Bach and International Association Football Federation (FIFA) President Gianni Infantino, who is also an IOC member, met at The Olympic Museum in Lausanne. During their talks, the two leaders addressed the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on sport, and both agreed that sport is more important than ever to fight this pandemic.
The impact of the pandemic on sport was also at the heart of the discussions between President Bach and International Gymnastics Federation (FIG) President Morinari Watanabe, who is also an IOC member. They spoke as well about the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020.
With the Mayor of Lausanne, Grégoire Junod, the IOC President spoke about the situation of sport in the Olympic Capital, as well as the joint measures taken by the Swiss Federal Council and the IOC to support the IFs based in Switzerland.
President Bach welcomed German Olympic track cycling champion Miriam Welte to Olympic House. During her visit at the IOC, Welte signed the Olympians’ Wall at the IOC Sports Department.
Meetings of the Olympic Channel Steering Committee and the Board of the International Olympic Truce Foundation and the International Olympic Truce Centre have been held by video conference.
Worldwide Olympic Partner Dow has announced that its Olympic Games- and IOC-related carbon mitigation programmes have now reached combined reductions of more than five million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions since they were launched. The IOC’s carbon partnership was initiated in 2017 to balance the operational carbon footprint of the IOC and provide organisations outside the Olympic Movement with Dow’s solutions, which can reduce carbon emissions while catalysing change across value chains. It has allowed the IOC to become carbon neutral. Full news release here.
Other olympic news
World’s biggest digital Olympic workout introduced half a billion people to #StayActive on Olympic Day. Olympic champions, members of the IOC Refugee Olympic Team, rising stars, world figures and fans young and old came together across five continents and 20 time zones on Olympic Day 2020, 23 June, with an innovative, global 24-hour digital workout. Over 141 athletes from 47 sports disciplines took part. The @Instagram account shared the Olympic Day activity with its community of 428 million followers. Additionally, across Olympic social media handles, 14.5 million people interacted with inspiring Olympic Day content. Full news release here.
World Refugee Day is a timely reminder of the impact that COVID-19 has had on displaced persons, and how the Olympic Refuge Foundation (ORF) is helping them through sport. Using as its basis the notion that the best way to respond to the crisis would be to seek solutions from the very community it was seeking to help, the ORF appealed to its stakeholders. The result was a wealth of suggestions that resulted in the ORF providing an additional USD 500,000 in funding for projects to assist vulnerable communities. Thus, the ORF reaffirms its commitment to ensuring that one million forcibly displaced young people will have access to safe sport by 2024. Full news release here.
A survey conducted by the IOC in May revealed that managing mental health and sports careers, as well as nutrition and diet, were the biggest challenges faced by athletes during the unprecedented time of the COVID-19 pandemic. The survey was conducted among more than 4,000 athletes and entourage members from 135 countries and was available in eight languages. The results highlight that 50 per cent of athletes struggled with the complexity of conducting proper training as a consequence of the restrictions imposed in most countries to contain the virus. Read the full news release here.
On 18 June, World Athletics launched a six-week global campaign, Fitter With Friends, to help runners around the world to stay motivated and continue their health routines as the world emerges from the coronavirus pandemic. From 25 June to the end of July, each week, an athlete will set a fun fitness challenge to complete, by video, and offer workouts and wisdom. Six Olympic, world and continental champions will take part in the free programme. Full details here. In addition, World Athletics and the International Athletics Foundation (IAF) have announced that 193 athletes from 58 member federations will be offered one-time grants through an Athlete Welfare Fund announced in April to help support professional athletes experiencing financial hardship due to the coronavirus pandemic. Full info here.
The International Basketball Federation (FIBA) has launched its first-ever international esports competition for national teams, the FIBA Esports Open 2020. This inaugural series of exhibition e-basketball games took place from 19 to 21 June with the participation of the following national teams: Full details here.
Meeting on 10 and 11 June by videoconference, the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI)’s Management Committee took a series of decisions, notably concerning the update of the international calendar due to the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, and the strengthening of the fight against doping. The Committee thus confirmed its decision in principle taken at its previous meeting, on 31 January 2020, to transfer the operational activities of its anti-doping programme to the International Testing Agency (ITA) from 1 January 2021. Full details here.
The FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023™ will be staged in Australia and New Zealand, following a vote taken by the International Association Football Federation (FIFA) Council during its meeting held via videoconference. The 2023 edition will be the first edition to feature 32 teams and also the first to be hosted by Australia and New Zealand and across two Confederations (AFC and OFC). More info here
The Egyptian Olympic Committee (EOC) has awarded the President of the International Handball Federation (IHF), Hassan Moustafa (photo), the title of Lifetime Honorary President. The distinction was presented “as a gesture of gratitude and recognition of the important role he has played in the Olympic Movement in Egypt, as well as his long sports career including his devotion to serving his country Egypt and afterwards the IHF and its members”. Full details here.
United World Wrestling (UWW) held a web-based discussion last May with members of its Athletes’ Commission to gauge the current impact of the coronavirus on wrestling-related activities worldwide. The webinar was intended to provide insight into possible ways for athletes and the broader wrestling community to move forward together. UWW President and IOC Executive Board member Nenad Lalovic joined the webinar and applauded the Commission members for dedicating their time and effort to getting the sport back on track. Full details here.
As part of its development activities commitment, and with the support of the FINA Coaches Committee and the World Water Polo Coaches Association, the International Swimming Federation (FINA) launched a series of Live Sessions designed to help the professional water polo community. Live Sessions were available on its online educational tool, the Learning platform, every day from 8 to 12 June. Around 1,000 people, ranging from coaches to technical directors and water polo administrators, followed each session, while the videos have been watched about 4,000 times since 15 June. Full details here.
On 23 June, the Executive Committee of the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) met to discuss the latest situation for international table tennis amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. The Committee received a comprehensive update from the COVID-19 Task Force, which was set up to monitor the global situation closely, before addressing several other issues. Detailed info here.
On 18 June, Curl Aberdeen and the World Curling Federation (WCF) agreed a three-year hosting partnership for the World Mixed Curling Championship, with the initial championship taking place from 10 to 17 October 2020. Curl Aberdeen, in Scotland, successfully hosted the World Mixed Curling Championship 2019 and the World Junior Curling Championships 2018. More info here.
national olympic committees
For the first time, a Forum brought together representatives of the Athletes’ Commissions of the Brazilian Olympic Committee (BOC) and of the Brazilian Confederations. Held on Olympic Day, this virtual meeting was aimed at exchanging experiences and increasing the engagement of athletes in the pursuit of sports development in the country. Full details here. Furthermore, with more time inside their homes, many athletes enrolled in free courses offered by the Brazilian Olympic Institute (BOI), the BOC’s body for education. 43 athletes enrolled – a record since the creation of the BOI - in the Fundamentals of Sports Administration and the Basic Management Course for Coaches, which started on 1 June. More details here. In addition, the BOC published the Guide for the Practice of Olympic Sports in the COVID-19 Scenario on 12 June. The document details the gradual resumption of training, after clearance by government and health authorities. More info here.
Chinese Taipei Olympic Committee
To celebrate Olympic Day 2020, the Chinese Taipei Olympic Committee (CTOC) organised a flash event in front of the historical Red House Theatre, in Ximending. The CTOC staff carried out a five-minute workout session. Through this eye-catching flash event, the CTOC successfully raised public awareness about the importance of staying healthy amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Full details here. Furthermore, the CTOC invited international partners from the Australian Office in Taipei and the Japan-Taiwan Exchange Association to form a dragon boat team, named “Olympic Friendship”, which participated in the Dragon Boat Race, which kicked off the Olympic Day celebration. More info here.
Nearly 200 people took part in the online “Analysis of the impact of COVID-19 on the Olympic Movement” Forum organised by the Colombian NOC. This Forum also attracted over 10,000 visits on Facebook, and had four sports leaders taking part: Pere Miró, IOC Deputy Director General responsible for Relations with the Olympic Movement; Baltazar Medina, NOC President; Neven Ilic, President of Panam Sports; and José Fernando Arroyo, Rector of the National School of Sport. More info here.
On Olympic Day, Spanish NOC President Alejandro Blanco was in Getafe to visit the centre run by the Spanish Refugee Assistance Commission (CEAR). In 2017, the NOC signed a cooperation agreement with the CEAR to enable refugees to have access to sport and its values. It has since encouraged the construction of a sports centre to this end. During his visit, Alejandro Blanco caught up with the progress of construction work and donated sports equipment to some of the refugees. More details on www.coe.es. It should also be noted that, on 24 June, the NOC's Ordinary General Assembly was held for the first time ever by videoconference.
On Olympic Day, the Georgian NOC organised an Executive Board meeting, with the main topic being preparations for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 in the reality of COVID-19. The NOC devoted several campaigns to Olympic Day with the active involvement of Olympic athletes and children. With the Ministry of Education, Science, Culture and Sport, the NOC launched an online “Art and Sport” contest for children. Up to 1,000 students from public schools in Tbilisi and other regions took part in the contest. On 23 June, the NOC announced the winners and awarded them gifts and prizes (photo). A special tribute was paid to the veteran athletes and Olympic champions who have created the Olympic history of Georgia. More info at www.geonoc.org.ge
On 21 June, the Guatemalan NOC organised the first virtual physical activity to commemorate Olympic Day. Arranged with the support of the Autonomous Sports Confederation of Guatemala, Olympic Solidarity and the Panamerican University, this event took place over nine hours, streamed on digital platforms and broadcast by national sports institutions. Educational activities on the Olympic Movement, through the Guatemalan Olympic Academy, were also on offer. Over 7,000 people, families, children, youngsters and athletes, took part, following zumba, running, aerobics and cardio sessions hosted by staff from the National Sports Preparation Centre. Virtual diplomas and medals were awarded to everyone. More details here.
“The Olympics start with childhood” was the slogan of the Olympic Day celebrations in Kazakhstan. The NOC of Kazakhstan prepared a varied programme with activities for athletes and sports fans, all digitised due to the coronavirus pandemic. A children's drawing contest was held, with more than 200 drawings done by children from all over the country. An almost four-hour live show with prominent athletes from the Kazakhstan Olympic team joined an online interactive marathon to congratulate spectators on Olympic Day, by sharing their sports stories and telling them about effective and favourite exercises necessary to keep fit, even at home. The NOC also congratulated all babies born on Olympic Day in Kazakhstan. There were also Olympic meetings for children with special needs – a joint project of the NOC of Kazakhstan and the UNESCO Cluster Office in Almaty. More info here and at https://olympic.kz/en.
In the framework of the HeForShe campaign, the NOC of Lithuania published a second video about rugby player Austėja Minkevičiūtė (right in photo). In this video, the Lithuanian women’s team player and children’s rugby coach tries to discard the stigma surrounding rugby and encourages girls to try playing the sport. HeForShe is a solidarity campaign for gender equality established by UN Women. More info at www.ltok.lt.
As part of the festive events on 23 June, held on the official website of the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC), athletes were seen live answering questions from fans, taking part in an intellectual quest, conducting workouts and presenting awards to the most active sports enthusiasts. All the events were accessible online, and the programme included exciting sports. Full details here. As part of the Olympic Country programme, the ROC has announced the launch of its #SEMYAZASPORT contest. The main aim of the contest is to unite families in their desire to take part in sports, lead an active lifestyle and be part of the Olympic Movement. The contest will run from 17 June to 5 July. Full info here.
Turkish Olympians, national athletes and thousands of sports fans joined the Turkish Olympic Committee’s (TOC) Instagram live workout to celebrate Olympic Day 2020. Turkish athletes also held discussions with followers on ways to stay active and healthy during these unprecedented times of social distancing and lockdown. TOC staff also took part in the workout session. In addition, the TOC launched a new webpage entitled “Future Olympians”, which seeks to promote and spread sports culture amongst the younger generation in Turkey. Full details here.
Organising Committees for the Olympic Games
The Paris 2024 Organising Committee for the Olympic and Paralympic Games and the National Sports Agency have signed an agreement through to 2024 to support the development of local sports facilities and encourage new collaborations between “Terre de Jeux 2024” local authorities and sports clubs and federations. This agreement will each year fund nearly 150 development, renovation or accessibility projects at local sports facilities that are accessible for free in regions labelled “Terre de Jeux 2024”: football pitches, playgrounds, skateparks, multisports complexes, etc. More details here.
On 16 June, the Association of Summer Olympic International Federations (ASOIF) published the findings of the third governance review of its full and associate member federations. Almost all IFs improved their performance since the last assessment, with the highest scores achieved in the area of transparency. Thirty-one IFs replied to the updated self-assessment questionnaire between November 2019 and January 2020. The aim of the project, led by ASOIF’s Governance Task Force (GTF), is to promote a culture of good governance within IFs and monitor progress. Full details here.
The Association of National Olympic Committees (ANOC), in partnership with the Korean Sport and Olympic Committee, has confirmed that the 2021 ANOC General Assembly in Seoul will take place on 26 and 27 October 2021, with the ANOC Awards scheduled for 26 October. More details here.
The President of the Association of National Olympic Committees of Africa (ANOCA), Mustapha Berraf (right in photo), who is also an IOC member, received the Ambassador of Tanzania in Algeria, Omar Yussuf Mzee (left), at the ANOCA office in Algiers on 15 June. Their discussions focused on the current situation of African athletes and sport, and the efforts made by the IOC and its partners. The ANOCA President also reaffirmed the willingness of the Association to support and assist the Tanzanian and African Olympic and sports movement. Furthermore, for Olympic Day, the ANOCA President issued a message of collective mobilisation to the entire African Olympic family.
On 16 June, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) published the final versions of the 2021 World Anti-Doping Code and International Standards, which will come into force on 1 January 2021. The versions are available in French and English, the two WADA official languages. Full news release here. In addition, WADA published, in English and French, the final version of the Athletes’ Anti-Doping Rights Act, which WADA’s Athlete Committee developed over two-and-a-half years in consultation with thousands of athletes and stakeholders worldwide. The purpose of the Act is to ensure that the rights of all athletes worldwide to participate in doping-free sport are clearly set out, accessible and universally applicable. More info here.
For Olympic Day, the Fédération Internationale Cinéma Télévision Sportifs (FICTS) is making available (for free) on the official website some 3,348 Olympic short videos and 230 audio-visual productions with the aim of making them accessible to all in digital formats. FICTS also organised several screenings, meetings and events in 20 cities in the five continents for the “World FICTS Challenge”. More info at www.sportmoviestv.com.