Olympic Highlights 29/10/2019
IOC President Thomas Bach was in Warsaw, Poland, last week for the 48th European Olympic Committees (EOC) General Assembly and the celebrations of the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Polish Olympic Committee. He was welcomed by the NOC President, Andrzej Krasnicki.
During the EOC General Assembly chaired by Janez Kocijančič, President Bach urged members to defend and promote the European sports model. He told them, “the National Olympic Committees are not there for making money. The IOC and the Olympic Games are not there for making money. We are a values-based organisation, we are there to accomplish our mission of universal competition in a peaceful way. Money is not an end in itself, it is just a means to accomplish our values-based mission, and this the authorities in Europe and elsewhere have to understand.” President Bach went on to urge those present to continue to work for full gender equality, which he said was, “an important pillar of good governance.” He went on, “Gender equality is important for every organisation because we cannot afford to ignore the expertise the dedication and commitment of at least 50 per cent of our society.”
On this occasion, President Bach also met Witold Banka, the Polish Minister of Sport and Tourism, and the new President of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), who will be elected at the WADA meeting later this month in Katowice, Poland.
The President also met Pierre-Olivier Beckers-Vieujant, IOC Member and Chair of the Paris 2024 Coordination Commission; Giovanni Malagò, IOC Member and President of CONI; and Casey Wasserman, Chair of the LA 2028 Organising Committee. He also met the President of the NOC of North Macedonia, Vasil Tupurkovski, and a number of IOC Members and European NOC presidents.
Earlier, President Bach met the Polish President, Andrzej Duda. They discussed the important role of Poland in the Olympic Movement over the past century, and the importance of the European sports model. They also discussed the upcoming Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 and the Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022.
On Saturday 26 October, President Bach attended the celebrations of the 100th anniversary of the Polish Olympic Committee at a ceremony in the capital's Grand Theatre - National Opera. He told the audience: “for a century, the Polish Olympic Committee has promoted the Olympic values in Poland. The Polish people are living the Olympic values with all their heart.”
During the celebrations there was also a medal reallocation ceremony. President Bach presented Anita Włodarczyk with her gold medal in the hammer throw event from the Olympic Games London 2012.
In Lausanne, President Bach welcomed former Swiss President Adolf Ogi, who was the first Special Advisor to the United Nations Secretary-General for Sport at the Service of Development and Peace. The two men spoke about the excellent relationship between Switzerland and the IOC.
The President met Francesco Ricci Bitti, President of the Association of Summer Olympic International Sports Federations (ASOIF), with whom he discussed various Olympic topics including preparations for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 and good governance issues.
With IOC Member Guy Drut, discussions focused on the Olympic Games Paris 2024 and the relations between the IOC and UNESCO to which Guy Drut is the IOC Special Envoy.
The President welcomed staff members of the International Testing Agency (ITA), who were meeting at Olympic House. He underlined the importance of the ITA for the IOC regarding the pre-Games and Games testing programme for Tokyo 2020, as well as for the IFs.
The President also participated in the meeting of the Olympic Foundation for Culture and Heritage Executive Committee.
IOC Vice-President Uğur Erdener represented the IOC at the opening of the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) Conference and at the IPC's 30th Anniversary Gala Dinner on 24 October in Bonn, Germany.
On 15 October, IOC Member Li Lingwei represented the IOC at the opening ceremony of the 7th summer edition of the Military World Games, organised by the International Military Sports Council (CISM) in Wuhan (People's Republic of China).
IOC Member Erick Thohir was named Minister of State-owned Enterprises by Indonesian President Joko Widodo on 23 October.
IOC Member Mustapha Berraf (right of photo), who is also President of the Algerian NOC and the Association of National Olympic Committees of Africa (ANOCA), has been awarded the Hungarian Order of Merit, in recognition of his contribution to the promotion of exchanges between Hungary and Algeria in the field of sport and Olympic matters. He was presented with the distinction in Algiers by the Hungarian Ambassador to Algeria, Helga Katalin Pritz. More details here.
IOC honorary member Tamas Aján, also President of the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF), received a distinction from the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in Budapest (Hungary). In recognition of his 20 years of work as IWF President and over 40 years spent in the world of weightlifting, he was awarded a trophy by John Coates, CAS President and IOC Member, and Matthieu Reeb, CAS Secretary General. More here.
OTHER olympiC NEWS
At the beginning of October, INTERPOL and the IOC held a workshop in Algiers to strengthen Algeria’s fight against competition manipulation and corruption. The workshop brought together over 100 representatives from law enforcement, government and sports organisations, with police officers based in 14 regional stations joining the workshop by videoconference. The event addressed current threats to the integrity of sport, global crime trends in competition manipulation and related corruption. After the national workshop, high-level representatives from law enforcement, national sporting bodies, the national anti-corruption agency, the Ministry for Youth and Sports and other stakeholders held a partnership development meeting to develop a coordinated and sustained national approach to competition manipulation, based upon international standards and best practices. The two-day event was hosted in close cooperation with the General Directorate for National Security and the Algerian Sports and Olympic Committee, and was supported by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). More details on the INTERPOL and the Algerian NOC websites.
Following the events which occurred during the World Judo Championships Tokyo 2019, the definitive suspension of the Iran Judo Federation from all competitions, administrative and social activities organised or authorised by the International Judo Federation (IJF) and its unions was pronounced on 22 October. Full details here.
The International Swimming Federation (FINA) has announced that next year’s FINA Champions Swim Series will comprise two legs in January 2020. The first event will take place in Shenzhen (People’s Republic of China) on 14 and 15 January, while Beijing will stage the second meet of the Series on 18 and 19 January. Olympic and World Championships medallists, World Cup stars, world record-holders and top-placed athletes in the world ranking will be invited to the competition, which was successfully launched by FINA this year. The programme will include 28 individual events (in a 50m-pool) and two relays (mixed 4x100m freestyle and 4x100m medley) over two days of competition. Only finals will be held, with four athletes per race. More info at www.fina.org
The first-ever Rugby World Cup to be held in Asia will leave a lasting legacy for tens of thousands of children from developing communities in the region, as part of World Rugby’s “Impact Beyond” programme. Thanks to the incredible generosity of the global rugby family, the award-winning rugby for development programme, ChildFund Pass It Back, will now be expanded to six countries in Asia, giving more than 25,000 children the chance to play, learn and grow through their involvement in rugby. In addition, donated funds will support emergency relief activities in Japan, with ChildFund and its partners operating alongside government authorities to provide assistance to communities recently affected by the devastation caused by typhoon Hagibis. Full details here.
The International Surfing Association (ISA) has announced the recent organisation of a development programme in Angola by the Angolan Water Sports Federation, with the support of Olympic Solidarity. This surfing development programme featured ISA Coaching and Instructing, ISA/ILS Water Safety, and ISA Judging and Officiating Courses. In addition to the water safety course, an ISA Surf Level One Instructor Course was held for a group of 18 instructors, who were eager to learn and increase their knowledge and abilities. More details here.
The World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) has launched a new Game Management System (GMS), as well as new guidelines for officials for the new urban five-on-five discipline, Baseball5. The new GMS, which was trialled at certain 2019 events, is intended to greatly simplify and standardise Baseball5 competitions. The main innovation is the introduction of a Game Official, who has complete knowledge of the game and is able to manage all aspects of the competition. Full details here.
NationaL OlympiC COMMITTEes
On 21 October, Algerian Head of State Abdelkader Bensalah (left of photo) presented the medal of the National Order of Merit (“Ahid” rank) to the runner-up in the 1,500 metres at the 2019 World Athletics Championships, Taoufik Makhloufi (right of photo), who was also the 1,500m Olympic champion at the 2012 Games in London and silver medallist in the 1,500m and 800m at the 2016 Games in Rio. He was awarded the medal in recognition of his efforts and performances at the Olympic Games and World Championships. The ceremony was held in the presence of Youth and Sports Minister Raouf Salim Bernaoui, Algerian NOC President and IOC Member Mustapha Berraf, Presidential Secretary General Noureddine Ayadi and Algerian Athletics Federation President Abdelhakim Dib. More details here.
The Argentinian NOC and the national skiing and mountaineering federation held the last sports administration course of 2019 in San Carlos de Bariloche. The purpose of these courses is to train and/or expand the technical knowledge of sports leaders and sports organisation members with managerial roles. More details here.
On 21 October, the most successful coaches in the history of Brazilian national volleyball, Bernardinho and José Roberto Guimarães, were inducted into the Brazilian Olympic Committee (COB) Hall of Fame at a ceremony held in São Paulo. Several volleyball stars were present, such as Bernard Rajzman, IOC Member and an icon of the “Silver Generation”, who was representing the NOC. An exclusive space open to the public will be set up at the Team Brazil Training Centre, the entity's future administrative headquarters. More details here.
On 22 October, the Executive Committee of the Colombian NOC, whose President is Baltazar Medina, the national sports federations, the NOC’s partners and high-level athletes celebrated the creation of a national sports ministry. The first Sports Minister in the history of Colombia, Ernesto Lucena Barrero, was honoured by the Colombian Olympic family. The ceremony was held at the Club El Nogal in Bogotá, where the new Sports Minister trained as an athlete, in the presence of athletes Oscar Figueroa, Francisco Mosquera, Luis Javier Mosquera, Jossimar Calvo, Arénas Lorena, Daniel Restrepo, Yuberjen Martínez and Ceiber Ávila (photo). More details here.
organisinG COMMITTEES FOR THE OlympiC GAMes
On 25 October, the Tokyo Organising Committee for the Olympic and Paralympic Games (Tokyo 2020) unveiled details of the Olympic flame arrival ceremony, scheduled in Tokyo on 20 March 2020. On 12 March, the Olympic flame will be lit at the historic site of Ancient Olympia in Greece. After a week-long initial leg of the Olympic Torch Relay in Greece, a flame handover ceremony will take place at the Panathenaic Stadium in Athens on 19 March 2020. A special aircraft bearing the name “TOKYO 2020 Go” will then transport the Olympic flame to Japan. Full details here.
On 21 October, the Paris 2024 Organising Committee unveiled its new emblem for the Olympic and Paralympic Games. It was revealed after an innovative launch ceremony, which saw over 700 runners run different routes around the centre of Paris and Saint-Seine-Denis, forming the outline of the new emblem. The emblem was then revealed in full on a giant screen at the Grand Rex cinema in Paris at precisely 8.24 p.m. (20.24). The new design brings together three iconic symbols connected to sport, the Games and France – the gold medal, the Olympic and Paralympic flames, and Marianne. And for the first time, the emblem will be the same for the Olympic and Paralympic Games, only differentiated by the Olympic rings or Paralympic agitos, which will appear underneath. The logo also pays tribute to Paris as the host city of the Games. Full press release here.
According to a survey conducted by Opinion Way on a representative sample of the French population between 21 and 22 October, 83 per cent of those asked like the new Paris 2024 Games emblem. The Generation 2024 members (15-25-year-olds) were very much in favour, with 90 per cent saying they liked it, 87 per cent finding it aesthetic and 83 per cent deeming it creative. See the full press release here.
Organising Committees for the Youth Olympic Games
On 24 October, the IOC revealed the names of five additional world-class athletes who will come to the Lausanne 2020 Youth Olympic Games (YOG) from 9 to 22 January 2020. These athletes will have a vital role in mentoring the YOG participants. The Athlete Role Models are selected by the IFs whose sports will be featured at Lausanne 2020. They will be on hand to talk, encourage, mentor and help all the brilliant young athletes who have made it to Lausanne 2020. Learn more about the five Athlete Role Models by clicking here.
Dakar 2022 held discussions with representatives of the IOC’s Coordination Commission on its first visit to the Senegalese capital since the city was awarded the 4th Summer Youth Olympic Games. During a three-day visit, which concluded on 25 October, the IOC and Dakar 2022 comprehensively reviewed all aspects of the preparations. Highlights included the presentation by a specific working group of the ideas that will enable the delivery of the vision, mission and objectives, along with an ambitious legacy plan to ensure that the YOG will benefit the city, the country and the whole continent long after the Games conclude. In line with the “Senegal Emerging Plan” drawn up by the Senegalese government, Dakar 2022 aims not only to put Senegal on the global map for international sporting events, but also to showcase the best of Africa, blazing the trail for future initiatives on the continent. Read the full news release here.
The 48th General Assembly of the European Olympic Committees (EOC), chaired by Janez Kocijančič, was held in Warsaw on 25 and 26 October. The Assembly received status reports on the EOC’s activities, the European Games Minsk 2019 and Krakow and Malopolska 2023, the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, Beijing 2022 and Milano Cortina 2026. During the Assembly, former EOC Executive Committee member and Slovak Olympic Committee President Frantisek Chmelar was awarded the EOC Order of Merit for his lifelong service to sport and the Olympic Movement in Europe. In addition, Istanbul (Turkey) was named as the location for the 49th EOC General Assembly in 2020, with Athens (Greece) hosting the 50th edition in 2021. More details here. In addition, 2019 world silver medallist high jumper Yaroslava Mahuchikh from Ukraine was awarded the Piotr Nurowski Best European Young Athlete prize, after a vote by the EOC General Assembly. The announcement was made during the Polish Olympic Committee centenary celebrations at the Grand Theatre-National Opera, which were attended by IOC President Thomas Bach, EOC President Janez Kocijančič, EOC Secretary General Raffaele Pagnozzi and representatives of the 50 European NOCs. More details here.
The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), in conjunction with the Fonds de recherche du Québec (FRQ), has announced funding for three projects that will explore the possible uses of artificial intelligence (AI) to advance the global anti-doping programme. In May 2018, WADA and the FRQ signed a memorandum of understanding, which will yield CAD 200,000 every year for five years (2018-22) in order to fund research projects relating to anti-doping, with the possibility of renewing the agreement beyond its initial five-year term. Full details here. Furthermore, the composition and terms of reference of WADA’s inaugural Nominations Committee were recently announced. This Committee has been established to ensure that the right people, in terms of skills and independence, serve in senior governance roles within WADA. The creation of the Committee was one of the wide-ranging governance reforms approved by WADA’s Foundation Board in November 2018. More details here.
On 24 October, the Paralympic Movement celebrated the 30th anniversary of the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) at a gala dinner held at the IPC headquarters in Bonn (Germany), in the presence of over 500 invited guests. More info here. Furthermore, the IPC highlighted its commitment to advancing the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by signing a landmark Statement of Intent with the UN SDG Action Campaign. Signing the agreement in front of 350 attendees on the first day of the IPC Conference were IPC President Andrew Parsons (left on photo) and UN SDG Action Campaign Global Director Marina Ponti (right). The two organisations are committed to increasing the visibility of the SDGs throughout the Paralympic Movement and at the upcoming Paralympic Games, whilst helping to change the narrative of disability. They are also planning to engage large global audiences on these critical issues. Full details here.
During its General Assembly, the IPC welcomed four new National Paralympic Committees (NPCs) into its family. The NPCs of Kiribati, the Maldives, Malta and Paraguay were officially ratified, bringing the IPC’s membership to 205 (182 NPCs). More details here. In addition, the recipients of the 2019 Paralympic Sport and Media Awards were announced in Bonn. The biennial awards recognised achievements from the PyeongChang 2018 Paralympic Winter Games in nine categories. See the list of winners here.