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17 Dec 2014
IOC News

Olympic Highlights

The IOC members at the 127th IOC Session in Monaco © IOC / Ian Jones



Following the unanimous approval of the 40 recommendations that make up Olympic Agenda 2020 by the 127th IOC Session in Monaco the focus has now turned from decision to implementation. On Thursday 11 December, IOC President Thomas Bach chaired meetings at the IOC headquarters in Lausanne to begin the implementation of a number of the recommendations, including on the bid process for the Olympic Games (Recommendation 1) and on the launch of an Olympic Channel (Recommendation 19).  The IOC President reiterated the importance of the Channel in providing a platform for the promotion of Olympic sports, athletes and the Olympic values beyond the period of the Games: “Interest in the Olympic Games is higher now than ever, and recent editions have enjoyed record broadcast audiences around the world. The idea of the Channel is to harness this interest and extend it beyond the Games, in a way that will engage audiences, especially young audiences, in the power of what sport can do.” Dick Ebersol, the renowned American Olympic television executive producer for twenty years and former Chairman of NBC Sports, attended the Olympic Channel meeting as a special adviser.

© IOC / Ian Jones

Already in Monaco, the Session made a first implementation of the Olympic Agenda 2020 recommendations by approving a proposal from the IOC Executive Board, drafted in consultation with the IOC Nominations Commission chaired by HRH the Princess Royal, for the extension of Gian-Franco Kasper’s IOC membership until the end of his term as President of the International Ski Federation (FIS) on 30 June 2018. He is also the President of the Association of International Olympic Winter Sports Federations (AIOWF). This decision follows the approval of Olympic Agenda 2020 Recommendation 37. Mr Kasper had been set to retire from the IOC due to the age limit at midnight on 31 December 2014.

The full membership of the IOC unanimously approved the 40 recommendations that make up Olympic Agenda 2020, the strategic roadmap for the future of the Olympic Movement, at the 127th IOC Session in Monaco. IOC President, Thomas Bach thanked the Session: “Olympic Agenda 2020 is like a jigsaw puzzle. Now that you have approved all 40 recommendations you can see the whole picture. It is a picture of progress. It is a picture that ensures the uniqueness of the Olympic Games. It is a picture that promotes the Olympic values. And it is a picture that strengthens sport in society”. He also added: “The speed at which Olympic Agenda 2020 was approved showed the great support and determination of the members to make it happen”. Indeed the debate and voting on Olympic Agenda 2020 were scheduled to last two days, but such was the support for the 20+20 recommendations – with 83 interventions in total – that the process concluded on the first day of the 127th Session. Each recommendation, voted on individually, received the full backing of the 96 IOC members in attendance. There were no votes against and no abstentions. As an additional show of unity for Olympic Agenda 2020, the members gave their unanimous support for the entire set of recommendations in an en bloc vote at the close of the meeting on Monday 8 December.

The Session officially got under way the day before with an Opening Ceremony at the Grimaldi Forum in Monaco where the IOC members were welcomed by HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco, President of the Monegasque Olympic Committee and IOC member and the IOC President, Thomas Bach. In his speech, Prince Albert II emphasised “the strong values and ties which bind Monaco to the Olympic Movement” before underlining “the major educational role which sport plays within society, facilitating discussion and respect for others.” Addressing the Session, President Bach stressed the importance of the gathering in Monaco: “In our world - changing faster than ever - the success of yesterday means nothing for today. The success of today gives you only the opportunity to drive the change for tomorrow. Based on a solid foundation of 120 years of history we have together started to anticipate the upcoming challenges about one and a half years ago. The challenges we are already facing and more important the challenges we can already see on the horizon. If we do not address these challenges here and now we will be hit by them very soon. If we do not drive these changes ourselves others will drive us to them. We want to be the leaders of change, not the object of change.”

© IOC / Ian Jones

For the first time, a President of the Swiss Confederation also addressed an IOC Session.  In his speech, the Swiss President,  Didier Burkhalter recalled the history shared by Switzerland and the Olympic Movement: “Switzerland and the IOC will next year be commemorating the 100th anniversary of their common history, based on a love for liberty, the striving for peace, respect for others and confidence in the next generation.” . He also described Switzerland’s commitment to the Olympic spirit and the values that sport helps to promote. “I am convinced that, through the principles that it embodies, sport can help to promote dialogue and understanding between peoples, that it can be a messenger and builder of peace and dialogue, and a catalyst of understanding between peoples,” he said. President Bach presented the Swiss President with a dedicated medal for Heads of State, a replica of the medal created by the IOC’s founder, Pierre de Coubertin.

The IOC members applauded the planned consolidation of the IOC headquarters in one location in Lausanne. The concept, called “Olympic Unity House” and developed by architectural firm 3XN, ensures that the new building will reflect Olympism, the Olympic Movement and the role of the IOC as a catalyst for collaboration in an authentic, iconic and transparent way.

President Bach with representatives of the NOC of Kosovo. © IOC / Ian Jones

The 127th IOC Session granted full recognition to the NOC of Kosovo which met the requirements for recognition as outlined in the Olympic Charter. These include the sports and technical requirements as well as the definition of “country” as defined in Rule 30.1: “an independent State recognised by the international community.” Kosovo is recognised as a country by 108 of the 193 UN Member States. Speaking on the occasion, the NOC President Besim Hasani said: “This is one big day. This is the beginning of a new era for the Olympic Movement in Kosovo.”

The IOC members also voted for the city of Lima (Peru) to host the 130th IOC Session in 2017. Helsinki in Finland was always running for the election. The 130th IOC Session will elect the host city of the 2024 Olympic Games.

© IOC / Ian Jones

The Session also elected Jean-Claude Killy, Raja Randhir Singh, HRH Prince Nawaf Faisal Fahd Abdulaziz, Leo Wallner as IOC honorary members with immediate effect and Melitón Sánchez Rivas as IOC honorary member from 1 January 2015. Olympic Orders were awarded to each, except for Mr Killy, who has already received the Order. M. Wallner, excused from this Session, will be awarded the Olympic Order later.

© IOC / Ian Jones

The 2014 IOC “Women and Sport” trophies were presented during the 127th Session. Selected by the Women and Sport Commission chaired by Lydia Nsekera, from among 39 candidates put forward by NOCs, continental associations and IFs, the six winners were honoured for their remarkable contribution to women’s participation, both on the field of play and within sports administration. The World Trophy was awarded to Meriem Cherni Mizouni of Tunisia, a pioneer of women’s and girls’ sport in her country. The five continental trophies were awarded to: Aya Mahmoud Medany (Egypt) for Africa; Nancy Hogshead-Makar (United States) for America; Sheikha Naïma Al-Sabah (Kuwait) for Asia; Anastasia Davydova (Russia) for Europe; and Siân Mulholland (Australia) for Oceania. Winners’ biographies and full press release here.

© IOC / Ian Jones

HRH Princess Haya Al Hussein received an IOC award for her exemplary commitment to sport, the Olympic Movement and the values that they promote. HRH Princess Haya has been an IOC member since 2006. As she did not stand again for election as President of the International Equestrian Federation, her IOC membership ended this weekend with the election of Ingmar De Vos as the new FEI President.

© IOC / Ian Jones

Thanking him for the flawless organisation of the 127th Session, President Bach presented HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco with a dedicated medal for Heads of State, a replica of the medal created by the IOC’s founder, Pierre de Coubertin. He also thanked some of the members of the organising committee.

© IOC / Ian Jones

During its meeting in prelude to the 127th Session, the IOC Executive Board (EB) approved the bid process timelines for the 2024 Olympic Games. The Applicant City Phase for the 2024 Olympic Games will start on 15 September 2015 and continue through to April/May 2016. The Candidate City Phase will continue until the election of the host city in the summer of 2017. Olympic Agenda 2020 recommendations will be fully applied in the bid process for the Olympic Games 2024, which opens on 15 January 2015. It should be noticed that one of the recommendations of Olympic Agenda 2020 which have been approved by the Session is to include an Invitation Phase to the bid process that would offer potential bid cities greater flexibility and diversity.
The EB also selected Brasov (Romania) and Lausanne (Switzerland) as Shortlisted Candidate Cities for the 3rd Winter Youth Olympic Games in 2020. The EB also discussed the Rio 2016 and Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games and the 2018 Olympic Winter Games in PyeongChang. With regard to 2016 Games, the EB welcomed the positive efforts being made by Rio 2016 to raise awareness and support for the Games in Rio, Brazil, and internationally. It also granted provisional recognition to the International Olympic Collectors Association (AICO).

In Monaco, the IOC President met the IOC Vice President, Craig Reedie, the EB member Ugur Erdener, the IOC members HSH Prince Albert II and Julio César Maglione as well as the IOC honorary member, HRH Prince Nawaf Faisal Fahd Abdulaziz. He also met the President of the Senegalese NOC, Mamadou Diagna Ndiaye, and the Presidents of the International Luge Federation (FIL) and International Bobsleigh and Tobogganing Federation (FIBT), Josef Fendt and Ivo Ferriani respectively. The latter meeting was also attended by Gunilla Lindberg, Chair of the PyeongChang 2018 Coordination Commission.

At a Gala Dinner co-hosted by IOC President and HSH Prince Albert II, the IOC announced the winners of the Olympic Golden Rings awards for outstanding broadcast coverage of the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi. An international jury headed by Gian-Franco Kasper, a member of the Coordination Commission for the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games, selected the winners, who were divided into six categories. Around 500 guests, including HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco and President Bach, attended the ceremony. Press release and full list of winners here.

Reports and photos from the Olympic meetings can be found on, Facebook and Twitter.



Mario Pescante
represented the IOC at a conference held in Rome by the Italian NOC as part of the Italian Presidency of the Council of the European Union. The conference focused on the specific nature of sport, with particular reference to the training of young players, in European Union law.




Ingmar De Vos was elected as President of the International Equestrian Federation (FEI) during the FEI General Assembly in Baku (Azerbaijan). He replaced the outgoing President, Princess Haya. De Vos had served as the FEI's Secretary General since May 2011. He takes the reins of the FEI for a four-year term, and is eligible for re-election for up to three consecutive terms. He will resign as Secretary General and will appoint an interim Secretary General to take over the role until a permanent replacement is found. Info at

The 12th edition of the FINA World Swimming Championships (25m) came to an end on 7 December in Doha (Qatar). A record 950 swimmers from 172 countries participated in this edition, which saw some impressive performances, including no less than 23 world records (14 in individual events and 9 in the relays). Ahead of these Championships, the Extraordinary Congress of the International Swimming Federation (FINA) approved mixed gender events in synchronised swimming and diving. The first mixed events will take place at the 2015 FINA World Championships in Kazan (Russia) from 24 July to 9 August. All the decisions of the Congress can be found at 


The International Surfing Association (ISA) has awarded individual scholarships to 75 young surfers aged between 7 and 18 from 32 different countries. Created in 2007, this programme aims to provide financial support to young surfers, many of whom are from developing countries, to allow them to gather surfing experience while teaching them the importance of education. Info at


Commemoration of Athletes’ Day in Guatemala. © NOC of Guatemala

The NOC of Guatemala and the Independent Sports Confederation of Guatemala paid tribute to Guatemalan athletes at the traditional Athletes’ Day commemorations held at the ‘Teodoro Palacios Flores’ sports centre on 7 December. NOC President Gerardo Aguirre and Confederation President Dennis Alonzo were joined by numerous athletes, including medallists from the recent Veracruz 2014 Central American and Caribbean Games, at which Guatemalan athletes produced some outstanding performances. Info at

Participants in the ‘Amitzur Shapira’ race. © NOC of Israel

Around 1,000 students from the Wingate Institute, Israel’s national centre for physical education and sport, took part in the traditional ‘Amitzur Shapira’ race, named after the athletics coach murdered by terrorists at the 1972 Games in Munich. The race was started by Gilad Lustig, CEO of the Israeli NOC, together with directors of the Institute. The torch was carried by Esther Roth Shachamorov, an athlete coached by Amitzur Shapira and a survivor of the attack in Munich. Info at

Some of the athletes awarded scholarships. © Mongolian NOC

The Mongolian NOC has launched the athlete scholarship programme for the 2016 Games in Rio. The programme will benefit 17 athletes from seven different sports. NOC President Demchigjav Zagdsuren congratulated the first athletes to be awarded the Olympic Solidarity scholarships and presented the first grants to athletes, coaches and representatives of the national federations.

Participants in the Slovak NOC seminar. © Slovak NOC

At the end of November, the Slovak NOC organised a seminar on the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio and the 2015 European Games in Baku, which was attended by around 80 athletes and their entourage. The programme included presentations on the preparations for the two events, as well as the facilities and venues. Athlete preparation and topics linked to nutrition and psychology were particularly discussed. Info at

The Czech NOC informs us that Prague will host the General Assembly of the European Olympic Committees (EOC) for the second time, 16 years after the Assembly was first held in the Czech capital in November 1999. The decision was taken at the EOC Assembly in Baku (Azerbaijan) in November. Info at


RIO 2016

© Rio 2016

The first batch of commemorative coins for the Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games is now available on the market. The Brazilian Central Bank launched the nine coins – one gold, four silver and four for ordinary circulation – on 28 November. A total of 36 coins will be minted between now and 2016. Info at

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