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22 Dec 2014
IOC News

Olympic Highlights



© IOC / Arnaud Meylan

On 17 December, IOC President Thomas Bach welcomed the President of the International Gymnastics Federation (FIG), Bruno Grandi, and FIG Secretary General André F. Gueisbuhler to Lausanne, where they discussed the implementation of the Olympic Agenda 2020 recommendations, cooperation between the two organisations and preparations for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio.

The IOC announced that the Instituto Cubano de Radio y Televisión (ICRT) has been awarded the exclusive broadcast rights in Cuba for the Games of the XXXI Olympiad in Rio in 2016. President Bach said: “Rio 2016 will be the first time the Olympic Games have been held in South America, and ICRT will work with us once again to bring the sporting action to fans in Cuba. This agreement also means that the IOC has now completed all its broadcast agreements for Rio 2016.” Read the full media release here.

A few days after the approval of the 40 Olympic Agenda 2020 recommendations, and in particular the recommendation about the candidature process for the Olympic Games in 2024, two NOCs announced their candidature to host these Games. The Italian NOC has thus formalised the candidature of the city of Rome, while the United States Olympic Committee has yet to designate which city will enter the race for the 2024 Games. The German NOC also decided to launch a bid for the 2024 edition few days earlier.

This week, President Bach met a delegation from the Honav Company, led by its chairman and general manager, Chen Shaoshu. President Bach was accompanied by IOC Vice-President Zaiqing Yu.


An IOC delegation led by the IOC Coordination Commission Chair, Nawal El Moutawakel, recently completed a project review visit to Rio de Janeiro.  During its two day meeting (16 and 17 December), the delegation visited the Deodoro complex, where good progress was observed. The meeting was also attended by the Governor Luiz Fernando Pezão, the Mayor of Rio, Eduardo Paes and representatives of the Federal Government.



The World Rowing Federation (FISA) Council met in London (Great Britain) last weekend to consider Olympic Agenda 2020 and how FISA can contribute to its success. The Council also reviewed the competitions organised in 2014, the Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games competition schedules, the new Anti-Doping Bye-Laws, FISA’s adherence to the IOC’s Integrity Betting Intelligence System as well as a full review of the status of FISA’s projects on universality, equality and sustainability. Info at

On 15 December, the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) published the full athletics timetable for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio. The fact that some finals will be held in the morning is of particular note. The IAAF took this step following a request from the Rio 2016 Organising Committee and the Olympic Broadcasting Service, which was supported by the IOC. Info at

On 16 December, the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) announced that Spain will host the first ever FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup in 2018. The Spanish Basketball Federation has past experience of hosting a major FIBA event, since it staged the men’s Basketball World Cup in summer 2014. Info at

As part of the development programme of the International Swimming Federation (FINA), 30 swimming coaches belonging to leading schools and clubs engaged in training elite swimmers updated their knowledge at an advanced training course in Colombo (Sri Lanka) from 10 to 14 December. The five-day course, sponsored by FINA, taught senior and up-and-coming coaches the latest training methods and athlete development techniques. Info at

The World Archery (WA) Executive Board met in Nottingham (Great Britain) last weekend and discussed the impact of Olympic Agenda 2020 on the federation’s strategic plan. The next stage of the 2013-2017 World Archery Plan was also discussed. Host cities for a number of international events were selected: the 2017-2019 Archery World Cup Stages were awarded to Salt Lake City (USA), Shanghai (People’s Republic of China), Berlin (Germany) and Antalya (Turkey); the 2016 World Archery Indoor Championships to Ankara (Turkey); the 2016 World Archery Field Championships to Dublin (Ireland); the 2017 World Archery 3D Championships to Robion (France); and the 2017 World Archery Youth Championships to Buenos Aires (Argentina). Info at

The International Triathlon Union (ITU) has announced that Mexico City (Mexico) and Rotterdam (Netherlands) will host the 28th and 29th editions of the ITU World Triathlon Grand Final in 2016 and 2017 respectively. In addition to crowning the world champions, these competitions will award world titles in the junior and Paratriathlon categories. The dates will be confirmed in due course. The 2015 edition will be held in Chicago (United States of America) from 15 to 20 September. Info at


From 18 to 20 December, the NOC of Bahrain hosted the 56th Congress of the International Council for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, Sports and Dance (ICHPER-SD) on the theme of ‘Towards building a new sport system’. More than 250 participants were expected to attend this Congress, which was organised by the NOC in cooperation with the ICHPER-SD and the University of Bahrain. The opening ceremony was held under the patronage of Nasser bin Hamad Al Khalifa, Chairman of the Supreme Council for Youth and Sports and NOC President. Info at

Martine Grael, Arthur Zanetti and Kahena Kunze. © Gaspar Nóbrega/Inovafoto/COB

Gymnast Arthur Zanetti and female sailors Martine Grael and Kahena Kunze have been voted the best Brazilian Olympic athletes of 2014. The announcement was made at an awards ceremony organised by the Brazilian NOC in Rio de Janeiro on 16 December. The first ever 'Athlete of the Fans' trophy went to gymnast Flávia Saraiva, who was chosen by the public after a vote on Facebook and Twitter. The best athlete of 2014 in each of the 43 sports also received a trophy, as did the medallists from the Summer Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing. Info at

© Dejana Sadzak / NOC Bosnia and Herzegovina

The NOC of Bosnia and Herzegovina has awarded the 2014 IOC Sport and Art Trophy to Ismar Mujezinović (left in photo). Mujezinović created the posters for the 1984 Olympic Winter Games in Sarajevo and was therefore honoured 30 years after his Olympic contribution. The trophy was presented to him by NOC Vice-President Izet Radjo (right in photo) at a ceremony held on 9 December, during which awards were also presented to the best athletes of the year. The Athlete of the Year award was presented to young judoka Larisa Cerić, European Championship silver medallist.

At the Colombian Olympic Sports Gala, the best athletes of the year were honoured in a ceremony organised by the Colombian NOC with the support of Coldeportes. More than 300 guests were in attendance, including the NOC President, Baltazar Medina, and over 100 athletes. The Altius prizes and other NOC awards were presented at the ceremony. A full list of prize-winners can be found at

Mireia Belmonte and Javier Fernández with Alejandro Blanco. © Spanish NOC

In Madrid on 16 December, the 9th Annual Gala of the Spanish NOC paid tribute to several athletes and personalities from the world of sport. The NOC Olympic Order, for example, was awarded to a number of sports federation presidents. The NOC Athlete of the Year award was presented jointly to swimmer Mireia Belmonte and skater Javier Fernández by the NOC President, Alejandro Blanco. Artist María Ángeles Uceda received the 2014 IOC Sport and Art Trophy in recognition of her important contribution to sport through her various works. NOC President Alejandro Blanco and IOC Executive Board member Juan Antonio Samaranch presented the trophy. Detailed info on the prize-winners at this 9th Gala is available at

The NOC of Guatemala has announced that the 26th edition of the traditional Christmas race for Guatemalan sports journalists will take place on 21 December. Around 2,000 participants are expected. Prior to the race, the Guatemalan Sports Journalists’ Association will hold its annual gala, at which the best athletes of the year will be honoured. Info at

© Serbian NOC

The Serbian NOC has organised the 21st annual award ceremony for the most successful athletes, coach and teams of the year (photo above). Around 400 guests attended the ceremony on 9 December, including the President of the Republic of Serbia, Tomislav Nikolić, the Minister of Sport and numerous Olympians. The 2014 IOC Sport and Art Trophy was presented to Dragan Bjelogrlić, director of the films “Montevideo, God Bless You” and “Montevideo, see you!” Also an actor, screenwriter and producer, Bjelogrlić produced films and TV series on the Yugoslavian team’s participation in the first football World Cup in Uruguay in 1930. The trophy was presented to him by NOC President Vlade Divac. Info at

Bogdan Gabrovec is the new President of the Slovenian NOC. The 61-year-old is a former President of Slovenian Judo Federation and a former NOC Vice-President. He was also the Slovenian Olympic team’s chef de mission at the London 2012 Olympic Games, when judoka Urška Žolnir won the first gold medal ever won by a Slovenian woman. Meanwhile, the NOC also celebrated the achievements of its former President, Janez Kocijančič, during his 23-year tenure by granting him the title of President Emeritus. Info at

The Venezuelan NOC informs us that the second symposium for American NOCs on the theme of best practices was held on 11 December. Organised in Miami (United States of America), this symposium was attended by representatives of the 41 member NOCs of the Pan-American Sports Organisation (PASO). The topics discussed include the challenges facing NOCs, strategies for the allocation of resources for elite sport, the importance of the image of NOCs and the media, and the future development of sport for the American NOCs.


RIO 2016

© Rio 2016

The mascots for the Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games have been named Vinicius and Tom after a public vote. The names, which honour Bossa Nova musicians Vinicius de Moraes and Tom Jobim, won 44% of the valid votes, with more than 320,000 received during the three-week poll. The mascots, which were unveiled on 23 November, are inspired by the various animals and plants found in Brazil. Info at


The 4th CSIT (International Workers and Amateurs in Sports Confederation) World Sports Games will be held from 7 to 14 June 2015 in Lignano Sabbiadoro (Italy). As well as organising competitions in 54 different sports and sports activities for several thousand participants, the CSIT and AICS, the Italian CSIT member organisation, will hold a big festival at which participants will be able to share information and experiences and build new friendships. Info at and


Due to the end-of-year festivities, a special edition of Olympic Highlights will be published on 5 January 2015. We would like to take this opportunity to wish you all the very best for the festive season.

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