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17 Feb 2015
IOC News

Olympic Highlights



© IOC / Christophe Moratal

As part of the new “Invitation Phase” of the bidding process, IOC President Thomas Bach met the newly appointed leader of the Rome bid, Luca Cordero di Montezemolo, and the President of the Italian NOC (CONI), Giovanni Malagò, to discuss the bid committee’s Olympic plans with regard to Olympic Agenda 2020. Speaking afterwards, the President said:  “It is great to see a city already taking advantage of the Invitation Phase, which gives us the chance to ask potential bid cities how they see the Olympic Games best fitting into their long-term social, sports, ecological and economic environment. It also gives the cities an opportunity to receive information and advice from the IOC on how best to achieve such legacies.” Leaders of the Rome 2024 bid team were at the IOC headquarters in Lausanne, where they had a number of technical meetings with IOC staff to discuss their plans for hosting the 2024 Olympic Games.

© The Presidential Press and Information Office

On Friday in Moscow, the IOC President met the President of the Russian Federation, Vladimir Putin. The two men discussed a broad range of topics, including the UN Resolution on Sport and the Olympic Movement (A/RES/69/6) adopted last year. President Bach thanked Russia for its support. They also spoke about the ongoing negotiations on the UN Sustainable Development Goals with regard to the importance of sport for education, health and peace building. Another important topic was the legacy of the Olympic Winter Games in Sochi.


President Bach took part in a gala in honour of the IOC Doyen, Vitaly Smirnov, who was celebrating his 80th birthday. The President expressed the gratitude of the Olympic Movement for Mr Smirnov’s commitment and great achievements for over 40 years within the IOC and for his country, Russia. Numerous Russian Olympic champions and international sporting personalities were present.

The IOC President also attended a ceremony at the Russian State University of Physical Education, Sport, Youth and Tourism, also in Moscow, during which he was named honorary professor by the University. In his speech he stressed the importance of sport in education and of the need to protect clean athletes.

In Moscow the President was accompanied by IOC Members in Russia Shamil Tarpischev and Alexander Popov. He also held meetings with IOC Vice-President Craig Reedie and IOC Members Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah, Valeriy Borzov and Olegario Vázquez Raña, as well as FINA Executive Director Cornel Marculescu. The President met numerous Russian Olympic champions and medal winners.

The IOC President met the Vice-President of the Russian Olympic Committee and Vice-President of the International Shooting Sport Federation, Vladimir Lisin, with whom he discussed the implementation of Olympic Agenda 2020 and the Olympic Channel in particular.

He also met the Minister of Sport of the Russian Federation, Vitaly Mutko, as well as the Vice-President of the Russian Olympic Committee, Igor Levitin.

© IOC / Christophe Moratal

The President of the World Taekwondo Federation (WTF), Chungwon Choue, was welcomed by the IOC President, with whom he discussed the preparations for the Olympic Games Rio 2016 and the cooperation between the WTF and the International Taekwon-Do Federation (ITF), following the agreement signed between the two organisations in August 2014.

In Berlin, President Bach attended the State Mourning Ceremony for the former President of the German Federal Republic, Richard von Weizsäcker. On the announcement of the death of this statesman, who had received the Olympic Order in gold, President Bach had declared: “Richard von Weizsäcker always supported and lived the Olympic ideal with its humanitarian values of understanding and tolerance. To him sport was a personal experience of life as well as tool to build bridges across all borders and differences. During many important moments of my life he always gave me valuable and sensitive advice and support.” In Berlin, the President had a meeting with the IOC Member in Hungary Pál Schmitt, who was representing his country on this occasion.


© Lillehammer 2016 / Alexander Eriksson

Nawal El Moutawakel, IOC Vice-President, and Angela Ruggiero, IOC Member and Chair of the Coordination Commission for the Winter Youth Olympic Games in Lillehammer in 2016, took part in the one-year-to-go celebrations for these Games on 12 February. They also took part in a school sports day and a session on the ice, during which Olympic ice hockey champion Angela Ruggiero gave a lesson to the region’s youngsters. Cf. the “Lillehammer 2016” section.


From 14 to 18 February, the Evaluation Commission, chaired by Alexander Zhukov, is visiting Almaty (Kazakhstan), a candidate city for the 2022 Olympic Winter Games.



In the framework of the PhD Students Research Grant Programme, the IOC Olympic Studies Centre (OSC) and its Selection Committee (photo above) recently selected seven research projects based on their academic quality and link with Olympic studies. The chosen students will benefit from a grant allowing them to carry out their research project and, if relevant, to consult the OSC’s resources in Lausanne. The results of their research must be submitted to the OSC at the end of 2015. This year, for the first time, the programme has featured, in collaboration with Olympic Solidarity, a new category of grants aimed especially at PhD students whose research addresses subjects of interest to the NOCs of their countries. The list of grants awarded is available here. You can read about the OSC’s programmes and activities on its web site.




Members of nine (out of the 11) commissions of the International Boxing Association (AIBA) recently met in Lausanne (photo above), where they were welcomed by AIBA President Ching-Kuo Wu. The agenda included the implementation plan for the newly amended competition rules, development of qualified officials to accommodate all AIBA competitions, and a long-term strategy for the development of women’s boxing. The Technical and Rules Commission and AIBA office will further review these recommendations and present the most appropriate proposals to the AIBA Executive Committee Bureau for immediate implementation and/or for the approval by the AIBA Executive Committee in July. Info at

Meeting recently in Tabor (Czech Republic), the host city of the 2015 Cyclo-Cross World Championships, the Management Committee of the International Cycling Union (UCI) adopted a set of important measures. Thus, a “women’s youth” category (for ages 17-22) will be added to the programme of the UCI Cyclo-Cross World Championships from 2016. Provisional membership status was granted to the Kosovo Cycling Federation, following the recognition of the NOC of Kosovo by the 127th IOC Session in December 2014. The visual identity of the UCI and its events will be revamped. The next Management Committee meeting will be held in June in Lausanne. In addition, the UCI confirmed that the men’s and women’s road races for the Rio 2016 Games will start and finish at the Fort of Copacabana beach. The men’s race will be held on Saturday 6 August over a distance of 256.4km. The women’s race will be held the following day over 130.3km. Info at

New hockey coaches in Haiti. © FIH

In January this year, for the first time, the Haitian Hockey Federation – which was recognised last year at the International Hockey Federation (FIH) Congress – organised an introductory coaching course led by FIH Coach Shiv Jagday. The course was held over four days at the Sport for Hope Olympic Centre, and supported by the Pan-American Hockey Federation and the FIH. In total, 42 Haitian coaches were introduced to what was a brand new sport for them, its rules and techniques, and the creation of a hockey programme and a team. The course was widely covered in the media, including on national TV and radio. Info at

The International Swimming Federation (FINA) has been officially accepted as a member of the Permanent Consultative Council of the Intergovernmental Committee for Physical Education and Sport (CIGEPS). The request for membership was made during the Extraordinary Session held between 29 and 30 January at the IOC headquarters in Lausanne. FINA will cooperate with CIGEPS-UNESCO to promote and support the development of physical education and aquatic sports across the globe. The cooperation opens up new possibilities in the attainment and awareness of the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), especially the fourth MDG, which aims to reduce child mortality by two-thirds, considering swimming as a tool to protect people’s lives from the dangers of drowning. Info at


The Qatari NOC and Qatari Modern Pentathlon Federation have signed an agreement with the International Federation of Modern Pentathlon (UIPM) to host the 2015, 2016 and 2017 editions of the Champion of Champions event. This tournament will bring together the top 36 athletes, competing to be crowned the best male and female modern pentathletes in the world. The agreement was signed by NOC Secretary General Saoud Bin Abdulrahman Al Thani, Qatari Federation President Fahad Saad Al Qahtani and UIPM President Klaus Schormann (photo above). Info at


The International Ski Federation (FIS) has announced that its very first Legacy Outreach Programme will be launched jointly with the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) in the framework of the 40th Nordic Skiing World Championships in Falun (Sweden) from 19 to 21 February. Many athletes will participate in the programme, and help promote the clean sport message to competing athletes and their entourage. The athletes will also have the opportunity to take part in a series of games and activities, including WADA’s Play True Quiz. Info at and


Team Bananenflanke celebrating their prize, in the presence of Joachim Gauck (2nd from right) © DOSB/ Kai Bienert

The German NOC (DOSB) has awarded the “Team Bananenflanke” association the Grand Star of Sports in gold. The award was presented by Federal President Joachim Gauck at a ceremony in Berlin. The Stars of Sports is Germany's most prestigious prize in sport for all, honouring associations or sports clubs for extraordinary social commitment. Team Bananenflanke, from Regensburg, created a football league for children and teenagers with educational and mental disabilities. Info at

© NOC of Bahrain

The 2015 Schools Mini Olympics will be held from 1 March to 30 April, the NOC of Bahrain announced at the meeting of the committee in charge of preparations for this event (photo above). Organised by the NOC in cooperation with the Ministry for Education and sports associations, this competition will have six sports on the programme: volleyball, basketball, table tennis, athletics, football and swimming. Cultural activities and meetings with Olympic athletes will also be organised.

© Colombian NOC

As part of the Colombian NOC’s training programme, the first module of the sports administration course (GOLD) was held on 6 and 7 February in Bogota, bringing together 40 participants (photo above). “GOLD” is the national version of the advanced sports management course (MOSO), one of Olympic Solidarity’s world programmes. The themes addressed included the administration of Olympic sports organisations, the governance of these organisations, and information management and technology. Info at

Ceremony in honour of the athletes of the year.  © NOC of Costa Rica

The 2014 “Colibri” prizes recently honoured 15 Costa Rican athletes who excelled in 2014. The winners received their prizes from the President of the Costa Rican Republic, Luis Guillermo Solís, among others. Also present were Sports Minister Carolina Mauri, Costa Rican NOC President Henry Núñez Nájera, the presidents of national sports federations and associations, and many athletes and guests. Info at

© Peruvian NOC

The Peruvian NOC has reported that the second advanced sports management course will conclude after 10 months of training, which has seen the successful participation of professionals from institutions linked to sport, thanks to the support of Olympic Solidarity. The aim of this training developed by the NOC is to train professionals involved in the organisation of the 2019 Pan-American Games in Lima. The topics addressed in this second course include the administration of an Olympic sports organisation, HR management, marketing and organising a major sports event. The NOC also informed us that over 500 coaches were able to benefit from training, thanks to annual training programmes and exchanges of national team coaches and national sports federation technical coordinators. These programmes were led by the NOC with the support of Olympic Solidarity and the Pan-American Sports Organisation (PASO). Info at

© Chinese Taipei Olympic Committee

Olympic Solidarity and the Chinese Taipei Olympic Committee (CTOC) recently announced the awarding of Olympic Scholarships for Athletes “Rio 2016” to four Olympic hopefuls. CTOC President Hong-Dow Lin presented the scholarship certificates to the scholarships holders at a ceremony held on 5 February in Taipei City (photo above). In addition, following the approval of the Olympic Agenda 2020 recommendations by the 127th IOC Session, the NOC organised a briefing to communicate the concept and philosophy of the project. The meeting was attended by about 100 people, including members of the NOC’s Executive Board, representatives of National Federations and sports authorities, officials, experts and scholars. In May, the COTC will launch a national conference on the theme “The Innovation and Prospects of the Olympic Agenda 2020”. Info at

© Venezuelan NOC

At a recent press conference (photo above), the Venezuelan NOC presented its main activities for 2015, with the focal point being the athletes’ preparations for the Pan-American Games in Toronto then the Olympic Games in Rio in 2016. The awarding of Pan-American and Olympic Solidarity scholarships, cooperation agreements with other NOCs, courses and assistance to athletes, coaches and national sports federations were some of the points covered by NOC President Eduardo Álvarez.

SOCHI 2014

© Russian NOC

To mark the first anniversary of the successful hosting of the Olympic Winter Games Sochi 2014, the Sochi 2014 Wall of Champions was recently unveiled in the Olympic Park in Sochi (photo above). An Olympic tradition, the Wall celebrates the champions of a particular edition of the Games by having their names displayed in the host city for future generations to admire. The unveiling of the wall formed part of a day of celebrations to mark the one-year anniversary of the Games in the city of Sochi, with events being held in both the mountain and coastal clusters. The highlight was an ice gala at the Iceberg venue, in the presence of Russian President Vladimir Putin and the Chair of the IOC Coordination Commission for these Games, Jean-Claude Killy. Read the press release here.


© PyeongChang 2018
On 9 February, PyeongChang celebrated three years to go until the Olympic Winter Games in 2018, with an event dubbed: “One day in PyeongChang”. Over 500 participants, including representatives of the government and the National Assembly of the Republic of Korea, the sports industry, the people of the region and the staff of the PyeongChang 2018 Organising Committee (POCOG), took part in the celebrations organised at the Alpensia ski jumping centre and site for the Olympic stadium. The participants came together to form a large-scale PyeongChang 2018 official emblem (photo above), and 60 runners took part in a relay between the two Games sites, which will host the ski jumping events and Opening and Closing Ceremonies respectively. During these celebrations, POCOG officially named six-time Olympian Lee Kyou Hyuk, 2011 world champion speed skater, as a Games Ambassador. Info at



© Ylva Melbye Berget

Celebrations to mark one year to go to the Winter Youth Olympic Games Lillehammer 2016 were kicked off on 12 February in the heart of the host city by HRH Crown Prince Haakon of Norway, as he unveiled the OMEGA countdown clock showing 365 days to go. This ceremony was the start of several days of festivities in Lillehammer, Hamar and Gjøvik, the three locations that will host the sports and “Learn & Share” activities during the Games from 12 to 21 February 2016. During the unveiling of the clock (photo above), the Crown Prince was joined by IOC Vice-President Nawal El Moutawakel, IOC Member and Chair of the Coordination Commission Angela Ruggiero, and Norwegian Minister for Culture Thorhild Widvey. Read the press release here.


The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) recently extended its partnership agreement with the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), a leading organisation in the fields of sport medicine and the exercise sciences, for a further five-and-a-half years, taking it beyond the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games. Under the terms of the new agreement, the two organisations, which have been working in partnership since 2006, have identified a number of collaborative areas to improve the dissemination of knowledge in health, safety, research and performance of athletes with impairments. Info at

Generations For Peace has just published a video illustrating how sport can help to heal the scars left by 26 years of civil war, break down barriers and bring peace between previously warring communities. Indeed, five years after the end of the civil war that devastated Sri Lanka, the organisation conducted a filming field visit in 2014 to engage with the families of the various communities. In 2015, Generations For Peace will continue to support the difficult post-conflict transition for young people in their communities, conducting further research and providing carefully-facilitated sport-based programmes and activities. Info at

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