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10 Mar 2015
IOC News

Olympic Highlights



There were two busy weeks for the IOC President which took him first in Rio de Janeiro for the first Executive Board (EB) meeting after the approval of Olympic Agenda 2020, the eighth visit of the Coordination Commission for the Olympic Games Rio 2016, as well as for discussions with Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff. After Rio, the presidential agenda included several meetings with members of the Olympic Movement in Lausanne and a one day trip to Copenhagen for a Congress of the Danish NOC.

© IOC / Ian Jones

President Thomas Bach travelled to Brasilia to meet Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff, who reiterated her full support for the Games from “every level and ministry of her government, as well as from State and City authorities.” The IOC President praised President Rousseff for “taking leadership on the government side”, before adding: “The Games will provide new infrastructure for Rio that will serve as a catalyst for growth in Rio and across the country.” The two leaders also discussed the Olympic Truce Resolution, which will be debated by the United Nations General Assembly later this year. The IOC President was accompanied by IOC Vice President Nawal El Moutawakel, Chair of the Rio 2016 Coordination Commission, Carlos Arthur Nuzman, Rio 2016 President, Brazilian IOC Member Bernard Rajzman and IOC Director General Christophe de Kepper. The IOC President invited President Rousseff to the lighting of the Olympic flame in Olympia and to take part in the Olympic torch relay.

On the eve of his visit to the Brazilian President, the IOC President joined the Rio 2016 Coordination Commission during its meeting and on a tour of the Barra Olympic Park. He also participated in a meeting with Rio State Governor Luiz Fernando Pezão, Rio de Janeiro Mayor Eduardo Paes, and Brazilian Minister of Sports George Hilton.

© IOC / Ian Jones

The EB adopted an Implementation Plan for Olympic Agenda 2020. The EB looked at each of the 40 recommendations during two days of discussions, and discussed their implementation, including timelines, costs, and the impact on human resources and the structure of the IOC. The Implementation Plan focuses on timelines for 2015 but also gives some milestones beyond 2015. Implementation of a significant number of recommendations began immediately after their adoption at the 127th IOC Session in Monaco eight weeks ago.

Further decisions were taken by the EB in Rio. Changes announced by the Tokyo 2020 Organizing Committee are evidence that Olympic Agenda 2020 is already being implemented. In the spirit of Olympic Agenda 2020 (Recommendation 4) the EB agreed to three venue changes (canoe slalom, basketball and equestrian - jumping, dressage and eventing) to the master plan for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020. The excellent collaboration between the IOC Coordination Commission, under its Chairman John Coates, and Tokyo 2020 to incorporate the spirit of Olympic Agenda 2020 into its plans for the Games has already resulted in savings of USD 1 billion from the revised construction budget.
For the bidding process (Recommendation 1) the EB heard that a number of interested NOCs had already taken advantage of the new Invitation Phase. This new phase for the 2024 Games started on 15 January.

During the EB, new allocations were made of the USD 20 million fund to protect the clean athletes (Recommendation 16).  Decisions were taken to fund better research in the fight against doping by having a fresh look at the testing procedures and sample taking. USD 2.5 million was allocated to set up workshops, beginning in April already, for the prevention of match-fixing, manipulation and related corruption, in collaboration with INTERPOL. The EB established the position of Ethics and Compliance Officer in the IOC administration (Recommendation 31).

The IOC has increased transparency, and will be audited according to enhanced International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS), even if these higher standards are legally not required (Recommendation 29).

The EB approved the organisational structure of the Olympic Channel (Recommendation 19). The company to be founded these days will have a share capital of one million CHF. Hiring of key management positions on the channel will now go ahead.

The EB discussed the procedure and timeline regarding the composition of the Olympic sports programme (Recommendation 10). Regarding the addition of (an) extra event(s) to the programme of the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, the IOC EB will approve a set of criteria at its next meeting in June. Tokyo 2020 will subsequently submit its proposal(s) to the IOC in September 2015. The IOC Programme Commission will then study the proposal(s) and make a recommendation to the IOC EB. A final decision is expected to be made at the IOC Session in Rio in 2016.

In its commitment to strengthen the support to athletes (Recommendation 18), the EB agreed to have a mourning place within the Olympic Village during the period of the Games in order to allow athletes and all those in the Village to mourn people who passed away, in a special and dignified way. The EB intends to inaugurate this mourning place with a special ceremony which will give the opportunity to remember in particular all those people who have died at the Olympic Games. It was also decided to devote a moment during the Closing Ceremony to allow everybody in the stadium as well as those at home to remember the loved ones they have lost.

The President will appoint the new commission members in the coming weeks according to the new structure (Recommendation 40).
In the future each EB meeting will have specific point of its agenda dedicated to the implementation of Olympic Agenda 2020. A report will also be presented to the IOC Session.

During the EB, Members received a report on the finances of the Organising Committee for the Olympic Winter Games Sochi 2014, which generated an operational surplus of RUB 3.25 billion (approximately USD 50 million) from the staging of the Games. Following its policy to reinvest its revenues in the development of sport, the IOC EB decided to transfer the IOC’s contractual share of RUB 650 million/USD10 million to the Russian Olympic Committee for use in the development of sport, the Olympic Channel and an Olympic Museum in Russia. In total, the IOC contributed USD 833 million to support the Sochi Games, an increase of USD 83 million over previous estimates. The IOC will contribute around USD 1.5 billion to the success of next summer’s Olympic Games Rio 2016.

The EB also heard reports from the organisers of the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018, Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, and Winter Youth Olympic Games Lillehammer 2016. The delegation from PyeongChang 2018, led by its Chairman Cho Yang-Ho, acknowledged the challenges they are currently facing in their preparations. The IOC EB offered its assistance wherever and however possible. This resulted in the establishment of an Integration Working Group to have key stakeholders around one table in PyeongChang to speed up decision-making processes and improve integration between all stakeholders.

Furthermore, the EB agreed to two proposals regarding changes to Rule 40 and Rule 50 of the Olympic Charter, both of which will be presented to the next IOC Session this July in Kuala Lumpur for final approval. In regard to the application of Rule 40, the IOC would, following Session approval, allow generic (non-Olympic) advertising during the period of the Games. The change to Rule 50 would increase the maximum size of a manufacturer’s identification while respecting the clean field of play to prevent conspicuous advertising.

The EB also decided to hold its next meeting in June in Lausanne and not at the SportAccord Convention this April in Sochi. However, President Bach will attend the first day of meetings in Sochi.

A minute of silence, led by the IOC President, has been held in tribute to Mario Vázquez Raña, the long-time IOC Member, EB Member, President of the Association of National Olympic Committees (ANOC) and President of the Panamerican Sports Organisation (PASO). He passed away early February at age 82.

© IOC / Ian Jones

In Rio, the IOC President took part in a question and answer session on the Rio 2016 Olympic Games and the Olympic Movement, during a debate with some 100 Brazilian students from 10 universities and colleges. The discussion centred on the legacy of the Games. Full release here.

© IOC / Ian Jones

President Bach also met Rio youngsters for fencing 'master class'. A gold medalist in fencing at the Olympic Games Montreal 1976, Bach spoke to and crossed foils with many of the young athletes for more than an hour. In all, about 30 fencing students welcomed the IOC President at the Clube Municipal Tijuca, which caters to young athletes between the ages of 5 and 17.

© IOC / Ian Jones

On Sunday 1 March, the IOC President took part in a day of celebrations to mark the 450th anniversary of Rio de Janeiro where he met President Rousseff for a second time. Joined by Mayor Eduardo Paes, Rio Governor Fernando Pezao and President of Rio 2016 Carlos Nuzman they cut a ribbon to open a new tunnel in the port area of the city, which is part of an urban renewal plan to revitalise the Porto Maravilha area and reconnect it to the rest of the city.

Brazilian IOC Member Bernard Rajzman also joined the delegation. At the celebrations, local celebrities, members of the public and the IOC President were awarded with the “1 March Medal” to honour those who had made a contribution to the city. During his stay in Rio, President Bach held meetings with IOC Vice Presidents Nawal El Moutawakel, John Coates and Zaiqing Yu, IOC EB Members Ching-Kuo Wu, René Fasel, Juan Antonio Samaranch, Sergey Bubka and Ugur Erdener, and IOC Members Julio César Maglione and Nicole Hoevertsz.

A meeting was also held with the Chairman of the Organising Committee for the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Games, Yang-Ho Cho, accompanied by the Chair of the IOC Coordination Commission for these Games, Gunilla Lindberg.

© Danish NOC

Upon his return from Rio, President Bach visited the Danish NOC at its Sports Congress in Copenhagen on 5 March. He told the audience: “Sport can neither save the world alone nor can it alone make the world a better and peaceful place. But sport has the power to contribute to a better harmonious and peaceful world.” He also made it clear that: “choosing a host city does not mean that the IOC necessarily agrees with the political or the legal system in the host country.  It means however that in every country where we organise Olympic Games we want to send the strong message of tolerance, respect and fair play as well as the compliance with all the values of the Olympic Charter for all participants at the Olympic Games.” The IOC President was joined by His Royal Highness Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark, IOC Member; President of the Danish National Olympic Committee and Sports Confederation Niels Nygaard; and the Danish Minister of Cultural Affairs, Marianne Jelved. President Bach also spoke about Olympic Agenda 2020 and the ongoing implementation of many of its recommendations. The IOC President told the Congress that: “we are always working for building bridges and never for erecting walls, that we follow this call for tolerance and solidarity.” Read the full speech.

© IOC / Christophe Moratal

In Lausanne, the President has met IOC Member Tony Estanguet, with whom he discussed various subjects linked to the implementation of the Olympic Agenda 2020 recommendations.

The President of the Association of Summer Olympic International Sports Federations (ASOIF), Francesco Ricci Bitti, talked with the IOC President about the preparations for the Olympic Games Rio 2016, as well as the close cooperation between the IOC and ASOIF in following up the respective Olympic Agenda 2020 recommendations.

© IOC / Christophe Moratal

With International Sailing Federation (ISAF) President Carlo Croce and Vice-President Scott Perry, talks also focused on the preparations for the Olympic Games Rio 2016, in particular the water quality in the Guanabara Bay, and the implementation of Olympic Agenda 2020 recommendations.

© IOC / Christophe Moratal

The IOC President held a meeting with the Senior Vice-President and Chief Marketing Officer of Bridgestone, Shu Ishibashi, with whom he discussed the implementation of Olympic Agenda 2020 and the involvement of the Worldwide TOP Partners with regard to the Olympic Channel.


©2015Grand-Ducal Court/all rights reserved

On 2 March, IOC Honorary President Jacques Rogge was officially received by HRH the Grand Duke of Luxembourg at the Château de Berg in Luxembourg. On this occasion, the Grand Duke – who is also an IOC Member – awarded Jacques Rogge the “Grand Cross” of the Civil and Military Order of Merit of Adolphe of Nassau.


© IOC / Antonio Escorel

While in Rio for the EB, Nawal El Moutawakel and Sergey Bubka provided their guidance to 30 young promising Brazilian athletes at the Brazilian Army’s Physical Training Centre. The two Olympic champions (400m hurdles and pole vault), talked about their life experiences, offered tips and even trained alongside the youngsters.

© IOC / Antonio Escorel

Also in Rio, Anita L. DeFrantz, a bronze medallist in 1976 in Montreal gave a rowing clinic at the Olympic venue of Lagoa Rodrigo de Freitas. She provided her sporting knowledge and experience to some 30 students.

© Colombian NOC


In Bogota, Andrés Botero Phillipsbourne received visits from two of his colleagues: IOC Vice-President Zaiqing Yu and EB Member Claudia Bokel who came after the EB in Rio.  They came for different reasons but with the same intention – to support the development of sport in Colombia and thus visited the High Level Centre at the Colombian NOC headquarters and the Ministry of Sport. (see also ‘NOCs’ section)

© IOC / Benoit Fontaine

Willi Kaltschmitt Luján and Olegario Vázquez Raña have been honoured by the Guatemalan NOC for their work in promoting the Olympic values and their support for Guatemalan sport. They received the distinction at a ceremony organised in honour of the medallists at the Summer Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing and the Central America and Caribbean Games in Veracruz (see also “National Olympic Committees” section).

© IOC / Benoit Fontaine

Lydia Nsekera, IOC Women and Sport Commission Chair, attended in Algiers an international seminar on women and sport in Algeria. Organised in Algiers by the NOC, the seminar was placed under the slogan “Olympism and sport in the service of women’s emancipation” (see also “NOCs” section).


© IOC / Ian Jones 

Ahead of the IOC EB meeting, the Rio 2016 Coordination Commission paid its eighth visit to the host city from 23 to 25 February, during which it noted solid progress. The sports venues are taking shape and numerous engagement initiatives such as ticketing, volunteering and the Olympic Torch Relay are up and running. The Commission members were also joined by the IOC President for part of its visit. Speaking at the end of the visit, Commission Chair Nawal El Moutawakel said: “The advancements made on both the Barra and Deodoro Olympic Parks were very encouraging, with both areas on track to leave fantastic legacies to the people of Rio and the athletes of Brazil. However, the Rio team is now entering the most intense phase in the preparation for the Games, as they reach a new level of detail while planning numerous test events.” She continued: “We were pleased to see that Rio and its government partners have put in place structures that will allow them to deal with what will be an intense year ahead, filled with thousands of details that will need to be dealt with before the Games.” Read the press release here.


© IOC / Christophe Moratal

As part of the new Invitation Phase integrated into the Olympic Games bid process
, following the adoption of Olympic Agenda 2020, a German NOC (DOSB) delegation, led by DOSB CEO Michael Vesper, was welcomed to the IOC headquarters in Lausanne on 2 March. In a meeting led by Olympic Games Executive Director Christophe Dubi, accompanied by Jacqueline Barrett, Head of Olympic Bid City Coordination, the DOSB delegation was able to find out more about the 2024 bid process and the conditions required to host the Games themselves. Full press release here.

Initiation to wrestling at The Olympic Museum. © IOC / Arnaud Meylan

On the occasion of the International Women’s Day (8 March), the IOC salutes to all those that contribute to the development of girls’ and women’s sport. A special event has been held at The Olympic Museum which honored female athletes who are making a name for themselves in what are traditionally considered to be male-dominated sports. On 7 and 8 March The Olympic Museum brought together a boxer, a wrestler, a mountaineer and an extreme sports athlete to share their experiences, passions and reasons for pursuing their respective disciplines. The two-day event featured sports demonstrations, round-table discussions and film projections of, and with, inspirational female athletes. Full press release here.


The first step towards Olympic Unity House has just been taken
with the public inquiry process for the demolition of the existing administrative buildings throughout March. The IOC had asked the architects selected through the international architecture competition to retain the existing administrative buildings, together with the Château de Vidy, a historic monument. But their configuration and structure proved to be incompatible with the IOC’s new needs and its historical patrimony obligations. The demolition permit application is necessary to ensure that the preparatory work can be undertaken in the best possible conditions, particularly with regard to the archaeological excavations. This procedure will be followed in mid-2015 by the construction permit application. Work is expected to start in 2016. Full press release here.



World Rowing has run an initiative to show its commitment to increasing women’s participation of in rowing worldwide. Launched in alignment with International Women's Day, this initiative was a photo competition via World Rowing’s Facebook page and Twitter account. The theme was “women in motion” and the slogan: “we row, we sweat, we strive”. Read about the winners announced on 8 March on


The Chairpersons and deputy Chairpersons serving on commissions and zone committees of the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) met at the House of Basketball in Mies (Switzerland) from 26 to 28 February (photo above). The implementation of the new governance of FIBA (ONE FIBA), the new calendar and competition system as well as the use of 3x3 basketball as a tool for developing the sport were among the main points addressed during the discussions, in which over 50 people from 30 countries took part.

At a press conference held on 24 February, 100 days before the event begins, FIBA, the Hungarian Basketball Federation and the host city announced that the 2015 FIBA 3x3 U18 World Championships will be held in Debrecen (Hungary) from 4 to 7 June. Debrecen will also be one of the venues of EuroBasket Women 2015. Info at

The International Cycling Union (UCI) informs us that, for the first time in the history of the UCI Track Cycling World Championships, riders used bikes equipped with cameras, allowing viewers to experience the action live from a rider’s perspective, during the competition held at Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines (France) from 18 to 22 February. In order to ensure fairness, all participants had cameras fixed under their saddles, filming the action taking place behind them. The images captures by the cameras were broadcast live on the big screen at the National Velodrome and by the event’s 30 or so broadcasters. Following the success of this initial experiment, the UCI intends to use onboard cameras again at other events on the international track cycling calendar. Info at

The International Association Football Federation (FIFA) Women’s Football and Leadership Conference was held at the FIFA headquarters in Zurich on 6 March.  Coinciding with International Women’s Day, celebrated on 8 March, this Conference was organised as part of FIFA’s commitment to promote, develop and invest in women’s football, so that the sport and those involved in it can grow to full potential across the world. The speakers were from sport, football and wider society. Two panels, one focusing on best practices in women’s football and the other looking at the challenges and opportunities when it comes to women in leadership, were proposed to the participants. Info at

The International Gymnastics Federation (FIG) Executive Committee met on 25 and 26 February in Lausanne at the FIG headquarters. The main decisions included the definitive awarding of the 47th Artistic Gymnastics World Championships in 2017 to Montreal (Canada); and approval of the modifications to the FIG anti-doping rules to align them with the World Anti-Doping Code. The qualification procedure for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, a new format for gymnastics events at the Youth Olympic Games Buenos Aires 2018, and the construction of a new FIG head office building were also among the topics discussed. The next meeting of the FIG Presidential Board and Executive Committee is scheduled for 12 to 14 May 2015 in Melbourne (Australia). Info at

Over 55,000 handball fans worldwide voted for the best athletes of 2014. The winners are: France’s Nikola Karabatić (who won for the second time) and Brazil’s Eduarda Amorim. The vote was held from 13 to 20 February 2015. Info at, site of the International Handball Federation (IHF).

The International Hockey Federation (FIH) has announced the launch of its Hockey Targeted Assistance Programme (TAP) with its first project, a four-year hockey development plan for West Africa. Hockey TAP is part of the “Engage and Empower” programmes of the “Hockey Revolution”, the FIH’s new ten-year strategy for hockey. At the end of 2014, representatives of the FIH, UK Sport, England Hockey and the African Hockey Federation met the Ghana Hockey Association in Accra. They also met a number of different stakeholder groups, including officials, athletes, coaches, teachers and young players, before drawing up a four-year assistance plan for hockey in West Africa, which was put into operation in January 2015. This plan includes providing hockey equipment and various resources in schools and clubs across West Africa in order to recruit new players and the training of over 70 new coaches to support the recruitment drive. It also aims to ensure the Ghana national women’s team receives high-level coaching and athlete support at FIH events such as the Hockey World League. Info at

Young Iranian girls practising belt wrestling. © UWW

The collaboration between United World Wrestling (UWW) and the Iranian Wrestling Federation to increase women’s opportunities to practise wrestling in Iran has just been given a boost. Indeed, Iranian Federation President Rasoul Khadem confirmed on 3 March that his country’s women will begin training and competing in belt wrestling. It will be the very first programme for Iranian women. Badrolmolouk Kahrangi will be named as head of the Iran Women Belt Wrestling Department. UWW President Nenad Lalovic is looking forward to working with the Iranian Federation on developing women’s wrestling. Info at

A course for officials of the International Swimming Federation (FINA) held at the start of February was attended by 63 participants in Bayamón, a suburb of San Juan (Puerto Rico). While 50 of the participants were local, the other 13 came from Antigua, the Bahamas, Barbados, Chile, Guatemala and Panama. Advice and training were provided by Søren Korbo and Bill Hogan, honorary secretary and former member of the FINA Technical Committee respectively. This was the first course of 2015, with four more to follow in the coming months. Through this programme, FINA is continuing its commitment to the development of the sport worldwide. Info at


From 18 to 23 February in Sarasota (USA), nearly 200 athletes from 35 countries took part in the first leg of the 2015 World Cup series of the International Modern Pentathlon Union (UIPM). This competition was a huge challenge for the athletes, since it marked the start of the qualification process for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio. It was also the first major international competition since the adoption of the new fencing format (the Fencing Bonus Round). The other venues for the 2015 World Cup series are Cairo (Egypt), Rome (Italy) and Kecskemet (Hungary), with the final in Minsk (Belarus) in June. Info and full results at

On 6 April, the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) will organise the very first World Table Tennis Day. This Day will provide an opportunity to play table tennis for fun, bringing people together where the focus is less on the competition and more on participation and fun. To find out about the events taking place on this day, go to As a reminder, 6 April has been proclaimed “International Day of Sport at the Service of Development and Peace” by the United Nations and the IOC. Info at


On 1 March, the International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) 2015 World Cup Series kicked off in Acapulco (Mexico), where the first Shotgun World Cup Stage of the season is taking place from 1 to 9 March. ISSF President Olegario Vázquez Raña (photo) and the President of the Mexican Shooting Federation, Jorge Alfonso Pena Soberanis, officially opened the competition in the presence of ISSF Secretary General Franz Schreiber, Mexican NOC President Carlos Padilla Becerra and Mexican Physical Education and Sport Commission President Jesús Mena Campos. Over 300 athletes representing 54 countries are participating in this competition where 10 places for the Olympic Games Rio 2016 will be allocated. Info at

The International Triathlon Union (ITU) 2015 World Series began on 7 March in Abu Dhabi (UAE). It is the first time that such an event has been organised in the Middle East. Nine of the10 top ranked men and six of the top ranked women will be competing. Info at


From 28 February to 8 March 2015, Estonia will host its first ever World Curling Federation championship event, the World Junior Curling Championships. This competition will be held in the Tondiraba Ice Hall, a brand new facility owned by the City of Tallinn. In another first, the complex will host not only young curlers, but also junior figure skaters, since the World Junior Figure Skating Championships will be held there from 2 to 8 March. Info at


The International Surfing Association (ISA) recently welcomed two new member federations: Lithuania and the US Virgin Islands. The ISA now has 93 member federations. Info at


© Afghan NOC

The Afghan NOC has honoured 80 athletes who won medals at various Asian and world competitions, particularly at the Nanjing Youth Olympic Games. The ceremony (photo above) was held in the largest hall in the country, in the presence of many government officials, ministers, members of parliament and civil society, representatives of women’s rights organisations and over 5,000 athletes. In his speech, NOC President Fahim Hashimy underlined that such a performance in six months was unprecedented in the 70-year history of sport in Afghanistan. It was also the first time that such a celebration has been held.

© Albanian NOC

On 17 February, the Albanian NOC organised the first forum for graduates of the 2nd edition of the Advanced Sports Management Course (ASMC) (photo above). Three topics were debated: good governance of sports organisations; European legislation and its challenges; and Olympic Agenda 2020 and the vision of the Olympic Movement. NOC President Viron Bezhani and Deputy Sports Minister Rauf Dimraj were also present. Info at

© Algerian NOC

In Algiers on 22 February, the Algerian NOC organised an international seminar on women and sport in Algeria, under the slogan “Olympism and sport in the service of women’s emancipation” (photo above). The opening ceremony was attended by the Minister of National Solidarity, Family and Women’s Affairs, Mounia Meslem, Minister for Sport Mohammed Tahmi, NOC President Mustapha Berraf and IOC honorary member Mustapha Larfaoui. The participants included IOC Women and Sport Commission Chair and IOC member Lydia Nsekera, the Turkish NOC Secretary General and ANOC Executive Board member Nese Gündogan, the winner of the IOC Women and Sport World Trophy Meriem Cherni Mizouni, and representatives of the NOCs of Mali and Bahrain. Among the themes discussed were the development of women’s sport and the search for ways of increasing women’s participation in sports structures in Algeria at all levels of responsibility. Speakers included Rakia Al Gassra, who became the first female athlete to represent Bahrain at the Olympic Games in Athens in 2004, and Algerian Nouria Benida Merah, Olympic 1500m champion in Sydney in 2000. Info at

(left to right) Alfons Hörmann, Hans Borchert, Claudia Bokel and Michael Vesper. © DOSB/Picture Alliance, Torsten Silz

The German NOC
(DOSB) has awarded the 2014 IOC Sport and Art Trophy to artist Hans Borchert, whose work is mainly devoted to the theme of movement, in particular in sport. In 2006, Borchert designed the DOSB’s founding documents, before creating some 52 portraits in 2008 for the German Pantheon of Sport, including those of Franz Beckenbauer, Max Schmeling and Rosi Mittermaier. The ceremony was attended by NOC President Alfons Hörmann, NOC Director General Michael Vesper and IOC EB Member Claudia Bokel. Info at

(L to r.) Alicia Masoni de Morea, Sergio Dovio and Mario Moccia. © NOC of Argentina

The Argentine NOC, through the Art, Culture and Olympic Museum Commission, organised the annual presentation of awards to honour people and institutions that excelled in 2014 through activities for and commitment to sport and the Olympic Movement. On this occasion, the 2014 IOC Art and Sport trophy was awarded to Sergio Dovio, in recognition of his work, his career as a journalist and photographer and his collaboration with the NOC. NOC Vice-President Alicia Masoni de Morea and Secretary General Mario Moccia presented the trophy in the presence of the Commission members. Info at

(L to r) Jorge Hugo Giraldo, Mauricio Rivas, Claudia Bokel and Paulo César Villar. © Colombian NOC

It was in the presence of IOC Athletes’ Commission Chair, Claudia Bokel, that the Colombian NOC organised a one-day meeting as part of the Athlete Career Programme at the high-level centre in Bogotá. This programme offered by the IOC supports athletes in their preparation for life after a competitive sports career. Over 70 athletes responded to the invitation of the NOC’s athletes’ representative, Paulo César Villlar, with the support of the NOC’s Education Department. Mauricio Rivas, an Olympic fencer and programme instructor, and Jorge Hugo Giraldo, a member of the NOC’s Athletes’ Commission, were also present. It is the second time that such a meeting has been held in Colombia. Info at

© Spanish NOC

On 5 March, a day on women’s sport was organised at the headquarters of the Spanish NOC. Opened by NOC President, Alejandro Blanco, this day offered two round tables on “society and athletes” and “the challenge of women in sport: their experiences”. The participants (photo above) included Olympians Almudena Gallardo, Isabel Fernández, Maider Unda and Maria José Rienda. Info at

Tribute to Guatemalan athletes. © Guatemalan NOC

The Guatemalan NOC and the Independent Sports Confederation of Guatemala paid tribute to the medal-winning athletes at the 2nd Summer Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing and the 22nd Central America and Caribbean Games held in Veracruz in 2014. Organised in Antigua Guatemala, the ceremony was attended by the NOC President, Gerardo Aguirre, Confederation President Dennis Alonzo and numerous other personalities, including IOC EB Member Willi Kaltschmitt Lujan, Spanish NOC President Alejandro Blanco, President of the International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) and IOC Member Olegario Vázquez Raña, and Mexican NOC President Carlos Padilla, who were presented with an NOC award in recognition of their contribution to the promotion of the Olympic values and their support for Guatemalan sport.
The Guatemalan NOC has also signed cooperation agreements with the Spanish and Mexican NOCs. These agreements cover subjects such as a sports administrators’ training programme, an exchange programme between the respective federations and associations, and exchanges between coaches, sports doctors, experts and technical staff. Info at, and

Rita Subowo at the AGM of the Indonesian NOC. © Indonesian NOC

On 20 February, the Indonesian NOC held its Annual General Meeting in Bogor, an hour from the capital Jakarta. At the meeting, Indonesian NOC President and IOC Member Rita Subowo presented funding to nine athletes who had been awarded grants as part of Olympic Solidarity’s Olympic Scholarships for Athletes ‘Rio 2016’ programme. She also presented a detailed report on preparations for the Asian Games to be held in Jakarta in 2018. The Minister of Youth and Sport, Djoko Pekik, opened the AGM with the NOC President. Info at

Entourage Forum in Tokyo. © Aflo Sport

On 18 February, the Japanese NOC (JOC) held the inaugural Entourage Forum in Tokyo, with 110 representatives from 51 national federations in attendance. The JOC became the first NOC to create an Entourage Commission, chaired by 1984 Olympic judo champion Yasuhiro Yamashita, in 2013. The main topic of the forum, in which IOC Athletes’ Commission Chair and EB Member Claudia Bokel took part, was the prevention of abuse of athletes by coaches. The judo and basketball federations presented their activities in this area. The forum participants also discussed ways of making the qualification criteria clearer and the “Athlete First” concept. The following day, the 11th Sport and Environment Conference tackled possible contributions by national federations for the “realisation of a sustainable society through sport”. Info at

© Peruvian NOC

As every year, the presentation of the fair play trophy awarded by the Peruvian NOC and the Panathlon Club de Lima was attended by a large number of guests. This year’s ceremony was preceded by a minute’s silence in homage to the former NOC President, Carlos Paz Soldán. The 2014 trophy was presented to swimmer Erick Paolo Vásquez Vega (left in photo), medallist at the 2nd Bolivarian Beach Games in Huanchaco in December. He won two silver medals: one in the 4km open water swimming with fins and the other in the 200m pool race, which he swam with an injured foot due to the fins used in the open water event. The award was handed to him by the President of the Panathlon Club de Lima, Alejandro Gordillo (right in photo), with NOC treasurer Antonio Gomez also present, representing President José Quiñones. Info at

The winners of the Football Net tournament. © NOC of Sao Tome and Príncipe

The NOC of São Tomé and Príncipe has informed us that about 1,000 children took part in the first round of the tournament of the 2015 edition of “Football Net”, the final of which was held on 1 March at the Folha Fede Olympafrica Centre. The 50 teams participating were all mixed in order to promote the practice of women’s football. Besides football, this tournament aims to be a pedagogical tool to promote the Olympic values. The tournament receives funding and sponsorship from various institutions, including the IOC, FC Barcelona and the Olympafrica Foundation. NOC President João Costa Athegre and Secretary General Antonio de Menezes attended this tournament, which is being held for the second time in the archipelago. Info at

Celebrating the 105th anniversary of the Serbian NOC. © Serbian NOC

At the Moskva hotel in Belgrade, where it had been founded on 23 February 1910, the Serbian NOC celebrated its 105th anniversary. On this occasion, NOC President Vlade Divac announced that Serbian athletes would participate in the first European Games in Baku in June. The guests included numerous Olympians, representatives of the government, sponsors, media and the Minister of Youth and Sport, Vanja Udovičić, Azerbaijan’s ambassador in Serbia, Eldar Hasanov, and the members of the Serbian 3x3 basketball team, official ambassadors of the Baku Games. Info at

The Executive Board of the Slovenian NOC has confirmed Edvard Kolar as the NOC’s new Secretary General. He was formerly CEO and Secretary General of the Slovenian Gymnastics Federation and General Director of the Department of Sport at the Ministry of Education, Science and Sport. Edvard Kolar is also the coach of Mitja Petkovšek, world parallel bars champion. He took part in two editions of the Olympic Games as a coach. Info at

(L to r) Denisa Rosolová, Ivanda Vacenovská, Jindřich Panský and Ivan Karabec. © Czech NOC

A campaign entitled “One for all and all for a table” has just been launched by the Czech NOC in cooperation with the Czech Table Tennis Association. This campaign, in the form of a competition, is for schools involved in the Olympic All Round project. Over 300,000 children from over 1,000 schools have signed up so far. To win, schools must make a short film (up to one minute long) in which they illustrate how to play table tennis without a table and rackets. To give them some ideas, the NOC has posted a video in which multiple world and European medallist Ivanda Vacenovská, coach Jindřich Panský, Paralympic champion Ivan Karabec and athlete Denisa Rosolová all play. Info at

The Venezuelan NOC has announced the launch of the 2015 Olympic Solidarity and Pan American Olympic Solidarity technical courses programme. An athletics course specialising in walking kicked the programme off on 25 February. Ice hockey, throwing events in athletics, football, judo, water polo, modern pentathlon and sports sciences will also be the subject of technical courses before the end of April 2015.   


TOKYO 2020

© Tokyo 2020 / Shugo Takemi

On 5 March, i.e. 2,000 days before the Opening ceremony of the Paralympic Games in 2020, pupils from the Tokyo International School had a glimpse of these Games, trying out five-a-side football, one of the sports on the Paralympic programme (photo above). Besides the practice of this sport, the primary school pupils were able to find out about the Paralympic values thanks to star athletes such as Kento Kato, a player on the Japanese five-a-side football team, as well as Tsuyoshi Kitazawa and Atsuhiro Miura, both former players on the national football team, who explained to the children how sport had changed their lives. Tokyo will be the first city to host the Paralympic Games twice in its history. Info at


Chaired by its President, Francesco Ricci Bitti, the Council of the Association of Summer Olympic International Federations (ASOIF) met in Lausanne to discuss several important topics, including the model for the 2016 Olympic Games International Federations (IFs) Revenue Distribution to be presented to the General Assembly in April; the implementation of Olympic Agenda 2020; the status of the IF Sports Data Platform project; and preparations for the 2015 ASOIF General Assembly. IOC Olympic Games Executive Director Christophe Dubi and IOC Sports Director Kit McConnell joined the Council meeting to present the ongoing implementation of the Olympic Agenda 2020 recommendations. Following the adoption of Olympic Agenda 2020, a joint IOC‐ASOIF working group has been set up to define the IF roles and responsibilities in the different phases of an Olympic Games project (bidding, preparation and delivery). ASOIF will hold its next Council meeting on 21 April 2015 in Sochi (Russian Federation) during the SportAccord Convention, followed the next day by the General Assembly. The ASOIF Council also decided to hold a separate meeting on 23 April to discuss specific points related to the Olympic Games Rio 2016 and Tokyo 2020 to which representatives of the two Organising Committees and the IOC will be invited. Info at



The 33rd Worldwide Final of World FICTS Challenge 2015 was officially presented in Kazan (Russian Federation) by the Deputy Minister for Sport and Youth of the Republic of Tatarstan, Khalil Shaykhutdinov; the President of the International Sports Movies & TV Federation (FICTS), Franco Ascani; and the General Manager of the FICTS Worldwide Championship, Diana Safarova. From 5 to 10 August 2015, Kazan will host this event, which will be held for the first time in Russia. Franco Ascani and Khalil Shaykhutdinov have signed an MoU (photo above) between the FICTS, the Russian Federation and the Ministry of Sport and Youth of the Republic of Tatarstan. Info at

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