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02 May 2014
IOC News

Olympic Highlights



On 28 April, IOC President Thomas Bach and United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon signed a historic agreement at the UN Headquarters in New York aimed at strengthening collaboration between the two organisations at the highest level.

President Bach shakes hands with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

The agreement underlined that the IOC and the UN “share the same values of contributing to a better and peaceful world through sport”. The IOC, which was granted UN Observer Status in 2009, has long enjoyed strong ties with individual UN agencies, working with them globally on a number of initiatives that use sport as a tool for development and peace. The new agreement means the IOC will now work with the UN Secretariat on a range of projects around the world.

Speaking at the announcement, President Bach said: “Sport can change the world, but it cannot change the world alone. When placing sport at the service of humankind, we need and we want partnerships with other players in society. The Olympic Movement is willing and ready to make its contribution to the most laudable efforts of the United Nations to maintain and build peace and to bring along social change.”

(From left to right) Meb Keflezighi, IOC President Bach, UN Secretary-General Ban, Ole Einar Bjørndalen and IOC Honorary President Rogge

Accompanying President Bach were IOC Honorary President Jacques Rogge, IOC member in Norway and Olympic champion Ole Einar Bjørndalen, United States Olympic Committee Secretary General Scott Blackmun and US Olympic marathon runner Meb Keflezighi. More information at:

(From left to right) Fabio Pigozzi, President Bach and Mario Pescante

On 15 April, President Bach met a delegation from the Board of the International Sports Medicine Federation (FIMS), led by Secretary General Fabio Pigozzi. IOC member Mario Pescante also attended the meeting. 

President Bach also hosted the President of the World Karate Federation (WKF), Antonio Espinos. 

On the same day in Cologny (Switzerland), President Bach took part in a working lunch with Klaus Schwab, Chairman of the World Economic Forum (WEF); Philipp Rösler, Managing Director and Member of the Managing Board for the World Economic Forum and former Vice-Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany; and David Aikman, Managing Director, Head of “New Champions” within the WEF.  

Cooperation between the IOC and the World Economic Forum was discussed.  The aim is to facilitate a top-level dialogue, not only with political and economic leaders, but also with the media and leaders from civil society, both at the Annual Meeting in Davos and throughout the year.


On 28 April, it was announced that IOC Honorary President Jacques Rogge has been appointed as the Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for Youth Refugees and Sport. His overall objective of the role will be to support the United Nations Secretary-General in advancing peace, development and an inclusive society through sport. On substantive issues, the Special Envoy will work closely with the UN High Commissioner for Refugees.


Nawal El Moutawakel (pictured centre) has been decorated by the President of the Republic of Senegal, Macky Sall (right of photo) with the rank of Commander of the National Order of the Lion. She received this distinction at the annual gala dinner organised by the NOC of Senegal.  

© Le Soleil

With the AIBA Youth World Boxing Championships held in Sofia, IOC EB member and AIBA President Ching-Kuo Wu (right of photo) met the Prime Minister of Bulgaria Plamen Oresharski (left) on 14 April.  

C.-K. Wu expressed his admiration for the excellent venue used for the AIBA Youth World Boxing Championships.  Plamen Oresharski commented on the importance of this event, as this is the only qualifying event for the Nanjing 2014 Youth Olympic Games, which take place in August. 

On 23 April, C.-K. Wu was presented with an Honorary Doctorate from the Bulgarian National Sports Academy, “Vassil Levski” (NSA), in Sofia for his decades-long dedication and contribution to the Olympic Movement and the development of  boxing. 



The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) announced on 11 April that 123 member federations had registered to take part in the 2014 edition of the IAAF World Athletics Day, an annual worldwide festival designed to promote the sport through youth participation in clubs and schools.

The next IAAF World Athletics Day, now in its 19th year, will take place in May 2014. Starting this year, the IAAF World Athletics Day will also be part of the IAAF social responsibility project called Athletics for a Better World, which was launched on 8 April.  

On 15 April, the IAAF announced that three cities – Barcelona, Doha and Eugene – had sent in letters of intent to host competitions for the 2017-2019 IAAF World Athletics Series (WAS). The IAAF Council will elect the host cities during its next meeting in Monaco in November. More info at

The International Basketball Federation (FIBA) informs us that the 2014 FIBA U17 World Championship for Women, originally set to take place in Bratislava, Slovak Republic, will instead be held in the Czech Republic. The decision comes after the suspension of the Slovak Republic’s national basketball federation by FIBA’s Central Board on 7 April. Despite the change of host country, the Championship will still be played on the same dates (28 June-6 July), and the results of the draw carried out on 26 February still apply. 

On 16 April, FIBA announced the launch of the international tender process to identify the host nation for the 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup, with an invitation to express an interest distributed to all National Federations. The FIBA Basketball World Cup is the flagship event of the basketball calendar, with a global TV audience of 800 million across 171 countries. The 2019 event marks a new era, and will see its greatest field of 32 countries line up, increasing the pool of world famous stars and the global appeal of the event. The 32 countries will meet for 16 days of competition, playing 92 games in total. More info at

On the occasion of the recent SportAccord Convention held in Belek, Turkey, from 6 to 11 April, the International Judo Federation (IJF) and the International University Sports Federation (FISU) signed a collaboration agreement. The document was signed by IJF President Marius Vizer (left of photo) and FISU Secretary General Eric Saintrond (right), who represented FISU President Claude-Louis Gallien.  

Through the agreement, FISU recognises the interest in judo and invites the National University Sport Federations, the Organising Committees of the FISU events, to consider judo as a reflection of the development of FISU and the interests of the University Sports Movement. This agreement will allow the development of real, effective and actionable collaboration between the FISU and the IJF. More info at

The International Aquatics Federation (FINA) was greatly saddened about the sudden loss of Lino Cândido Lourenço, a FINA Bureau member since 2013, on 25 April at the age of 46. A national-level swimmer, Lourenço was Secretary General of the Angolan Swimming Federation from 1993 to 2012. He was also a member (1991-2004) and then Vice-President (from 2004) of the African Swimming Confederation (CANA). More details on

The International Rugby Board (IRB) has announced that Portugal will be the host for next year’s IRB Junior World Rugby Trophy, taking place across two venues in Lisbon. With support of local government, along with the backing of the Portuguese Olympic Committee, the Federação Portuguesa de Rugby (FPR) won the right to host the popular Under 20 event with a mission to grow rugby participation and profile in a nation where the sport is beginning to take off again. Two venues 30 minutes apart will host the matches. The National Sports Centre of Jamor and Lisbon University Stadium will be used for the pool stage, with the final round of matches being held at the Jamor complex. More info at:

The World Archery Federation (WA) notes that its Archery World Cup season has kicked off, with the first stage taking place in Shanghai from 22-27 April. Some 340 athletes entered the preliminaries of the tournament, with 30 medals up for grabs in total. More info at:  

International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) President Adham Sharara was elected to the newly created position of “Chairman of the ITTF” on 30 April at the ITTF Annual General Meeting held in Tokyo. The position is an independent and non-political position without any voting or decision-making power. The Chairman of the ITTF will chair the ITTF AGM each year. The new position comes into effect on 1 September 2014, at which time Sharara will retire as ITTF President, a position he has held for the past 15 years. According to the ITTF constitution, ITTF Deputy President Thomas Weikert will succeed Adham Sharara as ITTF President on 1 September 2014. More details on

The International Triathlon Union (ITU) announced on 22 April that it will partner with global wetsuit company blueseventy for several stops on the 2014 ITU World Triathlon Series (WTS). Blueseventy will become the official swim and wetsuit partner for three of the eight WTS events in 2014, beginning with the Discovery World Triathlon Cape Town. Blueseventy will also have a presence at the PruHealth World Triathlon London and the TransCanada Corp World Triathlon Grand Final Edmonton. More info at

The International Sailing Federation (ISAF) has chosen Swinoujscie, Poland, as the venue for the 2015 ISAF Youth Match Racing World Championship. Located in West Pomerania in the North West of Poland, Swinoujscie is one of the most attractive destinations for sailors and tourists in the country. The inaugural ISAF Youth Match Racing World Championship is set to be held in Helsinki, Finland from 23 to 27 July 2014. More info at


The Bahrain Olympic Committee (BOC) has announced that its 2014 Mini Olympics came to a successful conclusion on 29 April at the closing ceremony held at Khalifa Sports City in Isa Town. The Mini Olympics were organised for the first time this year by the BOC in cooperation with the Ministry of Education. The competition featured four sporting events, athletics, volleyball, basketball and table tennis, with more than 700 students from different government schools from across the kingdom taking part.

On 28 April, María José Rienda Contreras was named as a member of the Spanish NOC General Assembly, representing Olympic winter sports athletes.

The British Olympic Association (BOA) confirmed on 30 April that Mark England has been appointed Team GB’s Chef de Mission for the Baku 2015 European Games and the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. England is the current Director of Sport Services at the BOA, and in his 13 years at the organisation he has previously been a deputy Chef de Mission at six Olympic Games, including London 2012, and Chef de Mission for a number of Olympic Youth Festivals.  More info at:

The Hellenic Olympic Committee says that some 45,000 students from schools all over Greece took part in Olympic Education Day at the Panathenaic Stadium on 11 April, in the framework of the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace. The students made a massive white dove of peace out of 280,000 paper boats, sending messages of peace, friendship, cooperation and solidarity to all peoples of the world. The project was submitted to the Guinness Book of World Records. The last paper boat was added to the dove by the President of the Hellenic Olympic Academy (HOA), Isidoros Kouvelos. The event was organised by the HOA under the auspices of the NOC.

The Mexican Olympic Committee has signed a historic collaboration agreement with the Catholic University of San Antonio de Murcia and the Spanish Olympic Committee. The objective of this agreement is to seek mechanisms allowing for sports development, cooperation and promotion in Mexico and Spain.

The agreement is based on cooperation in the area of research into sport and Olympism through the awarding of grants, assistance and prizes. Scientific exchanges will take place through symposiums and specialised cycles. Athletes, coaches, a multidisciplinary team and leaders can participate in seven degrees and seven Masters courses.  

The NOC of Mongolia has announced that NOC President Demchigjav Zagdsuren (photo) has been appointed by the President of Mongolia, Ts. Elbegdorj, as his Adviser for Sports and the Olympic Games. Zagdsuren, who has led the NOC since 2001, was previously Sports Adviser to the President from 2004 to 2008. 

The Peruvian Olympic Committee and the Peruvian Sports Academy, under the auspices of Olympic Solidarity, have organised the 12th Level 2 Physical Education Seminar. This four-day seminar was attended by some 100 participants. The themes addressed over these four days were managing physical education studies, physical education orientation, developing plans and educational units in various specialities according to the national curriculum, and scientific investigations in schools. More info at

The Puerto Rican NOC has unveiled its institutional Olympic Truce campaign with a message of harmony to the people of Puerto Rico entitled: “Our country needs peace; do your bit.” Various athletes’ own stories are being used to spread this message.

As well as being run on traditional and social media, this campaign marks the start of an education initiative for children and young people to teach them about the history of Olympism and the meaning of the Truce for building a better country.

The NOC of Portugal has launched a programme, in partnership with Jogos Santa Casa (JSC), that aims to support athletes who are part of the Olympic Preparation Programme 2016. The programme combines sport with education through the Olympic values and provides Olympians with access to an annual scholarship of up to EUR 3,000. The presentation was attended by nearly two dozen athletes, among them several who have represented Portugal in previous editions of the Games and those who are preparing for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. More info at

The Chinese Taipei Olympic Committee (CTOC) says that badminton player Cheng Wen-Hsing, chosen as one of 37 athlete role models for the 2014 Nanjing Youth Olympic Games, has been actively participating in a programme to influence local young people involved in crime by teaching them the value of sports. The CTOC has organised speaking engagements for Cheng at various juvenile correction centres, with the aim of encouraging the young people through stories about Cheng overcoming her own struggles. Cheng, along with her teammates, also teach the youngsters how to play badminton and stay active. Cheng plans to make six such visits before she goes to Nanjing in August. More info on

The auditorium of the Venezuelan NOC headquarters will host the First Session for Young Participants devoted to volunteering for the III South American Beach Games, taking place this year in Vargas. Around 100 young volunteers are expected to attend this Session, which is being organised by the Venezuelan Olympic Academy, whose President is NOC Secretary General Élida Párraga de Álvarez.


The Tokyo Organising Committee for the Olympic Games (Tokyo 2020) has chosen Dentsu Inc. as its marketing agency. Tokyo 2020 has established a revenue target of around USD 1.47 billion to be generated from domestic marketing programmes. Dentsu will advise and assist the Organising Committee on formulating the Games marketing plan and commercial strategies, as well as providing support for sponsorship sales, servicing and the licensing programme. More info at:


The flame for the second Summer Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing, China, was lit on 30 April in the Panathenaic Stadium in Athens, Greece. Following Olympic tradition, the Youth Olympic flame was lit by the sun’s rays reflected in a parabolic mirror, with a priestess from the Temple of Hera passing on the torch to the first relay runner in Athens’ ancient stadium – the home of the first modern Olympic Games in 1896.  Four young athletes from Greece and China then performed a mini torch relay within the Stadium before igniting the Virtual Torch Relay, which can be downloaded at

Attending the ceremony along with IOC Honorary President Jacques Rogge were Chinese Olympic Committee President Liu Peng, Mayor of Nanjing and NYOGOC Vice-President Miao Ruilin, Chairman of the Nanjing 2014 IOC Coordination Commission Alexander Popov, President of the Hellenic Olympic Committee Spyros Capralos, IOC Honorary Member King Constantine, and IOC members Lingwei Li, Lambis V. Nikolaou and Yang Yang. More info at:


In our previous issue dated 11 April, we neglected to mention in the text on the Peruvian NOC that IOC member Iván Dibós was one of the attendees at the “Entre Campeones” (“Between Champions”) ceremony.

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