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01 Apr 2015
IOC News

Olympic Highlights



IOC / Christophe Moratal

IOC President Thomas Bach met three Ministers of Foreign Affairs who were in Lausanne for negotiations on Iran’s nuclear programme. On 30 March, President Bach met the Minister of the People's Republic of China, Wang Yi, at The Olympic Museum in Lausanne. During the meeting, the pair discussed the role of sport in China and the role of China within the Olympic Movement. President Bach was accompanied by IOC Vice-President and IOC Member in China Yu Zaiqing
Earlier, the IOC President met the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, Sergey Lavrov. During the encounter, President Bach informed Mr Lavrov of his upcoming visit to Sochi at the end of April. Russia’s active contribution to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals was also discussed.
Over the weekend, the IOC President met the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Federal Republic of Germany, Dr Frank-Walter Steinmeier. During an informal meeting, the two men touched upon the 2024 bidding procedure and the newly introduced Invitation Phase. They also discussed cooperation with the UN and other related issues.
On the occasion of the negotiations on Iran’s nuclear programme, the IOC agreed to a request from the Swiss Government to host a press centre at The Olympic Museum during the talks, which are ongoing.

IOC / Christophe Moratal

The IOC President personally invited Russian fencing great David Dushman to visit the IOC headquarters. It was more than 35 years since 92-year-old Dushman had last seen Thomas Bach. The IOC President knows Dushman from the early 1970s, when he was a junior fencer and Dushman one of the world’s greatest fencing coaches.President Bach said: “Despite the Cold War and Mr Dushman’s personal experience with World War II, he immediately offered me friendship and counsel. This was a very noble gesture, which I will never ever forget”. The President of the International Fencing Federation (FIE), Alisher Usmanov, attended the meeting as well. On 1 April, Dushman will celebrate his 93rd birthday. Full press release here.

President Bach has received the title of Doctor Honoris Causa from the Catholic University of Murcia – UCAM (Spain). In his opening speech, the President praised the work and efforts of the UCAM in promoting sport and its values, which is one of the highlights of the University’s teaching. He also recalled that, in today’s world, we need the positive strength of sport more than ever: “We are living in a fragile world, shaken by crises – political, financial, environmental catastrophes, pandemics, terrorism and war”. He added: “Olympic Agenda 2020 offers a clear vision of how to project the positive impact of sport in society, based on three pillars: sustainability, credibility and youth”.

IOC / Christophe Moratal

President Bach met IOC Ethics Commission Chair Youssoupha Ndiaye, with whom he discussed the follow-up to the Olympic Agenda 2020 recommendations linked to ethics and good governance.

IOC / Christophe Moratal

President Bach welcomed the President of the Indian Olympic Committee, Narayna Ramachandran, and the Secretary for Sport within the Indian government, Ajit Sharan. The discussions addressed developing Olympic sport in India, improving the level of sports administrators and managers through training courses, and the preparation of the visit of the IOC President to India at the end of April.

 IOC / Christophe Moratal

The President of the International Equestrian Federation (FEI), Ingemar De Vos, paid his first visit to the IOC since his election. The IOC President discussed the preparations for the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro 2016, as well as the implementation of Olympic Agenda 2020.

IOC / Christophe Moratal

The President of the International Bobsleigh and Tobogganing Federation, Ivo Ferriani, visited the IOC President. The two spoke about the preparations for the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018, and the Olympic Agenda 2020 implementations.

IOC / Christophe Moratal

With Koji Murofushi, Sports Director for the Organising Committee for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, President Bach spoke about the preparations for these Games and the involvement of Tokyo 2020 in implementing the Olympic Agenda 2020 recommendations.

President Bach also took part in a meeting on the IOC headquarters consolidation project alongside three IOC Vice-Presidents, Nawal El Moutawakel, Zaiqing Yu and John Coates. The architects from the Danish agency, 3xN, presented the latest updates on the Olympic Unity House concept.

With IOC Vice-President Yu Zaiqing, President Bach discussed the preparations for the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro 2016, PyeongChang 2018 and Tokyo 2020 among other topics.

The President of the Association of Summer Olympic International Sports Federations (ASOIF), Francesco Ricci Bitti, talked with the IOC President about the implementation of Olympic Agenda 2020 in cooperation with ASOIF. Their discussion was centred on protecting the clean athletes, in particular the fight against match-fixing and corruption, as well as on the preparations for the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro 2016.

The President hosted representatives of the Honav company, including Chairman Jack Chen, accompanied by marketing consultant Michael Payne.

IOC / Christophe Moratal

The IOC President also welcomed Stéphane Garelli, professor at the International Institute for Management Development (IMD) and at the University of Lausanne (UNIL). They discussed the study of the economic impact the presence of the IOC and other international sports organisations have on Switzerland. The study was undertaken by the International Academy of Sports Sciences and Technology (AISTS) under Prof. Garelli’s close guidance and observation, and will be published on 10 April 2015.


IOC / Christophe Moratal

The Olympic Programme Commission held a meeting on 23 March in Lausanne, chaired by  Franco Carraro.

IOC / Arnaud Meylan

On 27 March, the members of the Juridical Commission, whose Chair is John Coates, met in Lausanne.

From 24 to 28 March, the Evaluation Commission, whose Chair is Alexander Zhukov, was in Beijing, a Candidate City for the Olympic Winter Games in 2022.


From 17 to 18 March, the IOC participated in the International Conference on the Promotion and Implementation of the Convention on the Manipulation of Sport Competitions, organised by the Council of Europe (Enlarged Partial Agreement on Sport, EPAS) in Oslo, Norway. The IOC was consulted as an expert during the drafting of the Convention text and, since then, has been contributing to the implementation by facilitating exchange of information between the different stakeholders. Likewise, the IOC has an observer status in the European Union’s Expert Group on Match-Fixing, which met in Brussels in mid-March. As part of the implementation of Olympic Agenda 2020, and to protect clean athletes from the manipulation of competitions and the associated risks of corruption, the IOC will organise the First International Forum for Sports Integrity (IFSI) on 13 April in Lausanne. Chaired by the IOC President, the event will gather high-level representatives from the Olympic Movement, governments, international organisations (Council of Europe, UN agencies, EU, INTERPOL and Europol) and sports betting entities. The goal is to define the roadmap for future actions of the various stakeholders.



Meeting in Marrakesh (Morocco), the International Canoe Federation (ICF) adopted a number of key recommendations for the future of the sport, including a clear commitment to deliver gender equity and an investment in online communications. In his report, ICF President and IOC Member José Perurena underlined his vision for the future of the sport, and how the ICF can align its strategic priorities to Olympic Agenda 2020 so as to strengthen its position within the Olympic Movement. The Board also approved a number of motions linked directly to the Olympic Agenda 2020 recommendations, such as securing complete gender equity within the Olympic programme for 2020 and continuing with a full governance review. Info at

Marius Vizer (left) and Istvan Simicsko signing the protocol agreement. © IJF

The signature of the contract for the Judo World Championships (Individual and Teams) and the Congress of the International Judo Federation (IJF) in 2017 has taken place in Budapest at the Ministry of Sport. IJF President Marius Vizer signed the contract with Hungarian Judo Federation President Laszlo Toth. He also signed a protocol agreement with Istvan Simicsko, Secretary of State for Sports in the Hungarian Government, stipulating that the Hungarian Government would support and approve the organisation of the 2017 Judo World Championships, which will be held in Budapest for the first time. Info at

The International Swimming Federation (FINA) has informed that a training course for diving judges took place in Pereiera (Colombia) from 4 to 6 March. A total of 19 participants, mainly from Colombia, Peru and Venezuela, followed this course, which was led by FINA Diving Technical Committee member Mathz Lindberg. Among the topics addressed were the golden rules, the fundamentals of judging a dive and the duties of the referee. FINA will organise such courses regularly throughout 2015 in order to maintain a high level in the sport. The next courses will be held in Gatineau (Canada) and Amsterdam (Netherlands). Info at


Hiroyuki Saito and Kate Caithness. © WCF/Richard Gray

The World Curling Federation (WCF) has announced that Canada’s Russ Howard and Ray Turnbull, and Japan’s Hiroyuki Saito have been inducted into the World Curling Hall of Fame. The announcement was made during the women’s World Championships in Sapporo (Japan), during which Saito was honoured. He was presented with the Freytag medals by WCF President Kate Caithness. A member of the WCF Executive Board from 2002 to 2008, Saito was President of the Japanese Curling Association and brought the first World Curling Championships to Asia, when the Japanese city of Aomori hosted the Women’s World Championships in 2007. As for Russ Howard, he won a gold medal at the Olympic Winter Games Turin 2006, played in 15 Canadian Championships and won the Canadian and World Championships in 1987 and 1993. Ray Turnbull played a crucial role within the Canadian Curling Association, creating a national junior championship. Both Howard and Turnbull will be officially inducted, as will their compatriot Randy Ferbey, at the Men’s World Championships, which will be held from 28 March to 5 April in Halifax (Canada). Info at


Sergey Korol (photo), Director General of the Russian Ski Federation and Vice-President of the Russian Freestyle Federation, died on 21 March at the age of 58. Korol devoted his life to the sport. He was a member of the International Ski Federation (FIS) Advertising Committee and often present at FIS meetings. Info at


Sports management course in Juffair. © Bahraini NOC

A sports management course has been set up in Juffair by the Bahraini NOC’s Development and Training Section. Some 18 people took part. Organised in cooperation with the World Academy of Sport, this course covered a number of topics, such as finance and accounting, marketing, events management and heritage, and social media.

Brazilian NOC

On 24 March, the Brazilian NOC ended its 100th anniversary celebrations with the launch of a commemorative book. Entitled "Brazil Olympic Committee 100 years", this publication retraces the history of the first NOC created in South America, from its foundation to the participation of the Brazilian delegation in the 2012 Games in London. The book launch took place at the headquarters of the Rio 2016 Organising Committee on the occasion of 500 day to go before the Opening Ceremony of these Games.
The NOC celebrated its 100-year anniversary on 8 June this year. Info at

 NOC Assembly in Bogota. © Colombian NOC

The Colombian NOC held its ordinary General Assembly on 20 March at the Leisure and Sports Institute in Bogota. The full Executive Board was present, as were delegates from 50 of the 51 sports federations affiliated to the NOC, and representatives of Coldeportes led by IOC Member Andrés Botero Phillipsbourne. A minute’s silence was held for IOC Honorary Member Fidel Mendoza Carrasquilla, Pan-American Sports Organisation President Mario Vázquez Raña, and former President of the Colombian Olympic Academy Alberto Lozano Simonelli. The agenda included a report by NOC President Baltazar Medina and a report on the NOC’s financial situation. Info at

Young participants in the prevention in sport symposium in Madrid. © Spanish NOC

Nearly 500 youngsters participated in the 6th symposium on prevention in football and sport held at the headquarters of the Spanish NOC in Madrid. Symposium Honorary Presidents Alejandro Blanco and José Luis Alvarez launched the discussions, while Health Minister Alfonso Alonso made the closing speech. The speakers included many journalists, who explained to the participants the health benefits of sport; sport and health in school; the importance of prevention in sport; and good eating and sporting habits. Info at

Prince Feisal Al Hussein with the best Jordanian athletes of 2014. © Jordanian NOC

The President of the Jordanian NOC, IOC Member Prince Feisal Al Hussein, was Master of Ceremonies at the Black Iris trophy award ceremony for the best Jordanian athletes of 2014. Rana Qubbaj (jujistu) and Eman al Adayleh (qualified for the Youth Olympic Games in taekwondo) were named best sportswoman and best female young achiever, respectively. Boxer Obadah Al Kisbeh received the best male young achiever trophy for his bronze medal in the Asian Games. The title of best Paralympic athlete was awarded to weightlifter Moutaz Al Juniadi, gold medallist at the World Championships and silver medallist at the Asian Paralympic Games. Info at

Jorge Cristóvão surrounded by José Manuel Constantino and Rosa Mota, Olympic marathon champion. © Portuguese NOC

Cycling from Lisbon to Baku, some 6,600km – this is the goal of Jorge Cristóvão, who will start his “Lisbon2Baku” challenge on 10 April, with support from the Portuguese NOC. The aim is to honour the Portuguese athletes who will participate in the first European Games in Baku (Azerbaijan) next June. This challenge is also part of the “100 days to Baku” event set up by the NOC to promote the European Games throughout Portugal and the whole of Europe. Cristóvão should arrive in Baku on 10 June, Portugal’s national feast day. Besides the national flag, he will take messages from the NOC President, José Manuel Constantino to his European homologues and to the President of the European Olympic Committees (EOC),  Patrick Joseph Hickey, at the EOC headquarters in Rome (Italy). Info at

© Rio 2016

To commemorate 500 days to go to the Olympic Games Rio 2016, the Seychelles Olympic and Commonwealth Games Association organised a Fun Run with the participation of the athletes on the Rio 2016 scholarship programme, as well as athletes benefiting from the continental support grant. Minister for Community Development, Social Affairs and Sports Vincent Meriton and NOC President Antonio Gopal encouraged the athletes by asking them also to train harder so that they can qualify for the Games in Rio.

Hong-Dow Lin and Sergey Bubka. © Chinese Taipei Olympic Committee

The President of the Chinese Taipei Olympic Committee, Hong-Dow Lin, has hosted IOC Executive Board Member Sergey Bubka, who is also President of the Ukrainian NOC and Vice-President of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF). Bubka was the guest of the Chinese Taipei Athletics Association, whose President is Thomas W. Tsai, on the occasion of the New Taipei City Wan Jin Shi’ marathon, in which 12,000 runners took part. The two men discussed the future cooperation between the two NOCs. Info at

Group photo of the Venezuelan NOC interns. © José Avelino Rodrigues

The NOC of Venezuela has informed us that the technical course for coaches in sciences applied to sport has just ended. Organised in the framework of Olympic Solidarity and Pan-American Solidarity, this course featured numerous talks on organising a sports event, psychology in sport and altitude training. Besides the NOC’s premises, the participants were also able to visit the Olympic museum, whose various exhibitions were appreciated by all.


RIO 2016

© Rio 2016

24 March 2015 marked 500 days to go until the Opening Ceremony of the Olympic Games Rio 2016. The organisers celebrated this event by publishing the daily Olympic competitions schedule. This announcement will thus allow fans to start planning their programme for the Games before tickets go on sale. The first series of commemorative stamps for the 2016 Games was also launched on this occasion, as was a 500-days-to-go page on the Organising Committee’s website, allowing everyone to participate in the festivities using the hashtags #RioOlympicDNA, #500days, and #nowitshere. Info at


© PyeongChang 2018

The Organising Committee for the Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2018 in PyeongChang (POCOG) has received a donation of 15,936 tonnes of Certified Emission Reductions (CERs) from the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Clean Development Mechanism (CDM). The donated CERs were co-purchased by 11 citizens, including students, residents, private organisations and entrepreneurs, and a teacher at the Yeonhee Elementary School, Yoon Sun Kim. Ms Kim handed over the contribution certificate to Sangpyo Kim, POCOG Vice-President of Venue and Infrastructure, at a special ceremony held at the POCOG office in Seoul on 23 March. POCOG also signed an MoU with the Korea Environment Corporation with the aim of delivering successful O2 Plus Olympic Winter Games. Info at

TOKYO 2020

Nomura President and COO Atsushi Yoshikawa (left) and Tokyo 2020 COO Yukihiko Nunomura. © Tokyo 2020/Ryo Ichikawa

The Organising Committee for the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020 has announced a new Gold Partner, Nomura Holdings Inc. The company will provide expertise in the “Securities” category.  Info at



The IOC has called all young designers to be part of the Winter Youth Olympic Games by designing the medal for the next winter edition, in Lillehammer in 2016. The competition runs from 24 March until 1 June 2015. The winning design and two runners up will be selected by a judging panel made up of the Young Ambassadors and Young Reporters who have been involved in the YOG since the inaugural edition in Singapore in 2010. Also joining the panel will be IOC Members Claudia Bokel, Chair of the IOC Athletes’ Commission, and Angela Ruggiero, Chair of the IOC Coordination Commission for Lillehammer 2016. The winning design will be selected at the end of June 2015 and this design will then feature on the face of the gold, silver and bronze medals awarded in Lillehammer from 12 to 21 February 2016.


The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has called on the global anti-doping community to optimise the implementation and practice of the revised World Anti-Doping Code just three months after the enhanced rulebook came into effect. At its annual Anti-Doping Organisation (ADO) Symposium held in Lausanne, WADA issued the rallying call to more than 450 representatives from International Sports Federations, major event organisations, National and Regional Anti-Doping Organisations, athletes and the media. Athletes were central to this year’s Symposium. The WADA Athlete Committee participated in a high-level Breaking the Code of Silence panel that discussed how athletes can play an active part in resolving the doping issue. The first day included sessions related to the implementation of the revised Code; stronger sanctions; and the influence of the athlete entourage. Days two and three covered themes such as education; anti-doping science; intelligent testing; the Athlete Biological Passport; information sharing and investigations; ADO-laboratory relationships and ADO-ADO partnerships. Info at

© Generations For Peace

IOC TOP Partner Samsung has extended its regional partnership with Generations For Peace for the eighth consecutive year. In doing so, Samsung has renewed its commitment to Generations for Peace, based on shared values between the two organisations and the success of the various Generations For Peace programmes. Samsung’s support is within the framework of its Hope For Children global social responsibility programme. Info at

Please note that the next edition of the Olympic Highlights will appear after 10 April 2015.

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