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Date
02 Jun 2015
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IOC News

Olympic Highlights


IOC ACTIVITIES

PRESIDENT

© CONI

On 22 May, President Bach was in Rome. He started the day at the Palazzo Quirinale, for a meeting with the Italian President, Sergio Mattarella. The two leaders discussed the benefits of sport for society and Rome's bid for the 2024 Olympic Games. President Mattarella said: “The world has many problems. Sport is the antidote to those problems because it enters the hearts and minds of people.” President Bach said that Italy was “very well placed. With your great attachment to the Olympic ideals, with your athletes and your love of sport, you will have a strong bid”, he said, adding: “But you will face strong competition.” Also at the meeting with the Italian President were CONI President Giovanni Malagò and IOC Members Franco Carraro and Mario Pescante.

As part of the Invitation Phase initiated in the framework of the Olympic Agenda 2020 reforms, the President also met members of the Rome 2024 Olympic bid, including leader Luca Cordero Di Montezemolo and the Mayor of Rome, Ignazio Marino.

© CONI

Later, at the award ceremony, the President was presented with the “Onesti Award”, named after the man who served as CONI President for 34 years until 1978. In the citation, President Bach was praised for “immersing himself in his work with passion”, and for “carrying out reforms whilst also respecting tradition”. Also at the ceremony were the President of the Association of Summer Olympic International Federations (ASOIF), Francesco Ricci Bitti; the President of the International Sailing Federation (ISAF), Carlo Croce; the President of the International Gymnastics Federation (FIG), Bruno Grandi; the President of the International Skating Union (ISU), Ottavio Cinquanta; and the President of the International Bobsleigh and Tobogganing Federation (FIBT), Ivo Ferriani.

During his visit to Rome, President Bach held meetings with IOC Members Franco Carraro, Mario Pescante and Ottavio Cinquanta, and with IOC Honorary Member Manuela Di Centa.

He also met the CONI President Giovanni Malagò, with whom he discussed, among other topics, the implementation of the Olympic Agenda 2020 recommendations.

On the same occasion, the IOC President met International Sailing Federation (ISAF) President Carlo Croce, with whom he discussed the preparations for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio.

With International Gymnastics Federation (FIG) President Bruno Grandi, the IOC President also discussed the preparations for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio and the 2018 Summer Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires.

President Bach had been in Hamburg (Germany) on 13 May, where he met the Mayor, Olaf Scholz, to talk about the planned candidature for the Games in 2024. As in Rome, this meeting was part of the “invitation phase” of the bid process. The two men also took part in a discussion with around 250 members of the Hamburg Press Club. He also met the President of the German NOC, Alfons Hörmann.

Speaking at the opening ceremony of the 65th Congress of the International Association Football Federation (FIFA) in Zurich (Switzerland), President Bach referred to the “sad and difficult days” that FIFA is experiencing, but stressed that “these days are also extremely important days for FIFA”, before adding: “In the IOC we know from experience 15 years ago that this fight – against corruption - is challenging and painful. We also all know that there is no other way to ensure credibility. We have seen this in business and in politics. Therefore, I would very much like to encourage you to continue and strengthen your cooperation with the relevant authorities, to shed full light on all the concerned matters and to take all necessary measures by means of your new structures, which you recently created, in order to properly address such grave allegations. I am confident that following such a way of transparency with determination, you, the guardians of football, will overcome these challenges and that you then will make your sport shine once again as you have done so well in the past.”

Before going to Rome, President Bach hosted the Prime Minister of the Faroe Islands, Kaj Leo Holm Johannesen. The two men talked about various Olympic matters, particularly the role of sport in society, as well as its educational role. The Faroe Islands being part of Denmark, the Prime Minister was accompanied by the Danish NOC President, Niels Nygaard.

© IOC

President Bach welcomed a delegation from the NOC of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, led by its President, Vasil Tupurkovski, accompanied by Secretary General Sasho Popovski and Sports Director Vladimir Bogoesvksi. In addition to the Olympic Agenda 2020 recommendations, they talked about the forthcoming European Games in Baku and the development of sport in general.

With the President of World Rugby, Bernard Lapasset, President Bach discussed the preparations for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio, which will see the return of rugby to the Olympic programme, as well as the implementation of Olympic Agenda 2020.

© IOC / Christophe Moratal

The IOC President received Akio Toyoda, the President of TOP Partner Toyota, with whom he discussed the implementation of Olympic Agenda 2020 and the involvement of the TOP Partners in the new Olympic Channel.
 
The IOC President has also met IOC Vice-President John Coates, Executive Board (EB) Member Claudia Bokel and IOC Member Tony Estanguet, with whom he discussed various topics linked to the Olympic Agenda 2020 recommendations.

President Bach and IOC Honorary President Jacques Rogge attended a meeting of the Executive Committee of the Olympic Museum Foundation.

(from l. to r.) Wilson Kipketer, Claudia Bokel, Anne-Sophie Thilo, Thomas Bach, Rebecca Wardell, Jazmine Fenlator and Scott Richardson. © IOC / Christophe Moratal

Accompanied by two fellow Olympian IOC Members, Claudia Bokel and Tony Estanguet, President Bach tested the IOC Athlete Learning Gateway, the new online education service aimed at elite athletes and their coaches. This Gateway is one of the first tangible projects to come out of Olympic Agenda 2020 (recommendation 18). Also present on 19 May at the IOC headquarters were Olympians Anne-Sophie Thilo (sailing), Wilson Kipketer  (athletics), Scott Richardson (cycling), Rebecca Wardell (athletics), and Jazmine Fenlator (bobsleigh); and they and IOC staff joined the IOC President in discussions about the IOC’s role to support athletes in preparing their professional career through the world’s best academics and learning tools. Full press release here.

The President addressed the attendees of the “International Ambition Career” seminar, a programme launched by the French NOC and the French International Sports Committee (CFSI). The participants were mostly sports federation representatives, together with IOC member Tony Estanguet; Bernard Lapasset, the President of World Rugby and the Olympic and Paralympic Ambition Association; and Jean-Christophe Rolland, President of World Rowing (FISA).

MEMBERS

© IOC / Benoit Fontaine
On 24 May, Lambis V. Nikolaou represented the IOC President at the opening ceremony of the 55th International Olympic Academy Session for young participants in Athens (Greece), in the presence of the President of the Hellenic Republic, Prokopios Pavlopoulos, as well as IOC Vice-President Yu Zaiqing and IOC Member Li Lingwei.  (See also under the “Recognised Organisations” section below.)

 

© IOC / Benoit Fontaine
Peter Tallberg, IOC Member in Finland, has died at the age of 77. He competed as a sailor in five editions of the Olympic Games. Peter Tallberg was the second-longest serving current IOC Member. Only Doyen Vitaly Smirnov, who was elected in 1971, has served longer. During his 40-plus years working for the Olympic Movement, Peter Tallberg chaired the Athletes’ Commission from its inception in 1981 until 2002, when he became an honorary member. He was also a member of various other IOC commissions. He was the President of the International Yacht Racing Union (IYRU, later the International Sailing Federation - ISAF), and was a Council Member of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and a member of the World Olympians Association (WOA) as liaison for the IOC Athletes’ Commission. Full press release here.

 

© IOC / Benoit Fontaine
Joseph Blatter was re-elected as President of the International Association Football Federation (FIFA) during the 65th FIFA Congress in Zürich. It is his fifth term of office.

 

COMMISSIONS

The IOC President announced widespread changes to the composition and function of the IOC commissions for 2015. The changes are a direct result of the reforms stemming from implementation of Olympic Agenda 2020. The review of the scope and composition of the IOC commissions was one of the 40 recommendations approved by the 127th IOC Session last December in Monaco. The new make-up of the Commissions reflects the philosophy initiated by Olympic Agenda 2020, and will provide a strong support to the IOC Session, the IOC Executive Board and the IOC President in the implementation of the roadmap designed to shape the future of the Olympic Movement. The changes to the function and composition of the Commissions have been undertaken by the IOC President working closely with the IOC Executive Board. President Bach has significantly increased the number of women nominated to a commission compared to two years ago when he was first elected with third (32 percent) of places now taken by women. That is a 49 percent increase since he took office. There are also increases in the numbers of members from Africa and Oceania, as well as an increase in the number of chair persons from the Africa and Asia now accounting for 34 percent. The commissions now also include more representatives from the different stakeholders of the Olympic Movement and, for the first time, representatives from international organisations such as the United Nations. This shows a clear continuity with the open and inclusive consultation process initiated in the early stages of the discussions on Olympic Agenda 2020. Among the changes, two entirely new commissions have been created: an Olympic Channel Commission, which will ensure that all relevant stakeholders and expertise are consulted throughout the growth and development of the Olympic Channel; and a Communications Commission, which will help to develop strategies to support the promotion of the Olympic values, and the IOC’s vision and mission to a global audience. Another example of Olympic Agenda 2020 already being implemented is the adoption of recommendations 30 and 31. In line with these recommendations, the Session in Monaco adopted the new Olympic Charter. It requires the Chair and the members of the new IOC Ethics Commission be elected for the first time by the 128th IOC Session in Kuala Lumpur, which will take place from 31 July to 3 August. Please click here for the full press release and here for an explanation of the changes to the Commissions.

© Victor Idrogo

The 7th IOC Athlete Career Programme (ACP) Forum was held in Lima (Peru) from 26 to 28 May. Hosted by the Peruvian NOC, this Forum brought together over 80 participants from 37 countries (photo above), including athletes, members of the IOC Athletes’ Commission, chaired by IOC EB Member, Claudia Bokel, members of numerous NOC athletes’ commissions  and Adecco representatives. The three-day Forum celebrated 10 years of the ACP, highlighting its growing success and outlining future goals. It also saw the official launch of a new online education service, the IOC’s Athlete Learning Gateway, which is aimed at elite athletes and their coaches. Full press release here.

An IOC delegation led by the IOC Coordination Commission Chair, Nawal El Moutawakel, recently completed a project review visit to Rio de Janeiro.  During its two day meeting (20 and 21 May), the delegation had the opportunity to see some significant progress in the preparations of the Games. The meeting was also attended by the Brazilian Minister of Sports George Hilton, the Mayor of Rio, Eduardo Paes and representatives at all levels of the government.

© IOC / Cherine Touvet - Fahmy

In the framework of the postgraduate programme in sports medicine launched by the IOC Medical and Scientific Commission in 2013, the first intake of participants have received their diplomas. In all, 37 of the 57 students, from 21 countries, who successfully completed Part 2 of the programme, received their diplomas at a ceremony held on 15 May at The Olympic Museum in Lausanne. Also present were Commission Chair Uğur Erdener and member Ron Maughan, together with IOC Medical and Scientific Director Richard Budgett. (see photo above).

OTHER NEWS

Following the sanctions received by Tyson Gay from USA Track and Field (USATF), and based upon the rules of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), the USA men’s 4 x 100m relay team, composed of Kennith Ryan Bailey, Jeffery Demps, Justin Gatlin, Tyson Gay, David Petrell Kimmons and Darvis Patton, who won silver at the London 2012 Olympic Games, has been disqualified. The IOC has requested that the silver medals and diplomas be returned; and the results of the 2012 Olympic Games will be modified by the IAAF. Full press release here.

INTERNATIONAL SPORTS FEDERATIONS

SUMMER IFS

(from l. to r.) WenSheng Chai, Patrick Baumann and JianJun Xu. © FIBA

The International Basketball Federation (FIBA) has announced that the 2016 FIBA 3x3 World Championships will take place in Guangzhou (People’s Republic of China), from 11 to 15 October. The agreement was signed by FIBA Secretary General and IOC member Patrick Baumann; WenSheng Chai, 3x3 Director of the Chinese Basketball Association (CBA); and JianJun Xu, owner of the “Sunsports” events agency. The CBA will thus host the third edition of this competition, the first time that it will be held outside Europe (after Greece in 2012 and the Russian Federation in 2014). Details on www.fiba.com.

The International Boxing Association (AIBA) has appointed William Louis-Marie as its new PR & Communications Director. He has extensive experience in world-class event and sport communications, media relations and promotions, having previously worked as Communications Director for the Baku 2015 European Games. Before that, he worked for the Atlanta 1996 Olympic Games and the France 1998 FIFA World Cup as Communications Manager for Coca-Cola France. He also held the position of Senior Vice President of Trace TV. Details on www.aiba.org.

The Union Internationale de Cyclisme (UCI) has announced the introduction of BMX Freestyle Park as a new UCI cycling discipline via the launch of the UCI BMX Freestyle Park World Cup, with the first edition taking place in 2016. This competition will be part of the FISE World Series, the International Festival of Extreme Sports, and will be a springboard for the UCI Urban Cycling World Championships envisaged for 2017. The UCI has also announced that Hong Kong will, for the first time, host a round of the UCI Track Cycling World Cup, on 16 and 17 January 2016. Details on www.uci.ch.

© FIE

In the framework of the Rio Fencing Grand Prix Promotional Week, the International Fencing Federation (FIE) and the Brazilian Fencing Federation (Brasil Esgrima) organised a promotional fencing event at La Lagoa, Esgrima na Lagoa. Brazilian fencers in all categories provided demonstration bouts for the audience (see photo above), while instructional and participation displays allowed visitors to learn more about fencing and give it a try. The event was widely covered by the Brazilian media.  Details on www.fie.ch.

 
The International Association Football Federation (FIFA) is reinforcing its fight against discrimination in football with the introduction of a new anti-discrimination monitoring system for the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifiers. The system includes the deployment of Anti-Discrimination Match Observers to monitor and report issues of discrimination at the games. It will be coordinated by FIFA and implemented in collaboration with the Fare network, an organisation with long experience in the fight against discrimination in football and the deployment of match observers. Details on
www.fifa.com.

The International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) has reasserted its commitment to fighting illegal betting, match-fixing and corruption in sport by signing up to the IOC’s Integrity Betting Intelligence System (IBIS). As an intelligence-sharing digital platform, IBIS will enable the IWF and its member federations to access an extensive network of monitoring and data-sharing across sports, event owners and the major sports betting entities.  The IWF joins the seven Winter Olympic Sports Federations and a growing number of Summer Olympic Sports Federations (e.g. BWF, FIBA, FIVB, World Rugby, ITF, ITTF, UCI) that have already joined IBIS in view of the upcoming Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro in 2016. Details at www.iwf.net.

After confirming the Swimming World Cup 2015 calendar, the International Swimming Federation (FINA) has announced a new rule change for this key event: all the eight meets will be held in 50-metre rather than short-course pools. This change is aimed at increasing the participation by national federations and athletes in the FINA Swimming World Cup. Moreover, each of the 2015 Series meets will be a qualifying event for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio. FINA has also signed a long-term partnership with Australia’s Seven Network, to broadcast the FINA 2015 World Championships in Kazan, Russia, and the FINA World Championships in Budapest, Hungary, in 2017. Details on www.fina.org.

The 2017 edition of the U20 Championship will be held in Georgia, in Tbilisi and Kutaisi. This decision was taken by the World Rugby Council at its recent meeting in Dublin (Ireland). The dates and venues will be announced in due course. In addition, Dublin and Belfast will host the Women’s Rugby World Cup 2017. Details on www.worldrugby.org.

In a recent press release, the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) announced that the World Table Tennis Championships held between 26 April and 3 May in Suzhou (People’s Republic of China) were the most-followed table tennis event in history, followed by an estimated 450 million people across the globe. In China alone, 252 million people watched the Championships on television. Discover all the figures and data on www.ittf.com.

© ITU

International Triathlon Union (ITU) President and IOC member Marisol Casado was the guest keynote speaker at the first forum for Women and Sport in Japan, organised jointly by  the ITU’s Women’s Committee, the Japan Triathlon Union, the Japanese Olympic Committee, and the Kyoritsu Women’s University, an affiliate university of Tokyo 2020.  The theme of the forum was “The Value and Power of Sport for Women”, and it focused on encouraging women to lead active lifestyles and to explore the enriching effects of sport. The forum was also linked to the “Sport for Tomorrow’” programme, which is being run by the Japanese government with a focus on international cooperation through sport. In addition, Marisol Casado met Hakubun Shimomura, the Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, who is also serving as the Minister in charge of the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games (photo above). Details on www.triathlon.org.

WINTER IFS

The International Ski Federation (FIS) has confirmed that the fifth edition of World Snow Day will be held on 17 January 2016. Details on www.fis-ski.com.

NATIONAL OLYMPIC COMMITTEES

© Belarus NOC / Nastassia Marynina

Irina Leparskaya (second from right), head coach of the national rhythmic gymnastics team, has been awarded the 2014 IOC “Sport and Art” Trophy. The First Vice-President of the Belarus NOC, Maksim Ryzhenkov, presented her with the Trophy at the closing ceremony of the 31st European Rhythmic Gymnastics Championships in Minsk. Details on www.noc.by.

© COB

In 2012, the Brazil Olympic Committee (COB) implemented a programme to reduce the risk of injury among Brazilian high-performance athletes.  On 26 May, through a series of videos on the Internet, the COB made available to the general public tips on injury prevention exercises specific to athletes of five Olympic sports:  athletics, basketball, judo, swimming and beach volleyball.  The videos are available on the Team Brazil channel on YouTube. The videos released have a version with Portuguese subtitles so that the deaf can also watch them.  Later this year, the COB will produce additional educational videos in other sports and also videos focusing on topics such as self-medication risks, the importance of sleep, hydration and nutrition, and mental preparation. Details at www.cob.org.br.

© Colombian NOC

On 19 May, the Colombian NOC, through its Olympic Academy, organised the 67th Olympic conference, on the theme of “Sport and Peace”. More than 100 students and representatives of the universities in Bogota took part. Also present were NOC President Baltazar Medina; Academy member Manuel Jose Bonett Locarno Regidor, who also moderated the discussions (see photo above); and the Director of the Leisure and Sport Institute (IDRD), Aldo Enrique Cadena Ruiz. Details on www.coc.org.co.

© Spanish NOC

Almost 50 athletes signed up for a university preparation course aimed at athletes aged over 25. This fourth edition of the course was organised by the Spanish NOC with the Catholic University of Murcia (UCAM) at the NOC headquarters on 28 May, in the presence of NOC President Alejandro Blanco. The course is aimed at athletes on the NOC’s athlete support programme and those on the list submitted by the Spanish sports federations. Details on www.coe.es.

Spyros Capralos (r.) and Aleksi Akhvlediani. © Hellenic Olympic Committee

The flame of the European Youth Olympic Summer Festival (EYOF), “Tbilisi 2015”, was lit at the Panathenaic Stadium in Athens on 26 May. Organised by the Hellenic Olympic Committee, the ceremony was held in the traditional way: High Priestess Katerina Lehou lit the flame from the sun’s rays, which was followed by a torch relay with young athletes Manolis Karalis (pole vault), Nikoletta Pavlopoulou (swimming), Lasha Shavdatuashvili (judo) and Mariam Bolkvadze (tennis). Hellenic Olympic Committee President Spyros Capralos handed the flame over to the President of the EYOF Organising Committee, Aleksi Akhvlediani. A dance of the Priestesses, entitled “Niriides” inspired by choreographer Artemis Ignatiou, was performed to the music of composer Giannis Psimadas, while the national anthems of Greece and Georgia were performed by the City of Athens Philharmonic Orchestra. The Opening ceremony of the 2015 Summer EYOF will be held on 26 July in the stadium in Tbilisi. Details on www.hoc.gr.

Tsunekazu Takeda (r.) and Henry Nuñez Najera.
© Japanese Olympic Committee

The Japanese Olympic Committee (JOC) and the Costa Rican NOC signed a partnership agreement in Tokyo on 25 May.  IOC member and JOC President Tsunekazu Takeda and Costa Rican NOC President Henry Nuñez Najera signed the agreement, in the presence of JOC Vice-President and Secretary General Tsuyoshi Aoki and JOC Senior Executive Board member Yasuo Saito. The agreement includes a programme of exchanges between the athletes, officials and coaches of the two NOCs, and an exchange of marketing knowledge and information. This is the 32nd agreement signed by the JOC with other NOCs. Details on www.joc.or.jp and www.concrc.org.

© Jordan Olympic Committee

The Jordan Olympic Committee has launched a new social media campaign called Faces of Living Sport.  The campaign strategy will bring alive the message of Living Sport through the stories of ordinary Jordanians. Faces of Living Sport will give Jordanians the opportunity to share their unique perspectives on healthy living and how they incorporate sport into their daily lives. The campaign’s goal is to offer the public a daily glimpse into the lives of ordinary Jordanians, with the hope that the wider public will identify themselves in those chosen and hopefully inspire them to exercise. Living Sport is the communications plan for the NOC that encourages Jordanians to make sport and healthy living a part of their daily lives. Details on www.joc.jo and #LivingSportJO.

© Moldovan NOC

We have just learnt that the Moldovan NOC also celebrated the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace by organising on 6 April an Olympic Lesson for the students of the “Gheorghe Asachi” Lyceum in Chisinau (photo above). Nune Mangasaryan, the UNICEF representative in the Republic of Moldova, underlined the role of sport for social change and human development. Olympic champions Larisa Popova and Nicolae Juravschi, who is also the NOC President, presented a set of “Olympic Flame” and “Olympic Panorama” publications to the school library. The NOC President also awarded diplomas to the most active volunteers from the Lyceum for their involvement in activities organised by the NOC. More than 300 students participated in this Olympic Lesson, speaking with the Olympic champions and watching a video about the participation of Moldovan athletes in the Olympic Games. Details on www.olympic.md.

© Mongolian NOC

The Mongolian NOC, in cooperation with the “Barcelona” Olympic Council of the Selenge province and the Altanbulag County Administration, has created a mini-park in honour of the late Dugarsuren Oyunbold, freestyle wrestling (57kg) bronze  medallist at the 1980 Games in Moscow. The NOC Vice-President and judo silver medallist in Moscow, Tsendying Damdin; “Barcelona Olympic Council Head D. Erdenebat; and a number of officials and athletes attended the ceremony. All the participants planted around 400 trees in the park (see photo above), which has been renamed the “Oyunbold Olympic Mini-Park”.

The Peruvian NOC informs us that nine athletes have obtained a scholarship from Olympic Solidarity to help them prepare and qualify for the 2016 Games in Rio. The latest athlete to receive a scholarship is sailor Stefano Pescheira Loret de Mola. His achievements include a third-place finish at the under-21 World Championships last year and a gold medal at the Bolivarian Beach Games in 2014. The eight other scholarship-holders are: Andrea Cedrón (swimming), Mauricio Fiol (swimming), Julissa Diez Canseco Verde (taekwondo), Kimberly García (athletics), Nicolás Pacheco (shooting), Juan Postigo (judo), Paloma Schmidt (sailing) and Yanet Sovero (wrestling). Details on www.coperu.org.

© IOC/ AK Biju Raj

Organised jointly by the IOC, the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) and the NOC of Qatar on 15 and 16 May 2015 in Doha, a media workshop on women in sport brought together 113 men and women from 68 countries, representing NOCs, Continental Associations, international organisations as well as the sports media and business worlds (see photo above). At the end of the workshop, the delegates issued a call to action to the Olympic Movement, the world of sport generally and the media to lead the way in changing the media coverage of women’s sport. Speakers at the workshop included: the President of the Association of National Olympic Committees of Africa (ANOCA), Lassana Palenfo;  Sheikh Saoud Bin Ali Al-Thani, Vice-President of the Qatar NOC; the Secretary General of ANOCA, Thomas Sithole; the UN Women Regional Communications Manager for Arab States, Emad Karim; IOC Women and Sport Commission member Donna de Varona; BBC Sport Chief Advisor Neil Land; Australian Broadcasting Corporation News radio presenter Tracey Lee Holmes; promising young Qatari hurdler Mariam Farid; and Alham Al-Mana, President of the Qatar Women’s Sport Committee (QWSC) and recipient of the 2013 IOC Women and Sport Award World Trophy. In her message, the Chair of the IOC Women and Sport Commission, Lydia Nsekera, called on the participants to “promote and popularise women’s sport and to make a firm commitment to ensuring an increase in women’s coverage in the media”. Full press release here.

© Chinese Taipei Olympic Committee

The Chinese Taipei Olympic Committee (CTOC) launched its Olympic education programme with a lecture by 2013 world weightlifting champion Hsin Chun Kuo, who shared her sporting life story with students at I-Shou University. This is the first of 10 lectures organised by the CTOC, with the aim of promoting the positive values of Olympism through elite Olympians. Hsin Chun Kuo said that her life as a world-class weightlifter began at the 2010 Singapore Youth Olympic Games, followed by a disappointing eighth place at the 2012 Games in London, but then victory at the World Weightlifting Championships in 2013, not forgetting the setbacks she endured due to injury. Four more lectures by Olympians are scheduled before July.
In addition, around 80 people - CTOC members, national federation representatives, experts and students – attended the “National Conference on Innovation and Prospects of the Olympic Agenda 2020” organised by the CTOC. One of the speakers was IOC Executive Board member Ching-Kuo Wu, who was representing the IOC President (see previous edition of the Highlights). Details on
www.tpenoc.net.


The Czech NOC has just launched a web platform, Sport v okolí (www.sportvokoli.cz), which shows the location of sports clubs all over the Czech Republic. This joint project between the Czech NOC and the Ministry of Education and Sport would not have been possible without the cooperation of national sports federations, along with enthusiasts and volunteers from across the country. It is also linked to the “Olympic All Round” project, which provides schools with recommendations of sports clubs in their region based on their specific sports requirements. Details on www.olympic.cz.

The Turkish NOC recently hosted the delegates of 50 European NOCs at an Extraordinary General Assembly of the European Olympic Committees (EOC) in Belek/Antalya. Other meetings were also held, including an Olympic Solidarity Forum and an EOC Seminar. See also the “Recognised Organisations” section below. Details on  www.olimpiyat.org.tr.

© José Avelino Rodrigues

In the framework of the activities held in preparation for the upcoming Pan-American Games in Toronto (Canada), the Venezuelan NOC hosted a seminar on sports journalism. This was part of the programme of courses offered by Olympic Solidarity and Pan-American Solidarity. The subjects addressed included interviews with athletes, web pages, social media and institutional journalism in sport. Representatives of the Canadian Embassy to Venezuela were also present.

ORGANISING COMMITTEES FOR THE OLYMPIC GAMES

RIO 2016

The Rio 2016 Organising Committee has opened applications for volunteers to take part in the Opening and Closing Ceremonies of the Olympic and Paralympic Games. For the Olympic Games, these ceremonies will be held in the iconic Maracanã Stadium in Rio, and the productions will be run by a selection of renowned Brazilian artists, including Fernando Meirelles, who directed the Oscar-nominated film, “City of God”. Auditions will begin in November 2015, with rehearsals for successful applicants starting in April 2016.  Details on www.rio2016.com. Full press release here.

PYEONGCHANG 2018

 © POCOG

The PyeongChang 2018 Organising Committee (POCOG) has marked 1,000 days to go until the 2018 Olympic Winter Games by unveiling its Games slogan – “Passion. Connected.” – at a special event in Seoul. POCOG hopes that these two simple words will help express the objectives and legacies of the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Games. The new slogan was launched at a special event – dubbed “Happy PyeongChang, Promise for 1,000 days” – that took place in Seoul’s Olympic Park. More than 4,000 participants were expected to take part in the event, including POCOG President Yang-ho Cho, Korean Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Jong-deok Kim, Governor of Gangwon Province Moon-soon Choi, representatives from the sports industry, officials from the host and venue cities, dignitaries from the National Assembly and members of the public. PyeongChang 2018 Honorary Ambassadors, including Olympic figure skating gold medallist Yuna Kim, Artistic Director of the Korean National Ballet Sue-jin Kang and former speed skating Olympian Kyou-hyuk Lee, were also planning to come together to participate in a commemorative ceremony. Other host and venue cities also celebrated the 1,000 days-to-go milestone. Gangwon Province operated a special train from Seoul to Chuncheon, the province’s capital, which saw various winter sports stars share their stories with younger athletes and sports fans; while the cities of Chuncheon, PyeongChang, Gangneung and Jeongseon also hosted evening celebrations for local residents to share the festive spirit and enthusiasm for the 2018 Games. Full press release here and details on www.pyeongchang2018.com.

TOKYO 2020

© Tokyo 2020

The Organising Committee of the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games (Tokyo 2020) celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Japanese Para-Sports Association (JPSA) at a ceremony in Tokyo that brought together members of Japan’s sporting community. Eleven Japanese Paralympic medallists attended the celebrations. Tokyo 2020 President Yoshiro Mori; Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Hakubun Shimomura; Governor of Tokyo Yoichi Masuzoe; IOC Member and Japanese Olympic Committee President Tsunekazu Takeda; Japanese Paralympic Committee (JPC) President and International Paralympic Committee Governing Board Member Yasushi Yamawaki; and JPC Chairman of the Board Mitsunori Torihara were also in attendance. During the ceremony, the JPSA unveiled a new emblem (photo above) to replace the one it had been using since its establishment. Details at www.tokyo2020.com

RECOGNISED ORGANISATIONS

Meeting in Belek (Turkey) at an Extraordinary General Assembly, the 50 NOCs that make up the EOC unanimously chose the Netherlands as the host of the next European Games in 2019. The EOC Executive Committee was tasked with continuing and finalising negotiations with the Dutch NOC. The Assembly agenda also included the preparations for the first European Games in Baku, from 12 to 28 June this year; an overview and discussion of Olympic Agenda 2020 from a European perspective; the preparations for the forthcoming European Youth Olympic Festival in Tbilisi in this year; the Games of the Small States of Europe in Iceland, also in 2015; and the Winter Youth Olympic Games in Lillehammer in 2016. Details on www.eurolympic.org.

Mexico City will host the 17th General Assembly of the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) on 14 and 15 November this year. This will be the first time the Assembly has been held in Central America. In addition, the IPC has announced that Copacabana Beach will host International Paralympic Day on 7 September 2015 as part of a series of events to celebrate one year to go until the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games and to launch the start of ticket sales. The announcement was made following the conclusion of the seventh IPC Project Review, which took place in Rio between 5 and 6 May. More than three million tickets will be available. Details on www.paralympic.org.

Isidros Kouvelos (l) and Conrado Durántez (r.). © Hellenic Olympic Committee

The 55th International Session for Young Participants of the International Olympic Academy (IOA) was declared open by the President of the Hellenic Republic, Prokopios Pavlopoulos, during a ceremony held on 24 May on the Hill of the Pnyx in Athens. Until 6 June, some 175 young men and women from 90 countries will participate in the Session placed under the special theme of “Olympic Movement: The process of renewal and adaption”. Among the personalities present on this occasion were the Deputy Minister of Culture, Education and Religious Affairs, Nikos Xydakis; IOC Vice-President Yu Zaiqing; IOC Members Lambis V. Nikolaou and Li Lingwei; the President of the Hellenic Olympic Committee, Spyros I. Capralos; the President of the IOA and of the Hellenic Olympic Academy, Isidros Kouvelos; Member of Parliament Dora Bakoyannis; and the President of Olympiakos FC, Vaggelis Marinakis. During the ceremony, the National Olympic Academy of Spain was awarded with the honorary distinction “Athena”, which was given to its President, Conrado Durántez. Details on www.hoc.gr.

At its meeting in Montreal on 13 May, the WADA Foundation Board received a progress report on Code implementation and compliance, and approved the accreditation of the anti-doping laboratories in Brazil (Rio de Janeiro) and Turkey (Ankara), after both laboratories completed the required remedial work stipulated in the International Standard for Laboratories (ISL). In addition, under the WADA-IOC Special Research Fund, the Board was informed that the promised funding from the IOC and governments now stands at almost USD 12 million, and that USD 1 million of the fund would be dedicated to social science research. Details on www.wada-ama.org.

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