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27 Jul 2015
IOC News

Olympic Highlights




IOC President Thomas Bach visited for the first time the House of Basketball, headquarters of the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) in Mies (Switzerland). He was welcomed by FIBA Secretary General and IOC Member Patrick Baumann, FIBA Europe President Turgay Demirel and FIBA Treasurer Ingo Weiss. The development of basketball and the preparations for the Olympic basketball tournament at the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro next summer were addressed.

© IHF / Alain Badan

President Bach, accompanied by Hassan Moustafa, President of the International Handball Federation (IHF), joined an enthusiastic crowd at a beach handball exhibition tournament staged on the shores of Lake Geneva near the Pierre-de-Coubertin Stadium, a few metres away from the IOC headquarters. Organised by the IHF and the City of Lausanne with the support of the IOC, the tournament, which showcased the modern and dynamic development of the sport, brought together the world's best athletes in beach handball, a discipline that is hoping to join the Youth Olympic Games programme in 2018 in Buenos Aires. With the participation of athletes from Russia and Ukraine, this event showed once again that sport can build bridges between nations and between communities and foster dialogue.

© Getty Images

In St Andrews (Great Britain), President Bach attended the 2015 Open Golf Championship at the invitation of the International Golf Federation (IGF). On this occasion, the IOC President met IGF President Peter Dawson and IGF Executive Director Antony Scanlon, before getting a first-hand look at some of the world’s best golfers, who will be returning to the Olympic Games next summer in Rio de Janeiro for the first time since 1904. He was accompanied by IOC Vice-President and World Anti-Doping Agency President Craig Reedie.


From St Andrews, the President travelled, at the invitation of International Fencing Federation (FIE) President Alisher Usmanov, to Moscow (Russian Federation), where he watched the men’s and women’s team foil finals on the closing day of the World Fencing Championships that doubled as a qualifier for next year’s Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. The IOC President was accompanied during his visit to Russia by IOC Members Vitaly Smirnov, Alexander Popov and Alexander Zhukov, who is also President of the Russian Olympic Committee.

President Bach, in the company of Vitaly Smirnov and Alexander Zhukov, held a meeting with the Russian Deputy Prime Minister, Arkady Dvorkovich.

 © Andrey Golovanov

Whilst in Moscow, President Bach took the opportunity to award the Olympic Order to Irina Viner, President of the All-Russian Federation of Rhythmic Gymnastics, and head coach of the Russian team.  She was given the distinction for her outstanding service to the global sports movement and her commitment to the Olympic ideals. IOC Doyen Vitaly Smirnov delivered the speech of honour for the distinction.

© IOC / Christophe Moratal

The IOC President welcomed Azad Rahimov, the Minister for Youth and Sport of Azerbaijan. They spoke about the first European Games, held in June in Baku, the Azeri capital, which the President attended. The implementation of Olympic Agenda 2020 and the next Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro in 2016 were also at the heart of the discussions.

© IOC / Christophe Moratal

With Kerry Stokes, Executive Chairman of Seven Group Holdings Limited, the President spoke about the Olympic Channel, during Stoke’s visit to the IOC headquarters in Lausanne.

In Tauberbischofsheim (Germany) on 20 July, President Bach attended a ceremony to honour his former fencing coach Emil Beck.



An IOC delegation, led by the Chair of the IOC’s Coordination Commission, Gunilla Lindberg, has completed its fifth Project Review visit to the 2018 Olympic Winter Games host city of PyeongChang (photo above). During its two days of meetings (23 and 24 July) the group had a full programme comprising working meetings - where they were briefed on areas of Games preparations including venues, governance, workforce, marketing and technology - and venue visits. In addition, the visit coincided with the signing of another top-tier domestic partner for the PyeongChang 2018 Organising Committee (POCOG), which confirmed the interest and support for the Games by the Korean business community. Chair Lindberg also met with Gangwon Governor Moon-soon Choi during her stay. Full press release here.


In the framework of the new Invitation Phase for the Olympic Games bid process, introduced following Olympic Agenda 2020, a number of potential 2024 cities and their NOCs have already taken part in individual tailor-made workshops in Lausanne. Last week, delegations from Hamburg (Germany) and Rome (Italy) came to the IOC headquarters to take part in the workshops. Both delegations were welcomed by President Bach. A comprehensive presentation was made to each delegation, focusing on what it takes to organise successful Olympic Games, and on how, in line with Olympic Agenda 2020, cities can deliver great Olympic Games that fit into their city’s long-term social, sports, environmental and economic objectives. Meetings were held in May and June with delegations from Budapest (Hungary), Boston (United States of America) and Paris (France).

Open to athletes, coaches, referees and the public, the IOC’s Integrity and Compliance Hotline is now fully operational. The web-based hotline, which was launched last April, offers a new reporting mechanism for potential cases of competition manipulation as well as other violations of the IOC Code of Ethics. Reports can be made anonymously, and all information received is dealt with confidentially. Anyone can now report suspicious behaviour or activities related to competition manipulation and infringements of the IOC Code of Ethics or other matters which fall under the IOC’s jurisdiction. These include financial misconduct or other legal, regulatory and ethical breaches. The new tool is fully operational and accessible via the IOC website at Full press release here.

After seven years of meticulous work digitising, restoring, cataloguing and publishing, the IOC has finished its Patrimonial Assets Management (PAM) programme, winning the prestigious 2015 International Broadcasting Convention (IBC2015) prize. This distinction recognised the IOC’s unique approach to preservation and to making its archives available to broadcasters, researchers, partners and other professionals. Thanks to PAM, launched in 2007, more than a century of Olympic history has been conserved. Indeed, over 2,000 hours of film, 33,000 hours of video, 8,500 hours of audio clips and 500,000 photographs were in danger of disappearing. In addition, 2,000 archive documents and 20,000 Olympic Museum artefacts needed modernised document processing. Full press release here.

© Stephen Lund

For Olympic Day, the IOC had offered the chance to win a trip for two to Rio de Janeiro in December for a sneak peek of the Olympic Park ahead of next summer’s Olympic Games. To take part, the general public had to get active, capture the moment with a photo or video, and share it with the IOC using the hashtag #OlympicDay. #OlympicDay on Twitter alone was posted 36,000 times, and over 21,000 photos were recorded with a potential impression reach of over 178 million. The winner was Stephen Lund from Victoria (British Columbia, Canada). He sketched out #olympicday by bike in his city (map above). Stephen wanted to inspire others to get active on Olympic Day, and also to create something new: fitness art. For him, “it’s a way for people to physically and creatively immerse themselves in the city they call home. It’s an easy, inviting way to get healthier and happier by reframing humdrum exercise as creative exploration and artistic adventuring.” Full press release here.

In the framework of the second edition of the Advanced Olympic Research Grant Programme, the IOC Olympic Studies Centre (OSC) has selected seven research projects, underlining their academic quality and significance with respect to the IOC priority fields of research. These grants will allow the researchers to carry out their research project, benefit from exchanges with the IOC administration and, if relevant, consult the OSC’s archives and resources in Lausanne. The results of their research must be submitted in June 2016. For its second edition, the programme has received 41 applications involving 110 researchers from 24 countries and five continents. The full list of the grants awarded is available here.



World Rowing (FISA) has announced that 820 athletes from 51 countries will take part in the Under-23 Championships to be held in Plovdiv (Bulgaria) from 22 to 26 July. These Championships will be raced in 21 boat classes. Info at

A historic moment for the International Boxing Association (AIBA) at the 2015 Pacific Games in Port Moresby (Papua New Guinea). After the Olympic Games in London in 2012, the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow in 2014 and the European Games in Baku in 2015, female boxers took part for the first time in the boxing tournament of the Pacific Games. From 14 to 18 July, these athletes competed in three weight categories, their male counterparts in 10. Info at


The International Canoe Federation (ICF) has informed us that Cecilia Farias (photo), a member of its Board, has become the first woman to join the Association of Pan-American Sports Confederations (ACODEPA), having been elected as Vice-President. She was also recently re-elected as President of the Pan-American Canoe Federation (COPAC), for the period 2015-19. Cecilia Farias is the ICF Continental Representative for South America. Info at

The Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) and Telenet have signed a contract for a long-term strategic partnership covering the principal UCI cyclo-cross events. The agreement will take effect from the 2015-2016 season, and will run through to the end of the 2019-2020 season. It relates to the UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup and the UCI Cyclo-cross World Championships.
Furthermore, the UCI has announced that five former trainees from the World Cycling Centre in Aigle (Switzerland) are taking part in the 2015 Tour de France. The riders are: Daniel Teklehaimanot and Kudus Merhawi (Eritrea), Chris Froome (Great Britain), Eduardo Sepulveda (Argentina) and Ramunas Navardauskas (Lithuania). Eleven other former trainees are taking part in the UCI World Tour 2015. Info at

(from l. to r.) Frederic Pietruszka, Jakub Nowicki and Giorgio Scarso. © FIE

During the Fencing World Championships in Moscow, the Collaboration Agreement between the International Fencing Federation (FIE) and International Wheelchair & Amputee Sports Federation (IWAS) has been officially announced by the FIE Secretary General Frederic Pietruszka, the Chairman of the IWAS Wheelchair Fencing Committee, Jakub Nowicki and the FIE Vice President Giorgio Scarso. Both parties have concluded the following agreement concerning their collaboration and cooperation, especially in the following fields: the organization of joint meetings and training camps, of competitions and demonstrations; the technical organization, training and development of fencers; the training and education of coaches; and the training and education of referees. Info at

The 15th World Gymnaestrada was held from 12 to 18 July in Helsinki (Finland). Organised every four years, this international gymnastics festival is the flagship International Gymnastics Federation (FIG) event that attracts the largest number of active participants. Almost 21,000 people from 53 countries, representing all the continents, participated in this edition, which was held for the first time in Finland, and was, in terms of international participation, the biggest event ever organised in the country. Over 200 hours of gymnastics performances were staged in 15 different venues in the Finnish capital.
In addition, during its ordinary meeting in Helsinki (15–17 July), the FIG Executive Committee awarded the 16th World Gymnaestrada 2019 to the Austrian Gymnastics Federation. The event will take place in Dornbirn from 7 to 13 July. Info at

From 24 July to 9 August, Kazan (Russian Federation) will host the 16th World Championships of the International Swimming Federation (FINA). Among the 186 national federations taking part, six will do so for the very first time. These are: Gabon, Haiti, Kosovo, Malawi, Timor-Leste and the British Virgin Islands. This is the highest number of National Member Federations registered so far since the World Championships' first edition in 1973 in Belgrade (Serbia).
In addition, the city of Abu Dhabi (United Arab Emirates) will be the host of the 2020 FINA World Swimming Championships (25m) and FINA World Aquatics Convention, after the FINA Bureau’s vote on July 22 in Kazan. Info at

World Archery (WA) has announced that a record number of athletes (623) from a record number of countries (96) will take part in the next World Archery Championships, to be held from 26 July to 2 August this year in Copenhagen (Denmark). In the two recurve team events, the 63 men’s and 45 women’s teams will compete for eight places (in each division) at the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. Before the Championships, the WA Congress will take place on 24 and 25 July. The agenda includes motions to amend the WA Constitution and Rulebook. A number of changes supporting Olympic Agenda 2020 will also be addressed, including strengthening the constitutional clauses against discrimination and the fight for clean sport. Info at



As part of the International Ski Federation (FIS)’s Development Programme, a training camp for South America is running until 2 August in Cerro Castor (Argentina). Some 18 athletes (photo above) from Argentina, Chile, Brazil, Greece, Hungary, Latvia, Mexico and Turkey are taking part and preparing for the next skiing season through intensive training sessions on snow and grass. Besides the purely sporting aspect, this camp also has a social side, bringing together young athletes from various national associations. Info at


The International Climbing and Mountaineering Federation (UIAA) has indicated that the deadline for submitting a candidature for its Mountain Protection Award is 31 July 2015. This award showcases environmentally sustainable initiatives and projects in the mountains by associations and travel agencies from around the world. Info at


© Australian Olympic Committee

Over 100 Indigenous runners participated in the 2015 Indigenous Marathon Project's Deadly Fun Run Championships in Uluru to celebrate the 30-year anniversary of the handing back of world famous landmark to its traditional owners. The Deadly Fun Run Series (DFRS) is an initiative by the Indigenous Marathon Foundation (IMF), founded and managed by Olympian and world champion marathon runner Rob de Castella,  which introduces running and walking to remote communities in a fun, non-intimidating environment for indigenous men, women and children. The Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) had a team of five athletes (photo above) supporting the run, made up of Indigenous Olympians Kyle Vander-Kuyp, Des Abbott and Beki Smith, along with prospective Rio team member Tanisha Stanton, who is an Indigenous athlete in the Australian women’s sevens rugby squad, and Beijing kayak bronze medallist Hannah Davis. The IMF, along with the Mutitjulu Community, also hosted a special 10km indigenous Relay Run around the base of Uluru. The AOC entered two teams in this iconic relay, consisting of Indigenous Olympians and aspiring athletes, Olympic medallists, AOC CEO Fiona de Jong and AOC staff members. Participation in the IMF Anniversary relay run is just one of the ways the AOC is broadening Indigenous partnerships. At the Annual General Meeting, held in May this year, AOC members demonstrated their dedication to recognising indigenous heritage by unanimously voting to amend the AOC Constitution to recognise the nation’s first people. Info at

© Cameroonian NOC

The Cameroonian NOC informs us that its Secretary General, Emmanuel Abolo Biwole, took part as an expert and moderator in the African Confederation Secretaries General Seminar held on 15 and 16 July in Yaoundé by the Union of African Sports Confederations (UCSA) (photo above). He gave a talk on “Sports Organisation Management”.  The theme of the Seminar was “The African Sports Confederations: dealing with current issues”.  Several African experts on sport, marketing, communications and anti-doping also took part.

On a visit to the Cartagena campus, Spanish NOC President Alejandro Blanco showed his support for the Catholic University of Murcia (UCAM)’s project to create an international sports campus in Cartagena. UCAM President José Luis Mendoza was accompanied by the NOC President on this visit. This project is currently in the management phase – the sports facilities would cover a surface area of 70,000m2, be owned by the UCAM and be near the current university campus. Info at

© Gambia NOC

The Gambia NOC has informed us that the Gambia Volleyball Federation opened a five-day national referee course from 23 to 28 July at Serrekunda East (photo above). Supported by the Confederation of African volleyball (CAVB), this course would be the first national referee course conducted under the new Gambian federation that recently changed leadership. Participants, from every region in the country, will be supervised by Jaouad Berrada, an instructor from the International Volleyball Federation. The opening ceremony was attended by the GNOC development officer, National Sports Council and the media. Info at

© Peruvian NOC

The Secretary General of the Peruvian NOC, Francisco Boza Dibos (photo above) has won a medal in (skeet) shooting at the 2015 Pan-American Games in Toronto. He thus qualifies for the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro next year, which will also be the eighth Olympic Games in which he has competed. Now aged 50, he won a silver medal in 1984 in Los Angeles. He stopped competing three years ago when he became President of the Peruvian Sports Institute, but took up training again last year. Info at

© Singapore National Olympic Council

The Singapore National Olympic Council (SNOC) has announced the appointment of Low Teo Ping (photo) as the Chef de Mission for Team Singapore at the Olympic Games Rio de Janeiro 2016. Low, a veteran sports administrator who is a Vice President at the SNOC and the President of the Singapore Rugby Union, recently served Team Singapore as Chef de Mission at the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games. He also led Team Singapore at the 2010 Asian Games and 2007 SEA Games. Info at

© Czech NOC

Almost 87,000 pupils from all around the Czech Republic received their sports reports at the end of the last school year. These reports are a reward for kids who completed all eight disciplines (photo above) of “Olympijský víceboj” (Olympic all-around), a project initiated by the Czech NOC. The youngsters learned from their reports what their physical type was and which sports would suit them the best. On the website kids and their parents can also find out where they have various sports clubs in their neighbourhood. The Olympic all-around project will also continue in school year 2015–2016. Info at


TOKYO 2020

© Tokyo 2020

The Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee has celebrated five years to go until the 2020 Olympic Games by unveiling the official emblem for the Games. The emblem, which was created by award-winning Japanese designer Kenjiro Sano, aims to symbolise the unifying power of the Games, with the world due to come together as one in Tokyo in five years’ time. Based on a stylised letter ‘T’, which is inspired by the words ‘Tokyo’, ‘Tomorrow’ and ‘Team’, the emblem contains a number of creative elements. The black colour of the central column represents diversity, while the circle symbolises an inclusive world in which everyone accepts one another. The red colour of the circle represents the power of every beating heart, as well as evoking the Japanese flag. The emblem was unveiled on 24 July during a special event at the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Plaza to celebrate the five-year countdown to the 2020 Games. Among those in attendance were Tokyo 2020 President Yoshiro Mori, Tokyo Governor Yoichi Masuzoe and IOC Vice President John Coates, who is the Chairman of the IOC Coordination Commission for the 2020 Games.  At the same special event, Tokyo 2020 also unveiled the official emblem of the 2020 Paralympic Games. Full press release here and info at www.tokyo2020/jp/en



© Buenos Aires 2018

With just over three years to go, Buenos Aires 2018 proudly unveiled its emblem on 23 July for the third Summer Youth Olympic Games. To reflect the diversity of Buenos Aires, the emblem is inspired by the city’s vibrant colours, eclectic culture, iconic architecture and the many neighbourhoods that make up the Argentinian capital.  Watch this short video which gives a taste of the famous landmarks and style of the city that went into the creation of the design. Info at


The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has published its 2014 Annual Report on its website.
Under the theme ‘A New Chapter for Clean Sport’, the Annual Report – which is an important element of WADA’s commitment to transparent and accountable governance – provides a snapshot of WADA’s key activities and accomplishments in leading a collaborate worldwide campaign in support of the clean athlete. Info at

 © IOA

The 11th International Session for Educators and Officials of Higher Institutes of Physical Education was held in the International Olympic Academy (IOA) premises in Ancient Olympia (Greece) from 10 to 17 July with great success. The Session was attended by 55 participants and 8 lecturers from 33 countries. Τhe main subject of the Session was the Olympic Movement and the special subject was “Sport as a tool for sustainability and development”. Info at

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