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15 Oct 2014
IOC News

Olympic Highlights



IOC President Thomas Bach paid a first official visit to Armenia, then Georgia and finally Kazakhstan.

President Bach with Armenian NOC President, Gagik Tsarukyan and Patrick Joseph Hickey. © IOC / Ian Jones

After receiving an invitation to the country from the local National Olympic Committee, President Bach met with the President of the Republic of Armenia, Serzh Sargsyan, at the Presidential Palace in the Armenian capital of Yerevan. President Bach emphasised the power of dialogue and the ability of sport to unite and build bridges between countries and people. The IOC President was meeting the Armenian President for the second time after the pair met during the Olympic Winter Games in Sochi. Accompanied by IOC Executive Board member and President of the European Olympic Committees (EOC) Patrick Joseph Hickey, the IOC President later attended a reception hosted by the Armenian NOC President, Gagik Tsarukyan, which included a number of Armenian Olympians and world champions. The IOC delegation visited the new headquarters of the Armenian NOC with its President and a new Olympic sports complex and also took part in the unveiling of a monument dedicated to the first Armenian Olympic champion, Hrant Shahinyan. President Bach was later awarded the title of honorary professor from the Armenian State Institute of Physical Culture.

President Bach with Georgian Olympic Solidarity scholarships holders.  © IOC / Ian Jones

From Erevan, the President flew to Tbilisi to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Georgian Olympic Committee.  In the capital of Georgia, President Bach met with the President of the Republic of Georgia, Giorgi Margvelashvili, who during the meeting, underscored the importance of sport to the nation of Georgia and to peace-building.  President Bach also met with the Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Gharibashvili. He attended the 25th Anniversary Celebration and Galahosted by the Georgian NOC. Guests included Georgian athletes and the Presidents and Secretary Generals of many of Europe's NOCs. At the Gala, President Bach told those in attendance: “The IOC remains ready to offer a platform to all the National Olympic Committees in the region to foster relations between the young athletes so that they can meet each other and get to know each other better.” Accompanying him was Patrick Joseph Hickey. Earlier in the day, the IOC delegation visited the headquarters of the Georgian NOC and met with Georgian NOC President Leri Khabelov and leaders of European NOCs. The President also met a number of Georgian Olympians as well as athletes who had received Olympic Solidarity scholarships during the inauguration of a sculpture exhibition entitled “Ode to Olympic Champions”. He took this opportunity to congratulate Georgia on its many successful athletes at the Olympic Games.

President Bach at the Medeo Alpine Ice Arena in Almaty. © IOC / Ian Jones

After Armenia and Georgia, President Bach completed a tour of the region with a visit to Almaty on a long planned trip to the city and on the invitation of the NOC of Kazakhstan. The IOC President met with the NOC President Temirkhan Dosmukhambetov, the Minister of Culture and Sports of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Arystanbek Muhamediuly, as well as the Mayor of Almaty, Akhmetzhan Yessimov. He was able to discuss the country's sports plan and how sport has been integrated into the country's long term development plans. He also toured the winter sports facilities in the region which has already hosted the Asian Winter Games 2011 and a number of world championships and is planning to stage the Winter Universiade 2017. Many of the venues are part of Almaty’s bid to host the Olympic Winter Games in 2022. The IOC President also met Kazakh athletes and Olympians and congratulated them on their recent successes at London 2012, Sochi 2014, Nanjing 2014 Youth Olympic Games and the recent Asian Games in Incheon where Kazak athletes won 84 medals.


Before flying to Armenia, in Lausanne President Bach met world famous athlete and former marathon world record holder, Kenya’s Tegla Loroupe. She will receive the “Billie Jean King Contribution Award” during the 35th Annual Salute To Women in Sports Award to be held in New York (USA) on 15 October.

President Bach also met International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) Council member Helmut Digel in Lausanne.


(from r. to l.) Nawal El Moutawakel, David Wallechinsky, Edwin Moses and Gabriela Andersen-Schiess. © IOC / Arnaud Meylan

IOC Vice-President Nawal El Moutawakel took part in a meeting at The Olympic Museum in Lausanne as part of the 30th anniversary of the Los Angeles Olympic Games in 1984, during which she became Olympic champion in the 400m hurdles. Joining her for this celebration were Edwin Moses, Olympic 400m hurdles champion; Gabriela Andersen-Schiess, winner of the first Olympic women’s marathon; and David Wallechinsky, a sports historian and  specialist on this edition of the Games.

Craig Reedie (centre, seated) with some of his IOC colleagues at the anniversary of the Tokyo 1964 Games.  © Tokyo 2020 / Shugo Takemi

IOC Vice-President Craig Reedie represented the IOC President in Tokyo (Japan) at the celebrations of the 50th anniversary of the Tokyo Olympic Games in 1964. Were also present during the event: IOC Vice-President, Yu Zaiqing; IOC Executive Board member, Gunilla Lindberg; IOC members Pál Schmitt, Alex Gilady, Toni Khoury, Irena Szewinska, Ser Miang Ng, Patrick Baumann, Dae Sung Moon and Habu Gumel as well as IOC honorary members, Támas Aján, Kipchoge Keino, Carlos Arthur Nuzman and Richard Kevan Gosper.


IOC Executive Board member Juan Antonio Samaranch (l. in photo) represented the IOC this week at the SportelMonaco symposium. During the Golden Podiums 2014 evening, which honours the best sports images and slow-motion films of the year, he presented the IOC Grand Prize to “World Relay 2014 USA” by Ted Ayling from IAAF (r. in photo).
IOC Executive Board member Sergey Bubka has been re-elected as President of the Ukrainian NOC for a third term. He took up this post in 2005.

© IOC / Ian Jones

On 8 and 9 October, the Evaluation Commission for the Winter Youth Olympic Games in 2020 (photo above), chaired by Yang Yang, met in Lausanne. President Bach was happy to welcome the Commission which has a majority of women members.



The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) confirmed this week that three cities have officially put forward candidatures to organise the 2019 World Championships. The national federations of Qatar, Spain and the USA have thus officially indicated that the cities of Doha, Barcelona and Eugene are candidates. The IAAF evaluation commission, which will visit the three cities, will be chaired by Sebastian Coe. The host city will elected by the IAAF Council on 17 November in Monaco. Info at

The World Rowing Federation (FISA) and the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) have extended their partnership until 2019. The two organisations have worked together since 2011 on promoting clean water. The primary goal will be to create the capacity to train future generations of water quality managers, while also contributing to an important conservation project. In parallel with this project, World Rowing will continue to educate rowers and fans to apply environmentally-sustainable practices in the use and management of water. Info at

 Judo demonstration and try-out in Hay River (Northwest Territories, Canada). © IJF

From 20 September to 3 October, Nicolas Messner, the International Judo Federation (IJF)’s Media and Judo for Peace Director, travelled thousands of kilometres to the Great North of Canada to meet hundreds of children. Organised by the IJF and Aboriginal and Territorial Affairs Committee, represented by Mario Des Forges, with the support of Judo Canada and its President, Mike Tamura, this journey allowed nearly 650 children in the three territories (Northwest Territories, Yukon and Nunavut) to learn about judo and the social values of sports and peace, through about 20 activities. Info at

The International Rugby Board (IRB) has underscored its commitment to ensure that the world’s top players are included within its decision-making structures with the establishment of the first World Rugby Athletes’ Commission. The Executive Committee approved the Commission’s terms of reference at its meeting in Singapore on 9 October, and establishment comes with the full support of Member Unions and the International Rugby Players’ Association (IRPA). Info at

The International Triathlon Union (ITU) has announced that Abu Dhabi will debut on the 2015 ITU World Triathlon Series (WTS) calendar for the first race of a five-year partnership between the Abu Dhabi Sports Council (ADSC) and the ITU. The United Arab Emirates capital city will kick off the WTS season on 6 and 7 March.


The International Ski Federation (FIS)’s 12th Youth and Children Seminar addressed “Long-Term Athlete Development”. The need for children to have fun in the sport and competition, the importance of motivation, and safety and concussion were some of the subjects examined at this seminar, which also focused on the FIS “Bring Children to the Snow” campaign. Info at www.fis-ski-com.

Presentation of the Belgian NOC awards. © COIB

The Administration Board of the Belgian NOC (COIB) recently organised a ceremony during which several distinctions were presented in the presence of NOC President and IOC member Pierre-Olivier Beckers-Vieujant and IOC Honorary President Jacques Rogge. Guido De Bondt and Piet Moons received the IOC “Pierre de Coubertin” trophy for their involvement in the international Olympic Movement. Guido De Bondt has been active at the COIB for 38 years, including 22 as Secretary General. He is now a member of the European Olympic Committees (EOC) Coordination Commission for the first European Games next year in Baku (Azerbaijan), and he received the EOC’s European Olympic Laurel Award. Piet Moons was Secretary General of the Belgian Sports Development Committee and Marketing Director of the COIB, and is currently President of the Belgian Sports Technology Club. Also during this ceremony, the athletes who competed at the Sochi Olympic Winter Games received the official Olympic Games pin, and the Nanjing Youth Olympic Games medallists received their diplomas. Info at

On 10 and 11 October, the Colombian NOC organised an Olympic Solidarity regional forum. The main theme was the basic universal principles for the good governance of the Olympic Movement, as established by the IOC. Delegates from 22 NOCs took part, as did IOC representatives and the presidents of national sports federations. Info at

Ceremony for the agreement between the NOC of Ecuador and the Ministry of Education. © NOC of Ecuador

Through its Olympic Academy, the NOC of Ecuador has signed an agreement focusing on Olympic education with the Ministry of Education. Thus, the two institutions undertake to work on training physical education teachers in the area of the philosophy of Olympism. The signing ceremony was held at the Ministry of Education in Quito, in the presence of Education Minister Augusto Espinosa Andrade, NOC President Augusto Morán Nuques and Olympic Academy President Carlos Manzur. Info at

© NOC of Uruguay

The Spanish NOC has informed us that its President, Alejandro Blanco (2nd from right in photo), gave a talk on sports planning, development and management at the Uruguay Military Institute of Higher Education (IMES) in Montevideo. This talk was part of a series of talks on the study of sport in Uruguay. Attending on this occasion were the Deputy Minister of Defence, Jorge Menendez; Uruguayan NOC President and IOC member Julio César Maglione; presidents of the Uruguayan sports federations; and representatives of the military and civil authorities of Montevideo. Info at

10th anniversary celebration of the Athens Games © Hellenic NOC

The Hellenic NOC, in cooperation with the Municipality of Acharnais and the Hellenic Olympic Winners Association, organised a celebration to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the Athens Olympic Games. Athens 2004 volunteers and staff, local residents, athletes and Olympic and Paralympic medallists came together to celebrate this milestone. A video message from the IOC President was played, while speeches were given by NOC President Spyros Capralos, Acharnais Mayor Yiannis Kassavos and Hellenic Olympic Winners Association President Voula Kozoboli. Info at
The participants at the training session © Guatemalan NOC

The Guatemalan NOC organised training on fair play and legal principles attended by the athletes of national sports federations and associations. The themes addressed covered fundamental human rights, freedom and equality, sports law and the law in general. Info at

(from l. to r.) Tsuyoshi Aoki, Tsunekazu Takeda, Stefan Lindeberg and Gunilla Lindberg. © Aflo Sport

In Tokyo, on 10 October, the Japanese and Swedish NOCs signed a partnership agreement.  IOC member and Japanese NOC President Tsunekazu Takeda and Swedish NOC President Stefan Lindeberg signed the agreement, in the presence of Japanese NOC Vice-President and Secretary General Tsuyoshi Aoki and Senior Executive Board member Yasuo Saito and Swedish NOC Secretary General and IOC Executive Board member Gunilla Lindberg and CEO Peter Reinebov. 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. Details on and

Visit to the ski museum in Tatranska Lomnica for the seminar participants.  © Slovak NOC

The NOC of Slovakia has just informed us that, in early September, an international seminar bringing together almost 30 representatives of National Olympic Academies (NOAs) (from Hungary, Poland, Slovakia, the Czech Republic and Ukraine) was held in the High Tatras. The aim was to present and discuss various Olympic education and promotion activities carried out by the NOAs in their respective countries. The main issues included Olympic education publications, Olympic knowledge competitions, and Olympic and sports museums. The Slovak Academy presented the concept of the international youth Olympic camps organised each summer in Slovakia with the participation of the five countries represented at this seminar. The NOC’s new project - “I love sport” - was also presented. Info at

RIO 2016

For the Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games Volunteer Programme, over 100,000 application forms from 180 countries have already been received by the organisers. Some 70,000 volunteers will be selected and trained for these Games. Info at

TOKYO 2020

The 1964 Olympians celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Tokyo Games © Tokyo 2020 - Shugo Takemi

On 10 October, the Organising Committee for the Olympic and Paralympic Games in Tokyo in 2020 (Tokyo 2020) celebrated the 50th anniversary of the 1964 Games by organising several events, and used these celebrations to build continuous momentum toward the 2020 Games. Several exhibitions opened this week, including one hosted by the Japanese NOC showcasing medals, the Olympic torch, posters and other memorabilia from the 1964 Games. Upon invitation from the Japanese NOC, several 1964 Olympians, IOC members and representatives from NOCs and IFs attended. On this occasion, the Tokyo 2020 Athletes’ Commission held its inaugural meeting as well its Advisory Meeting, for which John Coates, IOC Vice-President and Chair of the Coordination Commission for these Games, sent a video message. Tokyo 2020 also presented an outline of its refined vision for the Games to ensure the achievements of a rich legacy for the city and its citizens. The vision is entitled: “Sport has the power to change the world and the future. Japan changed in 1964. Let’s inspire the world in 2020”. Infos at


At its meeting in Berlin (Germany), the Governing Board of the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) approved the first 16 sports on the programme of the Tokyo Paralympic Games in 2020, including badminton, which will make its Paralympic debut. The remaining eight sports will be added at the Board meeting at the end of next January.
In addition, Dutch sitting volleyball player Elvira Stinissen has been elected Vice-Chair of the IPC Athletes’ Council. Stinissen won bronze at the Beijing 2008 Paralympic Games. After the London 2012 Paralympic Games, she created “Sport-Ability”, an organisation that uses sport to help people realise their potential. Info at

With less than three months remaining until the introduction of the 2015 World Anti-Doping Code, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has issued nine guidelines, now accessible on The purpose of the guidelines is to further enhance the quality and consistency of key aspects of anti-doping programmes and to provide guidance in key areas.

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