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30 Nov 2015
IOC News

Olympic Highlights



© anon/tchafo

Speaking to the General Assembly of the Association of National Olympic Committees of Africa (ANOCA), chaired by IOC Honorary Member Lassana Palenfo, IOC President Thomas Bach called on the 54 African NOCs present in Mauritius to work to maintain the credibility of sports competitions and sports organisations. “I will not grow tired of repeating the message that we have to make every effort, in accordance with Olympic Agenda 2020, to safeguard the credibility of sport because only then can we enjoy credibility ourselves. Only then can the message we are sending through the Olympic Games, through the athletes and through our values be credible,” said the IOC President. He also called on the NOCs to take a leading role to protect clean athletes and the credibility of sports competitions and urged the NOCs to work with their governments to ensure that their National Anti-Doping Associations and all regional agencies comply with the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Code. President Bach also thanked his Mauritian hosts for their warm welcome and said that the country was “living out the Olympic motto of unity in diversity”. Read the full press release here.

In Port Louis, President Bach visited the Ram Ruhee Olympafrica Centre, named after the man who is regarded as the father of Olympism in Mauritius. He was accompanied by the ANOCA President, Lassana Palenfo, and the Mauritius NOC President, Philippe Hao Thyn Voon, whom he congratulated on this great sporting facility for the Mauritius sporting community. The President also met Devi Ruhee, the widow of Ram Ruhee.

A meeting was held with the IOC Members and IOC Honorary Members in Africa who were present in Mauritius: Patrick S. Chamunda, Habu Gumel, Aïcha Garad Ali, Paul K. Tergat, Mustapha Larfaoui, Kipchoge Keino and Lassana Palenfo.

© anon/tchafo

The President met members of the Sudanese and South Sudanese NOCs in a joint meeting. He thanked them once again for their great cooperation and the major role the Sudanese NOC had played in the establishment of the South Sudanese NOC. He also spoke about the issue of refugees and the emergency fund created by the IOC to help refugees and high-level refugee athletes.

The IOC President met the Kenyan NOC President, Kipchoge Keino, and Secretary General Francis K. Paul, accompanied by IOC Member Paul K. Tergat. They discussed the recent incidents involving the Kenyan Athletics Federation (AK). President Bach appreciated the positive leadership role that the Kenyan NOC wants to take in order to address these issues.

During the ANOCA General Assembly, the President also met a number of presidents of African NOCs and other African sports leaders.

Back in Lausanne, President Bach welcomed the President of the World Squash Federation (WSF), Narayana Ramachandran. They discussed the role of sport in the Olympic Movement, and the President of the WSF was able to present his plans for the future development of his sport.

© IOC / Christophe Moratal

Norbert Müller, President of the International Pierre de Coubertin Committee (CIPC), and Nelson Schneider Todt, Professor at the Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio Grande do Sul (Brazil), presented the new Portuguese version of the 800-page compendium of Pierre de Coubertin: Olympism - selected writings to the IOC President. This online edition is now available thanks to a collaborative effort between both professors. Free of charge access will be given to more than two thousand higher education institutions in Brazil, contributing to educational programmes in Rio de Janeiro and throughout Brazil.


© Coldeportes

The IOC Honorary President and Special Envoy of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon for Youth Refugees and Sport, Jacques Rogge, this week concluded a two-day humanitarian mission to Colombia, where he had the opportunity to get a first-hand look at the challenges faced by Internally Displaced People (IDPs) in the country. His visit was also an opportunity to announce a new sport-based project in the Quibdò and Buenaventura areas located in the Pacific region, highly affected by the issue. The project, jointly funded by the IOC and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), aims at protecting young people and children from the risks of armed conflict and other forms of violence through sport. The mission also included a visit to Medellin and to its avant-garde sporting and community facilities, as well as a meeting with city Mayor Anibal Gaviria. Jacques Rogge was accompanied on his trip by Colombian Sports Minister and former IOC Member Andrés Botero Phillipsbourne, Colombian NOC President Baltazar Medina, Colombian wrestler and double Olympic medallist Jackeline Rentería Castillo and a UNHCR team led by Country Representative Stéphane Jaquemet. Read the full press release here.


© IOC / Benoit Fontaine

In his role as Chair of the Sport and Active Society Commission, Sam Ramsamy attended the Sport for All Congress organised by the National Institute of Sports, Physical Education and Recreation and the Cuban NOC in Havana from 23 to 27 November.




The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) Council has appointed six new members of the IAAF Athletes’ Commission for the 2016-2019 period: Fabiana Murer (Brazil), Paula Radcliffe (Great Britain), Alina Talay (Belarus), Ashton Eaton (USA), Michael Frater (Jamaica) and Ezekiel Kemboi (Kenya). A new chair will be elected by the commission at its next meeting in January/February 2016 (date to be confirmed). Frank Fredericks, the outgoing chair, will continue in an honorary capacity to assist the commission during the transition and in its contact with the IAAF Council. The IAAF Athletes’ Commission is made up of 18 members, 12 of whom are elected by their peers and six appointed by the IAAF. Furthermore, Ashton Eaton (USA) and Genzebe Dibaba (Ethiopia) were named the male and female IAAF World Athletes of the Year for 2015 on 26 November. Both athletes set world records during 2015 – Eaton in the decathlon and Dibaba in the 1500m – and won gold medals in these events at the 2015 IAAF World Championships in Beijing. Info at

Carlos Arthur Nuzman et Tony Estanguet. © Rio 2016 / Gabriel Nascimento

The International Canoe Federation (ICF) informs us that the canoe slalom test event for the Olympic Games Rio de Janeiro 2016 began on 26 November at the Deodoro Olympic Park, following the official handover of the venue by Rio’s Mayor, Eduardo Paes, to Organising Committee President Carlos Arthur Nuzman, in the presence of triple Olympic champion and IOC Member Tony Estanguet. Some of the world’s best canoeists are among the 122 competitors at this “Aquece Rio” event, which runs until 29 November. Info at and

The Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) and its development and training arm, the UCI World Cycling Centre (UCI WCC), have announced the launch of a satellite centre in New Delhi (India). The new facilities will be situated at the velodrome that forms part of the Indira Gandhi Sports Complex, a legacy of the 2010 Commonwealth Games and venue of the 2015 Asia Track Cup. The goals of the centre, which is the home of the Indian track national team, include the establishment of a world class team in time for the 2019 UCI Track Cycling World Championships and the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020. The national team’s best athletes will be invited to the UCI WCC in Aigle (Switzerland) to perfect their skills. The centre will also develop coaches and mechanics, and will offer training courses for administrative, technical and medical staff. Welcoming trainees from 2016, the centre will also start talent identification for neighbouring countries. Similar centres have already been set up in Japan, the Republic of Korea and South Africa. Info at


The annual Congress of the International Fencing Federation (FIE) took place in Guangzhou (People’s Republic of China), with 122 national federations represented. Among the decisions taken were the awarding of the 2018 Senior World Championships to the city of Wuxi (People’s Republic of China), of the 2018 Veterans’ World Championships to Livorno (Italy) and of the 2017 Cadet and Junior World Championships to Plovdiv (Bulgaria). The Congress also adopted the FIE Code of Ethics, which had been brought into line with the IOC Code of Ethics and now forms part of the FIE Statutes. In conformity with the IOC guidelines, the FIE code contains a section dedicated to the fight against betting and corruption. Other decisions are listed here at

The 31st World Trampoline Championships, being held in Odense (Denmark) from 26 to 29 November, will be the first qualifying event for the Olympic Games Rio de Janeiro 2016. Half of the 16 men’s and women’s places for Rio will be available in Odense. The remaining berths will be allocated at the Olympic test event in Rio on 20 April. As well as trampoline, this 31st edition will see world champions crowned in synchronised trampoline, double mini trampoline and tumbling. For these disciplines, qualification places for the 2017 World Games in Wroclaw (Poland) are also up for grabs. Info at, website of the International Gymnastics Federation.


Singer-songwriter Andrea Bocelli (left in photo) has become an ambassador of the International Judo Federation (IJF). IJF President Marius Vizer (right in photo) presented him with a certificate marking his new ambassador status at a ceremony held at the IJF Presidential Office in Budapest (Hungary). Andrea Bocelli is already a Grand Officer of the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic and has a star on the famous Hollywood Walk of Fame in Los Angeles (USA). The Andrea Bocelli Foundation was launched in 2011 with the mission of funding medical research and fighting poverty. Info at


The Ghana Swimming Federation hosted the only water polo clinic to be held by the International Swimming Federation (FINA) in Africa in 2015. A total of 29 participants – 26 coaches, plus the Ghana Swimming Federation’s President, Secretary General and Treasurer – attended the clinic, which took place in Accra from 2 to 11 October. FINA lecturer and expert Zoltan Kasas introduced water polo to the coaches, who already teach swimming in their respective countries, all of which neighbour Ghana. The programme of the ten-day course included the history of water polo and an introduction to basic water polo rules, equipment and techniques. Info at

World Rugby has announced that more than 1 million children have been introduced to the game of rugby this year through the mass-participation ‘Get Into Rugby’ programme. The new participants were spread across no fewer than 1,750 locations under the supervision of 126 unions. Over 17,000 trained personnel delivered the various activities in the six regional associations. 37% of the new participants were female. More information about the ‘Get Into Rugby’ programme is available here at

Over 700 coaches from 99 countries are attending the 19th International Tennis Federation (ITF) Worldwide Coaches Conference in Antalya (Turkey) from 24 to 28 November. The theme of the 2015 edition, organised by the ITF and the Turkish Tennis Federation, is “A Player Centred Approach to Long-Term Development: Participation to Performance”. The showpiece of the ITF’s coach education programme, this conference brings together international experts in coach education, player performance and sport science. Info at


The ‘Aquece Rio’ table tennis test event for the Olympic Games Rio de Janeiro 2016 was held at the RioCentro from 18 to 21 November (photo above). The event provided an opportunity for both the Rio 2016 Organising Committee and the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) to test a whole range of aspects of the Olympic table tennis tournament that will take place from 6 to 17 August 2016. The ITTF was pleased with how the test event went, as its President, Thomas Weikert, explains here. Info at


The World Curling Federation (WCF) has announced that Switzerland will host the European Curling Championships for the 11th time in 2017. The event, the first edition to be held in St Gallen, will take place from 17 to 25 November 2017 at the Eissportzentrum Lerchenfeld (division A) and the Curling Center St Gallen (division B). Info at

© Organiser

The “Dein Winter, Dein Sport” (Your Winter, Your Sport) summit was recently held in Rottach-Egern (Germany) (photo above), bringing together 400 participants from the snow sports industry. Alfons Hoemann, member of the Council of the International Ski Federation (FIS), and FIS Secretary General Sarah Lewis participated in a discussion focusing on getting youngsters active. The FIS “Bring Children to the Snow” campaign, which includes World Snow Day and the Snow Kidz festival, is specifically aimed at increasing children’s participation in snow sports. Several organisers of these events were at the summit in Rottach-Egern, where the snow sports industry agreed that one major step that must be taken to ensure the future of snow sports is to get the next generation actively involved and educated in all things involving snow. Info at


© Argentinian NOC

On 26 November, the Olympic Solidarity Advanced Sport Management Course, organised by the Argentinian NOC with the support of the National Commission for High-Level Sport, came to an end. Over the last nine months, the participants (photo above) have produced case studies, attended classes and worked on different projects. Each year, this course provides training for national federation staff and volunteers. The next course will start in March 2016. Info at

© Brazilian NOC

Between 12 and 21 November, the city of Londrina (State of Paraná) hosted the 2015 School Games for youngsters between the ages of 15 and 17 (photo above). Over a ten-day period, 6,000 people, including more than 3,700 young people, took part in sports, cultural and socio-educational activities. Organised by the Brazilian NOC since 2005, the largest school sports event in the country has mobilised over 19 million young people in the last decade. Every year, more than 2 million young athletes from public and private schools take part in local and regional qualifying events, which involve around 40,000 schools in 4,000 Brazilian cities. Info at

© Cameroon NOC

The NOC of Cameroon recently informed us that a technical cycling course was held under the auspices of Olympic Solidarity at its headquarters in Yaoundé from 20 to 27 October. Led by UCI expert David Eggertswyler, the course was attended by 25 participants (photo above) who wanted to become level 1 cycling coaches. The opening ceremony was led by Timba Louis Majoré, NOC Vice-President. Info at

© NOC of El Salvador

The NOC of El Salvador, in cooperation with the municipality of Soyapango, has opened the first municipal Olympic club (photo above) in order to provide a venue for the promotion of Olympic values and the practice of sport among children and young people. Further clubs will be created in other municipalities through the El Salvador Olympic Academy’s project for the prevention of crime and violence through sport. Info at

(l. to r.) Gili Lustig, Wilfried Lemke and Ghazi Nujeidat. © Israeli NOC

Gili Lustig, CEO of the Israeli NOC, hosted Wilfried Lemke, the United Nations Secretary-General’s Special Adviser on Sport for Development and Peace, at a meeting also attended by Ghazi Nujeidat, International Relations Coordinator at the Israeli Ministry of Culture and Sports. They discussed the role of sport as a bridge between people and ways of improving relations between Palestine and Israel. Gili Lustig presented the Israeli NOC’s “Olympism Project”, organised in cooperation with Olympic Solidarity to raise awareness of Olympic values and build a better world through sport and physical education by teaching schoolchildren about Olympic values. Around 1,000 young people participate in this project every year. Info at

© Le Mauricien

The Ram Ruhee Olympafrica Centre was inaugurated in Port-Louis on 21 November in the presence of Devi Ruhee, wife of the late Ram Ruhee, the Prime Minister ad interim of Mauritius, Xavier-Luc Duval, Minister of Sport Yogida Sawmynaden, ANOCA President Lassana Palenfo, the President of the Mauritius NOC, Philippe Hao Thyn Voon, and many other personalities from the world of sport (photo above). The first Olympic museum on the island, the Centre is named after former IOC Member Ram Ruhee, who was also a member of the African Football Confederation (CAF) and the International Association Football Federation (FIFA). Five olive trees were symbolically planted by the VIPs present.

© NOC of Panama

Sixteen boxing coaches took part in a technical training course (level 1) led by the International Boxing Association (AIBA) expert Jesus Domínguez in Panama from 26 to 30 October (photo above). Organised by the NOC of Panama under the patronage of the IOC through Olympic Solidarity, the course was also attended by the NOC President, Camilo J. Amado, and other NOC and national boxing federation representatives, who all stressed the importance of such a course for the development of sports structures in Panama. Info at

© Peruvian NOC

The Peruvian NOC, with the help of Olympic Solidarity, organised a training course for rugby coaches (level 1) from 16 to 19 November. A total of 30 coaches attended the course, which was run by World Rugby coach educator Tanto Dalivor Franulic (photo above). The expertise and information passed on during the course will be vital for the development of rugby in Peru. Info at

© NOC of Puerto Rico

The NOC of Puerto Rico recently organised a sports administration course for 50 participants, mostly sports administrators who work for national federations. Over three days, the trainees were able to enhance their knowledge of subjects such as the history of the Olympic Movement and Olympic values, and the preparation of teams for participation in various competitions. The level of interest was so high that another course is scheduled for February 2016. Info at

On 13 November, the Samoan Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Labour officially registered the Oceania Institute of Sports (OIS) as a non-profit, community-based sports association. The OIS is part of the 2015-2019 strategic plan of the Samoan NOC, designed to establish and develop professional training for elite athletes in Samoa and the Oceania region. The objective is to provide ongoing training and support to enable the athletes to represent their country at major international competitions such as the Commonwealth and Olympic Games. The OIS will work with the NOC at the Olympic Day Games and the Samoa Games, the two main annual sports events at which athletes will be selected for training at the OIS. The OIS will be based at the NOC headquarters in Tuanaimato until it can operate on its own. Info at

© Slovak NOC

The Slovakian NOC organised an Olympic Games Rio de Janeiro 2016 seminar on 23 and 24 November. The 60 or so delegates included athletes who were hoping to qualify or had already qualified for the 2016 Games, such as reigning world champions Matej Toth (athletics) and Erik Vlcek and Juraj Tarr (flat-water canoeing), as well as coaches and summer Olympic sport national federation representatives (see photo). The seminar focused on preparations for the Rio Games and provided detailed information on medical, anti-doping and health matters, acclimatisation and pre-Games training opportunities, mental preparation, logistics, and social media and their use during the Games. The Athlete Career Programme was also presented by a local Adecco representative. Info at

The Turkish delegation at the EOC General Assembly in Prague. © Turkish NOC

The Turkish NOC informed us that it recently signed an agreement with the NOC of Bosnia and Herzegovina recently signed an agreement under which the two countries will exchange the rights to host the 2017 and 2019 Winter European Youth Olympic Festivals. The agreement was signed at the EOC General Assembly in Prague by the Turkish NOC President, Uğur Erdener, the Mayor of Erzurum, Mehmet Sekmen, and the Under-Secretary of the Turkish Ministry of Youth and Sport, Kamuran Ozden. It came after the NOC of Bosnia and Herzegovina told the EOC that it would not be ready to host the 2017 edition. In a show of cooperation, the Turkish city of Erzurum, which had been lined up to host the 2019 edition, agreed to stage the 2017 edition instead. The 2019 edition will now take place in the Bosnian cities of Sarajevo and East Sarajevo. Info at


RIO 2016

© Rio 2016 / Alex Ferro

Manu Dibango, one of the most iconic names of world jazz, visited the Rio 2016 headquarters on 23 November on behalf of the International Francophone Organisation (IFO) (photo above). He was there to sign a cooperation agreement with the Rio 2016 Organising Committee to promote the language and culture of French-speaking countries in Brazil. An artistic, linguistic and sporting integration programme will be launched on World Francophone Day in Rio de Janeiro in March. Full press release here.
On 22 November, Rio de Janeiro unveiled the stunning new course that will host the Olympic golf competition next year. Designed by American golf course architect Gil Hanse, the 970,000m² facility is set to host many of the world’s best players next summer, before being used after the Games to increase participation in the sport in Brazil. Built entirely with private funding, the 18-hole Rio 2016 Olympic golf course, which can accommodate 15,000 spectators, was unveiled by the city government at a ceremony in Barra da Tijuca. Read the full press release here.

TOKYO 2020

The Organising Committee for the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020 (Tokyo 2020) has welcomed LIXIL Corporation (LIXIL) as a new Gold Partner in the “Building Components & Bathroom and Kitchen Fixtures” category. Tokyo 2020 now has 22 partners, including 15 Gold Partners. Info at



Held in Prague (Czech Republic) on 20 and 21 November, the 44th General Assembly of the European Olympic Committees (EOC) brought together more than 350 delegates, including representatives of the 50 member NOCs, numerous IOC Members, delegates from IFs, the Organising Committees of the forthcoming Olympic Games and Youth Olympic Games, and cities bidding to host the 2024 Olympic Games. EOC President Patrick Joseph Hickey welcomed, among others, the IOC President, ANOC President Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah (photo above), IOC Honorary President Jacques Rogge and EOC Honorary President Mario Pescante. At the Assembly, European Laurels were awarded to five sports leaders who have shown outstanding merit and commitment to sport: Morana Palikovic Gruden (Croatia), Alain Geles (France), Joseph Cassar (Malta), Ioan Dobrescu (Romania) and Igor Kazikov (Russian Federation). The next EOC General Assembly will be held in Minsk, at the invitation of the Belarus NOC, which will celebrate its 25th anniversary in 2016. Info at

The President of the International Society of Olympic Historians (ISOH), David Wallechinsky, and ISOH Secretary General Anthony Bijkerk have presented several awards over the last few weeks. The ISOH Award for the life’s work of an Olympic Historian was presented to Belgian Roland Renson at an international symposium held at the Flemish Sport and Olympic Museum “Sportimonium” in Hofstade (Belgium) on 16 October and attended in particular by the IOC Honorary President, Jacques Rogge. A few days later, on 20 October, the two ISOH leaders presented the Vikelas Plaque (named after the first IOC President) to British journalist David Miller for his significant contribution to the history of the Olympic Games and the Olympic Movement. The ceremony in Manchester (Great Britain) was attended by IOC Member the Princess Royal, and Sebastian Coe, British NOC and IAAF President. Finally, on 17 November, another Vikelas Plaque was awarded to the Director of the Mexican National Olympic Academy, Carlos Hernández Schäfler, at a meeting held at the Mexican NOC headquarters, which was attended by around 100 people. Info at

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