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26 May 2014
IOC News

Olympic Highlights


At the start of this week, IOC President Thomas Bach was in Norway. Accompanied by IOC member Gerhard Heiberg, President Bach met the King of Norway, Harald V, at the Royal Castle in Oslo. The two men spoke at length about the second edition of the Winter Youth Olympic Games (YOG), which will take place in Lillehammer in 2016. They also discussed the performance of Norwegian athletes at the Sochi Olympic Winter Games, as well as Olympic Agenda 2020. “We discussed the Lillehammer Youth Olympic Games, which will use only pre-existing venues, and the legacy these Games will bring to the region and the country,” said President Bach. “We also discussed the Culture and Education Programme, which is an integral part of the Games and helps to develop the Olympic values in all the participants.” 


President Bach then had a meeting with the Minister for Culture, Thorhild Widvey. Also present were IOC members Gerhard Heiberg, who was President of the Organising Committee for the 1994 Olympic Winter Games in Lillehammer; Ser Miang Ng, who was President of the Organising Committee for the 2010 Summer YOG in Singapore; and Angela Ruggiero, who chairs the IOC Coordination Commission for the 2016 YOG. The President’s schedule also included meetings with the members of the Norwegian Parliament, representatives of four non-governmental organisations and four workers’ organisations.  

 Selfie with President Bach and Norwegian athletes © Norwegian NOC / Geir Owe Fredheim

Earlier in the day, the IOC President visited “Olympiatoppen”, the Norwegian NOC's high performance sport centre, to meet young athletes training for both the Olympic Games and the YOG. He was accompanied by Gerhard Heiberg and Angela Ruggiero.


Launch of the 2016 YOG pictograms by the President and young athletes © Norwegian NOC / Geir Owe Fredheim


The following day, President Bach travelled to Lillehammer to meet YOG Organising Committee representatives, who gave him an update on preparations, 18 months out from the Games. He then joined 15 young athletes to launch the official pictograms representing the disciplines on the YOG programme. These pictograms are the work of 24-year-old Norwegian designer Ida Ellinor Syverinsen. Accompanied by IOC members Angela Ruggiero, Gerhard Heiberg and Yang Yang, President Bach then visited some of Lillehammer’s world-famous venues from the 1994 Winter Games that will be reused for the Games in 2016.  A short tour was also conducted of the Youth Olympic Village, a project in which the IOC is investing EUR 13.4m (NOK 108m), and is the only venue to be constructed for the Games. This is a key part of the Lillehammer legacy and will become student housing both before and after the YOG. Lillehammer 2016 is the final Organising Committee on the IOC President’s tour of future host cities.

From Lillehammer, the President went to Hamar for a meeting with representatives of Norsk Tipping (the Norwegian lottery) to discuss illegal betting in sport. He then had dinner with 2016 YOG Coordination Commission members Angela Ruggiero, Gian-Franco Kasper, Yang Yang and Adam Pengilly, together with Gerhard Heiberg.

Upon his return to Lausanne, on 22 May President Bach received IOC members Syed Shahid Ali, Samih Moudallal and Jose Perurena

He then left for Lisbon (Portugal), where on Saturday 24 May he met a delegation from the Portuguese NOC led by its President, José Manuel Constantino, accompanied by the two Vice-Presidents, Rosa Mota and Artur Lopes. On Saturday evening, President Bach attended the UEFA Champions League final, during which he met Issa Hayatou, IOC member and President of the African Football Confederation.

Next week, on 29 May, President will travel to Gaborone (Botswana) for the 2nd African Youth Games, and then to Kenya and Ethiopia. More info in the next issue of the Olympic Highlights. 


Philip Craven was awarded the Golden Torch Prize (“for organisation” category) by Panathlon International during its International Congress held in Rapallo (Italy) last week. See also under “Recognised Organisations” below.



In another key milestone in the process of building Olympic Agenda 2020, a strategic roadmap for the future of the Olympic Movement, on 22 May IOC President Thomas Bach released the membership of the 14 Working Groups which will help frame some of the key recommendations. Each group will be made up of key stakeholders of the Olympic Movement, including IOC members, athletes and representatives of the IFs and NOCs. As part of the ongoing open and inclusive process, a number of experts have also been included from civil society, including representatives of leading international organisations, NGOs and business organisations. The Working Groups will look at proposals made by the Olympic Movement, the world of sport and even by individual members of the public. Under discussion will be topics ranging from Ethics and the Youth Olympic Games to Good Governance and Autonomy and the planned Olympic TV Channel.

The participants at the IOCA Assembly   © IOC/Arnaud Meylan

On 22 May, The Olympic Museum in Lausanne hosted the constitutive assembly of the International Olympic Collectors Association (IOCA). Representatives from 19 Olympic Collectors Clubs in 17 countries were present for this meeting, led by the Olympic Philately, Numismatic and Memorabilia. The IOCA’s role is to promote the quality of Olympic philately, numismatic and memorabilia collections linked to historical and cultural aspects of the Olympic Movement. The Assembly also elected the Executive Board of the new Association; and Roman Babut of the Polish Club of Olympic and Sports Philately “Olympian” was appointed President.



To mark 100 days to go until the start of the Nanjing 2014 YOG, Worldwide TOP Partner Coca-Cola last week launched its Nanjing 2014 logo (pictured above) at an event with over 1,500 young participants.




Brazilian and Japanese wrestlers after their training session   © Ikuo Higuchi



The International Wrestling Federation (FILA) informs us that Brazil and Japan, the host nations for the next two editions of the Summer Games, have begun a cooperation programme for wrestlers from the two countries. Started as the result of a conversation between the heads of the Brazilian and Japanese wrestling federations, Pedro Gama Filho and Tomiaki Fukuda, the programme covers travel, training and competitions between now and 2020. As a result, since 10 May, Brazil’s top female wrestlers have been training with their Japanese counterparts at the national training centre in northern Tokyo. The Japanese women will then travel to Brazil in November this year for a joint training camp before competing in the Brazil Cup. Details on

On 16 May in Lausanne, the International Swimming Federation (FINA) organised a meeting with representatives of the IOC, the United Nations Office on Sport for Development and Peace (UNOSDP), the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the World Health Organisation (WHO), UNESCO-CIGEPS, Peace and Sport, and members of the FINA Swimming for All, Swimming for Life Commission. All the participants agreed that swimming in general, and “Learn to Swim” programmes in particular, are basic tools against drowning and are essential for the promotion of a healthier lifestyle. Details on

At its annual meeting in Dublin (Ireland) last week, the International Rugby Board (IRB) Council welcomed the Uzbekistan Rugby Federation (URF) as a Full Member Union. The URF became an Associate Member of the IRB in November 2004. Details on

At its Annual General Meeting  of held in Tokyo (Japan) earlier this month, the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF),  accepted Mali and the US Virgin Islands as ITTF members, which means that it now has 220 member associations. The AGM also chose Bangkok (Thailand) to host the GAC Group 2014 World Tour Grand Finals from 11 to 14 December. For its part, Dubai (United Arab Emirates) will host the 2015 World Team Cup from 8 to 11 January next year. Meanwhile, Bridgetown (Barbados) will host its first international competition with the 2014 World Cadet (under-15s) Challenge from 23 October to 1 November this year. Details on


The 4th International Ski Federation (FIS) Ladies Seminar with the theme “Lady Athletes and their Career After Sports” will take place on 2 June as part of the 2014 FIS Congress in Barcelona (Spain). The seminar participants will discuss and share lessons about the transition from the field of sports to a professional career. Swiss former ski jumper Andreas Küttel will present the first results of a benchmark study entitled “After the sports career”, which he conducted as part of his study programme at the University of Southern Denmark. Details on


The World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) has announced that Clearwater (Florida, USA) will host the XII Junior Women's World Championship from 24 to 30 July 2017. This is the first time this American city will be welcoming the world’s best female softball players aged 19 or under. Details on



General Assembly of the Bahrain NOC © Bahrain NOC

On 20 May, the Bahrain NOC General Assembly approved the NOC’s new constitution. The agenda also included the administrative report for 2013, featuring the programmes and events organised by the NOC’s different directorates. In addition, the national federations of athletics, weightlifting and bodybuilding, swimming, golf and fencing have decided to form Athletes’ Commissions, in response to the request of the NOC’s own Athletes’ Commission.


Canadian athletes meet members of the public  © Canadian NOC

The Canadian NOC and the Canadian Paralympic Committee have announced the Olympians, Olympic coaches, Paralympians and Paralympic coaches who will take part in the 2014 Celebration of Excellence, which includes a House of Commons visit, Heroes Tour to hospitals and schools and the Sochi 2014 Parade of Champions. Starting on 4 June, the celebrations will finish on 6 June with the Canadian Olympic Hall of Fame Gala and Induction Ceremony in Calgary. Proceeds from the Hall of Fame Gala in Calgary will go to the Canadian Olympic Foundation as well as a legacy coaching programme in Calgary to support the next generation of Olympians. Details on and



Chilean athletes with local people in Cerro la Cruz  © Chilean NOC

More than 80 “Team Chile” athletes went to the “La Cruz” area of Valparaiso to distribute items collected in the “Sport helps Valparaiso” campaign, an initiative by the Chilean NOC after the devastating fire which struck the city a month ago. Accompanied by NOC Director Carolina Sanz, the athletes met more than 35 of the families affected by the fire and presented them with food, emergency supplies, sports equipment and other items. Details on


The athlete grant-holders with Alejandro Blanco and Jose Luís Mendoza   © Spanish NOC

Nine new Spanish athletes have received grants from the Catholic University of Murcia (UCAM). All nine were at the Spanish NOC headquarters to be presented by NOC President Alejandro Blanco and University Rector Jose Luís Mendoza. NOC Vice-President Theresa Zabell, Secretary General Víctor Sánchez, national federation presidents and media representatives were also at the ceremony. Details on


This week, we were informed of the death of Greek gymnast Anna Pollatou (pictured above, © Ekathimerini), at the age of 30. Anna Pollatou won a bronze medal in the team rhythmic gymnastics competition at the 2000 Games in Sydney. During her career, she also won gold and silver medals at the 1999 Rhythmic Gymnastics World Championships in Osaka (Japan) and three gold medals at the European Championships the same year in Budapest (Hungary). After retiring from competition in 2000, she became a coach.


The Czechoslovakian athletes who were to have participated in the 1984 Games in Los Angeles © Czech NOC

Former Czechoslovakian athletes gathered at the Czech Senate in Prague recently. Thirty years earlier, they could have been part of an Olympic team for the 1984 Games in Los Angeles, but were unable to take part because of their country’s boycott of these Games. On this occasion, the Czech NOC issued an apology to the athletes. In his speech, NOC President Jiří Kejval stressed that “fair play is the fundamental message of the Olympic ideals. We must be able to come to terms with what happened in the past.” Details on

More than 60 national and international journalists were recently received by Venezuelan NOC President Eduardo Álvarez. They are covering the South American Beach Games, which are taking place in Vargas from 14 to 24 May. The Governor of the State of Vargas, Jorge Luis García Carneiro, and Deputy Sports Minister José Alejandro Terán were also present on this occasion.



TOKYO 2020

The Organising Committee for the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games in Tokyo informs us that, on 25 May, a ceremony was held at Tokyo’s National Stadium, the sanctum of Japanese sport. This ceremony sent a message to the world ahead of the Rugby World Cup in 2019 and the Games in 2020. Olympic champion Koji Murofushi and thousands of children teamed up on the field to form a message before the stadium closes for renovation. Details on



At a recent meeting in Montreal (Canada), the Foundation Board of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), whose President is IOC Vice-President Craig Reedie, approved key plans relating to Code implementation and Compliance reporting and matters relating to the Athlete Biological Passport (ABP). The Board also approved a series of technical documents and the addition of a substance to the 2014 Prohibited List. Details on

On 23 and 24 May, the Italian town of Rapallo hosted the 19th International Congress of Panathlon International on the theme “Is the Olympic flame still burning?” The Congress was followed by the 46th General Assembly on 24 and 25 May. Panathlon International also awarded its Golden Torch Prizes to three sporting personalities: Susan Bissell, UNICEF's Global Child Protection Leader, Philip Craven, IOC member and International Paralympic Committee President and Norbert Mueller, International Committee "Pierre De Coubertin" President.  Prior to this, there were several talks on topics such as “Sport as the engine of development”, “Sport and Tourism in Liguria: the numbers” and “Sport and nutrition, an indispensable couple for the health of the future” at the Panathlon Club in Rapallo.  All these talks and meetings took place in the framework of the Rapallo Sports Festival, during which various sports activities were also organised. Details on


The International Sports Movies and TV Federation (FICTS) informs us that from 18 to 21 November, the city of Baku (Azerbaijan) will be hosting the 2nd International FICTS Sport Films Festival. Organised by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism in cooperation with the Ministry of Sport and Youth and the NOC of Azerbaijan, this festival is part of the “World FICTS Challenge”, a worldwide championship of sport, cinema and television. Details on

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