skip to content
IOC / Christophe Moratal
06 Jun 2016
IOC News

Olympic Highlights



During its meeting from 1 to 3 June in Lausanne, the IOC Executive Board (EB) has announced further decisive action to protect the clean athletes at the Olympic Games Rio 2016: the budget for the pre-Olympic testing programme is now doubled; the Disciplinary Commission has already been set up and is now working; an Olympic stakeholder meeting will be held in June; the re-analysis programme for the Olympic Games Beijing 2008 and London 2012 will be further extended; and an Olympic Summit will evaluate and review the entire doping programme and measures being taken after the Olympic Games Rio 2016. Full statement here.

During their presentation on the status of preparations, the organisers of the Olympic Games Rio 2016 gave an update on the current political situation in Brazil, and reported that all levels of government continue to express their full support for this summer’s Games. An update on venue construction and security at the Games was also discussed.

Turning to the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, the EB supported a proposal to add the package of five new sports – karate, skateboarding, sports climbing, surfing and baseball/softball – to the programme of the Games. If approved at the 129th IOC Session in Rio de Janeiro in August, the change would be the most comprehensive evolution of the Olympic programme in modern history.

New PyeongChang 2018 President Lee Hee-beom greeted the EB Members for the first time after taking up his official duties on 16 May. The EB approved a request from the PyeongChang organisers to approve the official mascot for Olympic Games – a white tiger named Soohorang (see under ‘Organising Committees for the Olympic Games’).

The EB also received reports on the Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022 and Youth Olympic Games Buenos Aires 2018.

Furthermore, the EB confirmed that all four Candidate Cities competing to host the Olympic Games 2024 – Los Angeles, Rome, Budapest and Paris (listed in the order of drawing of lots) – will advance to Stage 2 of the Candidature Process.

The EB named ten athletes who will compete for the Refugee Olympic Team (ROT) and march with the Olympic flag immediately before host nation Brazil at the Opening Ceremony of the Olympic Games Rio 2016. Like all teams at the Olympic Games, the ROT will have its own entourage (officials, coaches and doctors) to meet all the required technical needs of the athletes. Olympian and former marathon world record-holder Tegla Loroupe (Kenya) was named the team’s Chef de Mission, while Isabela Mazão (Brazil), who was proposed by the UNHCR, will act as the Deputy Chef de Mission. They will lead a team of five coaches and five other team officials. Detailed info and athletes’ names here.

The EB will propose eight new Members for election at the 129th IOC Session ahead of the Olympic Games Rio 2016 this summer. The list is the result of the first targeted recruitment process for IOC Membership as outlined in Olympic Agenda 2020. The proposed candidatures represent a cross-section of expertise from the worlds of sport, culture, medicine, sociology, business, law and management. Gender equality is guaranteed with four women and four men on the list. See list here.

To protect the rights of the athletes, the EB decided to exceptionally authorise qualified athletes from Kuwait to take part in the Olympic Games Rio 2016 as Independent Athletes, should the NOC of Kuwait still be suspended at that time.

© IOC / Christophe Moratal

President Bach met the new PyeongChang 2018 President, Lee Hee-beom, accompanied by Yeo Hyung-koo and Kim Jaeyoul respectively Secretary General and Vice President from the Organising Committee. Gunilla Lindberg, Chair of the IOC Coordination Commission for these Games, was also present.

Taking the opportunity of their presence in Lausanne, the IOC President met IOC Vice Presidents Nawal El Moutawakel, Craig Reedie, John Coates and Zaiqing Yu, IOC EB Member Ching-Kuo Wu, as well as IOC Members Richard W. Pound and Tsunekazu Takeda and IOC Honorary Member Carlos Arthur Nuzman.

© IOC / Christophe Moratal

On 2 June at The Olympic Museum, the IOC President and the President of the World Federation of the Sporting Goods Industry (WFGSI), Frank A. Dassler, signed a Memorandum of Cooperation between their two organisations. This Memorandum builds on the spirit of the original Code of Conduct, signed on December 1997, and aims to strengthen the relationship between the sporting goods industry and the Olympic Movement. Both organisations have a mutual interest in achieving common goals and the central vision of “building a better world through sport” on the basis of the IOC’s Olympic Agenda 2020. More info on

© World Archery

With World Archery President and IOC EB Member U─čur Erdener, President Bach visited the World Archery Excellence Centre currently under construction in Lausanne. This new facility, which should open in December 2016, will eventually welcome elite and novice athletes, both local and international, while doubling as a research and educational hub.

© 1996/Allsport/Michael Cooper

Reacting to the news of the death of the boxing legend Muhammad Ali, President Bach paid tribute to the athlete: "The news about the death of Muhammad Ali has affected me and the Olympic Movement very much. Our thoughts are with his family. He was an athlete who touched the hearts of people across the globe, an athlete who was engaged beyond sport, an athlete who had the courage to give hope to so many suffering illness by lighting the Olympic cauldron and not hiding his own affliction. He was an athlete who fought for peace and tolerance - he was a true Olympian." As Cassius Clay, Ali competed at the Olympic Games Rome 1960 where he won the gold medal in the light heavyweight division. He lit the cauldron at the Olympic Games Atlanta 1996 (see photo) and made a special appearance at the Opening Ceremony of the London Olympic Games 2012. Complete press release here.


The IOC was involved in a national integrity in sport workshop held jointly with INTERPOL in Rio de Janeiro on 30 and 31 May (see photo above). Addressing representatives from Brazilian police forces and the government, the IOC explained how it will operate a Joint Integrity Intelligence Unit (JIIU) in collaboration with experts from the Rio 2016 Organising Committee. The JIIU will be responsible for the prevention, monitoring and assessment of any unethical activity related to the Olympic Games, and will be supported by the Department of Federal Police (DPF) and the Secretariat of Security for Major Events (SESGE) as well as INTERPOL when needed, such as in the event of a criminal act. On the occasion of this workshop, the IOC and INTERPOL jointly launched the “Handbook on protecting sport from competition manipulation” (click here to read the manual). Following the workshop, two days of training for law enforcement officers and prosecutors in investigating match-fixing, sports betting and organised crime took place from 2 to 3 June in Rio de Janeiro. A strong focus was again placed on the protection of the upcoming Olympic Games. Complete press release here.



The International Boxing Association (AIBA), presided over by IOC EB Member Ching-Kuo Wu, convened an Extraordinary Congress in Lausanne on 1 June with a view to removing Article 13 (J) of the AIBA Statutes. The new article will open the door to boxers from all organisations to participate in AIBA competitions. This amendment was ratified by an overwhelming majority of 95% of the delegates attended the Congress. The amendment of Article 13 (J) will immediately allow all National Federations to register all non-AIBA professional boxers for the APB/WSB Olympic Qualification Tournament in Vargas, Venezuela on July 3-8, according to the criteria for registration of pro boxers. The competition will offer 26 quota places for Rio 2016. AIBA’s decision supports the IOC’s Agenda 2020, which seeks to ensure that the world’s best athletes are eligible to compete at the Olympic Games. You can read the new Article 13 (J) here. More info on

The Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) announced on 2 June the list of the 38 NOCs qualified for the women’s road cycling events at the upcoming Olympic Games, and the quotas of athletes allocated to each of them. According to the Olympic qualification system calendar for women’s road cycling, the NOCs have until 15 June to confirm their use of the places obtained. After that date, the UCI will reallocate the unused places. The Olympic road cycling competitions will be held on 6 and 7 August in Fort Copacabana (road races) and on 10 August in Pontal-Barra (time trials). More info at

United World Wrestling (UWW) joined forces with the IOC Sports Department, National Federations and Olympic Solidarity for the More Than Medals initiative. More than Medals is a new concept for the holistic development of wrestling and aims at promoting long-term development for cadets, coaches and national federations. From the 2 to 12 May a More Than Medals international training camp for cadets and a technical course for coaches (level 1) was held with 60 athletes and 49 coaches from 19 countries at the Sukhothai Institute of Physical Education in Thailand. The training camp offered athletes and coaches a unique learning experience on the mat as well as in the classroom, under the guidance of United World Wrestling educators and high level experts in coaching. More info on

The International Swimming Federation (FINA) informs us that a total of 122 swimmers (71 men, 51 women) representing 52 nations will be in Setúbal (POR) on 11 and 12 June for the 10 km Marathon Swimming Olympic Games Qualification Tournament, the last opportunity to be selected for the Rio 2016 Games. After the initial qualification phase during the 2015 Kazan FINA World Championships, where the best 10 men and 10 women in the 10 km event earned their tickets to Brazil, the Setúbal rendezvous will select the remaining 15 men and 15 women who will swim next August in the waters off Copacabana beach. More info at

With less than 75 days to go until the opening of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, World Sailing Chief Executive Officer Andy Hunt and Head of Competitions Alastair Fox this week participated in a final on-site review of preparations for the Olympic sailing competition. Briefings were provided over two days on key operational and service areas for the Olympic Games, including venue construction, competition schedules, broadcasting, media operations, accommodation, transportation and ticketing. More info on


At the end of May the World Curling Federation (WCF) held its three-day Sweeping Summit near Ottawa in Canada. The Summit, organised with the support of Curling Canada, brought together top-level athletes and other curling experts to test brushes and sweeping techniques and their effects on the trajectory of the curling stones. Their findings were handed over to the WCF’s Competition and Rules and Athletes’ Commissions, who also received a preliminary report from the National Research Council of Canada. The proposals formulated by the WCF commissions will be presented and voted on at the WCF Congress and Annual General Assembly in Stockholm, Sweden, in September. More info on

The International Ski Federation (FIS) has just published its final report on the 5th World Snow Day, which took place on 17 January with over 586,000 participants enjoying snow at 625 events in 42 countries. In the report, readers will find not only numbers from the events and organisers, but also useful feedback from the public. More info on


© NOC of Argentina

The headquarters of the National Olympic Committee of Argentina held a prize-giving ceremony for winners of the “Amigos Olímpicos” contest organised by Worldwide Olympic Partner McDonald’s. The two young winners, Ignacio Rodríguez (8) and Catalina Perrotta (9) will be flown with their parents to Rio de Janeiro, where they will attend the Opening Ceremony of the Olympic Games in the Maracanã Stadium. A panel of NOC representatives, athletes and journalists selected the two videos (which are available on the McDonald’s website) they felt best reflected the concept of friendship in sport. The ceremony, conducted by Máximo Palma, was attended by a number of NOC representatives: Vice-President Alicia Masoni de Morea, Secretary General Mario Moccia, Deputy Secretary Víctor Sergio Groupierre and Director General Carlos Ferrea. More info at

© Bahrain NOC

The success of Bahrain’s 2016 Olympic Day was applauded by senior sports officials from all over the kingdom. This year the Bahrain NOC organised events in four governorates between 14 and 27 May, with a variety of activities open to people from all walks of life. NOC President Sheikh Nasser bin Hamad Al Khalifa, who is also President of the Supreme Council for Youth and Sport, attended the final day’s events at the Bahrain International Circuit (see photo above). The NOC also commemorated World No Tobacco Day on 31 May. As part of the campaign, conducted in cooperation with the Health Ministry’s Anti-Smoking Clinic, a team from the ministry visited the NOC headquarters in Seef to carry out various medical check-ups. More info on

As part of its preparations to send athletes to the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, the Belgian NOC organised a media training session for athletes and coaches in cooperation with Belga News Agency. The participants were given practical advice for dealing with the press during the Olympic Games. Through mock TV and radio interviews, participants were able to put their theoretical knowledge into practice. More info on

© NOC of Ecuador

A total of 50 administrators, coaches and athletes followed a 3-day training course as part of a continuous learning programme organised by the NOC of Ecuador in Cuenca from 19 to 21 May (see photo above). The course, organised with the support of Olympic Solidarity, gave the participants the opportunity to learn about the fundamental ethical values of Olympism, which are vital in the management of a sports organisation. The NOC has already scheduled two further sessions of the eight-month course: one in Quito and another next year in Cuenca. More info on

The NOC of El Salvador informs us that around a hundred future physical education specialists from two of the country’s biggest universities attended a series of conferences on high-level sports performance and the importance of nutrition. The conferences, which were led by experts from the Chilean NOC, Leonardo Lucero and Juan Tejo, in the presence of the Executive Director of the Salvadorean NOC, Rodrigo Meléndez Hirezi, were organised by the Salvadorean Olympic Academy. More info on

Thanks to the support of the Spanish NOC, presided over by Alejandro Blanco, and the Trinidad Alfonso Foundation, 17 Spanish federations will be going ahead with 24 sports projects in Valencia, through a competition support programme. The programme was given the green light on 31 May, at the NOC headquarters in Madrid, when the federations concerned signed a document pledging to promote sports events in the region. The project began in November 2015. Furthermore, the Spanish NOC and sportswear company Joma have unveiled the uniform that will be worn by the Spanish team at the Olympic Games Rio 2016. The Presidents of the two institutions took the opportunity to underline the success of their partnership, which will continue until the Tokyo Games in 2020. More info on


Canoeist Grigore Obreja (r. on photo), a bronze medallist at the Atlanta 1996 Olympic Games, pictured here with his teammate Gheorghe Andriev (l. on photo) (canoe sprint C-2 500 m), has died at the age of 48 near Paris. The Romanian athlete also took part in the Seoul Olympic Games in 1988. He was 33-time national champion of Romania, and became world champion in Mexico in 1994. In 1997 he moved to France, where he used his experience as an elite athlete to coach a club in the Paris region, as well as continuing to compete. He coached around 10 athletes in the national team, and won about 40 national level medals as a coach.

© NOC of Lithuania

The 27th Olympic Day in Lithuania broke another participation record this year with about 15,000 people taking part in the event held in Siauliai on 28 May. Organised by the NOC of Lithuania, the event started with a flame being lit by Lithuanian folk dancers and carried by Olympic Team candidates to a location near Talksa Lake, where the official opening and other events took place. Forty-five sports were included in the Olympic Day programme – from wrestling to rowing, from fencing to climbing. Olympic Passports were introduced for the first time; participants were given a special stamp in their passports for trying different sports. Those who collected at least eight stamps received Olympic Day T-shirts (see photo above). More than 2,000 people competed in the three distance runs. The finals of the Lithuanian School Games were also organised in Siauliai on Olympic Day. More info on

Mountain biker Daniela Campuzano has been selected as the flag-bearer for the Mexican delegation to the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. She is the seventh woman to carry the Mexican flag at the Games. The announcement was made on 31 May by the delegation’s Chef de Mission, Mario García de la Torre, at a press conference held in the presence of the Secretary General of the Mexican NOC, Pedro Cuervo, technical director Carlos Cisneros and director general Juan Guerrero. More info on

© Olympic Committee of Portugal

On 31 May the Olympic Committee of Portugal hosted a session to present the Code of Conduct on Sports Betting Integrity. The vast majority of national sports federations were present. The code clearly underlines the commitment of Portuguese sports organisations to tackle the threat of illegal betting, match-fixing and manipulation of sports competitions, through a holistic and robust framework, comprising educational, preventive, monitoring and regulatory tools. The code, which is fully aligned with the Olympic Code on the Prevention of the Manipulation of Competitions and the Council of Europe Convention on the Manipulation of Sports Competitions, is going to be adopted by all the sport governing bodies who signed a declaration of commitment after the session, as a sign of their strong engagement to swiftly implement harmonised regulation to protect their sports from these threats, urging other relevant stakeholders to improve the critical cooperation to address the mounting and complex issues related to sports integrity. More info on

The Singapore National Olympic Council Selection Committee, chaired by NOC President Tan Chuan-Jin, met on 31 May to consider the athletes who have been nominated by their national sports associations to be part of Team Singapore at the Rio de Janeiro 2016 Olympic Games. Twenty-one athletes have earned quota spots through their respective sports’ Olympic qualification process. A larger list of athletes was also given in-principle endorsement, subject to their IFs’ qualification criteria and internal selection processes, which will all conclude in July 2016. More info on

© Venezuelan NOC

The first meeting between the Venezuelan NOC and the National Sports Institute took place at the NOC headquarters (see photo above). The aim of the meeting was to join forces to create a unique programme at national level for training and refresher courses. Among the delegates were NOC representatives Ángel Delgado, María Adela Pérez and Zuleika Seijas, with Nelson Pérez and César Briceño representing for the Institute. A number of courses, seminars and conferences have been held all over the country since 2015 as part of the Olympic Solidarity programme to provide training for coaches, administrators and athletes.


PyeongChang 2018

© PyeongChang 2018

The mascot for the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018 is a white tiger named Soohorang (see photo). In selecting a tiger as mascot, the PyeongChang 2018 Organising Committee chose an animal closely associated with Korean mythology and culture. The tiger has been a familiar figure in Korean folk tales as a symbol of trust, strength and protection. In mythology, the white tiger was viewed as a guardian that helped protect the country and its people. The mascot’s colour also evokes its connection to the snow and ice of winter sports. The mascot selection had been a closely held secret until its approval by the IOC EB on 2 June. PyeongChang 2018 will formally introduce the mascot at events in Seoul and PyeongChang in July, before its international debut at the 2018 PyeongChang House at the Olympic Games Rio 2016 in August. Complete press release here.

Tags IOC News
back to top Fr