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Olympic Highlights

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15 Jun 2016
Olympic News



IOC President Thomas Bach attended the memorial service of Muhammad Ali in the Olympic champion’s hometown of Louisville in Kentucky. The inter-faith service saw tributes paid to the Olympic champion by friends and family of Muhammad Ali and included tributes by former US President Bill Clinton and actor Billy Crystal. The IOC President was accompanied by IOC Executive Board Member Anita L. Defrantz and IOC Member Larry Probst. Before the ceremony, President Bach held a separate meeting with former US President Bill Clinton. Speaking to the widow, Lonnie Ali, after the service, President Bach expressed the “deep sympathy of the entire Olympic world for a man who was such a great ambassador for the Olympic values”. To honour the memory of Muhammad Ali, his widow was presented with an Olympic flag like the one that flew prominently over the memorial service.

© IOC / Ian Jones

From Louisville, IOC President flew to Beijing where he inaugurated the Olympic rings situated on top of the 250-metre Beijing Olympic Tower, a landmark commemorating the Olympic Games Beijing 2008. President Bach was joined at the inauguration ceremony by Yu Zaiqing, IOC Vice President; Li Lingwei, IOC Member; Guo Jinlong, President of the Beijing 2022 Organising Committee; Liu Peng, President of the Chinese Olympic Committee; and Beijing's Mayor Wang Anshun.

© IOC / Ian Jones

President Bach highlighted the country’s strong commitment to sport and the Olympic values. The huge rings will rotate at the top of the Olympic Tower and will be illuminated at night. They can be seen by millions in Beijing, and will even be visible to airline passengers as they come in to land at the Chinese capital's international airport.

While in Beijing, President Bach met Chinese Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli, who is also the Head of the Steering Group for the Preparation of the Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022, with whom he discussed the state of preparations for these Games. Also present was the Chinese Vice-Premier of the State Council of China, Liu Yandong, who led the successful Beijing 2022 bid. He also met Fan Yang, Vice President of the China National Academy of Painting. The President also attended two art exhibitions which emphasised the close link between sport and culture.

From Beijing, the IOC President headed for Rio de Janeiro, where he met the President of the Organising Committee for the Olympic Games Rio 2016, IOC Honorary Member Carlos Arthur Nuzman. He will receive a full report on the progress of preparations. Whilst in Rio he will also meet the new interim Brazilian President Michel Temer. Full details of the visit to Brazil will be in the next edition of the “Olympic Highlights”.


© IOC / Shaban Masengesho

While in Rwanda on a three-day humanitarian mission, IOC Honorary President and Special Envoy of the UN Secretary-General for Youth Refugees and Sport, Jacques Rogge, pledged increased support for youth and sport projects in six refugee camps. After a day of meetings with the authorities coordinating the refugee response in the capital, and a visit to the Kigali Genocide Memorial site to pay tribute to the victims of the 1994 genocide, Rogge visited Mahama camp. There he met many young refugees and their families and had the opportunity to watch various sporting activities. He was accompanied by the Minister of Disaster Management and Refugee Affairs, Seraphine Mukantabana; the Representative of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), Saber Azam; the President of the Rwanda NOC, Robert Bayigamba; and swimmer and Olympian Pamela Girimbabazi. The IOC Honorary President took this opportunity to announce that the IOC and UNHCR were joining forces and launching a project to better protect refugee adolescents and young adults in Mahama and five other refugee camps (Gihembe, Kigeme, Kiziba, Mugombwa and Nyabiheke) in Rwanda, by offering them sports activities. On 9 June, the Special Envoy concluded his Rwandan mission with a visit to Gihembe camp, home to over 14,000 refugees from the Democratic Republic of Congo, as well as a visit to a school just outside the camp, where he watched a volleyball game between teams of Rwandan students and refugee students. Complete press release here.


Richard Peterkin has been made a Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the Queen's Birthday Honours List. He has been awarded the title in recognition of his service to the private sector and to sports administration.


Lambis V. Nikolaou represented the IOC at the opening ceremony of the 56th Session of the International Olympic Academy for Young Participants, which took place on 12 June in Athens (Greece).


On 6 June Olympic Channel Services (OCS) announced that it had reached cooperation agreements with 27 International Sports Federations to collaborate on content for the Olympic Channel, marking another significant step on progress toward launch. The IOC President said: “The International Federations have embraced the Olympic Channel and we look forward to working with them on the exciting programming and promotional opportunities. The newly formed Olympic Channel team is making steady progress, with the emphasis on ensuring the product is right and the quality of the programming matches our ambition.” The Olympic Channel team is currently working with the IFs to create innovative partnerships, including live event coverage, highlights, magazine shows, news coverage and original programming. Read the complete press release here.



The Executive Committee of the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) convened a meeting on 7 June, during which it approved the bidding process for the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023. The Committee also received reports on FIBA’s new competition system and the status of FIBA’s regional offices, and gave the green light to the construction of new headquarters for FIBA Africa in Abidjan (Côte d’Ivoire), while also approving the project of establishing operational offices in Singapore, to assist more directly the development of ASEAN countries. In parallel, as part of the FIBA National Federations Long-Term Development programme, more than 100 national federations have been visited and this number will reach 150 by the end of the year. More info on

At its second meeting of the year, which took place in Lausanne, Switzerland on 2 and 3 June, the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) Management Committee adopted a newly strengthened and wide reaching Code of Ethics. A far greater number of individuals will be bound by the strengthened Code, including all UCI staff, consultants and event organisers. The general rules of conduct set out under the new Code are fully in line with best practice and the IOC’s Code of Ethics. In addition, the revised document significantly widens the field of competence of the UCI Ethics Commission, which is responsible for ensuring that the Code is respected and implemented, and which will increasingly be composed of experienced professionals independent of the sport of cycling. The UCI also announced the list of 23 NOCs qualified for the BMX cycling events at the upcoming Olympic Games, and the quotas of athletes allocated to each of them. The Olympic BMX competitions will be held from 17–19 August at the BMX Centre in the Deodoro Olympic Park. More info on


The International Fencing Federation (FIE) informs us that its 2016 anti-doping outreach programme took place during the Junior and Cadet World Fencing Championships from 2 to 6 April in Bourges (France). Many Cadet and Junior fencers, as well as some coaches, participated in the World Anti-Doping Agency’s (WADA) computer-based “Play True” Quiz game and left with the very popular USB wrist band, which contains a wealth of up-to-date informative documentation (see photo above). Altogether, 306 fencers, 36 coaches and 8 officials took part in the outreach programme. The FIE hopes to hold a similar programme, together with Fair Play International, during the 2017 Junior and Cadet World Fencing Championships. More info on

Over the coming months, the International Swimming Federation (FINA) will be hosting a series of Junior and Youth events across four out of the six disciplines it represents. In addition to the World Junior Open Water Swimming Championships in the Netherlands, the 3rd Men’s Youth Water Polo Championships will be held in Podgorica (MNE) from 26 August to 3 September, while the women’s edition will take place in Auckland (New Zealand) from 5 to 11 December. Teams in both tournaments will be composed of players aged 18 years or under. The host city of the 2015 World Championahips, Kazan in Russia, will welcome the World Junior Synchronised Swimming Championships (for ages 14 to 18) from 9 to 13 July, as well as the World Junior Diving Championships (for ages 15 to 18) from 29 November to 4 December. More info at

The International Modern Pentathlon Union (UIPM) has appointed its first Ethics Commission, a three-strong panel that will assist the President and Executive Board on all questions related to good governance. Siegfried Brand, President of the Guatemala Modern Pentathlon Association, will chair the commission and will be joined by members Hiltrud Reder (Germany), formerly one of the longest-serving members of the UIPM Technical Committee, and Angela Ives (Canada), a member of the UIPM Sport for All Commission. All three nominations were proposed by the UIPM President, Klaus Schormann, and approved by the Executive Board. More info on

The International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) has announced an exhibition match between Olympic Legends and the Brazil Stars in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on 10 July. The match will act as a curtain raiser for the Olympic Games Rio 2016, and will be the Brazilian men’s team’s last official match before the Games. On 8 June the ITTF also released the complete list of teams and athletes competing in the Olympic table tennis tournament, which will run from 6 to 17 August. More information and the full list can be found on

World Sailing is inviting potential host cities to bid for the 2017 and 2018 editions of its Annual Conference, which this November will bring together more than 400 delegates. Interested cities have until 1 August 2016 to submit an initial proposal. The 2017 and 2018 host cities will be elected at this year’s Annual Conference, which takes place in Barcelona (Spain) from 4 to 13 November. More info on


During its Congress in Dubrovnik (Croatia), the International Skating Union (ISU) elected Jan Dijkema as its President. He succeeds Ottavio Cinquanta, who is also an IOC Member, who led the ISU for 22 years. Jan Djikema, 69, was previously ISU Vice-President for speed skating. More info on

From 5 to 10 June, more than 900 delegates gathered in Cancun for the 50th Congress of the International Ski Federation (FIS), the first-ever Congress staged in Mexico. During its meeting, the FIS Council elected the organisers of several World Championships. The 2020 FIS Ski Flying Worlds will be held in Planica (Slovenia); the 2021 Alpine Skiing Worlds in Cortina d’Ampezzo (Italy); and the 2021 Nordic Skiing Worlds in Oberstdorf (Germany). The 2021 Freestyle and Snowboarding Worlds will take place in the Zhangjiakou/Genting (China) resort, which will host these competitions during the Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022. Meanwhile, the FIS Athletes’ Commission held its annual meeting, during which members discussed significant topics including athlete safety, anti-doping and the FIS App. The FIS Congress reviewed the business reports of the Council, approved the budget, and elected the 16 FIS Council Members for a two-year period. More info on


© Algerian NOC

Two months out from the Olympic Games Rio 2016, the Algerian NOC hosted Olympic Day under the patronage of Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika. The 2016 edition took place on 3 and 4 June in Oran, and opened with a franking ceremony for a special series of postage stamps issued to commemorate Algeria’s participation in the Rio Games, in the presence of Olympic medallists Nouria Benida Merah, Ali Saidi Sief, Mustapha Moussa, Mohamed Allalou and Abderahmane Hammad. Nearly 2000 people took part in the Olympic Day run (see photo above), including many youngsters and disabled people. The programme on 4 June included a number of sports and cultural activities, which were observed by representatives of the Wilaya of Oran and the NOC, and a number of Olympic champions. Olympic Day closed with all participants receiving their medals and diplomas. More info at

© Bahrain Olympic Committee

During the Health Day campaign on 1 June hundreds of staff from the Bahrain Olympic Committee, the Supreme Council for Youth and Sports and the General Organisation for Youth and Sports were given medical tests (see photo above). Furthermore, seventy six of Bahrain's most prominent sports officials were recently honored at the awards ceremony of Shaikh Isa bin Rashid Al Khalifa Award for Voluntary Work. This award is named after Shaikh Isa bin Rashid Al Khalifa, second vice-chairman of the Supreme Council for Youth and Sports, and NOC honorary president, who is known as one of the founders of sports movement nationally, regionally and continentally. More info on

© Chilean NOC

Two young sports fans, Ayllan Hormazábel and Hanz Zegarra, are the lucky winners of the Olympic Kids competition organised by Worldwide Olympic Partner McDonald’s in cooperation with the Chilean NOC. The competition was set up to encourage children to play sport, with the chance the winning a trip to the Olympic Games Rio 2016. A total of 12 children were nominated by various sports-related NGOs to take part in the competition, which involved sending in a video of themselves talking about their sport, and explaining their hopes and dreams for the future, and what they thought about the opportunity of going to the Olympic Games. A panel of judges which included athlete Gert Weil, NOC President Neven Ilic and McDonald’s Director Carlos González selected the winning videos. The prize-giving ceremony took place on 8 June at the NOC headquarters, in the presence of the panel members and a number of athletes who will be competing in Rio this summer (see photo above). Info on

© El Salvador NOC

On 2 June, 64 days before the Olympic Games Rio 2016, the El Salvador NOC along with athletes from the Olympic team and its sponsors launched the Río adentro, El Salvador a flor de piel campaign. A press conference took place with the participation of NOC President Eduardo Palomo and others. The aim of the campaign is to support Salvadorean athletes, involve the general public, generate interaction with athletes and raise money. The campaign will run up to the end of the Games, and will be revived for the Bolivarian Beach Games in November 2016 in Iquique (Chile). More info on

Olympic silver medallist and five-team world champion triathlete Javier Gómez Noya (right) was awarded the Princess of Asturias Prize in the ‘sport’ category. The President of the Spanish NOC, Alejandro Blanco (left) was also a member of the panel that chose Javier Gómez Noya as winner. More info on

© Jordan Olympic Committee

The Jordan Olympic Committee’s (JOC) Olympic Values Education Programme was introduced to a number of young women participating in a project run by the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC), during a week-long workshop held at the refugee camp in Azraq. During the five-day workshop there were presentations, interactive sessions and training lectures that linked the Olympic values to daily life. The women were taught new skills and tactics that could be implemented within their current situation to improve team work through activities that encourage healthy living and sports activity. This is the second JOC workshop that has been held in cooperation with the NRC, with the first one held last year for young men in the same camp. More info on

© Portuguese NOC

The Portuguese NOC organised two events to celebrate 2016 Olympic Day. On 29 and 30 May students from Setúbal, one of the European Cities of Sport 2016, came together to experience several sports and enjoy the company of Olympic marathon champion Rosa Mota. A few days later, on 3 June the University Stadium of Lisbon welcomed 4000 children to test their skills in more than 20 sports (see photo above). A flame-lighting ceremony also took place, with the participation of Olympic champions Carlos Lopes and Rosa Mota. More info on

© Chinese Taipei Olympic Committee

Tens of thousands of participants turned up at Yilan Sport Park on 5 June for the 29th Olympic Day Run. Enthusiasts wore the colours of the Olympic rings (see photo above). Chinese Taipei Olympic Committee President Hong-Dow Lin and the Olympic taekwondo champion from the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, Shih-hsin Chen, were both present. This year, three races were on the programme: a 21 km half marathon, a 10 km and a 3 km fun run. A variety of other activities also took place to promote Team Chinese Taipei, the Rio 2016 Olympic Games and the Olympic spirit. Info on

© Turkish NOC

The Olympic Day celebrations organised by the Turkish NOC concluded on 4 June in Eskişehir. A record-breaking 10,000 children took part in various activities in four cities around the country from 15 May to 4 June. The events in Istanbul, Mersin, Gaziantep and Eskişehir were designed to promote healthy lifestyles, environmental awareness and the Olympic values among Turkey’s young generation. In addition to sports activities (see photo above), the children also learned about nutrition, the environment, sports ethics and Olympic history. Each participant was awarded a diploma signed by the IOC President, the NOC President and IOC Executive Board Member Uğur Erdener. Infos sur

© Ukraine NOC

Ukraine’s main multisport venue, NSC ‘Olympysky’ in Kiev, hosted the celebration of annual Olympic Day on 4 June, featuring record participation of more than 5,000 sport lovers. The 2016 Olympic Day party was jointly managed by the Ukraine NOC, the Ministry of Youth and Sport and Kiev City Council, and supported by McDonald’s Ukraine. More than thirty Olympic athletes participated in the celebration, which was focused on supporting Ukraine’s team for the Olympic Games Rio 2016. NOC President and IOC Executive Board Member Sergey Bubka opened the celebration before taking part in the Olympic Day Run (see photo above). The participants were also given a taste of Brazilian culture, with a demonstration by a capoeira school. ‘Olympic Day on the Road to Rio’ in Kiev launched a series of celebrations that will take place in cities and towns all over the country in the coming months. More info on

© NOC of Uruguay

The NOC of Uruguay, chaired by IOC Member Julio César Maglione (in the centre of the photo), has chosen the young participants who will travel to Olympia (Greece) from 11 to 25 June to take part in the 56th Session of the International Olympic Academy. The lucky winners were María Pía Bañales (21), who was nominated by the Uruguayan Equestrian Sports Federation and Rodrigo Salamono (27), nominated by the Uruguayan Karate Federation. More info on

© Venezuelan NOC

Students from the University College of Administration and Marketing (CUAM), which has concluded a training agreement with the Venezuelan NOC, organised an activity at the Paul VI School to conclude its sports administration course. The programme included a visit to the NOC museum and a number of sports demonstrations. NOC President Eduardo Álvarez and NOC executive committee member María Adela Pérez were present at the event. The NOC also donated equipment to the schoolchildren.


TOKYO 2020

The Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee welcomed Tokyo Metro Co., Ltd., East Japan Railway Company and Cisco Systems G.K. as Tokyo 2020 Official Partners, the second domestic tier of the Tokyo 2020 sponsorship programme. The first two companies have been jointly attributed the “Passenger Rail Transportation Services” category while the third one has been attributed the “Network Equipment” category. This brings the total number of Tokyo 2020 domestic partners to 37, including 22 Official Partners. Info on


On 6 June the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) announced it had suspended the accreditation of the Laboratorio de Control de Dopaje in Madrid (Spain). The decision, taken by WADA’s President, is a direct result of the WADA Foundation Board’s 19 March decision to declare the Spanish Anti-Doping Agency (AEPSAD) non-compliant. The suspension, which takes effect immediately, prohibits the laboratory from carrying out any WADA-related anti-doping activities, including all analyses of urine and blood samples. See the complete press release on

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