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IOC / Ian Jones
23 Jun 2016
IOC News

Olympic Highlights



Coming from the inauguration of the Olympic Rings on top of the Olympic Tower in Beijing, IOC President Thomas Bach headed for Rio de Janeiro. Less than two months before the opening of the Olympic Games Rio 2016, he spent three days in the host city, where he received a full report on the Games’ preparations.

During a visit to the Barra da Tijuca Olympic Park the IOC President was able to meet the Interim President of Brazil, Michel Temer, who reiterated the complete support of the federal government for Games organisers. During their conversation, both leaders expressed their confidence in the success of the Olympic Games, despite the fact that difficulties remain with some aspects of the preparations. The IOC President was accompanied by IOC Vice-President and Chair of the Coordination Commission for the Olympic Games Rio 2016 Nawal El Moutawakel, the President of the Rio 2016 Organising Committee and IOC Honorary Member Carlos Arthur Nuzman, and IOC Member in Brazil Bernard Rajzman.

© IOC / Ian Jones

During his visit to the Olympic Village the IOC President was joined by two members of the Refugee Olympic Team, who were there to see their rooms. Popole Misenga and Yolande Mabika are judokas from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and are now living in Brazil after being granted refugee status. Also present was the Deputy Chef de Mission of the Refugee Olympic Team, Isabela Mazão of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.

Earlier, the President was at a ceremony in the Olympic Village where the Mayor of Rio, Eduardo Paes, symbolically handed over the keys of the Village to Organising Committee President Carlos Arthur Nuzman.

© IOC / Ian Jones

The President also attended the presentation of the medals and medal podiums for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, as well as the launch of the slogan: “Rio 2016: A New World” (see also under section ‘Organising Committees for the Olympic Games’). At the ceremony, he also met young people from the social programmes Fight4Peace, UN Women and Transforma, which the IOC supports.

The President’s itinerary in Rio also included a ‘Town Hall’ meeting with local students and a meeting with Rio 2016 staff. At the Deodoro Olympic Park the President was able to see the progress that has been made on many venues.

© IOC / Ian Jones

Before leaving Brazil, President Bach travelled to Santos to present the Olympic Order to Brazilian football legend Edson Arantes do Nascimento, better known as Pelé. As he received the IOC’s highest award, Pelé thanked the IOC President for having brought the Olympic Order to his home town. With the IOC President were Carlos Arthur Nuzman, President of the Brazilian NOC and the Rio 2016 Organising Committee and IOC Honorary Member, and IOC Member Bernard Rajzman. The Mayor of Santos and the President of Santos Football Club also joined the celebrations at the Pelé museum in the city.

Upon the IOC President’s return to Lausanne, the IOC Executive Board (EB) took part in a telephone conference on 18 June. They took note of the decision of the IAAF Council and of the report and recommendations of the IAAF Taskforce. Read the full statement here.

© IOC / Christophe Moratal

On Tuesday 21 June, the Olympic Summit addressed the situation of the countries in which the National Anti-Doping Organisation has been declared non-compliant by WADA for reasons of the non-efficient functioning of the national anti-doping system. The Summit adopted a declaration outlining a five-point plan to ensure a level playing field for athletes at the Olympic Games Rio 2016. Read the full declaration here.



IOC EB Member Ching-Kuo Wu (r. on photo), who is also President of the International Boxing Association (AIBA), was awarded the “Olympia” trophy in recognition of services to the Olympic Movement. The trophy was presented by Isidoros Kouvelos (l. on photo), President of the International Olympic Academy (IOA), during the Opening Ceremony of the IOA’s 56th Session for Young Participants in Athens (Greece). During his keynote speech to participants Ching-Kuo Wu, who also chairs the IOC Culture and Olympic Heritage Commission, emphasised the Olympic Movement’s continuing contribution to promoting peace around the world. More info on


© IOC / Christophe Moratal

During a visit to the IOC, Japan’s Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, Hiroshi Hase, reaffirmed his government’s support for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. The minister, who competed in Greco-Roman wrestling at the 1984 Games in Los Angeles, discussed preparations for the 2020 Games with IOC Director General Christophe De Kepper.

During a two-day event jointly organised by the IOC and INTERPOL, 30 representatives of 26 Olympic IFs took part in training sessions on how to effectively collect and establish facts in relation to reports or suspicions of competition manipulation within sports organisations. The two-day event, which took place from 13 to 14 June in Lausanne, Switzerland, addressed the need for an effective, coordinated response from the sports world to the threat of match-fixing and related corruption. This week’s training was a good opportunity to introduce the participants to the INTERPOL-IOC Handbook on Conducting Fact-Finding Inquiries into Breaches of Sports Integrity. The Handbook will be an important reference document for experts in NOCs and IFs as it will help to make complex, challenging inquiries more manageable, transparent and accountable. Read the complete press release here.

On 14 June the IOC and the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) signed a memorandum of understanding outlining the principles for a new long-term agreement between the two organisations. Under the new agreement, the IOC and IPC will cooperate with the aim of increasing the visibility of the Paralympic Games and enhancing the Paralympic brand, deepening existing cooperation, specifically on the implementation of Olympic Agenda 2020, and ensuring the financial stability and long-term viability of the IPC, the Paralympic Games and the Paralympic Movement. The new agreement runs through to 2032. Read the complete press release here.

The official website of the Olympic Movement, has been given a major facelift ahead of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games – the first for around five years. The new version is not only easier to use and more comprehensive, it is also fully compatible with mobile devices. Almost half of all visitors access the site from a smartphone or tablet, and pageviews are expected to increase significantly over the coming months. Since 2010 the number of visits to have grown more than 400%.



From 3 May to 5 August, over more than 20,000 kilometres, across 329 cities and with 12,000 torchbearers, the Olympic torch relay is being accompanied and supported by Coca-Cola, the longest-standing partner of the Olympic Movement. Coca-Cola chose a panel of athletes and stars to select 2,400 torchbearers, picked for the work they have carried out in their communities, for their positive lifestyles, and for the spirit with which they have brought people together. Coca-Cola became a full member of the TOP programme in 1986 and has been responsible for presenting the Olympic torch relay since the Barcelona Olympic Games in 1992. It has taken the Olympic torch to over 42 countries, inspiring millions of people on the various routes. Read the complete press release here.



The establishment ceremony of the Local Organising Committee (LOC) for the International Basketball Federation’s (FIBA) 2019 World Cup took place in Beijing’s Wukesong Stadium (People’s Republic of China) in the presence of FIBA Secretary General and IOC Member Patrick Baumann. The competition from 31 August to 15 September 2019 will be staged in eight cities, and will feature a record 32 teams. Liu Peng, Minister of China’s General Administration of Sports, and Wang Anshun, the Mayor of Beijing, were named Directors General of the LOC, which will operate from offices next to the Organising Committee of the Beijing 2022 Olympic Winter Games. FIBA took the opportunity to announce the opening of offices in Beijing, Guangzhou and Nanjing, which will serve to help with preparations for the FIBA Basketball World Cup in 2019. More info on

From 16 to 25 June the city of Baku in Azerbaijan will welcome 469 boxers from 105 nations to the World Olympic Qualification Event run by the International Boxing Association (AIBA). The competition will offer 39 quota places for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. This is the first time that an open qualification event has followed the continental qualifiers. More info on

For the second consecutive year the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) has decided to award seven scholarships to women wishing to attend the course for Sports Directors organised at the UCI World Cycling Centre in Aigle (Switzerland), which takes place from 8 to 15 November. The Sports Director Training Programme, which was launched by the UCI in 2010, is held once a year, and the ensuing exam is now compulsory for anyone working as a Sports Director for a UCI WorldTeam or UCI Professional Continental Team. Although not yet compulsory for UCI Women’s Teams or UCI Continental Teams, the course and exam are highly recommended. Applications must be sent to the UCI by 23 September. More info on


Women working in football around the world came together in Zurich (Switzerland) this week to take part in the first module of the second edition of the Female Leadership Development Programme (FLDP) put in place by the International Federation of Football Associations (FIFA). Launched in 2015, the FLDP aims to identify, support and develop strong female leaders and role models in football, while advocating for women to access senior decision-making positions globally. The 34 participants (see photo above) will complete two further modules in September 2016 and February 2017. Each participant will now be expected to pursue their own “accelerator project” focusing on developing football in their home country. More info on

The International Swimming Federation (FINA) has opened registrations for the 4th FINA World Aquatics Convention, which will take place in Windsor, Ontario (Canada) from 3 to 5 December 2016. Over 1000 delegates are expected to attend. The convention programme includes the FINA Aquatics Conference, a World Sports Medicine Congress under the theme “Swimming for Gold, Swimming for Life”, a coaching clinic and a “Soirée des Etoiles” gala dinner and awards ceremony. As in 2014, the convention will be preceded by the FINA World Swimming Championships (25 m), which take place from 6 to 11 December, also in Windsor. More info at

© World Rugby

As preparations continue for rugby’s return to the Olympic Games in Rio this August, World Rugby has been working with its continental associations to deliver two Get Into Rugby (GIR) coaching courses, thanks to the support of Olympic Solidarity, the NOCs of Portugal and Colombia, Rugby Europe and Sudamerica Rugby. In Colombia, over 90 coaches from the South American region were joined by the Colombian women’s sevens team which has qualified for Rio 2016 (see photo above). Course participants completed their training by attending the Torneo del Centenario rugby tournament, delivering skills training sessions, organising initiation into rugby activities and running a competitive tournament for 1,000 children. Over one million boys and girls took part in the Get Into Rugby Programme in 2015. For more info visit

The International Triathlon Union (ITU) has named Lausanne as the host city for the 31st ITU World Triathlon Grand Final in 2019. In addition to crowning the 2019 ITU world champions, the event will also name world champions in junior and U23 categories, as well as paratriathlon, which will debut in the Paralympic Games Rio 2016. Official dates for the event will be confirmed and announced as soon as possible. The 2016 ITU Grand Final will be held in Cozumel (Mexico) from 11 to 18 September. More info on

The International Volleyball Federation (FIVB) has announced the 15 men’s and 15 women’s teams that will take part in the beach volleyball competition at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, pending confirmation by their respective NOCs/NFs. The selection follows the completion of an 18-month Olympic qualification process. The official calendar of the men’s Olympic volleyball tournament, which takes place from 7 to 21 August, is also now available, along with the schedule of the women’s competition, which runs from 6 to 20 August. More info on


© NOC of Argentina

The Women and Sport Commission of the NOC of Argentina organised its first meeting for female sports leaders. More than 50 women representing national federations, athletes, coaches and commission members took part in the meeting led by NOC First Vice-President Alicia Masoni de Morea and commission chair Patricia Sangenis (see photo above). The aim of the event was to raise awareness of the perception of women in sport, to develop research on the participation and role of women in the management of national federations, and to give women greater access to sport. More info at

© Bahrain Olympic Committee

Sheikha Hayat bint Abdulaziz Al Khalifa (right on photo) was recently honoured with the Shaikh Isa bin Rashid Al Khalifa Award for Voluntary Work in the field of sports. The Bahrain Olympic Committee board member, women’s sport committee chairwoman and Bahrain Table Tennis Association president received a special award for her efforts and contributions to women’s sports in Bahrain and in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). The trophy was presented by NOC President Sheikh Nasser bin Hamad Al Khalifa (left on photo). More info on

© Colombian NOC

On 10 June the sports journalists’ association of Bogotá (Acord Bogotá) and Sergio Arboleda University organised a joint conference on the theme “Sports journalists and the Olympic Games in Brazil 2016”, which was attended by 70 journalists and media studies students in Bogotá. The President of the Colombian NOC, Baltazar Medina, was also present, along with the Chef de Mission of the Colombian delegation to the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, Ciro Solano Hurtado, the director of the journalism school Juan Lozano, and the president of Acord Bogotá, David Cañón Cortés (see photo above). NOC staff members also led sessions at the seminar. More info on

© Dominican NOC

A number of activities have been planned to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the Dominican NOC, including a series of lectures. The first lecture was given by the President of the Constitutional Court of the Dominican Republic, Milton Ray Guevara, who discussed the importance of practising sport from an early age to ensure good health, and the concept of sport and law. He also donated a collection of his publications to the NOC library. NOC President Luis Mejía welcomed all the participants (see photo above), giving particular thanks to Luis Elpidio Cumba, director of the Dominican Olympic Academy, and Nelly Manuel Doñé, NOC advisor, who helped to organise the 70th anniversary celebrations. Other activities will include an Olympic gala in July, during which the best athletes of 2015 will be honoured. More info at

© Spanish NOC

For the second year running, Olympic Day was celebrated in the Valencia region of Spain. Organised by the Spanish NOC in the city of Castellón, the 2016 edition brought together more than 5000 people on 11 June to enjoy the wide range of sports activities on offer. NOC President Alejandro Blanco was present for the festivities (see photo above). On 14 June a one-day workshop on tax issues and social protection in sport was organised for representatives of sports federations, players’ associations, lawyers, administrators and media representatives. More info on

The celebration of Olympic Day 2016 in Nepal officially began on 17 June at a ceremony organised by the Sports for All Commission under the aegis of the Nepal Olympic Committee in the heart of Nepal Basantapur, Kathmandu. The day was officially launched by NOC President Jeevan Ram Shrestha, who hoisted the national flag, while NOC Secretary General Lama Tendi Sherpa hoisted the IOC flag. Many people took part in the Basantapur rally. A series of events will be organised between now and 23 June. Among the people present at the ceremony were NOC board members, members of national sports associations, Olympians, athletes, students, teachers and journalists. More info on

© NOC of Singapore

The NOC of Singapore has informed us that from 17 June to 17 July, more than 2000 youth athletes aged 18 and below should take part in the 2016 Singapore Youth Olympic Festival (SYOF). The sports programme is composed of 11 sports. At the Opening Ceremony held at Anglican High School on 17 June, were present Grace Fu, Minister for Culture, Community and Youth as well as Ng Ser Miang, IOC Member and Chairman of the Singapore Olympic Foundation as well as six national basketballers – Tay Ding Loon, Andrew Tang, John Ng, Lim Jia Min, Sharon Lee and Amanda Lim –. The first edition of the Festival was organised by the Singapore Olympic Foundation in 2011, after the inaugural 2010 Youth Olympic Games in Singapore. Notable athletes such as 2014 Youth Olympic sailing gold medallist Bernie Chin and shooting silver medallist Martina Lindsay Veloso, as well as 2012 Optimist sailing world champion Yukie Yokoyama have participated in previous editions of the SYOF. More info on and

© Swedish Olympic Committee

At the 103rd annual meeting of the Swedish Olympic Committee, Hans Vestberg (l. on photo), was elected as the NOC’s new chairman. A former professional handball player and chairman of the Swedish Handball Federation (2007–2016), Hans Vestberg succeeds Stefan Lindeberg (r. on photo), who resigned after sixteen successful years as NOC President. Gunilla Lindberg, NOC Secretary General and IOC EB Member, praised Lindeberg’s leadership and his ability to deliver one project after the other to improve the situation for the athletes. Stefan Lindeberg was unanimously elected Honorary President of the NOC. More info on

© Uruguayan NOC

The Uruguayan NOC is planning a variety of activities to celebrate Olympic Day, involving almost all of the organisations affiliated to the NOC. Throughout the month of June, athletes and the general public will have the opportunity to take part in sports and cultural activities to celebrate the birth of the Olympic Movement. With the first Olympic Games in South America about to take place, the 2016 Olympic Day will see the participation of the talented athletes who will be representing Uruguay at the Rio Games, including judoka Pablo Aprahamian (photo above), whose Olympic qualification was recognised by his federation. All the athletes will share their expertise and experience with the next generation of athletes. More info on

© José Avelino Rodrigues

More than 80 coaches from all over the country took part in the first module of the “Coaching coaches” programme set up by the Venezuelan NOC in association with the Lara Andrés Eloy Blanco Territorial Polytechnic University (see photo above). Over four days, from 15 to 18 June participants from 26 sports disciplines had the opportunity to learn more about Olympism, coaching methods, high-level coaching, athletic development and sports administration.


RIO 2016

© IOC / Ian Jones

The medals for the Olympic Games Rio 2016 were unveiled on Monday 13 June at a special ceremony organised in Barra Olympic Park in the presence of IOC President Thomas Bach. The slogan for the Olympic Games, “Rio 2016: A New World” was also launched. The 5130 medals for the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games, produced by the Brazilian Mint, will be symbols of sustainability and accessibility as well as sporting excellence. The medals each weigh 500 grams, and comprise 30% recycled silver and bronze, while the ribbons are made from 50% recycled PET. The gold medals are also completely free of mercury. Athletes who make it onto the Olympic podium will receive their medal in a sustainably sourced wooden box along with a sculpture of the Rio 2016 logo. Read the complete press release here.


On 16 June, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) announced the appointment of Günter Younger as the Agency’s new Director of Intelligence and Investigations. Günter Younger, who will be stepping down from his role as Head of the Cybercrime Division with the Bavarian Landeskriminalamt (BLKA) will assume his new position in Montreal on 3 October.  Younger, who was a member of WADA’s Independent Commission that investigated allegations of widespread doping in Russian athletics, will be responsible for leading WADA’s growing investigations activity. More info on

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