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Olympic Highlights

IOC / Philippe Woods
04 Jul 2016
Olympic News



IOC President Thomas Bach met for the first time with the team of coaches, doctors and officials who will support the Refugee Olympic Team at this summer’s Olympic Games Rio 2016. Chef de Mission Tegla Loroupe (Kenya) and Deputy Chef de Mission Isabela Mazão (Brazil), who was proposed by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), which is supporting the IOC on this project, will lead a team of five coaches and five other team officials charged with taking care of all the technical needs of the athletes. President Bach told the team officials that their precedent-setting work would leave an indelible mark on Olympic history. Complete press release here.

IOC / Christophe Moratal

The IOC President met the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi. He was accompanied by the IOC Honorary President, Jacques Rogge, who is also the Special Envoy of the United Nations Secretary-General for Youth Refugees and Sport. The discussions covered cooperation between the two organisations in relation to sports-related projects aimed at supporting integration and the protection of young refugees both in camps and in urban areas, where most refugees and displaced persons live. The Refugee Olympic Team was also discussed.

IOC / Christophe Moratal

The IOC President welcomed the Mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, to the IOC Headquarters in Lausanne, where they discussed the candidature of Paris to host the Olympic Games 2024. The Mayor was accompanied by the Paris 2024 Candidature Team. Mayor Hidalgo’s first visit to the IOC Headquarters concludes a cycle of official visits by each Candidate City to the IOC President in Lausanne. President Bach’s trip to Paris in October will complete his own round of visits to the four Candidate cities (Los Angeles, Rome, Budapest and Paris - (cities are listed in the order of drawing lots). The Paris delegation included NOC President, Denis Masseglia, Paris 2024 Co-President Bernard Lappasset and Director General Etienne Thobois. They were accompanied by IOC Members Guy Drut and Tony Estanguet, who is also Paris 2024 Co-President, as well as Olympic bronze medallist Muriel Hurtis-Hourai. Complete press release here.

At a meeting with Mario Pescante, IOC Member and the IOC’s Permanent Observer to the United Nations, the IOC President discussed the first global conference on faith and sport, to be held in the Vatican in October 2016. The conference, called “Sport at the Service of Humanity”, is a historic event supported by the IOC and the United Nations.


Willi Kaltschmitt Luján

IOC Executive Board Member Willi Kaltschmitt Luján has been awarded the title of ‘Member Emeritus’ by the Guatemalan Aereo Club in honour of his 40+ years as a pilot and his invaluable contribution to the institution.


IOC Executive Board Member Anita DeFrantz will receive the Humanitarian Award from the Foundation for Global Sports Development during a ceremony to be held in Rio de Janeiro on 6 August. This award recognises individuals and organisations that work to preserve the values of fair play, sportsmanship and drug-free competition in the world of sports.



The 2nd World U20 Coaches Conference of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) will be held in Bydgoszcz (Poland) on 25 July, the day after the conclusion of the World U20 Championships being held in the same city from 19 to 24 July. The main objective of the conference is to keep coaches informed of the importance of coaching, and to bring their knowledge up to date. International experts will speak about subjects of particular relevance to coaches who train athletes in this age group. Info at


After Japan, Cuba, Brazil, Turkey and Australia, the International Judo Federation (IJF) has just released the latest episode of its ‘Judo for the World’ series, which features judo in Zambia (photo above). This episode shows that, despite the sometimes difficult living conditions and challenges that African young people encounter on a daily basis, judo is a major tool for social change in Zambia. For a week, the IJF followed several characters whose lives have been changed for the better thanks to judo. Meanwhile, at the end of June, a few days before the Budapest Grand Prix in Hungary, the IJF held its first ever marketing and media seminar. Info at

The development office of United World Wrestling (UWW) delivered a trio of innovative courses during the ‘Mega Week’ organised at the Freestyle World Cup in Los Angeles (United States of America) in June. Over a week, the members of the UWW development team held the first ever UWW women’s coaching course as part of the ‘Train the Trainers’ programme in cooperation with the World Academy of Sports, and an educators’ course under the banner of the Wrestling Academy. This ‘Mega Week’ put primary focus on expanding the wrestling knowledge of coaches who, in turn, will pass on their expertise to female athletes and under-represented geographical areas. Info at


Over the last three months, the International Swimming Federation (FINA) has held five clinics for coaches and officials in Africa. Kigali (Rwanda, see photo above) and Banjul (Gambia) hosted courses for beginners in April, while an advanced clinic for officials was held in Mauritius. More recently, courses were held in Beira (Mozambique) and Mahe (Seychelles) in May. FINA is working closely with its national member federations from Africa and has a number of projects, including a new training centre and training camps, on the go. Info at

The International Tennis Federation (ITF) has announced that its 2017 Conference and Annual General Meeting will be held in Ho Chi Minh City (Vietnam) from 1 to 4 August. Furthermore, on 30 June, the ITF announced the provisional list of singles and doubles entries for the Rio 2016 Olympic tennis event at the Olympic Tennis Centre in Barra Olympic Park from 6 to 14 August. Fifty-one countries will compete in this year’s event. Entries for the mixed doubles will be confirmed on site during the event. Info at

The final stage of the International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) World Cup was held in Baku (Azerbaijan) on 28 June. A total of 1,728 athletes from 115 countries participated in this year’s World Cup, which began in Bangkok (Thailand) in March before continuing in Nicosia (Cyprus), Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), Munich (Germany) and San Marino (San Marino). The World Cup finals will be held in Bologna and Rome (Italy) from 4 to 16 October. Info at

The Executive Board of the International Triathlon Union (ITU), chaired by IOC Member Marisol Casado, held its first meeting of the year during the World Triathlon in Leeds (Great Britain). The Board discussed topics including funds for development projects, good ethical practices and future ITU calendars. It also reviewed the Ethics Code developed by the ITU Constitution Committee. The purpose of this Code is to safeguard the integrity, reputation and interests of all the stakeholders in the sport of triathlon, including but not limited to national federations, continental confederations, athletes, race organisers, officials, sponsors, spectators and the ITU itself. Info at


The World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) will oversee five world championships in baseball and softball during the 2016 international calendar, with the flagship softball tournament, the XV Women's Softball World Championship, to be staged from 15 to 24 July in Surrey (Canada). From 24 to 30 July, the U-19 Junior Men's Softball World Championship will take place in Midland, Michigan (USA). On 29 July, the U-15 Baseball World Cup will open in Iwaki, Japan. From 3 to 11 September, the WBSC Women's Baseball World Cup 2016 will be held in Gijang (Korea). And on 28 October, the U-23 Baseball World Cup will be launched in Monterrey (Mexico). More info at

The International Surfing Association (ISA) is continuing to support the global development of Stand-Up Paddle (SUP) with the certification of more than 150 instructors across 12 countries since April 2016. These courses are part of the ISA Coaching and Instructing Programme, which is designed to establish an industry standard of safety, quality and efficacy for SUP and surf instructors around the world. Info at


NOC of Argentina

The NOC of Argentina has launched the ‘Gracias, Mamá’ campaign organised by Worldwide TOP Partner Procter & Gamble, paying tribute to the mothers of the athletes who will take part in the Olympic Games Rio 2016 (see photo above). The ceremony was attended by NOC President and IOC Member Gerardo Werthein, NOC First Vice-President Alicia Masoni de Morea and NOC Secretary General Mario Moccia. Four athletes participating in the campaign were also present: Sebastián Crismanich (taekwondo), Paula Pareto (judo) and beach volleyball duo Ana Gallay and Georgina Klug. Accompanied by their mothers, they each recalled numerous anecdotes from their early days in sport and the long path they had travelled in order to get to where they are today. Info at

Chilean NOC

To mark Olympic Day, the Chilean NOC inaugurated the Travelling Olympic Museum, which will stage an exhibition of national sports treasures. Created with the backing of the Santo Tomás University and the Mustakis Foundation, this museum will showcase historical items of sports equipment such as a tennis racquet used by tennis player Marcelo Ríos when he was top of the ATP world rankings, the shoes worn by Nicolás Massú when he won the doubles gold medal at the Olympic Games Athens 2004 and the javelin thrown by Marlene Ahrens on the way to winning silver in Melbourne in 1956. As well as these items, 3D films on the history of Olympism and great Chilean athletes will be screened in a special dome (see photo above). The museum will visit several Chilean cities between the end of May and the end of August. Info at

Dominican NOC

In the Olympic city of La Vega, 130km from the capital Santo Domingo, senior Olympic officials from the Dominican Republic commemorated the 122nd anniversary of the IOC’s foundation by visiting the bust of its founder, Pierre de Coubertin (see photo above). The ceremony was led by the President of the Dominican NOC, Luis Mejía Oviedo, who was accompanied by Nelly Manuel Doñé and Luis Elpidio Cumba, as well as local officials including former athlete Porfirio Veras. The other activities carried out in cooperation with the La Vega Sports Union included a run through the city’s main streets and avenues with a replica of the Rio 2016 Olympic torch, and the traditional presentation of awards to local athletes who performed well last year. The event in La Vega also formed part of the NOC’s 70th anniversary celebrations. Info at

On 26 June, the NOC of El Salvador commemorated the IOC’s 122nd anniversary by organising Olympic Day runs and an Olympic festival. More than 2,000 people took part, including many children and young people. Runs were held in San Salvador and Cojutepeque, while an Olympic festival in San Miguel featured demonstrations of various sports. The NOC also organised the 5th OSADIA Olympic Gala on 23 June. Info at

Spanish NOC

On 30 June, at the headquarters of the Spanish NOC in Madrid, a ceremony was held to mark the unveiling of the commemorative stamp issued by Spain to pay tribute to the Games of the Olympiad and Pierre de Coubertin, founder of the modern Olympic Games. The ceremony was attended by NOC President Alejandro Blanco, the Under-Secretary of the Ministry of Development, Mario Garcés, the President of Correos (the Spanish Post Office), Javier Cuesta, and the President of the Spanish Olympic Academy and Spanish Pierre de Coubertin Committee, Conrado Durántez (see photo above). Organised in cooperation with the Spanish Olympic Philately Union, the issue of this stamp makes Spain the 76th country to dedicate a stamp to the father of modern Olympism. Haiti became the first country to do so in 1939. The stamp will be issued not only in Spain, but also in Portugal and the Ibero-American countries under the umbrella of the Postal Union of the Americas, Spain and Portugal. As well as Pierre de Coubertin, the stamp features legendary Olympic champion Jesse Owens and the NOC’s emblem. Info at

Greek NOC

The Greek NOC celebrated Olympic Day on 23 June by organising a 6km evening race as part of a four-day event held at the Cultural Centre of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation. Thousands of participants, young and old, men and women (see photo above), completed a course from the Panathenaic Stadium to Stavros Niarchos Park, where over 500 children were introduced to the sport of athletics as part of an ‘I Love Sport - Kids’ Athletics’ programme. Info at

Guatemalan NOC

On 28 June, at the National Palace of Culture, the athletes from the Guatemalan delegation to the Olympic Games Rio 2016 swore an oath (see photo above) in the presence of the President of the Republic, Jimmy Morales, IOC Executive Board Member Willi Kaltschmitt Lújan and numerous representatives of the Guatemalan NOC. During the ceremony, which was led by NOC President Gerardo Aguirre, Olympic walking silver medallist Erick Barrondo was named as the delegation’s flag-bearer at the Opening Ceremony of the Games on 5 August. If he is unable to take part, his place will be taken by Ana Sofía Gómez (gymnastics) or Juan Ignacio Maegli (sailing). Info at

Japanese Olympic Committee

The Japanese Olympic Committee held its annual awards ceremony at the Ajinomoto National Training Centre in Tokyo on Olympic Day, 23 June (see photo above). The Most Valuable Athlete Award was presented to the men’s artistic gymnastics team who became world champions in 2015. The Merit Award was won by six athletes, including the ‘King of Gymnastics’, Kohei Uchimura, and Misato Nakamura, 2015 world judo champion and bronze medallist at the Olympic Games Beijing 2008. The Outstanding Performance Award, Top Athlete Award and Women and Sport Award were also presented at the ceremony, which was attended by NOC Council, Executive Board and honorary members, as well as Tokyo 2020 partners. Info at

The NOC of the Netherlands has become the first NOC to sign up to the Integrity Betting Intelligence System (IBIS). A digital intelligence-sharing platform, IBIS will enable the Dutch NOC and its national federations to access an extensive network of monitoring and data-sharing across sports, sports event organisers and the major sports betting entities. The move forms part of the NOC’s larger vision of sport and integrity, which includes the introduction of a national compliance programme for all sports. The IOC initially took on board all Summer and Winter Olympic International Federations and is now opening up IBIS to other key stakeholders of the Olympic Movement.

Seychelles NOC

The Seychelles NOC joined other countries around the world to commemorate Olympic Day. Celebrations were held at both primary and secondary schools and included activities such as wall-painting, sport and a fun run (see photo above). A session on Olympism and the Olympic Movement was also organised for Plaisance Secondary School. Around 40 students and their teachers participated in the fun run, along with Andrique Allisop (boxing) and Rodney Govinden (sailing), who have both qualified for the Olympic Games Rio 2016 and took part in order to encourage and motivate the youngsters. The message from the IOC President was read out and most of the participants received a T-shirt and a certificate.

NOC of Singapore

On 23 June, the finalists of the Singapore Sports Awards 2016 and members of the sporting community gathered at a ceremony to celebrate the achievements of the country’s athletes in 2015 and those who have helped shape sport in Singapore. Organised by the NOC of Singapore and Sport Singapore, these awards honoured the most deserving athletes and teams of 2015. The winners were presented with their awards by the guest of honour, Tan Chuan-Jin, Minister for Social and Family Development and NOC President, and Grace Fu, Minister for Culture, Community and Youth (see photo above). Info at

José Avelino Lopes

Plaza municipality in the state of Miranda has been declared the first Olympic municipality by the Venezuelan NOC in recognition of its work with athletes from Guarenas through the Autonomous Institute of Sport and Recreation. Sports equipment has been donated to the municipality as part of the NOC’s social responsibility programme. Meanwhile, the Travelling Olympic Museum also stopped in Plaza in order to give the public a flavour of the history of the Olympic Movement, the Olympic values and the achievements of Venezuelan athletes (see photo above).


RIO 2016

Getty Images

The new track at the Olympic velodrome in Rio was officially inaugurated on 26 June. Competitors from six different countries gathered to take part in the men’s and women’s omnium competitions, each consisting of six races and four time trials. Located in Barra Olympic Park, the velodrome was the last of the venues to open its doors having been officially handed over to the Organising Committee for the Olympic Games Rio 2016 by the Mayor of Rio de Janeiro. Complete press release here.

TOKYO 2020

Tokyo Metropolitan Government

The Organising Committee for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 and the Tokyo Metropolitan Government have announced the launch of the ‘Rio to Tokyo’ programme, which will enable the public to watch live coverage of the Olympic and Paralympic Games Rio 2016 at various sites in Tokyo and across Japan. Visitors to these fan zones will be able to follow the competitions on giant screens and try out Olympic and Paralympic sports, as well as cheering on their favourite Japanese or foreign athletes. The programme will also take place in Iwate, Miyagi and Fukushima, prefectures affected by the 2011 tsunami. Info at


Buenos Aires 2018 Buenos Aires 2018

Olympic Day in Buenos Aires was celebrated in style by the future host city of the Youth Olympic Games (YOG), to be held in October 2018. The Olympic Day event took place in Parque Tres de Febrero on Saturday 25 June. The park is located in the neighbourhood of Palermo, which will be one of the spots where the YOG will be held in just over two years. More than 2,000 people attended the event. The participants were able to try out lots of different sports, as 35 sports federations were present to showcase their sport and invite people to have a go. Notable attendees included Buenos Aires Mayor Horacio Rodriguez Larreta and NOC President and IOC Member Gerardo Werthein. Several Argentine Olympic athletes were present as well. Complete press release here.


LA 2024, Rome 2024, Budapest 2024, Paris 2024

The four candidate cities vying to host the Olympic Games 2024 - Los Angeles, Rome, Budapest and Paris (cities are listed in the order of drawing lots) - joined the worldwide Olympic Day celebration on 23 June (see photo above). Five hundred young people participated in Los Angeles’ Olympic Day 2016 celebration, hosted by the LA84 Foundation and Los Angeles 2024. Inside the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, the main site of the 1932 and 1984 Olympic Games, youth from across Los Angeles took part in sports clinics in nine Olympic and Paralympic sports led by coaches and Olympians. Rome 2024 was present at the Presidential Palace where the President of the Republic, Sergio Mattarella, presented the Italian flag to the flag-bearers for the Olympic and Paralympic Games 2016. Many athletes from the Italian Olympic team were present at the Foro Italico showing their support to Rome’s Olympic candidature. In Budapest, a 2,024m fun run enjoyed enthusiastic participation of the general public, as well as Olympians and Paralympians. On 24 June, the annual Night of Movement encouraged people to get active at giant fitness tents and pop-up sport hubs around the city. To mark Olympic Day in Paris, thousands of school children from across the city took part in a festival of Olympic sport alongside French Olympians.  The day was rounded off with the Eiffel Tower lit up to display #olympicday and #journeeolympique messages.


On the occasion of the 35th anniversary of the Association of National Olympic Committees of Africa (ANOCA) on 28 June, ANOCA President and IOC Honorary Member Lassana Palenfo gave a speech to the African Olympic family, which was published in the ANOCA Newsletter and is available at

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has announced the appointment of Benjamin Cohen as Director of the European Regional Office and International Federations Relations. He will assume the role in Lausanne on 1 November 2016. Currently Head of Governance and Legal Affairs for the International Basketball Federation (FIBA), Benjamin Cohen previously held various roles with the United Nations Office of Sport for Development and Peace in New York (USA) and the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) in Nyon (Switzerland). In his new role, he will reinforce WADA’s mission by ensuring that anti-doping programmes are compliant with the World Anti-Doping Code and that the Agency’s objectives are successfully met. 
On 28 June, WADA suspended the accreditation of the Athletes’ Anti-Doping Laboratory in Almaty (Kazakhstan) for four months. The suspension, which took effect on 24 June, prohibits the laboratory from carrying out any anti-doping activities, including analyses of urine and blood samples. During this suspension, samples will need to be securely transported to another WADA-accredited laboratory, ensuring that athletes can have full confidence in high-quality sample analysis and the anti-doping system as a whole. The laboratory may appeal against the decision to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) within 21 days of receipt of notice. Info at

Generations For Peace has been ranked 35th in the 2016 ‘Top 500 NGOs in the World’, published by NGO Advisor, an organisation based in Geneva (Switzerland). Generations For Peace is therefore the highest-ranked peace-building NGO in the world. It gives young people a chance to lead change in countries experiencing conflict through the use of sport, art, dialogue and empowerment for peace-building. It has trained, mentored and supported almost 9,000 young leaders in 50 countries in the Middle East, Africa, Asia and Europe. Info at

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