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Olympic Highlights

IOC / Christophe Moratal
11 Jul 2016
Olympic News



IOC President Thomas Bach met renowned Brazilian film director Fernando Meirelles, who is artistic director of the Opening Ceremony of the Olympic Games Rio 2016. They discussed the Olympic Laurel, a new distinction created by the IOC, which will be presented at the Opening Ceremony on 5 August. The Olympic Laurels were created as part of the reforms of Olympic Agenda 2020 to honour an outstanding individual for their achievements in education, culture, development and peace through sport. Starting in Rio, they will be presented at the Opening Ceremony of every Olympic Games.

The IOC President welcomed Alain Dehaze, President and CEO of Adecco, to Lausanne. They discussed the IOC’s Athlete Career Programme (ACP), which was launched in 2005 in cooperation with Adecco. The agreement gives athletes from all over the world access to a vast support network to help them make a smooth transition into professional life after their sports career. Also present at the meeting were Claudia Bokel, IOC Executive Board Member and Chair of the IOC Athletes’ Commission, Stephan Howeg, Adecco’s Head of Group Communications, and Patrick Glennon, Senior Vice-President of the ACP.


As the subject of a participation of Iuliia Stepanova in the Olympic Games Rio 2016 involves important ethical aspects, the IOC Executive Board (EB) has decided to ask the IOC Ethics Commission for its advice in this respect. This comes after the IAAF Doping Review Board, chaired by Robert Hersh (USA), declared Mrs Stepanova (Russia/800m) eligible to compete in international track and field competitions as a neutral athlete under IAAF Competition Rule 22.1A (c) for “having made a truly exceptional contribution to the protection and promotion of clean athletes, fair play and the integrity and authenticity of the sport.” The deliberations of the IOC Ethics Commission will include the opportunity for a hearing for Mrs Stepanova. As soon as the advice of the IOC Ethics Commission is available, the IOC EB will then take all of the circumstances of the case into consideration and decide whether it merits an exception to the rules of the Olympic Charter. Complete press release here.

In the framework of the third edition of the Advanced Olympic Research Grant Programme, the IOC Olympic Studies Centre (OSC) has selected six research projects, underlining their academic quality and significance with respect to the IOC priority fields of research. These grants will allow the researchers to carry out their research projects, benefit from exchanges with the IOC administration and, if relevant, consult the OSC’s archives and resources in Lausanne. The results of their research must be submitted in June 2017. For its third edition, the programme has received 34 applications involving 74 researchers from 18 countries and five continents. The full list of grants awarded is available here.



On 4 and 5 July in Amsterdam, the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) held a Governance Structure Reform Forum attended by more than 60 delegates, including federation presidents, administrators and athletes representing the six continental areas of the IAAF. The delegates discussed 15 key proposals to create an effective organisation with the checks and balances and transparent structures required. The forum, led by sports lawyer Maria Clarke, Chair of the IAAF Governance Structure Reform Working Group, marks the start of a six-month consultation process which, following approval by the IAAF Council, will see the final proposals being sent to the membership of more than 200 national federations for their approval at a Special Congress in early December 2016. More info on

World Rowing (FISA) informs us that the Women’s Sport Leadership Academy took place from 19 to 24 June 2016 at the University of Chichester (UK), bringing together 36 outstanding women leaders, half from the UK and half from around the world. Olga Albuquerque from Angola, Naomi Kato from Japan and Olga Tarasova from Belarus were funded by FISA, through the What’s Next to Rowing Women’s Development programme and the IOC Women and Sport programme. They were joined by Laura Kentfield of Wales (UK) (see photo above). For the second consecutive year the head of FISA’s Competitive Commission and Director of Pathway Development in British Rowing, Rosie Mayglothling, coordinated with the Henley Women’s Regatta (HWR) team, its Chair, Miriam Luke, and the Chair of the Race Committee, Fiona Dennis, to create a programme providing an insight into the event and an opportunity to experience aspects of particular interest relating to umpiring and event organisation. More info on


In the midst of the APB/WSB Olympic Qualification Tournament taking place from 3 to 8 July in Vargas (Venezuela), the International Boxing Association (AIBA) and the Venezuelan Boxing Federation organised a donation of essential training equipment to local boxing clubs under the HeadsUp initiative. Accompanied by their coaches, dozens of young boys and girls attended the event in the presence of AIBA President and IOC EB Member Ching-Kuo Wu, Venezuelan Boxing Federation President Fran Lopez, national boxing team member Yoel Finol and several local authorities (see photo above). Gloves, tee-shirts, shorts and headguards were all given to members of the Hugo Chavez and Montesano boxing clubs in Vargas, before the kids went through their boxing exercises. While in Caracas, Ching-Kuo Wu also met Eduardo Alvarez, President of the Venezuelan NOC, who outlined his Olympic team’s preparations for the Olympic Games Rio 2016, before visiting the Olympic Museum whom exhibits include unique documents featuring Venezuela’s greatest ever Olympian boxers. More info on


The International Fencing Federation (FIE) has distributed Olympic tickets to schools across Rio de Janeiro (see photo above) as part of its legacy and education programmes for the Games. An FIE delegation visited Rio late last month to hand out hundreds of tickets to 27 places of education, providing access to the Olympic fencing competition for those who could not otherwise afford to go. The fencing competition will take place from 6 to 14 August at the Barra Olympic Park. As well as attending the competition, the schoolchildren, aged from 5 to 15, will also be able to try the sport thanks to a sports initiation programme run by the FIE outside the venue for the duration of the competition. Many of the children who will attend the Games took part in the FIE’s Fencing School programme in March and April. Twelve national-level coaches worked their way through dozens of schools and sports communities in Rio, teaching children the basics of the sport with equipment provided by the FIE. More info on


With the start of the countdown to the International Federation of Football Associations (FIFA) U-20 Women’s World Cup, which will run from 13 November to 3 December in Papua New Guinea, a number of projects have officially been launched within the joint legacy programme of FIFA and the Papua New Guinea Football Association. A course for coaches working in the Merifutbol programme and the women’s national league was officially opened on 28 June (see photo above). Following the conclusion of the course, the “Live Your Goals” programme was launched on 3 July. The programme will target young girls in the country, encouraging them to play football and empowering them to become active participants. Over 200 girls participated in the festival organised to mark the launch. The FIFA 11 for Health training programme launched on 4 July will be rolled out to 16 schools in the area over the coming months.
Furthermore, on 6 July, the Bureau of the FIFA Council appointed Tomaž Vesel of Slovenia as the Independent Chairperson of FIFA’s Audit and Compliance Committee until the 67th FIFA Congress, with immediate effect. Vesel currently serves as President of the Court of Auditors in Slovenia. He has worked with numerous European governments and the OECD as an expert adviser. More info on

The International Modern Pentathlon Union (UIPM) has made major advances on behalf of the Masters Modern Pentathlon movement, offering former Olympians and other veteran athletes more competitive opportunities than ever before. Twenty-three nations were represented by 129 athletes during the UIPM 2016 Masters World Championship in Prague (Czech Republic) from 3 to 6 July. A number of former Olympians participated. UIPM President Klaus Schormann attended the championships in Prague and presented some of the medals. More info on

The International Tennis Federation (ITF) announced the publication of its official Olympic Book for Rio 2016: My Life, My Medal. One hundred and eighteen Olympic and Paralympic tennis medallists took part in the project to help promote the Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic tennis events. The 224-page publication takes a look at the medallists from Seoul 1988 to London 2012, who share their stories of how the Olympics and Paralympics affected their lives. The 2016 Olympic tennis event will be held at the Olympic Tennis Centre in Barra Olympic Park from 6 to 14 August, while the 2016 Paralympic tennis event will be held at the same venue from 9 to 16 September. More info on


The General Assembly of the International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) took place in Moscow (Russia) on 1 and 2 July (see photo above). The 130 delegates present unanimously approved the audited financial reports of the federation and confirmed the suspension of the Kuwait Shooting federation by a majority. They also welcomed the ISSF’s new initiatives in terms of transparency and good governance. The ISSF now has a new Code of Ethics, and will publish its financial reports and the minutes of its executive board meetings and General Assemblies on its website. ISSF President and IOC Member Olegario Vázquez Raña awarded the ISSF Blue Cross to IF Secretary General Franz Schreiber for his remarkable contribution to achieving the ISSF’s goals over his 34-year career with the federation. ISSF Vice-President Vladimir Lisin was presented with a trophy in recognition of his loyalty, friendship and commitment to the development of the sport of shooting and the ISSF. More info on


© Getty Images

The Australian Olympic Committee announced that Australia’s most successful track cyclist, Anna Meares (photo), has been chosen as the flagbearer of the Australian Team at the Opening Ceremony of the Olympic Games Rio 2016. The announcement was made by Chef de Mission Kitty Chiller at a ceremony held in Melbourne on 6 July. Meares, who is off to her fourth Games at Rio, claimed her first Olympic medal 12 years ago in Athens in 2004, becoming the Olympic champion in the 500 m time trial before winning bronze in the sprint. Four years later in Beijing, she won a silver medal in the women’s sprint cycling, before claiming a gold medal (sprint) and a bronze medal (team sprint) at the London 2012 Games. More info on

© Colombian NOC

On 6 July, a ceremony took place at the headquarters of the Colombian NOC for the Olympic team that will travel to the Olympic Games Rio 2016. After a public vote, the gymnast Jossimar Calvo, a multiple medallist at the 2015 Pan-American Games in Toronto, was chosen to be the delegation’s flagbearer at the Opening Ceremony on 5 August. The ceremony was led by NOC President Baltazar Medina, accompanied by Chef de Mission and NOC First Vice-President Ciro Solano Hurtado; the Director of Coldeportes, Clara Luz Roldán; and Brazil’s ambassador to Colombia, María Elisa Berenguer. On the following day, the President of the Colombian Republic, Juan Manuel Santos (left), presented the national flag to Jossimar Calvo (right) in the presence of the Olympic delegation during a ceremony held at the Casa Nariño, the official presidential residence. More info on

The NOC of El Salvador announced that 36 physical education teachers have been awarded a diploma on the Olympic values, physical education and sport after following a course organised by the Salvadorian Olympic Academy and the Foundation for Educational Development (FEPADE). Through these kinds of activities, the Academy and FEPADE are helping to ensure that children and young people have access to different sports. The diploma is part of FEPADE’s “Adopt a school” project, conducted in coordination with the Academy and with special assistance from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). More info on

© Spanish NOC

On 5 July the President of the Spanish NOC, Alejandro Blanco (right), presented the NOC’s Olympic Order to the former president of the Spanish archery federation, Lorenzo Miret (left), in recognition of his thirty years of hard work and commitment to the federation. More info on

© Israeli Olympic Committee

Legendary Kenyan runner Wilson Kosgei Kipketer (right), two-time Olympic medallist in the 800 m, was the guest of honour at the Olympic Day celebration organised by the Olympic Studies Centre at the Academic College of Wingate Institute, in cooperation with the Israel Olympic Committee. Wilson Kipketer gave a lecture about his personal view of the Olympic Games and their influence on his life. International Olympic Day, which focused primarily on the upcoming Olympic Games Rio 2016, was opened by Igal Carmi, President of the Israeli NOC and Ronny Lidor, President of the Academic College. Janez Kocijancic, Vice-President of the European Olympic Committees and Honorary President of the Slovenian NOC, gave a lecture on “The road to success – the Slovenian example”. Gilad Lustig, CEO of the Israeli NOC and Chef de Mission of the Israeli delegation to the Rio Games, presented the Israeli delegation to the conference audience. More info on

© José Avelino Rodrigues

The Venezuelan NOC officially presented the uniforms of the Olympic delegation that will travel to Rio for the Olympic Games Rio in August. The ceremony in Caracas was attended by members of the NOC’s executive board, chaired by Eduardo Álvarez; Brazil’s ambassador to Venezuela, Ruy Pereira; the Minister for Youth and Sports, Merwin Maldonado; the President of the National Sports Institute, Pedro Infante; and various representatives of national sports federations and the media. The uniforms were modelled by top athletes from the Venezuelan delegation including Roy Ramírez and Gerson Izaguirre (athletics), Andrés Madero, Andrea Armada and Marian Cuervo (karate) and Irini Muro (equestrian) (see photo above). NOC President Eduardo Álvarez also welcomed his Bolivian counterpart, Marco Arze, with whom he discussed strengthening ties between the NOCs in the domains of education and sport. Representatives of the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) also recently visited the Venezuelan NOC to explain the new international calendar for basketball competitions.


RIO 2016

© Getty Images

With exactly one month to go until the start of the Olympic Games Rio 2016, the Main Press Centre (MPC) opened its doors to the world's media. On 5 July the MPC, located in Rio’s Olympic Park, welcomed the first of 6,000 accredited journalists who will be based at the site during the Games. More than 720 volunteers have been trained to work on site, where the facilities include an accreditation centre, post office, a medical post and an official Rio 2016 store. There is also a bank, a launderette and a pharmacy. The centre will be open from 7am to 10pm until July 29, when it will be open around the clock. Complete press release here.


© PyeongChang 2018

On 1 July the Organising Committee of the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018 launched a global volunteer recruitment programme. Using a new website for applications, the initiative seeks to recruit 22,400 volunteers to assist with a range of tasks in areas that include sport, medical services, media operations, technology and language services. Further information on the PyeongChang 2018 volunteer programme can be found at

TOKYO 2020

The Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee has welcomed EF Education First Japan Ltd. (EF Japan) as a Tokyo 2020 Official Partner, the second domestic tier of the Tokyo 2020 Sponsorship Programme, in the “Language Training Services” category. This brings the total number of Tokyo 2020 domestic partners to 39, including 24 Official Partners. Info on



Francesco Ricci Bitti (photo), President of the Association of Summer Olympic International Federations (ASOIF), took part in the panel discussion on sport, governance and ethics at the Crans Montana Forum on Central to Far-East Europe. The event took place from 29 June to 1 July 2016 in Vienna, Austria, under the High Patronage of the Federal President of the Republic of Austria, Heinz Fischer. The debate, which focused on the integrity of sport organisations and the fight against doping, included representatives from sport organisations, anti-doping bodies, sports arbitration, governments, UNESCO, the pharmaceutical industry and NGOs. The ASOIF President took the opportunity to present the new comprehensive set of governance principles and indicators agreed on by the ASOIF membership in April, as well as the anti-doping study commissioned by ASOIF earlier this year. The Crans Montana Forum is a Swiss non-governmental international organisation established in 1986. It intends to help build a more humane and impartial world and encourages international cooperation and growth. Info on

At the end of June the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) announced that the Central African Republic had become the 183rd State Party to ratify the UNESCO International Convention against Doping in Sport. There are now just 12 countries worldwide that have yet to become signatories. The International Convention against Doping in Sport, which was adopted on 19 October 2005, is the practical instrument by which governments may formalise their commitment to the fight against doping. More info on

© Generations for Peace

Olympic TOP Partner Samsung Electronics and Generations For Peace have renewed their partnership for the ninth consecutive year. Samsung’s support helps Generations For Peace programmes to expand in Jordan, Palestine, Lebanon and Iraq, and forms part of Samsung’s corporate social responsibility programme and commitment to supporting education and health. More info on

The Fédération Internationale Cinéma Télévision Sportifs (FICTS) is supporting the “Sports Memory Rio 2016” exhibition scheduled to take place in Rio de Janeiro from 27 July to 25 September, as well as in São Paulo and Brasilia, in conjunction with the Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games. The exhibition, which is the result of 10 years’ work, aims to show the history of Olympic sport around the world and in Brazil through the cinema images produced over the last 100 years. The exhibition is organised by Guanabara Filmes in collaboration with the Rio de Janeiro city government and the Brazilian post, a sponsor of the Olympic Games Rio 2016. More info on

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