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IOC / Greg Martin
23 Sep 2016
IOC News

Olympic Highlights



IOC President Thomas Bach took part in the United Nations General Assembly High Level Summit for Refugees and Migrants held at the UN headquarters in New York (USA). During this Summit, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon thanked the IOC for the Refugee Olympic Team, which took part in the Olympic Games Rio 2016. The participation of the Refugee Olympic Team sent a strong message of solidarity and hope to the millions of refugees around the world. In his speech (full text here), the IOC President gave further details of how the IOC will continue to support the members of the Refugee Olympic Team and develop more wide-reaching plans to use sport to help refugees and migrants. He also announced new plans to create “safe places” for children to play sport throughout the world. The President was accompanied by IOC Members Mario Pescante, who is also the IOC’s Permanent Observer to the UN, Gerardo Werthein, Lawrence F. Probst and Luis Moreno. The President also attended the opening of the General Debate of the 71st UN General Assembly Session. Read the complete press release here.

IOC / Greg Martin

Also present in New York were athletes Yusra Mardini and Yiech Pur Biel, members of the Refugee Olympic Team, who took part in a number of meetings and activities. Yusra has been awarded the ‘Girl Award’ of the first annual Global Goals Awards in recognition of her laudable work in creating progress for girls. The Global Goal Awards are part of ongoing efforts to rally support for the 2030 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Within the framework of the UN General Assembly, the President was invited by the President of the United States, Barack Obama, to the Leaders’ Summit, in which Yusra Mardini spoke. Prior to the meeting, the two leaders held talks, during which President Obama congratulated President Bach on the success of the Olympic Games Rio 2016 and commended the IOC on the wonderful initiative of the Refugee Olympic Team. For his part, President Bach congratulated the US President on the great success of the US Olympic team.

In New York, President Bach had a meeting with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. Their discussions covered the great success of the Refugee Olympic Team as well as cooperation in relation to projects to bring sport to refugee camps around the globe. They also discussed further initiatives between the two organisations, the role of sport in society and the current situation in the world.

The IOC President also met the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi. They talked about cooperation between their organisations, which has been ongoing for more than 20 years. The joint IOC/UNHCR Giving is Winning programme, implemented during the Olympic Games Rio 2016, was also discussed.

The IOC President met King Felipe VI of Spain and the Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim Al-Thani, also an IOC Member, with whom he discussed the role of sport in society and other issues of mutual interest. He also held talks with the President of Argentina, Mauricio Macri. The great progress in preparations for the Youth Olympic Games Buenos Aires 2018 were discussed.

President Bach met a number of other heads of state and government, including the President of Bosnia and Herzegovina; the President of Brazil; the President of Bulgaria; the President of Burkina Faso; the President of Cameroon; the President of the Czech Republic; the President of the Democratic Republic of Timor Leste; the President of Finland; the President of the French Republic; the President of Guyana; the President of Libya; the President of the Marshall Islands; the President of Nauru; the President of Palau; the President of Peru; the President of the Swiss Confederation; the President of Ukraine; the Vice President of Kenya; the US Secretary of State; the Prime Minister of Australia; the Prime Minister of Norway; the Prime Minister of Sweden; the Prime Minister of Thailand; the German Minister of Foreign Affairs; the Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affair; as well as the Secretary General of the Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie.

With IOC Honour Member Henry Kissinger, the President discussed the many issues currently facing the world.

IOC / Greg Martin

With the UN Secretary-General, the IOC President also took part in the unveiling of a plaque for the future UN Staff Recreation Centre. The new facilities are being provided by the IOC to the staff of the UN and are symbolic of the great and close cooperation between the two organisations. During the ceremony, the UN Secretary-General thanked the IOC for its vision and the work it has undertaken with refugees, including the Refugee Olympic Team at the Olympic Games Rio 2016.


Representatives of the IOC, the Association of Summer Olympic International Federations (ASOIF) and the Association of National Olympic Committees of Africa (ANOCA) met on 16 September at the IOC headquarters in Lausanne with a delegation from the National Olympic Committee of Kenya (NOCK), headed by IOC Honorary Member Kipchoge Keino, and a delegation from the Ministry of Sports, headed by Hassan Wario Arero, to review the current issues affecting the NOCK and find appropriate solutions in accordance with the principles and rules that govern the Olympic Movement. The meeting was extremely constructive and, through fruitful and open dialogue, allowed for all parties to better understand the situation and clarify any misunderstanding which may have caused the current issues. Read the complete press release here.

In order to provide a level playing field for all clean athletes at the Olympic Games Rio 2016, the IOC put special measures in place, including targeted pre-tests and the re-analysis of stored samples from the Olympic Games Beijing 2008 and London 2012, following an intelligence-gathering process that started in August 2015. As a result of this process, the IOC announced on 13 September that four athletes had been disqualified from the Olympic Games Beijing 2008 and London 2012. Read the complete press release here.



The Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) and the Association Internationale des Groupes Cyclistes Professionels (AIGCP) have agreed on a number of adjustments to the 2016 UCI Road World Championships Men's Team Time Trial format, ensuring that a maximum of UCI WorldTeams will take part in the event to be held in just a few weeks in Doha (Qatar). Full details on

The International Swimming Federation (FINA) has announced that 175 national federations have entered a total of around 1000 athletes for the FINA World Swimming Championships (25m), which will take place in Windsor, Canada, from 6 to 11 December 2016. The 4th FINA World Aquatics Convention will also take place in Windsor, from 3 to 5 December. More info on


The International Skating Union (ISU) has published a series of “official hashtags” for forthcoming competitions including world championships, continental championships and Grands Prix. The ISU has also launched a new social media page at


The International Surfing Association (ISA) has announced that Biarritz (France) will host the 2017 ISA World Surfing Games, bringing the competition to Europe for the first time since 2008 when it was held in Costa da Caparica, Portugal. More info on


Colombian NOC

The Colombian NOC welcomed the 70th Olympic conference organised by its National Olympic Academy. Delegates included NOC President Baltazar Medina, first vice-president and Chef de Mission of the Colombian delegation to the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, Ciro Solano, and the President of the Olympic Academy, Germán Anzola Montero. Most of the participants were students of physical education at the University of Applied and Environmental Science, the Free University of Santo Tomás University, representatives of national sports federations and the National Institute of Sport and Leisure. Among the subjects discussed were Colombia’s role in world sport and the country’s placing on the Olympic Games medals table. More info on

From 16 to 26 September the El Salvador Rowing Federation hosted an international training camp for athletes and a level 1 coaching course. The activities, hosted by the NOC of El Salvador, were conducted with the support of the World Rowing Federation (FISA) and Olympic Solidarity. Participants came from the Bahamas, Colombia, Costa Rica, Barbados, Dominican Republic, Jamaica, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Puerto Rico, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, as well as the host country El Salvador. More info on

NOC of Hong Kong, China

As part of the IOC’s Athlete Career Programme (ACP), the President of the NOC of Hong Kong, China, IOC Member Timothy Tsun Ting Fok (right on photo), and Patrick Glennon (left), Adecco senior vice president for the ACP, signed a Support Services Participation Agreement. The collaboration between the IOC ACP, Adecco Hong Kong and the NOC will lead to a new stage of the local athletes’ career programme in the next four years. The first joint project carried out as part of the Hong Kong Athletes Career Education Programme (HKACEP), under the auspices of the NOC and MTR Corporation Ltd., was awarded the “Silver Award”, “Special Award – Citation for Community Contribution” and “Best President Award” by the Hong Kong Management Association. The aim of the “From Medals to Business – Life Skills Training Programme” is to support retired athletes by offering skills transfer and retraining to help them transition into mainstream work. More than 500 athletes from 34 sports have benefited from the programme since 2013. More info on

Lithuanian NOC

For the first time, the awards ceremony for the 2015-2016 Lithuanian schools games and the opening ceremony for the 2016-2017 event took place at the Presidential Palace. The President of Lithuania, Dalia Grybauskaite, and the President of the Lithuanian NOC, Olympic champion Daina Gudzineviciute, handed out prizes to the 21 schools with the best results (see photo above). Olympians Ricardas Nekriosius, Brigita Virbalyte-Dimsiene and Neringa Aidietyte were present. The schools games, organised by the NOC in association with the Ministry of Education and Science, are Lithuania’s biggest sports event, bringing together more than 200,000 participants in 24 sports. The NOC President also welcomed to Vilnius a delegation from the French NOC participating in the Erasmus “Sports 4 Everyone” project. The aim of this project is to encourage NOCs to share best practices for promoting mass sport, and to take part in the European Week of Sport. More info on .

NOC of the Czech Republic

The NOC of the Czech Republic informs us that a national memorial ceremony took place for the champion gymnast Věra Čáslavská, a national hero and winner of 11 Olympic medals, who died on 30 August. The ceremony took place on 12 September in Prague’s National Theatre, in the presence of government officials including the Prime Minister, speakers of both houses of parliament, representatives of the diplomatic corps and many Olympic athletes. The ceremony, which was broadcast live on Czech television, featured a ballet, filmed sequences and tributes by friends and family. Condolences books were also made available for the public to sign at the National Theatre (see photo above). More info on


Getty Images

On 18 September at the Maracanã Stadium, the Paralympic Games Rio 2016 came to an end. During his speech, the President of the International Paralympic Committee (IPC), IOC Member Philip Craven (photo), paid tribute to all the Paralympians for their exceptional performances. He also praised the people of Rio and Brazil to whom the Paralympic Order has been awarded. More info on Furthermore, the IPC has welcomed a commitment by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) to support the legacy of the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games. The IPC and the Agitos Foundation, the development arm of the IPC, will work with other stakeholders in the Americas to invest nearly EUR 600,000 (USD 650,000) given by the IDB to improve access to Para sport, provide sustainable pathways to more than 300 people with an impairment living in underserved communities, raise awareness of the Paralympic Movement and contribute to a more inclusive society in the Americas region. The countries that will benefit from this investment are Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Nicaragua, El Salvador and Brazil, host of the 2016 Paralympics, which will act as mentor.

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) recently held its Executive Committee meeting in Lausanne. The Committee tabled topics ranging from the conclusions of WADA’s multi-stakeholder Think Tank held on 20 September and the recent cyber-attacks on the Agency, to the standard annual approvals of the List of Prohibited Substances and Methods (Prohibited List) and Research Projects. Complete press release here.

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