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Olympic Highlights

IOC / Greg Martin
03 Oct 2016
Olympic News



IOC President Thomas Bach recently visited PyeongChang with just over 500 days before the opening of the 2018 Olympic Winter Games. The President was able to witness in person the progress that had been made on a number of sites in the mountain cluster, including the sliding centre and the International Broadcast Centre. He also visited the construction site of the Olympic Village, where all 600 apartments have already been sold to the public. Thomas Bach met organising committee staff who had recently moved to their new headquarters in PyeongChang. He then went on to Gangneung to visit venues where the ice sports competitions will be held.

IOC / Greg Martin

During his visit, the President also met the Sports Ministers of Korea, Japan and China, who have signed a cooperation agreement ahead of the three Olympic Summer and Winter Games coming up consecutively in Asia in the next six years. The President was accompanied by the Chair of the Coordination Commission for the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018, IOC Executive Board Member Gunilla Lindberg. Complete press release here.

IOC / Greg Martin

After PyeongChang, President Thomas Bach was in Da Nang (Vietnam) for the 35th General Assembly of the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA), presided over by IOC Member Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah, who is also President of the Association of National Olympic Committees (ANOC). The IOC President congratulated the Asian NOCs on their impressive performance at the Olympic Games Rio 2016. Among the IOC Members present were ANOC Secretary General Gunilla Lindberg, who gave a presentation on ANOC’s activities, and IOC Vice-President John Coates.

Earlier the IOC President, accompanied by Sheikh Al-Sabah and John Coates, met the Vietnamese Prime Minister, Nguyên Xuân Phuc, ahead of the opening of the Asian Beach Games being held in the Vietnamese coastal city. The President went to watch some of the Beach Games events, including two combat sports, ju-jitsu and muaythai (Thai boxing).

IOC / Greg Martin

A meeting with the Vietnamese NOC and a visit to a martial arts school were also on the programme. Complete press release here.

IOC / Christophe Moratal

On his return to Lausanne the President joined members of the Refugee Olympic Team (ROT) at the United Nations in Geneva. Sitting alongside Tegla Loroupe, Kenyan athlete who took part at three Olympic Games and Chef de Mission of the ROT, and 800m runner Rose Lokonyen, he participated in a meeting that took place during the UN Human Rights Council. The President was accompanied by the IOC Honorary President Jacques Rogge, who is the Special Envoy of the UN Secretary-General for Youth Refugees and Sport. The side event was organised by the Permanent Mission of Greece to the United Nations Office in Geneva with the IOC and looked at “sport and integration” and “the promotion of human rights for refugees and migrants”. The attendees included Filippo Grandi, UN High Commissioner for Refugees; Kelly Clements, UN Deputy High Commissioner for Refugees; Kate Gilmore, UN Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights; and Laura Thomson, Deputy Director General of the International Organisation for Migration. Complete press release here.

IOC / Bertrand Rey

During a meeting with a delegation from the Slovakian NOC, led by its President, Frantisek Chmelar, the IOC President congratulated the NOC on the achievements of the Slovak athletes at the Olympic Games Rio 2016 as well as its work to develop and promote sport in the country. The delegation included the oldest living Olympic champion in Slovakia, Ján Zachara, (gold medal in boxing in Helsinki 1952) to whom the President paid tribute.

In his meeting with the President of the International Fencing Federation, Alisher Usmanov, the IOC President discussed the success of the Olympic Games Rio 2016 and the excellent organisation of the Olympic fencing tournament.

IOC / Christophe Moratal

The President welcomed a delegation from NBC led by Gary Zenkel, President of NBC Olympics and President of Operations and Strategy for NBC Sports Group. They talked about the success of the coverage of the Olympic Games Rio 2016 and the IOC’s longstanding working relationship with NBC. NBC described the Olympic Games Rio 2016 as ‘the most consumed Olympic Games ever when all media platforms are considered’.

The Executive Board of the Olympic Foundation for Culture and Heritage held a meeting this week with the participation of the IOC President and the Honorary President, Jacques Rogge.

A meeting took place with the newly-elected President of Panathlon International, Pierre Zappelli, to explore opportunities for the two institutions to work on joint projects to promote sport and the Olympic values.

President Thomas Bach also attended the 10th anniversary celebrations of the Maison du Sport International (MSI) along with the State Councillor of the Canton de Vaud, Philippe Leuba, the Deputy Mayor of Lausanne in charge of sports, Oscar Tosato, and many representatives of the International Federations and sports associations and private organisations based at the MSI.

IOC / Greg Martin

The IOC President visited Paris, Candidate City for the Olympic Games 2024. At the National Institute of Sport, Expertise and Performance (INSEP), he met a number of athletes and attended the closing session of the Athletes’ Forum organised by the French NOC. He also toured a number of venues in the heart of the city that form a key part of the Paris 2024 proposals, including the Cité du Cinema in Saint-Denis that would serve as part of the Athletes’ Village. After being welcomed by the President of the French Republic François Hollande at the Élysée Palace, President Bach finished his visit to Paris at a football match between refugees and French athletes organised by the Mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo. He was accompanied throughout the visit by the co-Presidents of the Paris 2024 Committee, Bernard Lapasset and IOC Member Tony Estanguet, as well as by IOC Member Guy Drut and French NOC President Denis Masseglia. Complete press release here.



Kirsty Coventry has been elected Vice President of the International Surfing Association (ISA) during the ISA General Assembly in Azores (Portugal).


From 19 to 21 September, under the aegis of the IOC and the Zambian NOC, a forum aimed at training women working in Africa’s NOCs and National Federations to excel as leaders in sport was held in the Zambian capital, Lusaka, with 65 participants from 42 countries taking part (see photo above). This is the third time that a forum of this kind, combined with a training course, has been organised in Africa for women in sports leadership. The forum, which was opened by Zambian Vice-President Mrs Inonge Mutukwa Wina, was part of the IOC’s ongoing effort to enhance the presence of women in decision-making bodies within the Olympic Movement. The participants also had an opportunity to visit the Olympic Youth Development Centre, which was opened in Lusaka in 2010. A similar forum for women in the Americas will take place from 28 to 30 November this year in Lima, Peru. Complete press release here.

This week the IOC announced that three athletes have been sanctioned by IOC Disciplinary Commissions for contravening the Rio 2016 Rules on the Prevention of the Manipulation of Competitions. As there was no intent to manipulate any event, all three athletes have been issued severe reprimands and obliged to follow and contribute to various integrity educational programmes. Complete press release here.



FIFA has awarded its inaugural Diversity Award to the Indian NGO Slum Soccer. The award was created by the International Federation of Football Associations (FIFA) to recognise outstanding organisations, group initiatives and football personalities that are standing up for diversity and inspire unity, solidarity and equality among all people. Slum Soccer uses football to connect individuals, teach life skills and work towards improving the living conditions of women and marginalised populations in Indian society. More info on


The development of hockey in Nigeria recently received a significant boost thanks to a special initiative by the International Hockey Federation (FIH) as part of Olympic Solidarity’s sports development assistance programme (see photo above). The first of the FIH-led programmes took place at the end of August, in the form of a one-week intensive training course for hockey coaches to help develop the sport from the grassroots upwards. The course was led by experienced coach Nadeem Bhatti of Pakistan, who has also been given the responsibility of creating a national coaching structure, a move that will significantly raise the standard of coaching throughout Nigeria and will unquestionably benefit the development of the sport in the region for many years to come. More info on

The International Swimming Federation (FINA) recently hosted an information meeting in Lausanne for cities bidding to host the 2022 and 2024 World Swimming Championships (25 m). In 2022 and 2024 the championships will be held in conjunction with the FINA World Aquatics Convention; the 2024 event will also include the FINA World Sports Medicine Congress. The National Federations/cities of Chinese Taipei, Germany, Hungary (Budapest), Russia (Kazan) and Switzerland took part in the meeting. The cities will now have to confirm their formal intention to bid, before making a final presentation to the FINA Bureau in July 2017, on the occasion of the FINA World Championships in Budapest, where the host cities will be announced. The next two 25 m World Championships will take place in Hangzhou (China) in 2018 and Abu Dhabi (United Arab Emirates) in 2020. More info on

The International Modern Pentathlon Union (UIPM) has launched its new website (, which features sports results, news, athlete profiles and rankings as well as links to the UIPM’s social media platforms and other websites. These include UIPM TV, which offers live broadcasts and video highlights, and the brand new UIPM Shop, an online retailer with a range of clothing and merchandise for modern pentathlon.

World Rugby has appointed its first General Manager for Women’s Rugby. Katie Sadleir, who represented New Zealand at the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles and won a medal at the 1986 Commonwealth Games in synchronised swimming, will take up the new role on 1 November. She has a wealth of experience in sports and sports governance. She was involved in transforming New Zealand’s High Performance System, and has held a number of sports management positions in New Zealand. She also served on the New Zealand Olympic Athletes’ Commission, and was a board member of the New Zealand Swimming Federation. For more info visit

On 26 September the President of the International Tennis Federation (ITF), David Haggerty, announced the appointment of Kelly Fairweather as Chief Operating Officer from 1 January 2017. Mr Fairweather is currently Chief Executive Officer of the International Hockey Federation, and previously served as director of the European office of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), CEO of the Sports Performance Institute of Stellenbosch University (South Africa) and IOC Sports Director. More info on

The Annual Conference of World Sailing will take place from 5 to 13 November in Barcelona, Spain, on the theme “Our Sustainable Future”. Up to 700 delegates will be in attendance, including representatives of international class associations, member national authorities, committee members, leading sailors, event organisers, boat manufacturers and observers. This year, three new forums have been introduced, on sustainability, commercial strategy for the sport and Para World Sailing. More info on


The coming season of the World Curling Federation (WCF) Olympic Celebration Tour will be funded once again by the Foundation for Global Sports Development (GSD). The tour is designed to generate interest in curling in the run-up to the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018, and to capitalise on the interest from Sochi 2014. The OCT comprises a series of instructional clinics held over two days, for new and experienced curlers alike. The clinics are conducted by a WCF instructor and at least one curling Olympian. In the past, the tour has visited the USA, Slovenia, New Zealand, Japan, Denmark and Hungary. More info on

The 14th edition of the International Ski Federation (FIS) Youth and Children’s Seminar on the theme “Ski Club Development” took place recently in Zurich (Switzerland). More than 80 participants from 67 nations attended the annual gathering, which provided them with best practices for their work with ski clubs to recruit young athletes and provide opportunities for them to progress. More info on


The World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) has announced a joint project with the Guatemalan Olympic Committee, the Guatemalan Baseball Federation, the Guatemala Civil Committee for the Blind and Deaf and the Italian Association of Baseball for the Blind, which aims to introduce baseball to visually impaired athletes in Guatemala. A three-day seminar was recently organised to provide instruction on the rules and technical aspects of “Blind Baseball” competitions. Twenty-five young male and female athletes with visual impairments between the ages of 12 and 25, as well as coaches and umpires, took part in the event. More info on


Wander Roberto / Exemplus / COB

One month after the end of the Olympic Games Rio 2016, the Brazilian NOC has turned its attention to the Youth School Games. From 20 to 29 September the city of João Pessoa in Paraiba State welcomed more than 3,850 children aged between 12 and 14, competing in 13 sports (see photo above). The aim of this event, which has been organised by the COB since 2005, is to contribute to the social inclusion of young people through sport and to identify athletes for high performance. In addition to the competitions, the young athletes had access to a series of educational and cultural events, with the goal of introducing the Olympic values to young people from across the entire country. The event was also attended by Olympic athlete ambassadors. Each year more than two million young people are involved in state selection events organised by cities and regional authorities, representing 40,000 schools in nearly 4,000 cities in Brazil. The next phase, for students between the ages of 15 and 17, takes place in November, also in João Pessoa. More info on

The 6th International Sports Science Congress hosted by the Colombian NOC will take place from 20 to 22 October at the National School of Sport in Cali. The conference will focus on sharing experience in the domain of sport, and identifying international trends in the development of the applied sciences and the social sciences connected with high-level sport. The Congress is intended for representatives of national sports federations, municipal and regional institutes, and sports science professionals throughout the country. More info on

For the third time, the NOC of El Salvador donated blankets from the Salvadorean Olympic team to newborn babies at the María Isabel Rodríguez National Women’s Hospital in San Salvador, to welcome the future generation of athletes and to promote the Olympic values from the first moments of life. NOC Vice-President Manuel Arrieta, project coordinator Ana Patricia Ruiz and Executive Director Rodrigo Meléndez were present at the event. More info on

Spanish NOC

A delegation from the Spanish team that participated in the Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games was received by King Felipe VI at the Royal Palace of El Pardo in Madrid (see photo above). The delegation, led by Spanish NOC President Alejandro Blanco and Secretary General Víctor Sánchez, included the IOC Members in Spain, Juan Antonio Samaranch, Marisol Casado and José Perurena, the NOC’s Rio 2016 technical team, and many of the athletes who won medals at the 2016 Games. Furthermore, athletes involved in a joint project by the Spanish NOC and the Catholic University of San Antonio de Murcia (UCAM) who won medals or diplomas at the Games were also honoured in a ceremony. The event at the NOC headquarters was attended by NOC President Alejandro Blanco and UCAM President José Luis Mendoza. More info on

Hellenic NOC

A celebration of the Greek athletes who took part in the Olympic Games Rio 2016 took place in Athens at the Zappeion Conference Hall. The President of Greece, Prokopios Pavlopoulos, was present at the ceremony, which was broadcast live on national television. In his speech, the President of the Hellenic Olympic Committee, Spyros Capralos (see photo above) summed up the work of the NOC and presented his proposals for the period up to the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo. Info on

At a ceremony organised in Auckland in September the New Zealand Olympic Committee launched the Women in Sport Leadership Academy. This new initiative supports New Zealand’s female Olympians to make a positive transition from sports performance to sports leadership, and connect with an international network of women leaders in sport. More info on

Venezuelan NOC

The Venezuelan NOC has announced the creation of a national commission for baseball coaches by the Venezuelan Baseball Federation (see photo above. The commission, whose purpose is to train baseball coaches nationwide, is to be chaired by Ángel Delgado, with the support of Carlos Torres, who trained the bronze-medal-winning women’s team at the 2015 Pan-American Games and the 2016 World Championships.



PyeongChang 2018

On 27 September pop stars, opera singers and Olympians celebrated the 500-day countdown to the opening of the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018 at events in Seoul and Gangwon province. In a video message to participants the IOC President said: “Thanks to the strong support of the Korean people and authorities, PyeongChang is on course to deliver truly cutting-edge Olympic Winter Games.” The PyeongChang 2018 Coordination Commission, chaired by IOC Executive Board Member Gunilla Lindberg, will visit PyeongChang shortly to help support the organising committee’s work. Complete press release here.


On 29 September, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) publishes the 2017 List of Prohibited Substances and Methods; along with, the 2017 Summary of Major Modifications and Explanatory Notes. The List - which designates what substances and methods are prohibited both in- and out-of-competition, and which substances are banned in particular sports - was approved by the Executive Committee on 21 September and comes into force on 1 January 2017. Complete press release here on

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