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IOC / Arnaud Meylan
23 Dec 2016
IOC News

Olympic Highlights



The IOC President Thomas Bach has welcomed the United Nations Resolution on Sport as a Means to Promote Education, Health, Development and Peace: “The IOC welcomes the resolution and thanks the United Nations and all its Member States for the confidence in the power of sport to bring about social change. The resolution is another expression of the close cooperation between the IOC and the UN, based on our shared values of contributing to a better and more peaceful world through sport.” With this Resolution, the UN reiterated its recognition of the independence and autonomy of the IOC. Adopted by the 71st Session of the UN General Assembly, the Resolution followed up on the one initially adopted in 2014. Obtaining a consensus from all the Member States, which transcended political divisions to uphold the values of sport, the Resolution reiterates the main areas in which sport contributes to social development and peace. It also underlines the challenges faced by the world of sport and governments, and to which the IOC is determined to respond. Read the full press release here.

As part of the implementation of Olympic Agenda 2020 (Recommendation 1), the IOC President met representatives of the Sport and Rights Alliance (SRA), which includes Transparency International Germany, UNI World Athletes, Terre des Hommes, the International Trade Union Confederation, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch. The members of SRA were asked for their input into the new text for the 2024 Host City Contract, which now includes a new section designed to strengthen provisions protecting human rights and countering fraud and corruption related to the organisation of the Olympic Games.

Following its global partnership to provide innovative and sustainable mobility solutions for the Olympic Movement in line with Olympic Agenda 2020, Toyota, the newest Worldwide TOP Partner, delivered hybrid cars for the IOC. The vehicles use Toyota’s latest hybrid technology, combining the benefits of petrol engines and electric motors to provide sustainable mobility solutions. IOC President Thomas Bach received the cars from Philippe Rhomberg, CEO of Toyota Switzerland AG, at the IOC’s Headquarters in Lausanne. For the IOC President, “this is another step in this exciting partnership, and I am particularly delighted about the new hybrid cars, which is another clear demonstration of the IOC’s commitment towards sustainability.” Read the full press release here

The President had a meeting with International Fencing Federation President Alisher Usmanov, and spoke with him about the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 and the Olympic Channel.

With Morinari Watanabe, the newly elected President of the International Gymnastics Federation (FIG), who will take office next January, the President discussed relations between the two organisations, the recent opening of the FIG’s new headquarters in Lausanne and the upcoming Olympic Games Tokyo 2020.

President Thomas Bach met with Jan Dijkema, who was elected President of the International Skating Union (ISU) in June 2016. They discussed preparations for the skating events at the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018 and Beijing 2022 as well as the McLaren report.

Sabatino Aracu, the President of the Fédération Internationale de Roller Sports (FIRS), spoke to the IOC President about the addition of skateboarding to the Olympic programme for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, following the approval of its inclusion at the 129th IOC Session in Rio in August.

With Francesco Ricci Bitti, President of the Association of Summer Olympic International Federations (ASOIF), the discussions were about the excellent cooperation with ASOIF, the reforms of the World Anti-Doping Agency, the preparations for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 as well as the question of good governance in the IFs.

A meeting was held with Raffaele Chiulli, the President of the Association of IOC-Recognised International Sports Federations (ARISF) with whom the excellent cooperation with ARISF and the Olympic programme were highlighted.

At a meeting with Isidoros Kouvelos, the President of the International Olympic Academy (IOA), the President underscored the key role played by sport in education and the cooperation between the IOC and the IOA in this area.

At their meeting, President Bach and IOC Executive Board Member Ching-Kuo Wu, also President of the International Boxing Federation (AIBA), discussed various subjects including good governance, the fight against doping and the Olympic Games Rio 2016.

With IOC Member Mario Pescante, the President discussed the United Nations (UN) Resolution on Sport as a Means to Promote Education, Health, Development and Peace, adopted by the 71st Session of the UN General Assembly. Mr Pescante, who is also the IOC’s Permanent Observer at the UN, represented the IOC at the General Assembly.

Attending a farewell reception held in honour of Wilfried Lemke, the UN Special Adviser to the Secretary-General on Sport for Development and Peace, President Bach thanked Mr Lemke for the important role he has played and the efforts he has invested in making sport an integral part of the work carried out by the United Nations in a large number of areas. Held in Geneva (Switzerland), the reception was organised by Ambassador Hans-Joachim Daerr, Germany’s Permanent Representative to the Office of the United Nations and to Other International Organisations in Geneva.

The President also met Dennis Jönsson, the President and CEO of Tetra Pak, whose head office is situated next to the IOC’s in Pully. The two leaders discussed the UN’s Post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which both their organisations support.


On 15 December, the IOC, the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) and NBCUniversal (NBCU) announced that they have entered into a comprehensive Olympic Channel content and distribution partnership in the United States. In the second half of 2017, the partnership will launch a new U.S. television network under the “Olympic Channel: Home of Team USA” brand. The network will offer fans Olympic-sport programming from around the world 365 days a year, with content focusing on their favourite American athletes and teams. Read the news: here.

Broadcast on the Olympic Channel, Camps to Champs is an inspirational and moving new series in which Olympic athletes meet refugees and displaced people and show viewers how sport can change lives for the good. Each of the four episodes that make up the series is filmed in a different refugee camp and narrated by an Olympic athlete, who explains the impact of outreach programmes and grassroots sports activities. The four-episode docu-series is available exclusively on the Olympic Channel digital platform. Read the news here.


IOC / Philippe Woods

It was with great pleasure that The Olympic Museum took receipt of South African swimmer Cameron van der Burgh’s kit (pictured). Van der Burgh won Olympic gold in the 100m breaststroke at London 2012 and silver in the same event in Rio four years later; and his kit now forms part of the Museum’s collections.

international sports fedErations

summer ifs


The Badminton World Federation (BWF) has revealed the names of its first Integrity Ambassadors, whose job it will be to promote clean, fair and honourable sport. The five ambassadors in question are all leading players: Christinna Pedersen and Viktor Axelsen of Denmark, India’s Saina Nehwal – an IOC Athletes’ Commission member – and Japanese women’s double pair Misaki Matsutomo and Ayaka Takahashi (all pictured above). The quintet were presented to the media by BWF Deputy President Gustavo Salazar Delgado on the eve of the World Superseries Finals in Dubai (UAE). The launch of the Integrity Ambassadors’ campaign is the latest step in the BWF’s integrity programme, i am badminton, which was launched last season. The five ambassadors will represent and promote the campaign’s values, serving as role models for the badminton world on and off the court. More ambassadors will be announced in 2017. Read the news here.


At its extraordinary meeting on 19 December in Montreux (Switzerland), the AIBA Executive Committee, chaired by Ching-Kuo Wu, unanimously agreed upon technical and AOB (AIBA Open Boxing) rules, financial updates and the calendar for the new Olympic cycle to Tokyo 2020 (see photo above). The meeting was the first step on the road to Tokyo 2020, and the decisions approved will be adopted by the Continental Championships held between June and July next year and the 2017 Men’s World Championships in Hamburg (Germany). The coming 12 months will also see the continuation of the HeadsUp initiative and a broad education programme of training and workshops for referees, judges and coaches, as well as the 2017 Year of Africa. Read the full press release here.

The International Equestrian Federation (FEI) was named International Sports Federation of the Year for 2016 at the International Sports Convention (ISC) in Geneva on 8 December. Recognising the work carried out by the FEI, particularly the integrity and quality of the governance it provides, the award rounded off a successful year for the body, which was praised for the initiatives forming part of its “#TwoHearts: Billy to Rio” Olympic campaign, and the video Hoofloose. Info at:

The International Judo Federation (IJF) has just published a series of new regulations that will be applied during the next Olympic cycle. The goal is to simplify and promote the rules of judo and make them easier to understand. A final document will be prepared and circulated before the end of the year. Read the news here.

The International Tennis Federation (ITF) has announced that Great Britain’s Andy Murray and Germany’s Angelique Kerber are the 2016 ITF World Champions, a first for both players. Murray won nine titles in 2016, among them the men’s singles title at the Olympic Games Rio 2016, while Kerber lifted two Grand Slams and won silver in the women’s singles at the Rio Games. Click here for the winners in the other categories: doubles, wheelchair and juniors (men’s and women’s). The winners will receive their awards at the 2017 ITF World Champions Dinner on Tuesday 6 June, in Paris, during the French Open.

Back in 1999, the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) launched a development programme called Dream Building, the aim of which was to make the world a better place through table tennis. Click on this video link to find out more about a programme that has had a positive impact on the lives of many people, helping communities deal with the effects of war, poverty and natural disaster through education and community engagement, and using table tennis as a vehicle for promoting peace and other values. Info at:

The International Triathlon Union (ITU) has named Edmonton as the host city for the ITU World Championships Grand Final in 2020. This will be the third time that Canada has hosted the World Championships, with Edmonton having organised them in 2001 and 2014. The 2017 World Championships will be held in Rotterdam (NED), with Gold Coast (AUS) and Lausanne (SUI) respectively hosting the 2018 and 2019 editions. Read the news: here.

winter ifs

Following its decision to move its 2017 World Championships from Sochi (RUS), the International Bobsleigh and Skeleton Federation (IBSF) selected the German resort Königssee as the new host of the competition which will be held from 13 to 26 February. Read the news here.

On 16 December, the World Curling Federation (WCF) and the Chinese Curling Association signed an MoU that will see the two organisations work together in developing the sport in the People’s Republic of China and across the world. Their partnership will play an important role in preparations for the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games Beijing 2022. Read the news here. The WCF has also unveiled new trophies for its World Men’s and Women’s Curling Championships. The trophies will be contested for the first time at the World Men’s Curling Championship 2017 in Edmonton (CAN) from 1 to 9 April and at the World Women’s Curling Championship 2017 in Beijing from 18 to 26 March 2017. Read the news here.

As part of World Snow Day 2017, the International Ski Federation (FIS) has released a promotional trailer that will be shown during FIS World Cup broadcasts. World Snow Day is the second phase of the FIS’s Bring Children to the Snow campaign. The first phase, entitled SnowKidz, was launched in 2009 with the aim of encouraging the FIS’s national member associations to promote snow sports in their respective countries. Watch the trailer: here. The trailer is available in six languages: English, French, German, Italian, Spanish and Chinese. Info at:

nationaL olympiC COMMITTEes

NOC of Albania

The NOC of Albania organised a ceremony to mark the agreement between the Albanian Skiing Federation (ASF) and three Olympic scholarship-holders, Erjon Tola, Suela Mëhilli and Marsel Biçoku (see photo above). For the NOC President, Viron Bezhani, this high-level collaboration with the ASF will follow the preparation for the qualification cycle of these athletes for the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018. Over the years, the participating team has grown from one at the Olympic Winter Games Turin 2006 and Vancouver 2010 to two in Sochi 2014. For PyeongChang 2018, the ASF is expecting three or more athletes to qualify. The programme will be operational from 1 November 2016 to 28 February 2018. More info on

Argentinean NOC

The Argentinean NOC has held its traditional awards ceremony, paying tribute to individuals and institutions for their engagement and work for sport and the principles of the Olympic Movement. During the ceremony, NOC President and IOC Member Gerardo Werthein presented the “Women and Sport” award to Alicia Masoni de Morea, in recognition of her contribution to sport (photo above). She holds numerous positions, being NOC First Vice-President and a member of the IOC’s Culture and Olympic Heritage Commission, the ANOC International Relations Commission, the WADA Education Committee and the International Tennis Federation’s Olympic Committee. The prizes for the 34th edition of the national drawing and literature contest were also presented. This contest is aimed at promoting the Olympic values among school pupils and students aged from 6 to 19. More details here.

Cyprus NOC

After being awarded an Olympic Solidarity grant, Special Olympics Cyprus joined forces with the Cyprus National Olympic Committee and the Cypriot Ministry of Education and Culture in organising a Sport For All seminar entitled “Unified Sports – Inclusion Seminar” (photo above). More than 120 physical education teachers, coaches, students and volunteers attended the seminar, which sought to promote the social inclusion of people with intellectual disabilities in Cyprus. It is hoped that the teachers who took part in the seminar will now be better equipped to create unified teams in a range of sports, such as basketball, volleyball, handball and football, and thereby promote social inclusion, acceptance and respect for intellectually disabled students in schools. Info at:

Colombian NOC

Bogota provided the venue for Colombia’s Olympic Sport Gala on 12 December (photo above), with the Colombian National Olympic Committee and Coldeportes presenting the Altius Awards to 47 sportspersons representing the national federations affiliated to the NOC. NOC President Baltazar Medina conducted the gala and was joined by his Executive Board. Also in attendance were Coldeportes CEO Clara Luz Roldán, the heads of the country’s national sports federations and the Colombian Olympic Academy, representatives of the NOC’s leading sponsors and a number of journalists. Seven of Colombia’s eight medallists at the Olympic Games Rio 2016 were also present. Read the news here. In other news, Caterine Ibargüen, who won gold in the women’s triple jump at the Olympic Games Rio 2016, was voted Athlete of the Year by the newspaper El Espectador, her fourth such award of the year. Read the news here.

El Salvador Olympic Committee

Organised by the El Salvador Olympic Committee (COES), with the support of the IOC, the latest workshop in the national athlete career monitoring programme was held at the Corinto Club on Lake Ilopango. The opening of the event was attended by COES President Eduardo Palomo; Mónica del Real, a member of the Mexican NOC’s Athletes’ Commission: and Carlos Santiago, the Chairman of the Puerto Rican NOC’s Athletes’ Commission. Taking part in the workshop were nearly 15 athletes from a number of sports federations and the El Salvador University Sports Association (ADUSAL) (photo above). Info at:

Spanish NOC

The Spanish National Olympic Committee (COE) marked the end of the Olympic year by organising its 11th Annual Gala, which paid a warm tribute to the country’s medallists at the Olympic Games Rio 2016 (photo above). The event was attended by a number of dignitaries, among them Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy; the Minister for Education, Culture and Sport, Iñigo Méndez de Vigo; COE President Alejandro Blanco; National Sports Council President José Ramón Lete; IOC Members José Perurena and Marisol Casado; and the presidents of Spain’s national federations. Info at:

Japanese Olympic Committee

The Japanese Olympic Committee (JOC) has completed the 6th year of JOC International Sports Leader Academy (JISLA) with the graduation ceremony held on 8 December at JOC National Training Centre (see photo above). 51 people from 31 National Sports Federations and other sports organizations took part this year in the course. 32 people have completed the course while the others continue for the next year. The Academy aims to teach to the participants, international communication skills and knowledge in order to be successful in international sports field. This year the lecturers came from International Federations, JOC, Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee to share their experience with all the participants. More info on

Nepal Olympic Committee

Jointly organised by the Nepalese government and a number of non-governmental stakeholders, the 2nd Sports Congress was held in Kathmandu on 16 and 17 December (photo above). Following a programme put together and developed by the Nepal Olympic Committee, the event sought to create a sports development synergy with the Olympic Movement, with the participation and support of the Nepalese government. Opened by NOC President Jeevan Ram Shrestha, the Congress ended with its more than 150 participants adopting a declaration.

NOC of Portugal

The NOC of Portugal organised its “Celebração Olímpica” annual gala to present the awards for the best in sport in 2016 (see photo above). Telma Monteiro (bronze medal in judo in Rio 2016) and Fernando Pimenta (European champion in canoeing, sixth in Rio 2016) were awarded the Olympic Medal Trophy (Female and Male Athletes of the Year). The Merit Medal was awarded to the former Beach Volleyball duo Miguel Maia and João Brenha (fourth in Sydney 2000 and Athens 2004) for promoting Olympism in the country. The surfer Teresa Bonvalot, European Junior Champion, was awarded with the Youth Athlete of the Year Trophy. More info on

Jan Sukup

Anton Siekel was elected President of the Slovakia Olympic Committee (SOC) at its 51st elective general assembly on 26 November. The 47-year-old Siekel is the Honorary President of the Slovak Judo Federation and the President of the SOC’s Foundation. The assembly also elected new members of the SOC Executive Committee, of which IOC Member Danka Bartekova, and Matej Toth, the new Chairman of the SOC’s Athletes’ Commission, are ex officio members. For his part, two-time Olympic canoe slalom champion Michal Martikan was elected as an individual member of the SOC. Elected Honorary President of the SOC, Frantisek Chmelar joined Anton Siekel in paying a visit to IOC Honorary Member and Honorary SOC President Vladimir Cernusak on the occasion of his 95th birthday. Pictured from left to right above: Chmelar, Cernusak and Siekel. Info at

Chinese Taipei Olympic Committee

On 8 December the Chinese Taipei Olympic Committee and the Mongolian Olympic Committee signed a bilateral cooperation agreement in Taipei. The agreement was signed by the respective presidents of the two NOCs: Hong-Dow Lin and Demchigjav Zagdsuren (photo above). The two nations’ NOCs first began cooperating in 1994 and entered into their maiden bilateral cooperation agreement in 2001, which was followed by further agreements in 2003 and 2006. In renewing their ties, the two NOCs intend to send athletes to each other’s countries for training in sports in which they are strong, such as wrestling, judo, taekwondo, archery and cycling. The agreement is designed to provide a framework for the organisation of joint national-team training sessions and exchange visits between NOC officials and staff, and to also encourage cooperation in medicine and anti-doping, to name but two areas. Info at:

Togo NOC

The Togo National Olympic Committee (CNOT) organised the second Avé Track and Field Meet in the town of Kévé. Held on 8 and 9 December, the competition saw an equal number of boys and girls from 20 high schools and sixth-form colleges in the Avé prefecture take part in a number of track and field events (photo above). The events were supervised and monitored by officials from the Togolese Athletics Federation and the Red Cross. The meet gave the Federation the opportunity to identify talented young athletes and arrange for them to be monitored and receive support. The youngsters showed plenty of enthusiasm and commitment, and there are plans to expand the event to other prefectures. Read the news here.

NOC of Uruguay

In the framework of the IOC Athletes’ Career Programme, the NOC of Uruguay and Adecco Uruguay have signed a cooperation agreement. The agreement aims to address the needs of the athletes during their transition from sporting life to professional life. Adecco Uruguay will provide them with training sessions to facilitate access to employment as well as their integration into the work environment. Leading sports authorities were at the ceremony, including the NOC President, Julio César Maglione, who is also an IOC Honorary Member (centre of photo), and the athletes who took part in the Olympic Games Rio 2016. More info on


PyeongChang 2018

PyeongChang 2018

The Gangneung Ice Arena was officially opened ahead of the ISU Short Track World Cup event held from 16 to 18 December, which also doubled up as a test event for the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018. Among those attending the opening of the venue was Gunilla Lindberg, the Chair of the IOC’s PyeongChang 2018 Coordination Commission (photo above). In addition to short track, the 12,000-seater arena, which took two-and-a-half years to complete, will also host the figure skating competitions at the 2018 Games. Located in Gangneung Olympic Park, the Ice Arena is one of the six new venues built for PyeongChang 2018. It is the first ice venue to be completed at Gangneung, with three more due for completion in the city by the end of 2016. Read the news here.

Tokyo 2020

Getty Images

A ceremony was held in Tokyo on 11 December to mark the start of construction of the new National Stadium. Among those in attendance were the Japanese Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, and the Governor of Tokyo, Yuriko Koike (photo above). The stadium will be the main venue for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020. The launch ceremony ended with a video revealing how the stadium will look on completion in November 2019. The stadium will host both the Opening and Closing Ceremonies of the 2020 Games and the athletics events. Read the news here.
The second Four-Party Political Working Group meeting took place in Tokyo on 21 December. The meeting confirmed that volleyball would be held at the Ariake Arena, as originally planned, with a new legacy concept for the entire region supporting the development of the venue. When added to the revised venue designs that were agreed for Sea Forest and the Aquatics Centre at the first Working Group meeting in November, an additional amount of around USD 400 million in savings has been made to the revised construction budget. This comes on top of the approximately USD 1.8 billion saved last year following the extensive masterplan review. During the Working Group meeting, Tokyo 2020 also presented the first versions of the OCOG and Other Entities budgets. The four parties - the IOC, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, the Government of Japan and Tokyo 2020 – committed to working towards optimising the budgets even further. Tokyo 2020's commitment to deliver Games at the highest level, on schedule, and with the best experience for athletes and fans alike, remains at the forefront of all decisions made in relation to the budgets for the Games. Read the Tokyo 2020 news release here.

recognised Organisations

Marking the first anniversary of the UN Security Council’s resolution 2250, Generations For Peace has reaffirmed its support for the resolution, which is designed to give young people more of a voice in decision-making at all levels, the idea being to counter violent extremism and build peaceful communities around the world. On 21 November, Generations For Peace was accepted as an associate of the UN Department of Public Information. NGOs play a key role in achieving the UN’s goals, and contribute to the development, implementation and monitoring of agendas agreed by its 193 member states. Read the news here.


On their recent visit to Birmingham, Alabama (USA), IOC Member and International World Games Association (IWGA) President José Perurena and IWGA CEO Joachim Gossow met representatives of the Birmingham Local Organising Committee for the World Games 2021 and Chester Wheeler, the United States Olympic Committee (USOC)’s Head of Marketing and Media. Together they drew up the framework for close cooperation in the lead-up to the Games. In a separate meeting with the Mayor of Birmingham, William A. Bell, the IWGA President discussed the city’s involvement in the preparation and staging of the Games. Read the news here.


A special issue of Olympic Highlights will appear at the end of 2016. We would like to take this opportunity to wish you a happy holiday season.

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