Speaking in Lausanne to the Executive Committee of the European Olympic Committees (EOC), IOC President Thomas Bach underlined the remarkable success of the 37 European NOC delegations at the Olympic Games Rio 2016. He also recalled that three of the 10 members of the Refugee Olympic Team had been supported by three European NOCs. Speaking at the event the EOC Acting President Janez Kocijančič expressed the EOC’s unanimous support for the IOC’s handling of the completed McLaren Report concerning doping in Russia. “The IOC’s approach on this matter – which was consistent with its approach towards Russia’s participation in the Olympic Games in Rio – respects the rule of law in a fair and objective way and the EOC fully supports this”, he said. Beforehand, the IOC President had met acting EOC President with whom he discussed the excellent collaboration between the two organisations and the upcoming editions of the Olympic Games.
The President welcomed Swedish NOC President Hans Vestberg, accompanied by NOC Secretary General and IOC Executive Board Member Gunilla Lindberg. Their discussions focused on the continuing implementation of Olympic Agenda 2020 recommendations and the next editions of the Olympic Games and Youth Olympic Games.
The President of the Costa Rican NOC, Henry Núñez, accompanied by the Secretary General, Silvia González, was received by the IOC President. The situation of sport in the country, the importance of the fight against doping, and Olympic Solidarity programmes were among the subjects discussed.
President Bach also met the new President of the Slovak NOC, Anton Siekel, with whom he spoke about the preparations for the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018 and the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020.
In Paris (France), President Bach presented the Olympic Order to Guy Canivet for his outstanding service to the Olympic Movement. Judge Canivet, formerly a member of the Constitutional Court in France, was appointed to the IOC Ethics Commission in 2007 and was its Vice-Chair from 2015 to 2016. In July 2016 he was appointed as the chair of the IOC Commission tasked with investigating the allegations of a government-sponsored system of doping in Russia. During presentation of the Olympic Order, President Bach praised the contribution of Judge Canivet to the Olympic Movement and thanked him for his many years of service: “You are renowned as a man of great integrity, with an impressive dedication to your work. The IOC will always be grateful for your wise counsel and sound advice that have guided so many of our important decisions to strengthen the credibility of the Olympic Movement.” In December 2016, Judge Canivet stood down from his position as Vice-Chair of the IOC Ethics Commission for personal reasons. The ceremony was held in the presence of IOC Members Sovereign Prince Albert II, Guy Drut and Tony Estanguet, IOC Honorary Member Lassana Palenfo, French NOC President Denis Masseglia and several Presidents of International Federations.
In Paris, the IOC President attended the final of the 25th Men’s World Handball Championships between France and Norway. On this occasion, a meeting was held with the President of the International Handball Federation (IHF), Hassan Moustafa. President Bach also had the opportunity to hold talks with the President of the French Republic, François Hollande.
With the President of the Association of Summer Olympic International Sports Federations (ASOIF), Francesco Ricci Bitti, discussions centred on cooperation with ASOIF, particularly regarding the fight against doping, the next edition of the SportAccord Convention and the preparations for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020.
The continuation of reforms of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) was discussed at a meeting that the President held with IOC Vice-President and Scientific and Medical Commission Chair Uğur Erdener.
Juan Antonio Samaranch has been elected First Vice-President of the International Union of Modern Pentathlon (UIPM) at the first meeting of the IF’s new Executive Board at The Olympic Museum in Lausanne. He already occupied this post from 1996 to 2012. Read the full news story here.
OTHER OLYMPIC NEWS
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 part of this process, the IOC announced on 25 January that two athletes have been disqualified from the Olympic Games Beijing 2008. Read the full news story here.
INTERNATIONAL SPORTS FEDERATIONS
The World Rowing Federation (FISA), the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) and the IHE Institute for Water Education have announced their agreement to work together to develop and deliver the education research components of the Kafue River Rowing Centre (KRRC) and its sustainable operation in the future. The KRRC will be an innovative, multi-purpose water research and rowing centre located on the Kafue River, south of Lusaka, the Zambian capital. It will enhance conservation expertise on the Kafue River, which is part of the Zambezi River Basin - a WWF global priority area - and will be used daily by school children, university students, rowing club members, researchers, conservationists as well as business and government stakeholders, international visitors and local communities. Read the news story here.
United World Wrestling (UWW) has announced a new worldwide licensing programme for the manufacture and distribution of its branded wrestling mats. The programme, a first for the organisation, aims to improve and certify the surface conditions on which wrestlers around the world train and compete. By working with only the best manufacturers and testing their efficacy, UWW aims to ensure standards for competition organisers and the safety of its athletes. Read the full news story here.
The International Swimming Federation (FINA) has unveiled the 2017 calendar of the FINA/airweave Swimming World Cup – a prestigious annual event gathering together the world’s best short-course swimmers. Staged in 25m pools, the competition will begin in August 2017, just days after the conclusion of the 17th FINA World Championships in Budapest (Hungary). The first stop will be in Moscow (Russian Federation) on 2 and 3 August. This will be followed by Berlin (Germany) on 6 and 7 August, Eindhoven (Netherlands) on 10 and 11 August, Doha (Qatar) on 22 and 23 September, Dubai (UAE) on 26 and 27 September, Hong Kong (Hong Kong, China) on 30 September and 1 October, Beijing (People’s Republic of China) on 10 and 11 November, Tokyo (Japan) on 14 and 15 November and Singapore on 18 and 19 November. Info on www.fina.org.
The World Curling Federation (WCF) and World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) are partnering together to promote clean sport at the World Junior Curling Championships 2017 in Gangneung (Republic of Korea) from 16 to 26 February. This is the first time the two organisations have teamed up to deliver WADA’s Legacy Outreach programme. The purpose of the programme is to assist IFs in delivering sustainable anti-doping awareness programmes for their athletes. During the championships, competitors, coaches and support staff will have the chance to take part in fun and educational activities and to pledge their loyalty to the clean sport movement by signing the Clean Sport Pledge – a WADA initiative that has been run at international sports events worldwide. Read the full news story here.
NATIONAL OLYMPIC COMMITTEES
In 2017, 182 athletes and 28 coach-instructors from Belarus will be granted scholarships from the President’s Sports Club. The scholarship holders received their certificates at a ceremony that took place in the Belarus NOC Hall of Olympic Fame (see photo above). Attendees included Sports Club Central Council President Dmitry Lukashenko, NOC First Vice-President Maxim Ryzhenkov, First Deputy Minister of Sports and Tourism Alexander Gagiev and Olympic champion in rhythmic gymnastics Marina Lobatch. To date, 158 recipients of the scholarship have won medals in major competitions. More info on www.noc.by.
Organised by the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) in partnership with the Cape Verde NOC, a (level 1) course for table tennis coaches brought together 30 participants from across the country (photo above). The course was held from 23 to 28 January at the National Stadium in Praia and was opened in the presence of the President of the Association of the National Olympic Committees of Africa (ANOCA), IOC Honorary Member Lassana Palenfo, who was visiting Cape Verde in relation to the preparations for the 2019 African Games in Praia. Read the full news story here.
The Colombian NOC organised the sixth module of the GOLD sports administration course, which featured a panel of experts (see photo above). Representatives from national sporting leagues and federations took part in the event, which was held in the city of Medellín. The experts included Alejandra Márquez, a lawyer specialising in administrative law who has extensive experience in sports administration in the country, and Jaime Granados, director of sports programmes at the Andean Region University Foundation (Fundación Universitaria del Área Andina). Read the full press release here.
Some 95 volunteers from NGO Compassion International in Salvador received a diploma for taking a sports administration course organised by the Salvadorian Olympic Academy, an educational body of the Salvadorian NOC. The course was held from 11 August to 9 December 2016, during which the participants acquired knowledge on the methodology of teaching in several sports and knowledge on la psychology applied to sport, nutrition and physiology, among other things. The ceremony was held in the presence of Guillermo Muñoz, Director of the NGO, NOC President Eduardo Palomo and Olympian Lilian Castro (shooting). Info at www.teamesa.org.
The Jordan Olympic Committee has launched an ambitious and far-reaching strategy that will steer the direction of sport over the next Olympic cycle. The strategy was unveiled during an event attended by the President of the NOC, Prince Feisal Al Hussein, and representatives from the Jordanian sporting community and wider society (see photo above). Presented by NOC Secretary General Nasser Majali, the plan has been developed around five strategic drivers that will not only focus on elite athlete development, but will also work to upgrade the national sports federations and ensure that sport plays a greater role in the lives of all Jordanians. Another programme announced during the launch was Team Jordan, which will use the athletes as role models to inspire the next generation. Read the full press release here.
The Rwandan NOC, in partnership with nine organisations in Kigali, celebrated “Children Sports Day” for the first time in its history. On 21 December last year, around 1,200 vulnerable children were brought together at the Amahoro National Stadium. They learned about and practised a wide range of sports (see photo above), met Olympic athletes and sang with their favourite singers. The event centred on promoting the Olympic values, such as fair play, respect and consideration. It was also an opportunity for children to demonstrate their talents and meet role models to motivate and inspire them. Read the full news story here.
Boxer Gabriel Maestre (left) was presented with the Olympic diploma he received at the Olympic Games Rio 2016 by the President of the Venezuelan NOC, Eduardo Álvarez. The captain of the national boxing team finished in fifth place in Rio. This was a second Olympic diploma for Maestre, who won his first at the Olympic Games London 2012. He was also Pan-American champion in 2015.
ORGANISING COMMITTEES FOR THE OLYMPIC GAMES
On 25 January, the Organising Committee for the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018 (POCOG) unveiled the official sports pictograms (photo) that will be used to represent each of the events at next year’s Games. The design of the pictograms for PyeongChang 2018 is based on the Korean script or “Hangeul”, which was an alphabet developed in Korea in the 15th century and is still used today. As well as providing fans with an insight into Korean culture, the slanted and curved lines of the Hangeul characters have been used to create dynamic images that capture the movements of the athletes and seek to embody the Olympic spirit. Read the full news story here.
On 27 January, the Association of International Olympic Winter Sports Federations (AIOWF) issued a statement concerning its action taken in relation to the McLaren Report. “The AIOWF is very concerned about the allegations made against Russian sport and Russian athletes in the McLaren Investigation Report. Following its publication, those International Olympic Winter Sports Federations (IFs) concerned reacted immediately to the findings and since the report was issued on 9 December, eight athletes have been provisionally suspended by them. Additionally, Russia will now not stage a number of winter sports events which were scheduled to be held in the country in the 2016/17 season, such as the Bob and Skeleton World Championships, the Biathlon Junior World Championships, the FIS Cross-Country World Cup Finals, the ISU World Cup Speed Skating and other major winter sports events including world cups.” The statement also said that “all allegations related to Sochi 2014 fall under the jurisdiction of the IOC, while all allegations and evidence related to matters outside the time of the Olympic Games remain the responsibility of the respective Winter IF.” Read the full statement here.
More than 30 National Paralympic Committees (NPCs) received a boost in their efforts to develop Paralympic winter sports after receiving Alpine skiing and snowboarding equipment during the World Para Alpine Skiing Championships in Tarviso (Italy). The generous gesture is part of the “Actualising the Dream” project developed by the Organising Committee for the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018, in partnership with the Agitos Foundation, the development arm of the International Paralympic Committee (IPC). Read the full press release here.
In the English version of last week’s Highlights, some words in French were erroneously left in the text regarding the French NOC (“on apprend que Jean Vuarnet est à l’origine de la position aérodynamique dite de l'«oeuf»”). In English, it should have read: “we learnt that Jean Vuarnet helped pioneer the aerodynamic tuck position”.