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The second edition of the International Forum for Sports Integrity (IFSI) took place at The Olympic Museum in Lausanne at the initiative of the IOC. Speaking at the opening of the Forum, IOC President Thomas Bach said: “Today’s Forum also highlights how closely good governance is linked to the credibility of sport”, before adding: “As the role of sport in society continues to grow, so do the expectations of the public with regard to the credibility of sports organisations. The standards of good governance are ever evolving for every one of us.” Read the full speech here.
The Forum, chaired by the IOC President, gathered together some 180 participants representing governments, the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), the Council of Europe, the European Union, INTERPOL, Europol, sports betting operators, national regulating authorities, Olympic Movement stakeholders and other experts to collaborate on the protection of clean sport. At the meeting there was broad support for the IOC initiative. Jean-Luc Moner-Banet, President of the World Lottery Association, summed up the views: “I believe that the IOC has this unique capacity, as is clearly demonstrated today, to bring together leaders from the sports community together with public authorities’ representatives and all stakeholders to be involved in concerted actions.” The outcome of the Forum is brought together in a Declaration which, amongst other commitments, outlines the establishment of an Olympic Movement Unit on the Prevention of the Manipulation of Competitions and the launch of an International Sports Integrity Partnership. Read the full press release here.
Prior to the Forum, the IOC President met with the EU Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport, Tibor Navracsics. Sport’s role in society and the close cooperation in this area between the IOC and the European Union were discussed at the meeting, which was also attended by IOC Member Pál Schmitt. Following the Forum, the EU Commissioner commented: “We are happy to help and support the IOC’s initiatives in this field because integrity is a global issue”.
The IOC President met French MP Valérie Fourneyron, who is currently Chair of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA)’s Independent Testing Authority working group. The discussions mainly focused on the collaboration between the IOC and WADA and on the implementation of Olympic Agenda 2020 in the fight against doping. In particular, they discussed the establishment of an Independent Testing Authority that should be independent of both sports organisations and national governments. Francesco Ricci Bitti, President of the Association of Summer Olympic International Federations (ASOIF) and member of the WADA working group, was also present at the meeting.
At a meeting with the President of the World Taekwondo Federation (WTF), Chungwon Choue, topics addressed included the preparations for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 and WTF’s various initiatives to promote peace, especially the Taekwondo Humanitarian Foundation, which aims to empower refugees through taekwondo.
President Bach welcomed three-time Olympian and former marathon world record-holder Tegla Loroupe. She was the Chef de Mission of the Refugee Olympic Team at the Olympic Games Rio 2016. They discussed the IOC’s continuing activities in this field.
The President met with the President of WADA Craig Reedie where they discussed the follow-up of the McLaren Report, the status of reforms, the working group on governance, and the establishment of an Independent Testing Authority.
The President also met with IOC Honorary Member Julio César Maglione, who is President of the International Swimming Federation (FINA) and the Pan American Sports Organisation (PASO). They discussed the upcoming PASO conference in Uruguay and the great success of swimming at the Olympic Games Rio 2016.
Meetings were held with IOC Vice-President Juan Antonio Samaranch; and with IOC Members Iván Dibós, and Alexander Zhukov.
During a visit to the Liechtenstein NOC in Vaduz, the IOC President held a meeting with the Prime Minister Adrian Hasler and Sports Minister Marlies Amann-Marxer. They discussed the great success of the country's team, particularly in the Olympic Winter Games, where Liechtenstein is the smallest country to have won an Olympic medal. They also discussed the IOC's support programme for refugees. President Bach then had the chance to meet some of the Principality's Olympians, in particular the country’s most successful athlete, Hanni Wenzel, four-time Olympic medalist. At a reception, he presented the NOC President Isabel Fehr with the IOC President's Trophy, in presence of IOC Member Princess Nora of Liechtenstein.
Before leaving the Principality, President Bach visited Baron Eduard von Falz-Fein, who is 104 years old. The Baron founded the Liechtenstein NOC and ensured that a team competed in both the Games of the Olympiad and the Olympic Winter Games in 1936. He subsequently attended almost every edition of the Olympic Games, holding positions in the NOC and in the International Luge Federation (FIL). President Bach presented him with the Pierre de Coubertin Medal in recognition of his long service to the Olympic Movement.
From Vaduz, the President travelled to St Moritz (Switzerland) to attend the Alpine World Ski Championships. At the qualification event for men’s slalom, he met athletes from a wide range of countries including the Afghan team (photo above). At the women’s slalom final, he had the opportunity to congratulate the winner Mikaela Shiffrin as well as Wendy Holdener and Frida Handsdotter, who finished 2nd and 3rd on the podium. He also watched the men’s slalom final.
During the weekend President Bach met President of the International Ski Federation (FIS) and IOC Executive Board Member Gian Franco Kasper, who is also President of the Association of International Olympic Winter Sports Federations (AIOWF). They discussed a wide range of topics with regard to the Olympic Winter Games and the follow-up of the McLaren Report. He also met many members of the FIS Council.
While at the Alpine World Ski Championships, President Bach met the new President of the Swiss NOC, Jürg Stahl, who is also President of the Swiss National Council. They discussed mutual cooperation and a potential Swiss candidature for the Olympic Winter Games.
He also met Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili and discussed the development of winter sports in the country.
On Monday, the President was at the United Nations in Geneva, where he was part of the jury of the Global Road Safety Film Festival. The festival was organised by the International Automobile Federation (FIA) and its President Jean Todt. Later, the President visited the FIA headquarters in Geneva, where the FIA and the IOC signed a memorandum of understanding on joint road safety cooperation. This includes support for the upcoming FIA ‘3,500 lives’ campaign which is to be launched on 10 March 2017.
Irena Szewińska has been awarded the Order of the Rising Sun, one of the highest honours in Japan, for her outstanding sports career, as well as her work within sport and the Olympic Movement. She was presented with the distinction by the Japanese Ambassador to Poland, Shigeo Matsutomi, at a ceremony in Warsaw. She also received a diploma signed by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzō Abe.
The Olympic Channel is now available in Chinese, French, German, Italian, Brazilian Portuguese and Latin American Spanish in addition to English. The launch of the six additional languages on the Olympic Channel represents the first non-English languages to be added to the global digital platform. The Olympic Channel plans to release four additional languages in the coming months including Arabic, Japanese, Korean and Russian versions. In addition to creating a multi-language global digital platform, the Olympic Channel is working with broadcast partners and National Olympic Committees to develop localised versions of the Olympic Channel that will offer region- and language-specific user experiences on linear and digital platforms. Read the full press release here.
During its 2017 Extraordinary Congress held in Tokyo (Japan), World Rowing (FISA) had on its agenda some important items concerning the programme at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020. Also during the Congress, American Samoa became FISA’s 151st member national federation. Read the full press release here.
The International Basketball Federation (FIBA) has announced that the 3rd edition of the 3x3 Europe Cup will take place in Amsterdam (Netherlands) from 7 to 9 July 2017. The Dutch capital will also host the 6th edition of the 3x3 World Cup in 2019. More info here.
The International Swimming Federation (FINA) published the FINA Development Programme final report 2013-2016 as well as the FINA Scholarship report. As part of the Development Programme, FINA has put in place two distinctive initiatives: the schools and the clinics, which enable officials, judges and referees to be certified to officiate at FINA events such as FINA World Cups and the FINA World Championships. FINA financed and organised, with the help of the participating national member federations, a total of 161 schools over the past four years, benefiting more than 3750 people. A total of 276 clinics have been organised since 2013 and 10,668 coaches and officials from the five continents have taken part in these. The FINA Scholarship Programme supported athletes selected and proposed by their respective national federations, preparing for the 2015 FINA World Championships in Kazan (Russian Federation) and the Olympic Games Rio 2016, and will continue assisting swimmers for the 2017 FINA World Championships in Budapest (Hungary). More info on www.fina.org
Invited to speak by the city government of Hangzhou, the Organising Committee for the Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022 and Hangzhou Qinglan primary school, the President of the International Modern Pentathlon Union (UIPM), Klaus Schormann (see photo), addressed the core principles of education and, among other things, stressed that everyone had a duty and responsibility to lay firm foundations to provide open and fair education to girls and boys. Hangzhou city councillors, parents, teachers, leading figures from the school and some 250 schoolchildren were present. Schormann was also appointed International Development Consultant of Hangzhou primary school. More info on www.pentathlon.org.
World Sailing signed a landmark agreement with the International Kiteboarding Association (IKA) and the Global Kitesports Association (GKA) to unite the kiteboarding community and provide clarity regarding kiteboarding's governance structure. The three associations aim to promote and expand interest worldwide in competitive kiteboarding and to regulate the management and responsibilities for the sport. The parties have been in close consultation following the signing of a memorandum of understanding in November 2016. More info on www.sailing.org
The European Curling Championships 2018 will take place from 16 to 24 November 2018 in Tallinn (Estonia). On 9 February 2017, an agreement was signed between the Estonian Curling Association and the World Curling Federation (WCF), represented by their respective Presidents, Rainer Vakra and Kate Caithness (see photo above). This is the Estonian Curling Association’s second time hosting an international curling event, after the World Junior Curling Championships in 2015. Read the full press release here.
Luiza Zlotkowska from Poland (see photo) was elected to the Athletes’ Commission of the International Skating Union (ISU) as the speed skating representative. Following the decision of the 56th ISU Ordinary Congress 2016 in Dubrovnik (Croatia) to set up an Athletes’ Commission, Zlotkowska was elected by her peers during the World Single Distances Speed Skating Championships in Gangneung (Republic of Korea). She joins the synchronised skating representative, Nathalie Lindqvist from Sweden, on the Athletes’ Commission. More info on the elections for representatives of other disciplines here.
On 7 February, Bahrain’s first-ever national sports day, which involved Bahraini nationals and expats, was a resounding success. Organised by the Bahrain Olympic Committee in cooperation with ministries, government bodies, national sports federations, sports clubs and the country’s four governorates, the event was open to the public and welcomed all ages and nationalities. The programme featured a wide range of sports activities organised throughout the country. Youth and Sports Affairs Minister Hisham bin Mohammed Al Jowder gave the starting signal for the 1.7km running race and walkathon in Riffa (see photo above). The NOC organised a sports programme for its staff in Juffair prior to the main event.
The Belarus NOC was visited by the President of the Lithuanian Basketball Federation, former professional basketball player and Olympic, world and European champion Arvydas Sabonis (see photo above), together with the Secretary General of the Lithuanian NOC, Valentinas Paketuras. During a meeting with the President of the Belarussian Basketball Federation and First Vice-President of the NOC, Maksim Ryzhenkov, discussions were held on a range of projects designed to further strengthen cooperation between the two countries. Sabonis also met future professional basketball players, with whom he shared his experiences and offered advice, in the sports hall of the Republican State Olympic Reserve Centre. More info on www.noc.by.
Ahead of the Asian Winter Games, which will be held in Sapporo (Japan) from 19 to 26 February 2017, the Chinese Taipei Olympic Committee organised a flag presentation ceremony for the delegation that will be taking part in the Games (see photo above). Sports Administration Director General Jow-fei Ho presented the Chinese Taipei Olympic flag to the head of the delegation, Hung-Dao Lin. A total of 41 athletes from Chinese Taipei will be competing in Sapporo – a record number for an Asian Winter Games. More info on www.tpenoc.net.
A core sports administration course was held from 13 to 16 February at the Bicentennial Theatre in Zipaquira in the department of Cundinamarca. Thanks to the collaboration of the Cundinamarca local government, the Departmental Institute for Recreation and Sport and the Colombian NOC, sports leaders were able to broaden their knowledge and share experiences of sports administration (see photo above). Organised by the academic section of the NOC, the course addressed a range of topics including the founding principles of the Olympic Movement, the Olympic values, the challenges faced by sports organisations and Olympic Agenda 2020. More info on www.coc.org.co
The President of the El Salvador NOC, Eduardo Palomo (left), recently visited Japan, where he met Daichi Suzuki, head of the Japan Sports Agency. The meeting focused on various sports matters and on the links that could be established to assist Salvadoran athletes in their preparations for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020. Read the full press release here.
Sarah Keane has been elected as President of the Olympic Council of Ireland. Keane, a 42-year-old from Dublin, will lead the new OCI Executive Committee up to and including the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020. More info on www.olympics.ie.
The Mongolia NOC has organised a farewell ceremony for the delegation taking part in the Sapporo Asian Winter Games. Held at the Olympic House in Ulaanbaatar, the ceremony was attended by Demchigjav Zagdsuren, NOC President, B. Bayarsaikhan, State Secretary for the Ministry of Education, Culture, Science and Sports, and Chef de Mission Ch. Nasantogtokh, as well as by Presidents of Winter Sports Federations and members of Team Mongolia. Forty-eight athletes will compete in six sports in Sapporo.
On 10 February, the Polish participants in the Winter European Youth Olympic Festival 2017 received their nominations at an official ceremony held at the Olympic Centre, the headquarters of the Polish NOC. A total of 19 young athletes together with their coaches, doctors and physiotherapists were welcomed by NOC President Andrzej Kraśnicki and Olympian Urszula Włodarczyk, representing the Ministry of Sport and Tourism, in the presence of the Turkish Ambassador to Poland, Tunc Ugdul. More info on www.olimpijski.pl.
The Opening Ceremony of the 13th Winter European Youth Olympic Festival took place in Erzurum on 12 February (see photo above). Some 15,000 spectators attended the ceremony, which was shown live via the Olympic Channel, at the Kazım Karabekir Stadium. Dignitaries attending the event included Turkey’s Youth and Sports Minister, Akif Çağatay Kılıç, European Olympic Committees’ acting President Janez Kocijančič and Turkish Olympic Committee 1st Vice-President, Türker Arslan. In total, 650 athletes between the ages of 14 and 18 from 34 nations are competing at the event, which is being broadcast live for the first time on the Olympic Channel. More info on www.olimpiyat.org.tr.
Water sports coaches and teachers María Isabel Briceño, Mercedes Briceño and Norma Briceño presented the board game “Sports Challenge” (“Desafío al Deporte”) (see photo above) at the Venezuelan NOC. The game has been designed to encourage people to take up sport and combines entertaining gameplay with theoretical elements. Aimed at both children and adults, this educational game contains questions and answers on different Olympic sports.
With the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018 less than a year away, the members of the “Korean National Assembly Special Commission to support Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018 and International Sports Events” paid a visit to the headquarters of the PyeongChang 2018 Organising Committee (POCOG) and met with IOC Coordination Commission Chair Gunilla Lindberg and POCOG President Hee-beom Lee. During the meeting, the Commission, led by its Chair, Youngchul Hwang – who had met with Chair Lindberg a few days earlier at the National Assembly in Seoul – pledged its continued support for the Games, including in the timely passing of an update to the Special Act for PyeongChang 2018. Read the full press release here.
On 13 February, the International World Games Association (IWGA) headquarters moved to the building previously used by the International Gymnastics Federation (FIG) in Lausanne (Avenue de la Gare 12, 1003 Lausanne, Switzerland). In addition, Anna Jacobson has been appointed IWGA Communication Officer. Former Press Officer Hermann Kewitz continues as Media Consultant, working closely with both the IWGA Communication Officer and the Organising Committee for the World Games 2017 in Wroclaw (Poland). Read the full press release here.