Updates on the upcoming editions of the Olympic Games made up the bulk of the agenda during the second day of a three-day Executive Board (EB) meeting of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in Lausanne today.
The organisers of the Olympic Games Rio 2016 gave an update on the current political situation in Brazil, and reported that all levels of government continue to express their full support for this summer’s Games. The Rio 2016 team also reported on venue construction and confirmed that a cycling training event would take place on the velodrome track on 25 and 26 June. Security at the Games was also discussed, with the Brazilians underlining that a comprehensive plan was in place to ensure the safe hosting of the Games. The EB heard about the successful Olympic Torch Relay, which has been uniting the country around the Games as it heads towards the Opening Ceremony on 5 August. Ticket sales are also increasing positively.
Organisers of the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 expressed their gratitude for the support shown by the EB a day earlier for the proposal to add a package of five new sports (karate, skateboarding, sports climbing, surfing and baseball/softball) to the programme of the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020. If approved at the 129th IOC Session in Rio de Janeiro in August, the change would be the most comprehensive evolution of the Olympic programme in modern history.
The team from Tokyo 2020, which included President Yoshiro Mori, also presented the new emblem for the Games, which was unveiled by the organisers on 25 April. The EB learnt about the progress being made with Tokyo 2020’s Culture and Education programme, with a Tokyo 2020 Cultural Olympiad to be launched after the conclusion of the Olympic Games Rio 2016. Several events will be held around Japan, including an education programme in all prefectures. The activities will culminate with a Tokyo 2020 carnival just ahead of the Games in 2020.
New PyeongChang 2018 President Lee Hee-beom greeted the EB Members for the first time after beginning his official duties on 16 May. Lee announced that all competition venues are on schedule, and that recent test events had been an overall success, based on the feedback received. A further 28 test events are scheduled to be held from October 2016 to April 2017.
The IOC EB approved a request from the PyeongChang organisers for the official mascot for Olympic Games. A white tiger named “Soohorang” will represent the Olympic Winter Games. The tiger appears in Korean mythology, and is closely associated with the country’s culture and folklore.
The EB received a positive report about the Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022 from IOC Olympic Games Executive Director Christophe Dubi, following the first project review in March.
Chair of the Evaluation Commission for the Games of XXXIII Olympiad in 2024 Frank Fredericks gave an update on Stage 1 of the Candidature Process 2024, highlighting each city’s main opportunities and challenges in terms of their Games concepts and strategies. The four cities competing to host the Olympic Games 2024 are Los Angeles (USA), Rome (Italy), Budapest (Hungary) and Paris (France).* Chair Fredericks said the four cities have all embraced Olympic Agenda 2020, the IOC’s strategic roadmap for the future of the Olympic Movement, and are aligning their Games concepts with long-term development goals in their city and region. As expected, Olympic Agenda 2020 has led to very diverse projects with their own distinct opportunities and challenges, all with sustainability at their core. No significant issues were flagged at this stage that would merit not supporting the advancement of a particular city to the next stage. As a result, the Executive Board confirmed that all four Candidate Cities 2024 will advance to Stage 2 of the Candidature Process.
Fredericks, who is also Coordination Commission Chair for the 3rd Summer Youth Olympic Games Buenos Aires 2018, said that construction of the Olympic Village in Buenos Aires was progressing nicely, and a venue master plan was expected to be finalised in the coming days. He added that the local organisers had been doing an excellent job on the marketing front, with the brand already alive and well in the city.
To protect the rights of the athletes, the EB decided to exceptionally authorise qualified athletes from Kuwait to take part in the Olympic Games Rio 2016, should the National Olympic Committee (NOC) of Kuwait still be suspended at that time. The NOC of Kuwait has been suspended since 27 October 2015 to protect the Olympic Movement in Kuwait from undue government interference, leading to the suspension of many Kuwaiti National Sports Federations by their respective International Federations. Qualified Kuwaiti athletes would be allowed to compete at the Games only under the following conditions:
- On an individual basis under the name Independent Olympic Athlete (IOA);
- The IOC will appoint a responsible coordinator and liaison, as well as technical officials to support them;
- No rights granted to the NOC will be conferred.
Since the last EB meeting in March, there has been no positive development concerning the lifting of the suspension of the NOC of Kuwait.
Change of nationalities
The Executive Board approved the change in nationality for 13 athletes (in alphabetical order):
- Ms Julia BLEASDALE (Athletics), from Great Britain to Germany
- Ms Linda BOLDER (Judo), from Netherlands to Israel
- Mr Kevin Alejandro CHAVEZ BANDA (Aquatics), from Mexico to Australia
- Mr Nikolaj DOBREV (Wrestling), from Bulgaria to Serbia
- Ms Zoe FLEISCHMANN (Rowing), from USA to Argentina
- Ms Vita HEINE (Cycling), from Latvia to Norway
- Ms Olga MASLIVETS (Sailing), from Ukraine to Russia
- Ms Sarah-Myriam MAZOUZ (Judo), from Canada to Gabon
- Mr Pedro PASCUAL (Sailing), from Spain to USA
- Mr Rostislav PEVTSOV (Triathlon), from Ukraine to Azerbaijan
- Ms Vera REBRIK (Athletics), from Ukraine to Russia
- Ms Esther STAM (Judo), from the Netherlands to Georgia
- Mr David Scott TORRENCE (Athletics), from USA to Peru
The Olympic Channel
IOC Director of Television & Marketing Services Timo Lumme provided an update on the Olympic Channel. There are now over 60 people from over 20 nationalities working for the Olympic Channel in Madrid and Lausanne. The Olympic Channel team is composed of experienced broadcast professionals and innovative content-producers working out of two main bases of operation. The technical and production unit operates out of Madrid, while the commercial and distribution department is located at the IOC headquarters in Lausanne. A decision on the exact launch date could be taken in the coming weeks.
* Cities are listed in the order of drawing of lots