On 28 June in Lausanne, IOC President Jacques Rogge met a delegation from the City of Lausanne, led by Mayor Daniel Brélaz.
Nawal El Moutawakel was named Chevalier de l’Ordre national of Benin at the 18th African Athletics Championships, being held from 26 June to 1 July in Cotonou.
Sergey Bubka has been selected for the International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF)’s Hall of Fame. An Olympic pole vault champion in 1988 in Seoul and six-time world champion, Bubka is currently an IAAF Vice-President, like Sebastian Coe, the Chairman of London 2012, who has also been selected for the Hall of Fame. Bubka and Coe join Irena Szewinska on the list of 24 athletes selected. The induction ceremony will take place on 24 November 2012 in Barcelona (Spain) during the IAAF Centenary Gala. Read the press release at www.iaaf.org.
The IOC and the NOC of Panama met on 25 June in Lausanne. The main purpose of this meeting was to follow up on the IOC visit to Panama in April and to consider the next steps in assisting the NOC of Panama to clarify its internal situation in view of the next NOC elections, which will be held in December 2012. Read the news story at www.olympic.org (News section).
The IOC, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and Samsung, one of the IOC’s TOP partners, have launched a major two-year programme to distribute sports kits to over 15,000 young refugees in 20 countries in Asia, Africa and America. Last week, the programme was launched in India (New Delhi) and South Africa (Cape Town and Limpopo province), where more than 17,000 and 59,000 young asylum-seekers and refugees respectively will benefit from the distribution of sports kits. More info on www.olympic.org (News section).
The IOC has launched an innovative TV spot as part of its “Show Your Best” global campaign and video competition to help build involvement with the Olympic Movement among young people and create the next generation of Olympic fans. This spot will be broadcast before Olympic events in the stadiums throughout the London Games, including at the Opening Ceremony, and at LiveSites across the UK. It will also appear on the IOC’s YouTube channel and other social media sites. Press release at www.olympic.org (News section).
INTERNATIONAL SPORTS FEDERATIONS
The schedule for the men’s and women’s handball competitions at the London Games has recently been unveiled. This indicates the dates on which the teams will compete in the preliminary rounds of the tournament at the Copper Box in the Olympic Park. Info and match schedule on www.ihf.info, site of the International Handball Federation (IHF).
The International Tennis Federation (ITF) has announced the full list of participants – representing 45 nations – for the London Games tennis events from 28 July to 5 August at the All England Club in Wimbledon. Sixty-five players will compete in the singles event. Thirty-two teams will take part in the (men’s and women’s) doubles events. Mixed doubles will be on the Olympic programme for the first time since 1924, with 16 teams. Info at www.itftennis.com.
The International Sailing Federation (ISAF) has announced that 63 nations will be represented in the London Games sailing competition. In total, 380 athletes will compete in the Olympic events. Detailed info at www.sailing.org.
The International Volleyball Federation (FIVB) has unveiled the schedule for the Olympic tournament in London this summer. The women’s competition will begin on 28 June at Earls Court, with Japan against Algeria. For the men, the competition will start the next day with Great Britain versus Bulgaria. The press release and schedule are at www.fivb.org.
The International Ski Federation (FIS) has announced the death of Swedish cross-country legend Nils “Mora-Nisse” Karlsson at the age of 94. Karlsson won the famous Vasaloppet 90km-race - the finish of which was in his home town of Mora - nine times. He was Olympic champion in the 50km event in 1948 in St Moritz. During his career, he won 17 individual titles in the Swedish championships.
In addition, the FIS Congress met recently in Kangwonland (Republic of Korea), and affiliated Eritrea, Haiti, the British Virgin Islands, Palestine and Togo as associate members of the FIS. Info at www.fis-ski.com.
NATIONAL OLYMPIC COMMITTEES
In Bogota, Olympic Day on 23 June brought together many children, accompanied by their parents, who took part in various activities offered by the Colombian NOC. They were also able to have photos taken with athletes qualified for the 2012 Games, climbing the podium in front of a poster of the London Olympic Stadium. Everyone went home with an Olympic Day diploma. Info at www.coc.org.co.
On 23 June, thousands of youngsters celebrated Olympic Day at the Costa Rican NOC headquarters. Numerous activities were on offer such as climbing, trampolining, clown face painting, and races around the NOC gardens. All the children wore Olympic Day T-shirts. On the same day, in the presence of the President of the Republic, Laura Chinchilla Miranda, the Costa Rican delegations who will compete at the Olympic and Paralympic Games in London officially swore an oath to their country. Marathon runner Gabriela Traña Trigueros will be the delegation’s flag-bearer at the Opening Ceremony on 27 July. More info at www.concrc.org.
In the June edition of the “ANOCA Update”, the newsletter from the Association of the NOCs of Africa (ANOCA), it is reported that the National Youth and Sports Institute of Côte d’Ivoire recently received sports equipment from the NOC of Germany. A ceremony was held at the Côte d’Ivoire NOC headquarters in the presence of Thomas Bach, German NOC President and IOC Vice-President, as well as Lassana Palenfo, Côte d’Ivoire NOC President and an IOC member. This donation comprised sports equipment for athletics, football, basketball, volleyball and handball. More info at www.africaolympic.org.
This year, the French NOC wanted to incorporate Olympic Day into its Sporting and Cultural Olympic Programme, by inviting its overseas territories to take part in various ways. With a London Games theme, the 2012 edition was organised by 22 departmental committees, 7 regional committees and one territorial committee, bringing together thousands of participants. Info at www.franceolympique.com.
The Hellenic NOC and the National Olympic Academy organised an Olympic Day celebration on 23 June in Thessaloniki. Also on the programme were cycling and rowing races. Olympians gave speeches to the participants of all ages. A collection of equipment and clothes was organised to benefit those in need. More info at www.hoc.gr.
The Olympic Day Run was a great success in Hong Kong. Organised on 24 June, it brought together 5,000 people who responded to the invitation by the NOC of Hong Kong. Also taking part were 23 teams made up of sponsors, partners, national sports associations and athletes. Lucky draws, games, marching bands, dancing and rope skipping were also on the programme of festivities. Info at www.hkolympic.org.
The “Honesty in Sport” contest, launched by the Giulio Onesti Foundation, in collaboration with the Italian NOC and the Ministry for Education, Universities and Research, saw hundreds of pieces of artistic expression historical document work produced by schools across the country. The winners were a school from Mantua, with a rap inviting people to share the values of sport, and a school from Catania, with a painting which, symbolically, stamps out doping. The winners were received on 22 June in Rome at the CONI headquarters, by the President of the Franco Carraro Foundation. Their prize was a trip to London during the Games for five of them.
On the same day, at a ceremony organised at the Quirinal Palace, the President of the Republic, Giorgio Napolitano, presented the national flag to Valentina Vezzali, the Olympic delegation’s flag-bearer for London, and Oscar De Pellegrin, the Paralympic flag-bearer. Some 80 athletes from the London Olympic delegation attended the ceremony, as did CONI President Gianni Petrucci among others. Giorgio Napolitano also awarded the Order of Sporting Merit to four athletes who competed at the London 1948 Games: Franco Faggi and Giuseppe Moioli (rowing), Carlo Monti (athletics) and Giovanni Rocca (flag-bearer). Full info at www.coni.it.
In the framework of the Olympic Day “festas” organised by the Japanese NOC, the city of Iwaki (Fukushima Prefecture), celebrated Olympic Day on 23 June (photo). It was the 16th event out of the 60 that will be held by the end of 2013 with the slogan “Smiles Come from Sports”, sponsored by the IOC/Olympic Council of Asia “Tsubasa” support project.
To date, 5,000 children have taken part in these “festas” across the whole of Japan. These events are aimed at supporting children affected by the earthquake of March 2011. Besides collecting funds and equipment, the NOC launched a five-year project to send Olympic and Paralympic athletes to young people in the affected areas. This Sports Kokoro Project is set to visit 542 schools and put smiles on the faces of some 46,000 schoolchildren. Info at www.joc.or.jp.
On 23 June in Ulaanbaatar, the Mongolian NOC celebrated Olympic Day, its 50th anniversary and Mongolian Athletes’ Day. Many personalities were present, including Head of State Ts. Elbegdorj, Deputy Prime Minister M. Enkhbold, NOC President Demchigjav Zagdsuren and IOC honorary member Shagdarjav Magvan. The Head of State handed the national flag to marathon runner B. Ser-Od, flag-bearer for London. Some 29 Mongolian athletes will compete at the Games this summer. Info at www.olympic.mn.
On 24 June, over 5,000 people took part in the 25th Olympic Day Run organised by the Peruvian NOC and the Peruvian Sports Institute, under the patronage of Samsung Peru. Those present included NOC President Jose Quiñones González, the Institute’s President, Francisco Boza Dibos, and IOC member Iván Dibos. On this same day, the winners of the 22nd Drawing and Painting Contest received their prizes. On 30 June, a race will also take place in 21 cities across the country, with the participation of over 10,000 people. Info at www.coperu.org.
In the June edition of the “ANOCA Update”, we learned that, to celebrate Olympic Day, the São Tome and Principe NOC decided to organise a series of events from 21 to 24 June. Besides the purely sports activities, the other highlight was the inauguration of the new NOC headquarters, a library and a large open space for leisure and sports activities. Info at www.africaolympic.org.
Some additional information on the distinction awarded by the Slovakian NOC to Vera Caslavska (previous edition, NOC section), Czechoslovak NOC President from 1990 to 1992, it was thanks to her know-how and sense of fair play that the division of the Czechoslovak NOC into two new NOCs, of the Czech Republic (later she acted as the Czech NOC President from 1993 to 1996) and Slovakia, took place without any problems.