Highlights of the week



Tan Sri Hamzah Haji Abu Samah, IOC honorary member, died at the age of 88 on 4 September in Kuala Lumpur. During his career as a sports administrator, he was President of the Olympic Council of Malaysia from 1976 to 1998, when he became Honorary Life President; as well as Vice-President of the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA), the Commonwealth Games Federation and the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA). He was also Minister for Culture, Youth and Sport. Elected as an IOC member in 1978, he became an honorary member in 2004. See the news story at www.olympic.org (“News” section). 


The IOC has announced the composition of the Commission which will evaluate candidatures for the Olympic Games in 2020 (Istanbul, Tokyo and Madrid). The Commission Chairman will be IOC Vice-President Craig Reedie. The 2020 Candidate Cities have until 7 January 2013 to submit their bid file to the IOC. After analysing these files, the Commission will visit each city, where it will spend four full days with each bid committee. More information on the composition of the Commission and the visit dates on www.olympic.org (“News” section). 


The International Rugby Board (IRB) was an active participant in the third edition of the Giving is Winning campaign during the London Games. The IRB donated more than 1,250 items of rugby equipment (T-shirts, shorts, socks, tracksuits, boots and balls). The IRB’s support was honoured at a ceremony held in the London Olympic Village in the presence of the IOC’s Permanent Observer to the United Nations, Mario Pescante, and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (HCR), Antonio Guterres. This campaign was run worldwide by the IOC, in partnership with the HCR and the London Organising Committee for the Olympic Games (LOCOG). More info at


The International Triathlon Union (ITU) has held its first Community Coaches and Technical Officials Course in Cameroon. Over four days in the capital, Yaoundé, 28 people attended sessions on training and refereeing. For Edwige Olga Ngassam from the Cameroon Triathlon Federation, the aim of this course was to serve as a starting point for the development of triathlon, not only in Cameroon but throughout the Central African region. Within five years, she hopes to produce athletes who can compete on a continental level. More info at



Following the historic eight medals won by Colombian athletes at the London Games, a forum was held in Bogotá on the theme of “Colombia up to the 2016 Games in Rio”. This forum was organised by Semana magazine. Participants included the President of the Colombian NOC, Baltazar Medina; the Director of Coldeportes and IOC member, Andrés Botero Philipsbourne; gold medallists  Mariana Pajón and María Isabel Urrutia; and coaches. More info at www.coc.org.co

The History of the Ecuadorian Olympic Movement by historian Alberto Sánchez Varas, has just been published. The first volume features the beginnings of Olympism in Ecuador, the origin of sports practice and the creation and development of the Ecuadorian NOC, whose President is Danilo Carrera. The second volume recounts the main successes of the last two decades. This work was produced with the support of Olympic Solidarity, through its “Olympic Values” programme. Info at www.coe.org.ec.  

On 5 September, ceremonies were held to commemorate the terrorist attack at the Munich Games in 1972. One ceremony took place in the Olympic Village in Munich and another at Fürstenfeldbruck military airport. The Israeli delegation included IOC member Alex Gilady, who laid a floral tribute on behalf of the IOC and the Olympic family; the current President of the Israeli NOC, Zvi Varshaviak; former NOC presidents; and relatives of the 11 Israeli victims. Many personalities representing the Israeli and German governments, as well as the land of Bavaria, also attended the commemoration. Speakers included the President of the NOC of Germany and IOC Vice-President Thomas Bach; the Minister-President of Bavaria, Horst Seehofer; the German Minister of the Interior, Hans-Peter Friedrich; the Deputy Prime Minister of Israel, Silvan Schalom; a representative of the relatives of the victims, Ankie Spitzer; and the Mayor of Munich, Christian Ude. A tree was planted to honour the victims. Zvi Varshaviak and Thomas Bach shared a floral tribute as symbol of friendship and peace. Info at www.olympic.one.co.il and www.dosb.de.

Venezuelan athletes Betsi Rivas and Junior Sánchez have received their Olympic diplomas, rewarding their weightlifting performances at the London Games. The award ceremony took place at the headquarters of the Venezuelan NOC, in the presence of NOC President Eduardo Álvarez; the President of the national weightlifting federation, Pedro León Torres; and coaches Yamil Guiliani and Gabriel Enseñat.  Betsi Rivas finished eighth in the 48kg category and Sánchez fifth in the 69kg. The 4x400m relay team, swimmer Andreina Pinto, fencer Silvio Fernández, boxers Karlha Magliocco and Gabriel Maestre, and the women’s track cycling sprint team also received their Olympic diplomas.


Paul Deighton, the LOCOG CEO, has been requested by the British Prime Minister and the Chancellor of the Exchequer to join the government as Commercial Secretary to the Treasury. Among other things, he will be responsible for delivering infrastructure projects across the public sector and facilitating private sector investment from domestic and international sources into UK infrastructure. He will take up this new position at the start of next year.  

SOCHI 2014

In Russia, 1 September is Knowledge Day, the day when children go back to school. On this occasion, the Organising Committee for the 2014 Olympic and Paralympic Games in Sochi, in association with the Russian NOC and its partner, Rostelecom, held an Olympic lesson for Russia's schoolchildren entitled "London 2012 - Sochi 2014". In Moscow, groups of schoolchildren were welcomed into the Sochi 2014 office. In Sochi, Krasnodar and Saransk, the schools linked up to the Organising Committee's Moscow office remotely; and in Kazan and Rostov, pupils were able to watch the event being broadcast live on the Games portal, www.sochi2014.com. Hosting the lesson were the TV presenter and Sochi 2014 Ambassador, Yuri Vyazemsky, and the President of the Sochi 2014 Organising Committee, Dmitry Chernyshenko. Olympic and Paralympic athletes also took part in this event alongside the children.  


On 4 September the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) officially launched the Agitos Foundation. This foundation will act as the leading global organisation in developing sports activities for people with a disability as a tool for changing lives and contributing to an inclusive society for all. It will achieve its goals through four pillars: sports development, awareness and education, advocacy and inclusion, and knowledge and research.

The IPC also announced, on the same day, that Canada would host the IPC World Swimming Championships in August 2013. The host city has not yet been confirmed. Full info at www.paralympic.org.

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