As announced in last week’s issue, last Sunday IOC President Thomas Bach was at Olympia (Greece) for the Olympic flame-lighting ceremony. This was his first official trip as IOC President. In his speech, President Bach underlined that: “the Olympic Torch Relay will be a messenger for the Olympic values of excellence, friendship and respect without any form of discrimination. In the coming months, this message will reach and inspire people from all walks of life. The goal and culmination of this journey will be the Olympic Stadium in Sochi. There, the Olympic flame will remind all the athletes, participants and spectators of our Olympic values.” (Full speech available here)
The ceremony took place in the presence of IOC member in Greece Lambis V. Nikolaou, honorary member King Constantine, Hellenic Olympic Committee President Spyros Capralos and a Russian delegation that included IOC members Vitaly Smirnov, Shamil Tarpischev and Alexander Zhukov; the Mayor of Sochi, Anatoly Pakhomov; and the CEO of the Organising Committee for the XXII Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, Dmitry Chernyshenko.
Two days before going to Olympia, President Bach was in Athens with the President of the Greek Republic, Karolos Papoulias, accompanied by Lambis V. Nikolaou and Spyros Capralos.
On 3 and 4 October, the IOC President was in Antalya (Turkey) for the World Archery Championships.
This weekend, President Bach will go to Brussels (Belgium) to take part in a ceremony paying tribute to the IOC Honorary President, organised by the Belgian NOC. Many IOC members will also be present.
This Friday in Odense (Denmark), IOC Honorary President Jacques Rogge is giving a talk on the global challenges of the Olympic Movement and Sport for All at the Institute of Sports Sciences and Biomechanics of the University of Southern Denmark, before receiving the title of doctor honoris causa.
The LA84 Foundation, of which Anita D. DeFrantz is President, has received the 2013 Steve Patterson Award for Excellence in Sport Philanthropy from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. This national award celebrates and promotes those in the sports world who are improving lives by leveraging the unique influence of sport.
INTERNATIONAL SPORTS FEDERATIONS
The International Boxing Association (AIBA) has informed us that the Olympic champion (60kg) at the London Games, Kazakhstan’s Serik Sapiyev, has been named a Goodwill Ambassador for Sport by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) for 2013-15. He was nominated an Ambassador by UNESCO Director General Irina Bokova in recognition of his commitment to promoting education and sport programmes for young people in Kazakhstan, his charitable activities, and his dedication to the ideals and aims of UNESCO. In addition, the AIBA World Championships, which will take place from 11 to 27 October in Almaty (Kazakhstan), will set a new participation record. Info at www.aiba.org.
Brian Cookson has been elected as President of the International Cycling Union (UCI) at its annual Congress held in Florence (Italy) alongside the Road World Championships. The President of British Cycling, Cookson thus succeeds Pat McQuaid. The Congress also elected the members of the Management Committee and the Continental Confederation Presidents. The UCI Merit Awards were also presented at the end of the Congress. Info at www.uci.ch.
The World Judo Championships in 2015 will be held in Astana, Kazakhstan. It was in Almaty, another Kazakh city, the host of the 2013 Judo Grand Prix, that an agreement was signed between International Judo Federation (IJF) President Marius Vizer and Kazakh Judo Federation President Kenges Rakishev. The IJF President also laid the first stone for a new national training centre. Info at www.ijf.org.
The Executive Committee of the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) has held its first meeting since its election in May 2013. Meeting at the IOC headquarters and Beau Rivage Palace Hotel in Lausanne on 27 and 28 September, the nine Committee members discussed several subjects including the appointment of Thomas Weikert as Deputy President, the second highest function within the ITTF, as well as the future of the world championships (reducing the size and cost), and relocating the ITTF Museum from Lausanne to Shanghai (People’s Republic of China) in 2014. Info at www.ittf.com.
At its World Congress in Antalya on the eve of the World Championships, World Archery (WA) elected for the first time on its executive committee a representative of an African association in the person of Aladin Gabr. The President of World Archery Africa, he has played an important role in developing archery in Egypt, where the national team won the gold medal at the Mediterranean Games in Mersin (Turkey) this year. The Golden Arrow awards were also presented to several personalities, including the IOC Honorary President, for their services to the world of archery. Info at www.worldarchery.org.
NATIONAL OLYMPIC COMMITTEES
Organised recently by the Sports Training and Development Section of the Bahrain NOC, in cooperation with the Coaching Association of Canada, the (level 2) national training programme course brought together some 26 coaches from various sports associations, clubs, the Ministry of Education, the Public Security Sports Federation and Bahrain Military Sports Federation.
ORGANISING COMMITTEES FOR THE OLYMPIC GAMES
Following the traditional lighting ceremony at Olympia, the Olympic flame of the Sochi Winter Games travelled across Greece, receiving a warm welcome at each of its stops. The Greek leg of the Relay will come to an end tomorrow, 5 October, in Athens, the site of the first modern Olympic Games, where the official flame handover ceremony will take place. From there, it will go to Moscow for the start of its 123-day journey across Russia, which will end in Sochi, on the day of the Games’ Opening Ceremony on 7 February 2014.
YOUTH OLYMPIC GAMES
The Opening Ceremony of the 2nd Winter Youth Olympic Games (YOG) in Lillehammer will now be held on 12 February 2016, 22 years after the Olympic flame arrived in this same Norwegian city for the Olympic Winter Games in 1994. Over 1,100 athletes aged 15 to 18 from 70 countries are expected to compete in the sporting, educational and cultural events offered during the 10 days of the Lillehammer YOG.
On the occasion of the lighting of the Olympic flame at Olympia on 29 September, the International Federation of Sport Movies & TV (FICTS) activated a circuit at the sites of the 14 festivals which make up the World FICTS Challenge: Barcelona (Spain), Hanoi (Vietnam), Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), Guayaquil (Ecuador), Haifa (Israel), Doha (Qatar), Tashkent (Uzbekistan), Matera (Italy), Samara (Russian Federation), Kampala (Uganda), Beijing (People’s Republic of China), Lipetsk (Russian Federation), Liberec (Czech Republic) and Los Angeles (USA). Films on the Olympic values, particularly for young people, and a video message from FICTS President Franco Ascani were screened on this occasion. Info at www.ficts.com.