Highlights of the week



After South Africa, IOC President Thomas Bach headed to Asia this week for his first official visit to the People’s Republic of China, then to Japan and finally on to Korea.


On 19 November in Beijing, President Bach met the President of the People’s Republic of China, Xi Jinping, at the Great Hall of the People. The two presidents discussed various issues, including the positive role of sport in society, the upcoming Youth Olympic Games (YOG) in Nanjing and Beijing’s bid for the 2022 Olympic Winter Games. President Bach, who presented the Olympic Order in gold to the Chinese President, was accompanied by IOC Vice-President John Coates; IOC member and Chairman of the Coordination Commission for the YOG in Nanjing Alexander Popov; and the President of the Chinese Olympic Committee, Liu Peng. IOC members Yu  Zaiqing, Yang Yang and Li Lingwei, were also present. During his stay, the President also visited IOC honorary member He Zhenliang in hospital, and held discussions with IOC member Timothy Tsun Ting Fok; the Mayor of Beijing, Wang Anshun; the Secretary General of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), Guo Jinlong; and Liu Qi, who was the President of the Beijing 2008 Games Organising Committee.


The previous day, President Bach was in Nanjing, where he reviewed the progress made by the Organising Committee for the Youth Olympic Games in 2014 (NYOGOC) and was introduced to the Executive President, Yang Weize. He also met several young NYOGOC staff members, as well as Li Xueyong, the Governor of Jiangsu Province and NYOGOC President, and Luo Zhijun, Secretary General of the Jiangsu Province CCP. He also inspected several Olympic venues, including the Olympic and Sports Centre and the brand new Youth Olympic Village.


From Beijing, President Bach flew to Tokyo, where he met the Japanese Prime Minister,  Shinzo Abe. At their meeting, the two men spoke about the structure of the Organising Committee for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo. The IOC President was accompanied by the Chairman of the IOC Coordination Commission for the Tokyo Games in 2020, John Coates, as well as the President of the Japanese NOC, IOC member Tsunekazu Takeda. President Bach also held discussions with Tokyo Governor Naoki Inose; with the Chairman of Panasonic’s Management Board, Shusaku Nagae; and the CEO of Dentsu, Tadashi Ishii. He was also visited by a Japanese consortium of senior representatives from the television networks NHK, TBS and JBA, before taking part in a meeting with Japanese business leaders and receiving IOC honorary members Chiharu Igaya and Sun-Ichiro Okano.


On 21 November, President Bach ended his visit to Asia with a meeting with the President of the Republic of Korea, Park Geun-Hye, at the presidential residence, the Blue House. President Park reiterated her government’s support for the 2018 Winter Games in PyeongChang and underlined the importance of sport in society, as well as its educational role. A little earlier, President Bach had attended a lunch hosted by the Korean NOC President, Kim Jung-Haeng, and met several Korean Olympic medallists and athletes. Prior to this, accompanied by Gunilla Lindberg, the Chair of the Coordination Commission for the 2018 Games in PyeongChang, and IOC member Moon Dae-Sung, the IOC President had met the staff of the Organising Committee for the Games in PyeongChang (POCOG), whose President is Kim Jin-Sun.


Back in Europe on 22 November, President Bach was granted a private audience by Pope Francis at the Vatican. The two leaders talked about the importance of sport in society and its contribution to building a more peaceful and better world. Tomorrow, Saturday, the IOC President will present Pope Francis with the Olympic Order in Gold during a ceremony at Vatican City attended by members of the European Olympic Committees (EOC), who are holding their General Assembly in Rome from 22 to 23 November.


Also on 22 November, accompanied by IOC member Mario Pescante and the President of the Italian NOC, Giovanni Malagó, President Bach met Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta. The pair discussed sports development in Italy, and the Italian Prime Minister expressed his strong support for a potential Olympic bid for 2024.

Earlier, the IOC President gave the welcome address to the General Assembly of the EOC, whose President is IOC member Patrick Joseph Hickey.


During his stay in Rome, the IOC President also held meetings with IOC members Peter Tallberg, accompanied by the Finnish NOC President, Risto Nieminen; Franco Carraro; Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah; Alex Gilady, accompanied by the President of the Israeli NOC, Igal Carmi; Guy Drut, Sergey Bubka; and Gerardo Werthein; IOC honorary member,  Carlos Arthur Nuzman; as well as with the Vice-President of the Russian NOC, Victor Khotochkin; the Director General of the German NOC, Michael Vesper; the President of the Armenian NOC, Gagik Tsarukyan; the President of the International Tennis Federation (ITF),  Francesco Ricci Bitti; and the President of the Association of IOC-recognised International Sports Federations (ARISF), Raffaele Chiulli, and Secretary General Ricardo Fraccari.


From Rome, President Bach will go to Munich (Germany) on Saturday 23 November on the occasion of a meeting of the Executive Board of the International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF). He will meet ISSF President and IOC member Olegario Vázquez Raña and ISSF Secretary General Franz Schreiber; as well as ISSF Executive Committee member Vladimir Lisin and IOC member Vitaly Smirnov. 



Ching-Kuo Wu, who is also the President of the International Boxing Association (AIBA), received an honorary doctorate from the United States Sports Academy on 15 November in Daphne (USA). This distinction rewards his 30-year involvement in the Olympic Movement, the development of boxing throughout the world and the successful reform of AIBA.



The Radio and Television Commission held a meeting on 19 November in Lausanne.


The first Afro-Asian Women and Sport Forum ended on 20 November in Kuwait City. Organised jointly by the IOC, the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) and the Association of National Olympic Committees of Africa (ANOCA), this Forum brought together 98 African and Asian NOCs, as well as delegates from United Nations agencies, NGOs, the IOC, OCA, ANOCA and national and continental associations. The speakers included the Presidents of the OCA and ANOCA, respectively IOC member Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah and IOC honorary member Lassana Palenfo; the Chairwoman of the IOC Women and Sport Commission, Anita L. DeFrantz; and IOC members Nawal El Moutawakel, Gunilla Lindberg, Claudia Bokel and Kirsty Coventry. An action plan was drafted, reaffirming the delegates’ determination to include female representatives within all committees; to closely follow and promote women’s participation in sport on every level; and to organise such a Forum every two years.



This week,
the IOC appointed two new directors: Lindsay Glassco as Director of International Cooperation and Development and Lana Haddad as Finance Director. A Canadian national, Lindsay Glassco is currently President and CEO of Special Olympics Canada, overseeing all Canadian operations for the organisation. She will succeed Tomas Sithole, who will be retiring at the end of this year, taking up her position on 20 January 2014. As for Lana Haddad, she is joining the IOC from Procter & Gamble International, where she is currently Associate Director, Finance Analysis and Capability-Building for Europe, Middle East and Africa. An Iraqi and UK national, Dr Haddad will take up her position in March 2014.




Jamaican athletes Usain Bolt and Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce have been named the World Athletes of the Year for 2013. This is the fifth title for Bolt and the first for his compatriot, Fraser-Pryce. They received their awards at a gala hosted by the International Athletics Foundation (IAF), in the presence of Lamine Diack, the President of the Foundation and of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), and Prince Albert II of Monaco, the Honorary President of the Foundation. See the full list of winners at www.iaaf.org.


The International Judo Federation (IJF) has just created two commissions: one for development and the other for gender equality. These commissions will empower the national federations with resources and new action methods, while respecting the traditions and values of judo. Info at www.ijf.org.


The International Modern Pentathlon Union (UIPM) has informed us of the death of legendary Hungarian pentathlete Imre Nagy (see photo), silver medallist at the Rome Games in 1960. A three-time medallist at the Olympic Games and World Championships, Nagy was also the coach of the Hungarian team. Within the UIPM, he was Deputy Secretary General, a member of the Board and the Cultural Commission, and an honorary member. He was also greatly involved with the Hungarian Olympic Academy. Info at www.pentathlon.org.

The International Rugby Board (IRB) and the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) have announced that they are extending their partnership in the Tackle Hunger campaign, thus delivering an unprecedented platform of activation and awareness to help tackle hunger worldwide in the run-up to and throughout the Rugby World Cup 2015 in England. This campaign was first launched in 2003 during the World Cup in Australia. Info at



The first level 1 coaches’ course, organised by the International Triathlon Union (ITU) and Olympic Solidarity, has taken place at the Puerto Rico Olympic Museum in Salinas. This course is part of the development programme led by the ITU, in cooperation with the IOC, and is aimed at developing triathlon in emerging countries. The course, attended by 20 coaches, comprised both theory and practice. Info at www.triathlon.org.


At the International Sailing Federation (ISAF)’s annual conference, in Muscat (Oman), Göran Petersson received the   Beppe Croce 2013 Trophy in recognition of his important contribution to the sport of sailing. This trophy was presented to him by ISAF President Carlo Croce. An athlete, President of the Swedish Federation and then of the ISAF (2004-2012), Petersson was also an IOC member from 2009 to 2012. Furthermore,

Australia’s Malcolm Page was elected Chairman of the ISAF Athletes’ Commission, while British woman Sarah Gosling became Vice-Chair. Page won gold at the Beijing and London Games in the 470 class. Info at www.sailing.org.



The NOC of Bahrain organised a diabetes awareness campaign in the framework of World Diabetes Day (19 November). With its slogan, “Test… Learn… Join”, this campaign is part of the NOC’s diabetes information and prevention strategy aimed at its staff.


From 18 to 22 November in Bogota, the NOC of Colombia organised a course on Olympism for instructors at the national apprenticeship service (SENA) from throughout the country. Among the many themes addressed were the life and work of Pierre de Coubertin, the IOC and its programmes and the Olympic Movement in Colombia. Info at www.coc.org.co.


This week, the British Olympic Association elected a Vice-Chairman and three members to its Board of Directors. David Hemery was re-elected Vice-Chairman for two years, while Simon Clegg, Richard Leman and Sarah Treseder secured a four-year term each as Directors of the Board representing the Olympic governing bodies. Furthermore, Di Ellis and Albert Woods, who concluded their tenure as members of the BOA Board, were named Life Vice-Presidents of the BOA. Info at www.olympics.org.uk.


Members of the diplomatic corps in Israel, including the Ambassador of the Delegation of the European Union to the State of Israel, Lars Faaborg-Andersen, were recently guests of honour at the headquarters of the NOC of Israel. In his speech, NOC Secretary General Ephraim Zinger recalled Israel’s Olympic history and underlined the important role played by sport in Israeli society. Info at www.olympic.one.co.il.


The Swedish NOC has a programme preparing head coaches for the Olympic Games. This programme has been improved so as to involve more coaches. Thus, the “Coach Rio” programme for the Games in Rio has been divided into three parts: the first part is mandatory with specific information regarding the Games in Rio, and the two others are optional (one is specially designed for new coaches and the other is of a more thematic nature, addressing topics such as nutrition or physical training). The coaches will meet every six months from now until the Games in Rio. At the recent session, Olympic champion Carolina Klüft came to share the Olympians’ opinions concerning coaches. Info at www.sok.se.



Rio 2016


The Organising Committee for the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games in Rio (Rio 2016) was recently visited by Sweden’s King Carl XVI Gustaf, welcomed at the Rio 2016 headquarters by OCOG President Carlos Arthur Nuzman. A delegation of more than 30 people, led by Leif Johansson, Chairman of the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences, accompanied the King of Sweden, who is also the Patron of this Academy. A presentation on the Games project was made by Carlos Arthur Nuzman and Maria Silvia Bastos, President of the Municipal Olympic Company (EOM). Info at  www.rio2016.com.


Lillehammer 2016

Four young designers from the University College of Gjøvik in Norway were given the mission to create
Lillehammer 2016’s Youth Olympic Games (YOG) emblem, which was unveiled last week. The launch of this emblem is the first step by the Lillehammer 2016 YOG Organising Committee towards revealing the visual identity of the next Winter Youth Olympic Games.



We have just learnt that the Association of National Olympic Committees of Africa (ANOCA), whose President is IOC honorary member Lassana Palenfo, organised on 12 and 13 October in Kigali (Rwanda) the 30th seminar for secretaries general of its member NOCs. A total of 52 of the 53 member NOCs were represented at this meeting, whose theme was 
“Ensuring an efficient and performing administration”. The 2014 edition will take place in Lesotho. Info at www.africaolympic.org.


Meeting on 4 November, the SportAccord Council decided to establish “SISO”, the Sports Integrity Standards Organisation, to accelerate its ongoing efforts in the areas of sports integrity and social responsibility. SISO will coordinate and support the existing efforts of the International Federations (IFs) with regard to integrity and social responsibility, and develop standards, guidelines and licensing systems for both the sports world and service providers. Info at  www.sportaccord.com.


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