Olympic Highlights 07/02/2021



A week before his arrival in Tokyo, IOC President Thomas Bach chaired the IOC Executive Board (EB) meeting which met virtually on 1 July. The EB members discussed the latest situation regarding the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, and several other Olympic topics. The EB also approved the Rule 50.2 Guidelines for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020. These Guidelines, which were presented to the EB by Kirsty Coventry, Chair of the IOC Athletes’ Commission (IOC AC), provide 

further clarity and guidance to athletes on the wide range of opportunities available to them to express their views, including on the Field of Play prior to the start of the competition.  Read here the full news release.

On 29 June, with less than one month to go until the Opening Ceremony of the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, the IOC President addressed a letter to the Olympic Movement in which he expressed his “sincere gratitude for the extraordinary resilience and cooperation shown by all of you in organising these unprecedented postponed Olympic Games”. He added: “We have now entered the field of play, the competition is about to start, and like the athletes whom we serve, we need to keep our efforts and energy focused on achieving the best results. For that, now more than ever, we have to work together as one team. Each of you is critical to the success of the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020. This event will be unlike any that we have experienced in the past. We are therefore counting on your cooperation and flexibility to ensure their success.” Read the full text of the letter here

At Olympic House, President Bach welcomed IOC Member and Ukrainian NOC President Sergey Bubka. They discussed various Olympic subjects, including the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020.

Also at Olympic House, President Bach met IOC Member Watanabe Morinari, who is also President of the International Gymnastics Federation (FIG). During their meeting, they discussed several Olympic topics, including the latest preparations for the boxing tournament at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, which will be run by the IOC Boxing Task Force chaired by Watanabe.

In   other   news, President   Bach   discussed   a number of topical Olympic issues with IOC Vice-President Ser Miang Ng, who also attended the EB in person.

President Thomas Bach is set to arrive in Japan on Thursday 8 July, with just over two weeks to go until the Opening Ceremony of the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020. He will go to Tokyo fully vaccinated and, just like all Games participants, will follow the Playbooks guidelines to ensure that the Games are safe and secure this summer. Upon his arrival, the IOC President will work remotely only. His official programme of in-person and remote meetings with arriving delegations, Games stakeholders and the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee will then commence on 12 July. His destinations are registered, and his activities will be conducted under the strict rules set out in the Playbooks. A visit to Hiroshima on 16 July to mark the start of the Olympic Truce is currently being arranged for President Bach. For John Coates, Chair of the IOC Coordination Commission, a visit to Nagasaki is being planned on this day.

Other Olympic news

IOC/Yamazaki Yuichi

The first-ever Olympic Agora was inaugurated in Tokyo’s Nihonbashi district on 30 June, opening a series of art installations, exhibitions and digital programmes celebrating Olympism for fans of sport and culture. Wrestling star Kaori Icho helped cut the ribbon, inviting local and digital audiences to experience the power of sport and culture. Spearheaded by the Olympic Foundation for Culture and Heritage (OFCH), the Olympic Agora will be on view from 1 July to 15 August 2021. Full news release here.

This year, many NOCs joined the IOC for the launch of the #StrongerTogether campaign on Olympic Day (23 June), marking one month to go to the start of the Games in Tokyo. Some 120 NOCs also celebrated the occasion in their own unique way. From countrywide in-person events to digital initiatives, NOCs got creative in finding ways to inspire a nation to come together and get active. Discover here the best examples from across the globe.

International Federations

Summer IFs

The International Gymnastics Federation (FIG) has announced the first meeting of its new Safeguarding Working Group. Around 15 athletes from various parts of the world took part in the meeting, seeking to help the IF drive a positive cultural change in the world of gymnastics leading to a safe training environment for everyone. This meeting was mainly aimed at explaining the role of the Working Group within the FIG decision-making structure and introducing the current projects run by the Federation. The meeting was held by videoconference and led by the Group's Chair, Donatella Sacchi, the President of the Women’s Artistic Gymnastics Technical Committee. More details here.

The International Swimming Federation (FINA) has announced that its “Rules on Protection from Harassment and Abuse” are now in full force and effect and published at www.fina.org. These Rules were approved by the FINA Bureau on 5 June 2021 following consultation with athletes, medical professionals and various other stakeholders within the FINA family. Moreover, these new Rules are in harmony with the 2016 IOC Consensus Statement on “Harassment and Abuse in Sport”. Full details here.

The 72 athletes who will compete in modern pentathlon at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 have been named by the International Union of Modern Pentathlon (UIPM). The identity of the 36 female and 36 male qualifiers was revealed in a special digital TV broadcast on the UIPM’s social media channels. Eight countries from four continents will be represented by the maximum quota of four athletes, with 31 nations represented in all. Five Olympic medallists and 11 world champions will take part in the Olympic competition in Tokyo, which will be held from 5 to 7 August. Full info here.

On 1 July, the International Tennis Federation (ITF) announced the complete entry lists for the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020.  The Olympic tennis competition will be held at the Ariake Tennis Park from 24 July to 1 August, with the Paralympic competition following at the same venue from 27 August to 4 September. A total of 46 nations are represented in this year’s Olympic tennis competition, with players from 31 nations contesting the Paralympic competition. Full details here.

In few weeks’ time, 128 archers (64 men and 64 women) from 51 nations will take to the archery field in Yumenoshima Park for the archery competition at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020. World Archery will be bringing preview content, coverage and celebration of the competition throughout the summer under the #ArcheryatTokyo banner. Five gold medals will be awarded for the first time since archery’s return to the programme in 1972, and the mixed team event will make its Olympic debut. Full details here.

National Olympic committees

Albanian NOC

On 1 July, Albanian NOC President Fidel Ylli, accompanied by Olympic athletes, took part in a press conference on Albania’s participation at the Games in Tokyo. He shared with journalists all the technical details for the qualified athletes, the team vaccination programme, preparations for training camps, objectives for these Games, and the funds provided by the NOC for the Albanian Olympic team. He also mentioned the fruitful collaboration with national sponsors and institutional partners that have supported the Olympic team; the support for the preparations for Tokyo 2020 during the pandemic year; and the financial support for other athletes who aimed to qualify and participate in qualifying competitions. On their side, the athletes also thanked the NOC for its continuous support. More info at www.nocalbania.org.al.

Algerian NOC

The Algerian NOC, in cooperation with Skikda Province, organised the 30th edition of Olympic Day on 25 and 26 June. Proceedings were launched by the NOC President, Abderrahmane Hammad, with representatives from the local and sporting authorities in attendance. The event was a chance to pay tribute to former national team athletes from Skikda Province. The NOC President gave the signal to get the Olympic Run underway on 26 June, while exhibition and sports discipline stands were set up in central Skikda. The 2021 edition came to an end with beach sport demonstrations on Stora beach. More details here.  

Barbados Olympic Association Inc..

Over the course of a week, the Barbados Olympic Association Inc. (BOA) organised several activities to commemorate Olympic Day. A tree-planting ceremony was held to raise environmental awareness and to highlight the importance of trees to health and combatting global warming. Held on the grounds of the Olympic Centre, the ceremony also paid tribute to the former BOA Vice-President, the late Ralph “Bruggadung” Johnson, who made an outstanding contribution to sport and who loved the environment. James Johnson, Ralph’s son, planted the olive tree at a ceremony attended by BOA officials – President Sandra Osborne, Secretary General Erskine Simmons and Vice-President Cameron Burke – and Public Relations Consultant of the Ministry of Environment and National Beautification Antoine Williams (see photo). The BOA intends to continue its tree-planting initiative, planting trees in honour of other outstanding sportspersons. More details here.

On 23 June, the Brazilian delegation for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 gathered virtually for an Olympic meeting, where information was exchanged and important updates and guidance on Team Brazil's operations in Japan were provided. The President of the Brazilian Olympic Committee (BOC), Paulo Wanderley Teixeira, also gave information about awards which will be presented to all Tokyo 2020 medallists. Full details here.


To celebrate Olympic Day, the Chinese Taipei Olympic Committee (CTOC) organised a series of events, including a “Train with Olympians” online session and “Stronger Together” Olympic protocol webinars. Thousands of sports enthusiasts participated in the week-long celebration, which started with the launch of a new Olympic Day billboard at the Sport Joint Office Tower. More than 60,000 people took part in online fitness training sessions with Olympians. On 22 and 23 June, athletes, coaches, representatives of national federations and sports enthusiasts participated in the Olympic protocol seminars to learn about the history of the CTOC’s participation in the Olympic Movement and the Olympic Games, and about the Playbooks for Tokyo 2020. Athens 2004 and Beijing 2008 taekwondo gold and bronze medallist Chu Mu-Yen joined in the “Meeting an Olympian” session to share his Olympic Games stories and experiences as an Athletes’ Committee member for the CTOC and the Olympic Council of Asia. More info at www.tpenoc.net.

Colombian NOC

Double Olympic BMX champion Mariana Pajón was symbolically handed the Colombian flag by the Colombian President, Iván Duque, at a ceremony for the Colombian delegation going to the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020. The ceremony was held on 29 June at the Casa de Nariño, the official residence of the Colombian President. In attendance, along with the athletes and coaches, were the President of the Colombian NOC, Ciro Solano Hurtado, the Chef de Mission for Tokyo 2020, Helmut Bellingrodt Wolff, the Minister for Sport, Ernesto Lucena, and the Japanese Ambassador to Colombia, Keiichiro Morishita. More info here.    


Brigitte Henriques (photo) was elected President of the French NOC (CNOSF) at the CNOSF General Assembly on 29 June. She becomes the first woman to hold this position, and succeeds Denis Masseglia, who had been President since 2009. Before her election, Henriques had been CNOSF Vice-President for Development and Diversity of Practice. She has also served as Vice-President of the French Football Federation since 2017, having previously been its Secretary General from 2011, in charge of women’s football development and the “Sport and Disability” and “Football at School” programmes. A new Board of Directors was also elected at the CNOSF General Assembly. More details here.

Georgian NOC

The Georgian NOC recently hosted Sports Administrators Courses within the framework of the current management programmes under the Olympic Solidarity 2021-2024 quadrennial plan. The participants were sports specialists, administrators and volunteers from Georgian sporting society, National Sports Federations, and students from the State Learning University of Physical Education and Sport. Experienced sports experts from the NOC and invited lecturers shared their knowledge on the Olympic Movement, gender issues, COVID-19 challenges, sports marketing, athletes’ nutrition and human resources. Participants were awarded with IOC certificates. More info at www.geonoc.org.ge.


The Hellenic Olympic Committee (HOC) has unveiled the official uniforms the athletes will be wearing at Tokyo 2020. The uniforms were worn by Voula Papachristou (track and field), Evangelia Platanioti and Evelina Papazoglou (artistic swimming), Vyron Kokkalanis (sailing), Apostolos Christou (swimming) and Emmanouil Karalis (track and field). The event was attended by the Deputy Minister for Sport, Lefteris Avgenakis, the Secretary General for Sport, George Mavrotas, and the HOC President, IOC Member Spyros Capralos, along with the majority of the athletes who have already qualified for Tokyo 2020. At the end of the event, the HOC President, together with the Deputy Minister for Sport, symbolically handed over the Greek flag to the Chef de Mission, Michalis Fysentzidis. The Deputy Chef de Mission, Iakovos Filippousis, and the HOC Secretary General, Manolis Kolympadis, were also present. More info at www.hoc.gr.

Olympic Committee of Israel

The Olympic Committee of Israel marked Olympic Day 2021 with two notable events. On 9 June, an Olympic Day Webinar (see photo) was held as part of the 6th International Congress of Exercise and Sport Sciences at the Academic College at Wingate in collaboration with the US Embassy in Israel and the European Olympic Academies (EOA). The webinar featured 22 different lectures related to Olympic history, Olympic education and the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, among others. The speakers included IOC Member Richard Pound, IOA Dean Konstantinos Georgiadis, EOA President Manfred Laemmer and seven-time Olympic medallist in gymnastics Simona Amanar, as well as Yael Arad, Chair of the Israeli NOC Sports Commission. The event was attended by participants from all five continents, including sports managers, coaches, athletes, journalists, academics, students and physical education teachers. On 23 June, the NOC conducted an interactive Olympic quiz on social media channels with the participation of Israeli athletes who will compete in Tokyo. More than 70,000 people were reached with Olympic Day content via the NOC's social media. The President of Israel, Reuven Ruvi Rivlin, also sent a special greeting at the end of the day. In addition, the departure ceremony of the Olympic and Paralympic delegations to Tokyo was held at the President's House in Jerusalem. More info at www.olympicsil.co.il.

Lithuanian NOC

This year, the Olympic Day festival in Lithuania lasted for a record-breaking six days. During this time, sports fans were able to try out more than 50 different sports activities. The President of the Republic of Lithuania, Gitanas Nausėda, lit the Olympic Day flame at the beginning of the festival, with Lithuanian NOC President and IOC Member Daina Gudzinevičiūtė also in attendance. Some athletes who will compete at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 carried the flame from the NOC to the festival site in Vilnius. During the celebration of Olympic Day in Vilnius, for the first time, sports activities were available from Monday to Friday at dedicated sports bases, namely in the venues used by Olympians for training. The festival included breakdance and skateboarding demos, as well as a 500m run for children, the Lithuanian Olympic mile (1,988m) and 5 and 10km running competitions. More details here.

Moroccan NOC

As part of its programme to promote the Olympic values, and to mark Olympic Day, on 23 June the Moroccan NOC organised visits for schoolchildren to teach them about the history of Moroccan sport and explain the values and core aspects of Olympism (see photo). On the same day, in Rabat, the NOC took part in a national gathering organised by the National Ministry of Education, the theme of which was “Sports champions at the service of school and university sport”. More info at www.cnom.org.ma. In addition, the NOC has signed two agreements with the Sheikh Khalifa Ibn Zaid and Sheikh Zaid Foundations. The goal is to facilitate the medical care of athletes by providing special access to the Foundations’ hospital services. The beneficiaries are the Moroccan athletes who are preparing for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, Paris 2024 and Los Angeles 2028, and who have been selected by the National Sports Federations. More details here.   

Spanish NOC

The Alejandro Blanco Sports Centre, the first sports centre for refugees in the world, was inaugurated on 30 June in Getafe. The Centre was an initiative by Spanish NOC President Alejandro Blanco, who in light of the refugee situation in 2017 asked the IOC for assistance in building a sports facility where refugees could take part in physical and sporting activities and integrate into society. Those in attendance at the inauguration ceremony, in addition to the NOC President, included the Minister for Culture and Sport, José Manuel Rodríguez Uribes, the Secretary of State for Migration, Jesús Javier Perea Cortijo, the Mayor of Getafe, Sara Hernández, and the Chair of the Spanish Refugee Assistance Commission, Carlos Berzosa. A video message from the IOC President was also played at the ceremony. The Centre has been built exclusively with private funds from organisations such as the IOC, the International Judo Federation (IJF), the Catholic University of Murcia (UCAM) and the Spanish Handball, Basketball and Football Federations. Full details here.        

In addition, as is the case on the last Tuesday of every month, the Executive Committee of the Spanish NOC met physically on 29 June at the NOC headquarters in Madrid. The agenda included items on the NOC’s recent activities, the “On the Road to Olympus” campaign, and the latest news on the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020. More details here. The following day, the NOC headquarters hosted a meeting of the Olympic national federations, which approved the final composition of the Olympic delegation that will represent Spain in Tokyo. Full details here.

Organising committees for the Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020
Tokyo 2020

The Tokyo Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (Tokyo 2020) has unveiled two “Iconic Posters” that will be used to symbolise and promote the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020. The posters were selected by the IOC and the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) from 20 Tokyo 2020 official art posters created by internationally-renowned Japanese and overseas artists. Twelve of the posters are based on the theme of the Olympic Games and eight on the Paralympic Games. It is the first time that a separate Iconic Poster has been selected to symbolise the Paralympic Games. Full news release here.

Los Angeles 2028

The Organising Committee for the Olympic and Paralympic Games LA 2028 has announced it will invest USD 9.6 million in the 2021-2022 schoolyear to fund youth sport across Los Angeles, helping bring children back to sport and fitness as the community moves forward from the COVID-19 pandemic. The USD 9.6 million investment is part of an earlier agreement between LA 2028 and the IOC that USD 160 million would be invested to make sport more accessible to kids across Los Angeles ahead of the Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2028. It is the single largest commitment for youth sport development ever in California. Full news release here.

recognised Organisations

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) recently published its “live” webinar schedule for July. The schedule encompasses webinars being offered as part of the Agency’s Africa webinar series, organised by its Africa Regional Office to assist anti-doping stakeholders in the region. Find the schedule here. In addition, WADA has released a new education programme entitled “ADEL for Talented Athletes”, which is available on the Agency’s Anti-Doping Education and Learning Platform (ADEL). This new education programme is the sixth that has been made available for athletes on ADEL. In line with the International Standard for Education (ISE), this programme provides a solution for Anti-Doping Organisations (ADOs) wishing to educate athletes at the “talented level”, as defined and recommended within WADA’s Guidelines for Education. Full info here.


With less than one month to the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, the European Olympic Academies (EOA), an affiliate member organisation of the International Olympic Academy (IOA), launched the exhibition "Golden Memories – An Online Gallery on the Olympic Games at Tokyo 1964". The digitised photographs bring to life unique moments not only from the sports venues, but also from training and preparations, everyday life in the Olympic Village and the Opening and Closing Ceremonies. Ten countries have been involved in the project, which the Czech Olympic Academy initiated. Full info here.

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