Olympic Highlights 02/09/2019

IOC / Christophe Moratal



The IOC President, Thomas Bach, attended the 32nd Congress of the International Triathlon Union (ITU) chaired by IOC Member Marisol Casado. President Bach congratulated the ITU for leading the way in embracing Olympic Agenda 2020, which he said is “not just for the IOC or the Olympic Games, but a roadmap for every sport and National Olympic Committee. It is a vision for the future of sport and its role in society.” The IOC President noted that the report presented by Marisol Casado clearly demonstrated the adoption of the Olympic Agenda 2020 recommendations and their translation into the sport of triathlon: “There is gender equality, sustainability, good governance, and athletes at the heart of everything you do. And because you have made these changes, you are considered to be a modern sport.” President Bach awarded Marisol Casado with the IOC Trophy, for being a leader in promoting the Olympic values, and a certificate commemorating the 25 years of triathlon’s inclusion in the Olympic programme. See also this news on the ITU website here.

On the eve of the Congress, President Bach welcomed the members of the ITU Executive Board to Olympic House and took part in the fruitful discussion about the future of triathlon in the Olympic programme and the Olympic Test Event held recently in Tokyo. The ITU is the first IF to hold an Executive Board meeting in Olympic House.

IOC / Christophe Moratal

President Thomas Bach welcomed International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) President Sebastian Coe. Discussions focused mainly on the preparations for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, as well as other topics of mutual interest. They also discussed the IOC-IAAF Council joint meeting, which will take place in September in Doha (Qatar) during the World Athletics Championships.


Last weekend, the IOC President attended the Total Badminton World Championships in Basel, Switzerland. He was welcomed by Badminton World Federation (BWF) President and IOC Member Poul-Erik Høyer. The two presidents presented the women’s doubles medals together. The gold medal was won by Japanese pair Mayu Matsumoto and Wakana Nagahara following an exciting match against compatriots Yuki Fukushima and Sayaka Hirota. President Bach congratulated the BWF on the success of the World Championships, which featured matches played in front of sell-out crowds, and said that he was looking forward to the Olympic badminton tournament next year in Tokyo. He also attended the women’s final and a number of matches in the Para-badminton competition, which was being held concurrently. During the World Championships, President Bach also met IOC Member Craig Reedie and Viola Amherd, Swiss Federal Councillor and Minister for Defence, Civil Protection and Sport.


IOC / Benoit Fontaine

IOC Vice President Zaiqing Yu represented the IOC at the XXI Congress of the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) held in Beijing (People’s Republic of China).

Khunying Patama Leeswadtrakul

Khunying Patama Leeswadtrakul (right in photo) received an honorary doctorate from the Thailand National Sport University. The honorary degree was presented by Princess Chulabhorn (left) at a ceremony held in early August.

honorary members


Mario Pescante has been named an honorary member of the International Committee of Mediterranean Games (ICMG) in recognition of his significant contribution to sport in the Mediterranean region. He received the honorary title at the ICMG General Assembly in Patras (Greece).

TOP partners

In a joint initiative, the IOC and its Official Carbon Partner, Dow, will incentivise and support the IFs and NOCs in recognition of their tangible climate action. The new initiative is part of the IOC’s commitment to support and lead the Olympic Movement, including the IFs and the NOCs, in integrating sustainability into their operations. It is aimed at helping the NOCs and IFs understand, measure and reduce their carbon footprint. The initiative will reward through carbon offsets those IFs and NOCs that are implementing real and tangible action to address and reduce greenhouse gas emissions within the scope of their sports organisations and respective events. Full news release here


Celebrating its three-year anniversary, the Olympic Channel now has more than 19,000 videos representing all Olympic sports disciplines and 206 countries, 65 original series, partnerships with 91 IFs and multisport organisers, availability in 11 languages and strategic distribution partnerships in 160 territories, leading to more personalised experiences for fans around the world. Live event coverage of Buenos Aires 2018, localisation efforts in the Japanese market and compelling original programming and digital content contributed to a 330 per cent increase in organic traffic to the platform from the previous year. Full news release here.


At the beginning of August, the centenary of the birth of Raja Bhalendra Singh (see photo) was celebrated. He was President of the Indian NOC and Honorary Life President of the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA). An IOC Member from 1947 until his death in 1992, he was the father of Raja Randhir Singh, a current IOC Honorary Member.

international federations

summer ifs


During the XXI Congress of the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) held in Beijing (People’s Republic of China), delegates from 156 National Federations elected a new President and new Central Board members for the 2019-2023 term of office. Hamane Niang succeeds Horacio Muratore in becoming the new FIBA President. Niang was FIBA Vice-President and also President of FIBA Africa for the period of 2014-2019, having formerly been President of the Mali Basketball Federation and also the Minister of Sport in Mali. More info here. On the occasion of the Congress, the FIBA Awards Ceremony was also held, recognising the most successful National Federations.  More info here.

In addition, FIBA will be producing and broadcasting in 4K for the first time ever during a bumper week of 3x3 basketball in Debrecen (Hungary) from 27 August to 1 September. The programme includes the FIBA 3x3 World Tour, the FIBA 3x3 Women’s Series and the 2019 FIBA 3x3 Europe Cup. FIBA will also be kick-starting two weeks of digital innovation with the 2019 Basketball World Cup. More details here.

The International Equestrian Federation (FEI)’s annual report for 2018 has been published on the FEI website ( INSIDE.FEI.org). The report provides a comprehensive recap of key sporting moments and the main decisions taken, as well as information on the sports development activities carried out through the FEI Solidarity programme. The full financial report and statistical trends can be found in the online annual report, which also includes videos of major sports events. More info at www.fei.org.


With just under one year to go before the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, and to coincide with the start of the “Ready Steady Tokyo” test event in the brand-new Oi Hockey Stadium, the International Hockey Federation (FIH) has launched “Gift of Hockey”, its official campaign ahead of the Olympic hockey tournaments. Gift of Hockey is inspired by the concept of omotenashi – Japanese hospitality – which is a cornerstone of Japanese culture. The campaign presents hockey as a gift – a sport with a solid history and strong values of inclusiveness, gender equality, community-building and respect, and one capable of leaving legacies such as the Oi Hockey Stadium. More details here.

World Rugby has announced that its flagship 15s and sevens Rugby World Cup properties will no longer include gender in their titles, furthering its commitment to equality and brand consistency across its portfolio. In a first for a major sporting federation, the “Women’s” designation will be dropped from the Women’s Rugby World Cup 2021 in New Zealand, which will now be named Rugby World Cup 2021, starting the global roll-out. This announcement follows the unveiling of World Rugby’s landmark new “Women in Rugby” brand identity and global campaign “Try and Stop Us”, which was launched in May in partnership with member unions to drive greater growth and investment in the women’s game. More details here. World Rugby has also announced the appointment of ice hockey Olympic gold medallist Angela Ruggiero as an independent member of its Executive Committee. She is a former IOC Executive Board member and IOC Athletes’ Commission Chair. She is currently the CEO and co-founder of Sports Innovation Lab, the global market research firm focused exclusively on the sports technology industry. More details here.

The International Tennis Federation (ITF) has announced a series of improvements to the ITF Seniors Circuit for 2020 and 2021, following the publication of the 2019-2021 ITF Seniors Strategic Development Plan in January this year. The changes are motivated by the ITF’s mission to make seniors tennis the leading competitive sport for participants aged 35 and over, and to increase the number of players, nations and tournaments on the ITF Seniors Circuit from 2020 onwards. More info at www.itftennis.com.

During its meeting at Olympic House in Lausanne ahead of the World Triathlon Grand Final, the Executive Board of the International Triathlon Union (ITU) awarded the 2022 World Triathlon Multisport Championships to Ibiza (Spain). Ibiza already hosted the European version of the event in 2018. More info here.

The World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) marked International Youth Day on 12 August by entering into a partnership with schools in Fukushima (Japan). This initiative will involve collecting baseball and softball equipment and delivering it to developing baseball-softball nations worldwide. In the aftermath of the earthquake that hit Japan in 2011, the WBSC initiated a programme to help support the recovery of the Fukushima Prefecture through sport by donating baseball-softball equipment. Touched by the support of the global baseball-softball community, students and teachers have started working with the WBSC to collect equipment and donate it to programmes in Africa, Asia and Europe. More details here. In addition, as part of the ongoing development of softball in China, the WBSC has announced the launch of the China Sports Foundation – Yan Fang Softball Fund.  This follows the signing of an agreement between Yan Fang, a silver medallist at the Olympic Games Atlanta 1996, and the China Sports Foundation in Beijing in July. The project is backed by the Chinese Ministry of Sport, the Chinese NOC and the Chinese Baseball Federation. More details here.

The International Surfing Association (ISA) has welcomed the Surf Association of Myanmar and the American Samoa Surfing Association as new member nations. The two new National Federations bring the ISA’s member total to 108, underlining its efforts to grow the sport of surfing in all its disciplines across all continents of the globe, particularly in non-traditional surfing nations. More details here.

national olympic committees

Algerian NOC

Mustafa Berraf, the President of the Algerian NOC and an IOC Member (left in photo), and the head of the Directorate-General for National Security, have signed an agreement designed to combat threats to the integrity of sport. Under this agreement, the DGSN’s remit will now go beyond overseeing the safety of athletes, fans and referees and stadium security at sports events; the body will also be directly involved in the fight against corruption and misappropriation of funds in sport at national level. More details here

Bahrain NOC

As part of a national coaches programme, a level 3 course was organised by the Olympic Academy of the Bahrain NOC. In total, 25 coaches from Bahrein and Saudi Arabia took part in the two-week course, which was run in partnership with the Coaching Association of Canada. In addition, a human resources management course was organised by the NOC in cooperation with Olympic Solidarity. The course focused on ways to organise human resource structures in sports bodies and to use these to achieve the best possible results.

Côte d’Ivoire NOC

To mark Olympic Day, the Côte d’Ivoire NOC ran a “Get Moving, Learning and Discovering” initiative for the people of Attécoubé, a commune in  Abidjan. Representing Lassana Palenfo, the NOC President and an IOC Honorary Member, Vice-President for Communication Namama Fadiga thanked the local authorities and the people of Attécoubé for their turn-out and support, before relaying a message from the IOC President. The event featured a number of activities, including sports demonstrations in judo, wrestling, athletics, gymnastics, karate, archery, cycling and boxing. In addition, a level 1 national technical course for judo coaches was organised, under the auspices of the NOC, at the National Youth and Sports Institute in Abidjan at the end of June. 

JOC/Photo Kishimoto

The Japanese Olympic Committee (JOC) has launched the “Zei-in Dankestu” (Everyone Unite) Project for the upcoming Olympic Games Tokyo 2020. The notion of athletes, national sports federations and the public working together has been included in the name of the project. The emblem is inspired by origami, an ancient Japanese artform that symbolises unity and connecting people. The public will be able to send messages in origami form, which will then be delivered to athletes next year. At the project kick-off event, Olympian and former tennis player Shuzo Matsuoka was appointed Head of Supporters with a view to boosting support for the Japanese Olympic team. The event was attended by JOC President Yasuhiro Yamashia, representatives of summer national sports federations, Olympians Shinji Takahira and Saori Yoshida, and a number of Olympic hopefuls. More info at www.joc.or.jp.

Ben Tan

The Singapore National Olympic Council (SNOC) has announced that Ben Tan (see photo) has been appointed Chef de Mission for Team Singapore at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020. Tan, a gold medallist in sailing at the Southeast Asian Games and Asian Games, competed in the Laser event at the Olympic Games Atlanta 1996. In 2005, he was named Chair of the first SNOC Athletes’ Commission, and was elected SNOC Vice-President in 2018. He has been part of the Singapore Sailing Federation since 2002. Tan has a background in sports medicine and currently serves as Chair of World Sailing’s Medical Commission. More details here.

recognised organisations

The city of Taranto (Italy) will host the 20th edition of the Mediterranean Games in 2026, following the decision of the International Committee of Mediterranean Games (ICMG) General Assembly, held on 24 August in Patras (Greece) on the eve of the Mediterranean Beach Games. More details here.

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