Olympic Highlights 03/05/2021

03 May 2021

IOC activities


On 27 April, with 86 days left until the opening of the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, and 118 days left until the opening of the Paralympic Games, the IOC, the International Paralympic Committee (IPC), the Tokyo Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (Tokyo 2020), the Tokyo Metropolitan Government and the Government of Japan agreed on measures to ensure the safe organisation of the Games. The five parties will continue to deploy all possible COVID-19 countermeasures and place the highest priority on safety for the sake of all participants, including the athletes, and the Japanese public who will be playing host to the Games. All parties at the meeting renewed their full commitment to safe and secure Games for all participants and the Japanese people. Read the full five-party joint statement here.

IOC President Thomas Bach held a meeting with International Equestrian Federation (FEI) President Ingmar De Vos, who also an IOC Member. They discussed topics of mutual interest including the preparations for the upcoming Olympic Games Tokyo 2020.

This week, President Bach took part in the Discovery Global Town Hall, a virtual staff meeting hosted by David Zaslav, President and CEO of Discovery Communications, with JB Perrette, President and CEO of Discovery International. During a Q&A session, he spoke to some 11,000 staff members about the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 and the fruitful partnership with Discovery, the Rights-Holding Broadcaster in Europe. Another topic discussed was the impact of digital consumption in attracting and engaging more young fans in the future with the values of sport and the magic of the Olympic Games, and not only during the Games.

© IOC / Greg Martin

President Bach took part alongside Muhammad Yunus, the Nobel Peace Prize laureate, in the 16th session of the Yunus Social Business Centre (YSBC) Web Lecture Series, the theme of which was “Social Business and Sports”. The lecture was organised by the Yunus Centre, chaired by Muhammad Yunus. The event moderator was James Chau, international broadcaster, host of The China Current, and Goodwill Ambassador of the World Health Organisation.

© IOC / Greg Martin

At Olympic House, President Bach welcomed Doug Ryder from South Africa, who competed in road cycling at the Olympic Games Atlanta 1996. He is also the founder and principal of Team Qhubeka ASSOS, the only African-registered UCI WorldTeam. During his visit, Ryder signed the Olympians’ Wall in the IOC Sports Department. The President also presented OLY certificate and pin to Ryder.

During a videoconference call, the President and Kirsty Coventry, an IOC Executive Board member and Chair of the IOC Athletes' Commission, discussed a broad range of current Olympic topics, including preparations for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020.

President Bach also discussed several Olympic matters with IOC Member Uğur Erdener in relation to the IOC Medical and Scientific Commission, particularly the COVID-19 countermeasures, including vaccinations.


The IOC President met IOC Member Samira Asghari, who is also a member of the Afghanistan NOC Executive Board, at Olympic House.

Other Olympic news

The IOC, the IPC and Tokyo 2020 have launched the second editions of the Tokyo 2020 Playbooks, with the version for Athletes and Team Officials on 27 April.  Building on February’s publication, the new Playbooks provide more specific details to participants about the countermeasures that will help ensure safe and successful Games for all those taking part and the residents of Tokyo and Japan. In addition, some of the key measures in the Playbooks can be found in the five-party joint statement. Read the full news release here.

In the framework of the Sports Emmy and Webby Awards, the IOC has received five nominations, including for an Olympic Channel original featuring the global #StrongerTogether campaign film that marked one year to go until the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 starting in July 2021, and for work co-created with Worldwide Olympic Partners Airbnb and Toyota, with Olympians and Paralympians at the heart of the recognised platforms. The IOC’s works are now eligible to win the internet industry’s two prestigious awards: the Webby Awards, as selected by the International Academy of Digital Arts & Sciences; and the Webby People’s Voice award, whose winners are voted for by fans. Voting is open here until 6 May at 11.59 p.m. Pacific Time. Read the full news release here.

The IOC, through its Olympic Studies Centre and Medical and Scientific Department, has contributed to the establishment of a Social Science Research (SSR) Collaboration Platform to raise the visibility of SSR in sport, in partnership with the Council of Europe, the European Commission, the Partnership for Clean Competition, UNESCO and the World Anti-Doping Agency. The SSR Collaboration Platform is an informal “Community of Practice” for international organisations that fund or support SSR in sports integrity matters. Its focus is to share best practices and raise the visibility of SSR to increase its usability and, ultimately, its impact on the sporting system. The organisations involved commit to sharing experiences using their collective insights to improve the benefits of SSR, which include reducing duplication of research and, importantly, improving the way in which SSR is disseminated, understood and adopted by stakeholders in the field of sport. For more information about the SSR opportunities available for stakeholders, see the Communiqué.  In addition, stakeholders interested in improving SSR on sports integrity are invited to complete a short survey by 31 May.

International federations

Summer ifs

From 1 to 6 May, 225 athletes from 46 countries will take part in the FINA Diving World Cup. Held at the Tatsumi Aquatics Centre in Tokyo, this competition is a qualification and test event for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 and will allow for the completion of the list of 136 divers who will compete this summer in the Japanese capital. Eight finals are on the programme of this World Cup, organised under strict sanitary and health conditions and without spectators in the stands. Full details here on the International Swimming Federation (FINA)’s website.

national olympic committees

The Barbados Olympic Association (BOA) has announced that its President, Sandra Osborne, and Board member Adrian Lorde were recently appointed to Panam Sports commissions. For the first time, Osborne will serve on the Legal Commission, while Lorde will serve his 26th year on the Medical Commission. In addition, the National Olympic Academy of the BOA held its final Media Interaction Workshop on 17 April with athletes aged 13 to 16. The workshop was facilitated by Marsha Boyce, and Athletes’ Commission members including Sheena Gooding, Tanya Oxley and Chair Anicia Wood also attended. More info at www.olympic.org.bb.

© Cape Verdean Olympic Committee

The first 2021 General Assembly of the Cape Verdean Olympic Committee took place on 17 April, bringing together representatives from the federations and associations affiliated to the NOC (photo). Among the topics on the agenda were the approvals of the 2020 accounts and the Activity Plan and amended budget for 2021. More info here. On 6 April, hundreds of children and young people celebrated the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace. They took part in several sports activities and lectures on sport and Olympism on the islands of Santo Antão, São Vicente, São Nicolau, Maio and Santiago, which were organised by the local Olympic Clubs. More details here. In addition, the NOC has launched its new website created in partnership with the Spanish Olympic Committee, in the framework of the CONPaaS project – the digital services platform created for NOCs by the Spanish NOC and funded by Olympic Solidarity. 

© Liechtenstein Olympic Committee

Over the past few months, the Liechtenstein Olympic Committee (LOC) has been reviewing its vision and mission. Based on this, its strategy for 2021 to 2024 was defined, putting the focus on Liechtenstein as a sports country: healthy, successful and sustainable! To implement this vision in a goal-oriented manner, the LOC is relying strongly on cooperation with its peers, athletes, associations, coaches, the authorities and partners, so that the sports system and recognition for sport can be promoted and positively developed. The LOC strategy is characterised by three guiding goals: promote and challenge amateur and competitive sport in both junior and adult categories; further develop the Liechtenstein sports system together with the federations; and live and spread the Olympic values. More details at www.olympic.li.

The NOC of Lithuania (LNOC) and Neringa Municipality will organise the Olympic Festival in the resort town of Nida during the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020. Given the epidemiological situation in the country and the effective security requirements, Neringa residents and guests will be invited not only to support Lithuanian Olympians present in Tokyo, but also to engage in Olympic sports themselves. This year, 10 European countries are planning to host Olympic festivals organised by their NOCs during the Olympic Games. Recently, LNOC representatives attended a meeting with the NOCs of the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Slovakia, the Netherlands, Sweden, Romania and Slovenia, during which each country presented its plans and vision for its festival. More info at www.ltok.lt.

The Moroccan NOC has launched the website of its Digital Olympic Academy (www.aod.cnomweb.com). In addition, as part of the preparations for the Games in Tokyo, the NOC is currently holding a series of individual meetings with the sports federations concerned. More details on www.cnom.org.ma.

© Portuguese NOC

The uniforms for the athletes of Team Portugal for Tokyo 2020 were unveiled during Portugal Fashion, a fashion event that promotes the national image, asserting itself as a reference for the creativity and aesthetic sophistication of Portugal abroad. Several Portuguese athletes – Carla Salomé Rocha, Evelise Veiga, Francisco Belo and Sara Catarina Ribeiro (athletics), Diogo Costa and Pedro Costa (sailing), Emanuel Silva (canoeing), Rui Silva (handball), Tamila Holub (swimming) and Tiago Apolónia (table tennis) – were models on the catwalk (photo), along with some professional models. More info here on the Portuguese NOC’s website.

© Serbian NOC

The Olympic Committee of Serbia marked 100 days until the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 by opening an exhibition, On the right track, dedicated to the Olympic heritage of Serbia from 1912 to 2016. The exhibition is being held in the gallery of the Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts in Belgrade. It aims to familiarise the general public with the history of the Olympic Movement and its significance for the country, the participation of Serbian athletes in the Summer Olympic Games for over one century, and with the architectural sports heritage of Belgrade. Thousands of people, including Olympic champions Jasna Sekaric, Dejan Savic, Vanja Grbic and Milica Mandic, have already visited the exhibition, which has been produced with the help of Olympic Solidarity. More info at www.oks.org.rs

© Spanish NOC

The Spanish NOC and the Association of Spanish Sport (ADESP) recently held a meeting at the NOC’s headquarters. The agenda included studying various common work areas to be developed between the NOC and the ADESP to promote Spanish sport now and in the future. In these difficult times and owing to the COVID-19 pandemic, working together on objectives and projects is the only way to achieve the goals of sport and become a better, more social, more inclusive and more equal society. More info here.

The Venezuelan NOC has announced that triple jumper Yulimar Rojas (photo) has entered the Guinness World Records. Olympic silver medallist at the Olympic Games Rio 2016, she owes this feat to having set the world indoor record with a jump of 15.43m. This record, set on 21 February 2020 in Madrid (Spain) also earned her the title of World Athletics Female Athlete of the Year 2020.

OrganiSing committees for the youth Olympic games

Gangwon 2024
© Gangwon 2024

The Organising Committee for the Winter Youth Olympic Games (YOG) Gangwon 2024 has ensured that young people will play a key role in planning and promoting the Games by launching a new youth engagement programme. Thirty young people have been selected to participate in the Youth Supporters initiative, which will see them work closely with the Organising Committee (GYOGOC) over the next year on the development of digital content, communications and other YOG-related activities to help engage young people throughout the host nation and beyond. Full details here.

Recognised organisations

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has published the Agency’s “live” webinar schedule for May, which encompasses all webinars being offered, in particular WADA’s 2021 Code Implementation Support Program  webinar series; and the Africa and Latin America webinar series being offered by the Agency’s Regional Offices to assist anti-doping stakeholders in their regions. Full webinar’ programme here.


On 24 April, the General Assembly of the International Pierre de Coubertin Committee (CIPC) was held online and attended by a record number of 47 members, covering 21 nationalities from 4 continents. The Assembly was chaired by the CIPC President, Stephan Wassong, with as a special guest Jacques Guhl, a close contemporary witness of Pierre de Coubertin`s life in Lausanne and the founder of the CIPC in 1975. The projects presented included the CIPC archives and their digitisation, the CIPC Directory, a virtual exhibition on Coubertin and the Arts, the 2022 International Pierre de Coubertin Youth Forum and the planning of a Conference in 2022 in Los Angeles, in collaboration with the United States Pierre de Coubertin Committee. A working group for teachers at Pierre de Coubertin schools is ready to plan an online series of lectures on various topics related to Olympic studies. More details at www.coubertin.org

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