Olympic Highlights 04/04/2022

IOC / Greg Martin

IOC ACTIVITIES

president

The IOC Executive Board (EB) met remotely via videoconference on 1 April. During the meeting, which was chaired by IOC President Thomas Bach, the Board discussed the next editions of the Olympic Games and various Olympic institutional issues. IOC Vice President Ser Miang Ng was present in Lausanne.

The IOC EB members received an update on the progress of the task force for the allocation and distribution of the Solidarity Fund it established for Ukrainian Olympic Community and sports movement. President Bach stated: “In these difficult circumstances, it is remarkable to hear about the great progress the task force is making to support the athletes and Olympic Community from Ukraine. It is also impressive to witness these expressions of solidarity within the Olympic Movement, uniting to provide this much-needed support.” Read the full news release here including all the actions undertaken to provide essential support to the Ukrainian Olympic community and sports movement

Concerning the Olympic Games Paris 2024, the IOC EB approved the qualification systems for all 32 sports on the sports programme and the competition schedule by session. In addition, the EB accepted the shooting competition formats and the weight classes for boxing and weightlifting. The Olympic Games Paris 2024 will be the first fully gender-balanced Games, with exactly 50 per cent male and female participation. Read the full news release here.

A new four-sport Olympic qualifier series for Paris 2024 was also presented to the EB. The new IOC-led Olympic qualifier series will include four sports – BMX freestyle, breaking, skateboarding, and sport climbing.  The qualifier series builds on recommendation 6 of Olympic Agenda 2020+5 “Enhance and promote the road to the Olympic Games.” The IOC will work closely with the four partner IFs – the International Federation of Sport Climbing, the Union Cycliste Internationale, the World DanceSport Federation and World Skate, which will remain responsible for the running of their respective competitions.  Read the full news release here.

The Olympic Games LA28 sports programme was also discussed. On 9 December 2021, a set of six themes for the review of the disciplines on the LA28 sports programme was approved by the IOC EB.  Building on the six themes of review and noting the importance of setting a clear framework for reviewing and defining the sport, discipline and event programme, the EB adopted on 1 April the LA28 programme principles. The  finalisation of the disciplines for each sport will be completed in  2023, along with the LA28 OCOG-proposed sports.  The events and athlete quotas are expected to be confirmed in December 2024. Read the full news release here.

In addition, the IOC EB recommended to the IFs that they should address the question of minimum age in their sports and, if needed, make the appropriate adjustments to their regulations.  

IOC / Greg Martin

This week, the IOC President travelled to Doha for the inauguration of the 3-2-1 Qatar Olympic & Sports Museum. The event was hosted by the Emir of Qatar, Sheik Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, who is an IOC Member. Among those who attended the event there were: Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, who is the President of Qatar Museums; IOC Members Khunying Patama Leeswadtrakul who is also Chair of the IOC Culture and Olympic Heritage Commission, Richard L. Carrión, and Gianni Infantino who is also President of the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA).

IOC / Greg Martin

In Doha, President Bach held a meeting with the Emir of Qatar, and thanked him for the firm support that the NOC of Qatar lent to the Refugee Olympic Team and the Olympic Refuge Foundation. The NOC provided assistance to bring the team together in Doha before they departed for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020. They discussed a range of Olympic topics and the current international situation.

President Bach held a telephone call with the Polish President, Andrzej Duda.  President Duda informed the IOC President about the work being done to welcome and support refugees and to  help Ukrainian sport. He expressed appreciation for the position and initiatives being taken by the IOC and the Olympic Movement to help Ukrainian athletes and the sports organisations.

President Bach also held discussion with the former German Ambassador to the United Nations, Christophe Heusgen, who is also the Chair of the Munich Security Conference. They discussed the current international situation.

At Olympic House in Lausanne, President Bach met the President of the International Ski Mountaineering Federation (ISMF), Regula Meier, and ISMF Secretary General Jordi Canals. They talked about the preparations for the first-ever Olympic ski mountaineering competition at the Olympic Winter Games Milano Cortina 2026.

The IOC President welcomed a Canadian delegation to Olympic House, including First Nations leader Chief Wilton Littlechild, who is a former Member of the Canadian Parliament, and Tricia Smith, President of the Canadian Olympic Committee and an IOC Member. Together they informed the President about a protocol between the four Host First Nations and the Canadian Olympic Committee to explore a candidature for future Olympic Winter Games.

IOC / Greg Martin

Olympic champions and Members of the German Parliament Frank Ullrich (biathlon) and Jens Lehmann (track cycling) were welcomed by IOC President Bach to Olympic House this week. Ullrich is the new Chair of the Bundestag’s Sport Commission. President Bach discussed with them the Olympic Agenda 2020+5 reforms and the recent Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 and Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022. Ullrich and Lehman signed the Wall of Olympians. The President also presented OLY certificate and pin to them.

Walter Sieber, a member of the IOC Olympic Programme Commission, met the IOC President to talk about the preparations for the forthcoming editions of the Olympic Games.

Other Olympic news

The Olympic Movement is continuing to provide essential support to the Ukrainian Olympic community and sports movement, one month after the start of the war in Ukraine. In addition to the support programmes and initiatives already reported, you can find further examples of the efforts that are being implemented here. These are not exhaustive, as other projects are also underway or about to be rolled out.

International federations

Summer ifs

On 25 March, the Patrick Baumann House of Basketball in Mies (Switzerland) hosted the first in-person meeting of the Central Board of the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) since 2019. There were many topics on the agenda, including the 2022 and 2026 editions of the Women's World Cup, the 2023 World Cup, the impact of the situation in Ukraine, and the safeguarding of players. More info here.

On 30 March, the International Cycling Union (UCI) announced the death of Vincent Jacquet, Director of International Relations, Development and the World Cycling Centre. Aged 52, Jacquet had dedicated his life to sport. Since 2019, he had been a central figure at the UCI. He also headed the UCI World Cycling Centre, which he developed into a reference point and model for the entire cycling family, as well as the Olympic Movement. Before joining the UCI, he had been, among other things, National Technical Director of the French Cycling Federation, then chaired by David Lappartient, the current UCI President and an IOC Member. More info here. Furthermore, during a virtual press conference, the UCI and the Wollongong 2022 Organising Committee released the full race details for the 2022 UCI Road World Championships taking place in and around the Australian coastal city from 18 to 25 September. Full details here.

The International Equestrian Federation (FEI) is conducting a wide-ranging consultation on the FEI Regulations for Equestrian Events at the Olympic and Paralympic Games Paris 2024. In December, a detailed questionnaire was sent to all equestrian stakeholders who participated in the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, including 302 athletes; 51 National Federations; 35 officials; 7 memorandum of understanding (MoU) holders and 3 Discipline Managers. After online meetings with stakeholders at the end of March, the process will continue with the FEI Sports Forum to be held in April in Lausanne, where the proposed modifications will be discussed in person. Drafts of the Regulations will be sent out in July and October to the FEI member federations, and the FEI General Assembly will subsequently vote on the Regulations in November. They will then be sent to the IOC for final sign-off. More info at www.fei.org.

National Olympic Committees

BOA

Sonia O’Neal is the 2022 recipient of the Esther Maynard Icon Award. She received her award during a ceremony hosted by the Barbados Olympic Association Inc. (BOA)’s Women in Sport Commission on 27 March. BOA President Sandra Osborne, Commission Chair Ytannia Wiggins and former BOA Director Esther Maynard gave speeches. The award recognises outstanding dedicated women pioneers who are working towards advancing gender equality in sport across the cross-cutting areas of participation, safe sport, portrayal, resource allocation and leadership. More info at www.olympic.org.bb

NOC of the Dominican Republic

The Women and Sport Commission of the NOC of the Dominican Republic and the Profamilia association have resumed a project that will see them join forces to improve athletes’ access to advice on sexual and reproductive health. The news was announced by Dulce María Piña, the Chair of the Commission, and José Figueroa and Elkidigna Feliz from Profamilia, at a meeting held at the NOC headquarters. Some of the services being offered by Profamilia, as part of the agreement signed three years ago with the NOC, include general medical and gynecology consultations, pre-natal and post-natal care and family planning. More details here.   

Olympic Committee of Israel

In March, the Olympic Committee of Israel organised various activities advancing gender equality and highlighting the values of Olympism. On the topic of Olympism in Action, the NOC invited Eric Monnin, Vice President of the University of Franche-Comté and Olympism representative of the Paris 2024 Organising Committee, to give a lecture to the French-speaking Olympic community on the subject: “Olympic education and the host city of the Games of the XXXIII Olympiad”. On International Women’s Day, the NOC launched the #MyFemaleChampion Campaign. The Israeli Olympic athletes and stakeholders were asked to choose an inspirational and groundbreaking female champion who does not necessarily win medals for their activity, but deserves to. A seminar was organised on Health, Dietary and Gender Issues of Elite Female Athletes (photo). The third cycle of the NOC Directors Course for Senior Women Executives in Sport was held, as was the Directors Forum, which is designed to establish a “Knowledge Pool Community” to support and empower female executives at a high professional level. A Gender Equality Report for 2021 and Guidelines for Gender Balance in Events & Ceremonies were also published. Info at www.olympicsil.co.il.

 On 30 March, the Digital Olympic Academy of the Moroccan NOC organised a videoconference with the theme “Sport and the Economy”. In addition, the NOC held a coordination meeting in Rabat with the Regional Academy of Education and Training to review the second edition of the Olympic Visits programme. In other news, as part of the Olympic Solidarity programme, the Royal Moroccan Hockey Federation recently organised its first national trainers course. Info at www.cnom.org.ma.

Spanish NOC

The Spanish NOC and the Spanish Federation of Video Games and Esports (FEJUVES) held an information session to identify common courses of action that could provide a solid basis to strengthen stability and growth in the sector. A number of players were in attendance at the session, where they were able to share experiences, ideas and suggestions. The hybrid meeting was also attended by NOC President Alejandro Blanco and FEJUVES President Marco Antonio Ramos. More details here.

Recognised Organisations

ANOCA

The Association of National Olympic Committees of Africa (ANOCA) has formalised its partnership with the International Swimming Federation (FINA) through a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to support and develop aquatics in Africa. The MoU was signed by ANOCA President and IOC member Mustapha Berraf (l. on photo) and by FINA President Husain Al-Musallam (r. on photo), on 18 March at the headquarters of the NOC of Egypt in Cairo. In the MoU, FINA and ANOCA welcomed each other’s support in their efforts to not only make aquatics accessible to everyone in Africa, but also to enhance performance levels in these disciplines across the continent. Full news release here. Furthermore, ANOCA held an extraordinary session of its General Assembly on 17 March via videoconference. The main topic was Olympic Africa’s stance on the organisation of the 13th edition of the African Games, Ghana 2023.

ICMG

During a recent visit to Podgorica (Montenegro), International Committee for the Mediterranean Games (ICMG) Secretary General Iakovos Filippousis (r. on photo) had a meeting with Montenegro NOC President Dusan Simonovic (l. on photo) and Secretary General Igor Vusurovic. Discussions were centred on the 19th edition of the Mediterranean Games, to be held in June this year in Oran (Algeria); the active participation of all 26 NOC members in the new ICMG operations; and the organisation of an important Mediterranean event in Montenegro in the near future. In this respect, the NOC President highlighted the new three continents project entitled “The Sea Unites us All”, which includes the Mediterranean spirit of peace, friendship, unity and solidarity, plus the NOC’s desire to bring together the entire Mediterranean family in the country. More details here.

The Association of Summer Olympic International Federations (ASOIF) has released a position paper entitled “The solidarity model of organised sport in Europe and beyond - A stable platform for collaboration”, which aims to contribute to a better understanding of the role IFs play in the global organisation of sport, and to a more informed debate on its future. Primarily addressed to public authorities in Europe and beyond, sports organisations and the business sector, this paper was developed against the backdrop of ongoing discussions at European level on how to best safeguard values-based sport, while IFs regularly face challenges to their operations, including proceedings and lawsuits in various territories. Full news release here.

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has released the results of its Athlete Vulnerabilities Research Project, which included a survey that was conducted between April and May 2021 to increase understanding of the factors that may make athletes more vulnerable to inadvertent or intentional doping. Full news release here about the Descriptive Report on Sport Stakeholders’ Beliefs about Athlete Doping Vulnerabilities and Related Factors. In addition, WADA has opened the online registrations for its Annual Symposium. Placed under the theme of “Raising the Games”, the Symposium will be held in hybrid form (in-person and virtual) on 11 and 12 June 2022 in Lausanne. A dedicated Athlete Session will also be held on 13 June. Detailed info here.

The General Assembly of the Fédération Internationale Cinéma Télévision Sportifs (FICTS), chaired by Franco Ascani, approved the official calendar of the “World FICTS Challenge”, which includes 20 festivals (in person) on the five continents. The 2022 edition will end with the “SPORT MOVIES & TV 2022” Final in Milan (Italy), from 9 to 13 November. The Assembly opened with a speech from the President of the Organising Committee for the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games Milano Cortina 2026, IOC Member Giovanni Malagò. The new FICTS project entitled “Olympic Images Day: Peace, Truce, Inclusion and Equality” will feature projections, exhibitions and meetings in seven locations around the world (Nice, Tehran, Kampala, Tashkent, Liberec, Buenos Aires and Milan), with an “Olympic Day” being held in each location. More info at www.sportmoviestv.com.

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