Olympic Highlights 04/10/2022

IOC / Greg Martin

IOC ACTIVITIES

PRESIDENT

After a visit to Italy to the Italian National Olympic Committee (CONI) in Rome (on 16 September), and attending the FEI Equestrian World Championships in Pratoni the next day, IOC President Thomas Bach visited the NOCs of Jordan, Palestine, Israel and Egypt (from 18 to 24 September).

Having been welcomed in Amman, Jordan, by IOC Executive Board member and Jordanian NOC President Prince Feisal Al Hussein, President Bach went to Ramallah in Palestine as a guest of the Palestinian NOC. There he was welcomed by NOC President Jibril Rajoub. In a meeting with the President of the Palestinian National Council, Rawhi Fattouh, the leaders discussed the role of sport in society and the importance of strict political neutrality for sports organisations.   

The next day, the President met members of the Executive Board at the headquarters of the Palestinian NOC. Moving on to the Palestinian Football Federation, President Bach was introduced to the captains of the women's and men's national football teams. It was then time to meet young athletes at the Faisal Al-Husseini Stadium, where there were demonstrations of football, taekwondo, karate, volleyball, fencing and gymnastics. 

Later, giving a lecture about the Olympic values and ethics, President Bach told an audience of 700 athletes, young people and sports administrators: “We are one Olympic community. We take care of one another. We stand together, in solidarity. The universality of the Olympic Games can only happen if every NOC, every sport, and every athlete shares and respects this principle and spirit of solidarity. Solidarity is at the heart of everything we do. Solidarity fuels our mission to make the world a better place through sport.”

CIO / Greg Martin

Later, he met a number of Palestinian athletes and champions, some trying to qualify for the Olympic Games Paris 2024. They told the President about the difficulties they faced in training and preparing for sports competitions. The President said the IOC would continue to strengthen its efforts to alleviate these issues.

After this, President Bach returned to Jordan from where he went to the NOC of Israel, where he honoured the former President of the NOC, Igal Carmi, with the Olympic Order.  He was joined throughout the visit by the current NOC President, Yael Arad, a long-term member of the IOC Marketing Commission. The next day began with a visit to the grave of IOC member in Israel Alex Gilady. After laying a wreath, following Jewish tradition, President Bach left a stone on his grave, a stone from Olympic House. At the ceremony he was joined by Mr Gilady’s daughter, Galia Gilady, and his long-time assistant, Tal Shalem.

IOC / Greg Martin

Visiting the headquarters of the Israeli NOC and the Israeli Olympic museum, the President also held a meeting with the Executive Board of the Israeli NOC with an extensive question-and-answer session. In a lunch with the families of the 11 victims of the terrorist attack at the Olympic Games Munich 1972, President Bach offered Olympic rings to each of them as a mark of respect.

IOC / Greg Martin

The next day, President Bach was at a wreath-laying ceremony at the holocaust memorial at Yad Vashem, where he also visited the children's memorial and history museum of the holocaust. During the ceremony, President Bach said: “This is the unwavering commitment of the entire Olympic Movement: we will do everything we can to ensure that this can never be repeated.

“We stand against any kind of discrimination. In the Olympic Games we are all equal. We strive for peace. We stand together in solidarity. We unite the one and only human race in a peaceful competition – the Olympic Games. In this way, we show that the values of our shared humanity and peace are stronger than all the forces of evil and hatred.”

Later, the IOC President had lunch with the President of the Republic of Israel, Isaac Herzog, and the Sports Minister, Chili Tropper. They discussed the international situation and matters of mutual interest.

IOC / Greg Martin

In the evening, President Bach attended a special memorial service for the 11 athletes and coaches murdered at the Olympic Games Munich 1972, addressing the families of the victims in the presence of the President of Israel.  In his address he said: “We share the pain of the relatives of the 11 victims. We feel with the survivors, who until today suffer from the trauma of this attack. Yet our condolences can hardly ease the pain of the families who lost their son, brother, father, beloved spouse or love of their life to this cowardly attack.

“Despite this attack, you did not turn your back on the Olympic Games. Israeli athletes have in fact taken part in all subsequent Olympic Games. For this, the Olympic Movement is forever grateful.

“We are even more grateful to you because of the pain it caused you, to have to wait for such a long time until the IOC finally commemorated the victims in a dignified way after the Olympic Games Munich 1972. For this pain and anguish that we caused, I am truly sorry.”

Later, he laid a wreath at a memorial to the victims of the massacre, where he was once again joined by the families, Israeli Olympians and members of the Israeli Olympic Committee.

IOC / Greg Martin

 Heading for the capital of Jordan, Amman, the next day, President Bach visited the Za'atari Refugee Camp, which is home to more than 80,000 Syrian refugees. At the camp he was able to see the work of the Olympic Refuge Foundation and the Jordanian Generations for Peace charity.

IOC / Greg Martin

Later, President Bach and Prince Feisal signed a Letter of Intent between the Olympic Refuge Foundation and Generations for Peace to continue to strengthen their cooperation. The signing took place at the JOC Olympic Preparation Centre, where the President was able to meet a number of young Jordanian athletes, including athletes from Brazil and Egypt.

In Amman, the President was welcomed by the Jordanian Prime Minister, Bisher Al Khasawneh. The two leaders discussed the importance of sport in education and the ability of sport to increase solidarity within societies and between societies.

The President held a meeting with Prince Feisal in his capacity as Regent and as President of the Jordanian NOC. President Bach thanked him very warmly for greatly facilitating the visits to all four NOCs in the region. The two also had comprehensive discussions on Olympic matters and the geo-political situation.

IOC / Greg Martin

  The last leg of the Middle East tour took President Bach to Egypt. In Cairo, he was welcomed by the President of the International Handball Federation (IHF), Hassan Moustafa, and by the President of the Egyptian NOC, Hesham Mohamed Hatab. Association of National Olympic Committees of Africa (ANOCA) President and IOC member Mustapha Berraf also accompanied President Bach throughout the visit to Egypt. On arrival, together they met a number of Egyptian athletes, including members of the Egyptian Athletes’ Commission, led by its chair, Aya Medany, who is also a member of the IOC Athletes’ Commission.

The President visited the Egyptian International Olympic City, a new sporting complex with a stadium seating 90,000 people, training facilities, indoor sports halls and a range of sporting venues and facilities. Egyptian Sports Minister Ashraf Sobhy was present throughout the visit.

In a meeting with the President of the Republic of Egypt, Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, the Egyptian Head of State announced his country’s interest in hosting the Olympic Games 2036. President Bach welcomed the Egyptian announcement, particularly with the recent success of Egyptian athletes at the Olympic Games, doubling their medal haul; with the successful staging of a number of world championships and other international events; and with the recent sports infrastructure-building programme underway in the country.

IOC / Greg Martin

He then visited the Egyptian NOC headquarters and Olympic Museum where, together with Hassan Moustafa and Mustapha Berraf, the President met members of the Executive Committee and National Federation Presidents in Egypt, and again had time to speak to a number of Egyptian athletes.

After leaving Egypt, the IOC President headed for Japan to attend the State Funeral for the former Japanese Prime Minister Abe Shinzo at the Budokan in Tokyo on 27 September. Prime Minister Abe, who was assassinated in July, was deeply involved in Tokyo’s candidature for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, and played a key role in ensuring that the postponed Games went ahead successfully. President Bach said: "Prime Minister Abe loved the Olympic Games and was a strong supporter of the Olympic values and the power of sport to change lives, particularly those of young people." Prime Minister Abe was forced to retire due to continuing ill health in August 2020, but remained a strong supporter of the Games. President Bach added: "With Abe Shinzo, we agreed on the postponement of the Olympic Games at the height of the global pandemic. Without his support the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 would not have taken place. The athletes, the Olympic Movement and fans around the world owe him a huge debt of gratitude."

AFLO Sport

At the State Funeral, the President met, amongst a number of Heads of State and of government, the Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and HH Amir Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al-Thani, the Emir of Qatar who is also an IOC Member.

After the State Funeral, President Bach paid his respects to the current Prime Minister of Japan, Fumio Kishida, and Abe Shinzo's widow, Akie. President Bach was accompanied during the day by IOC Members in Japan Yasuhiro Yamashita, Morinari Watanabe and Yuki Ota.

While in Tokyo, the President met Hashimoto Seiko, Endo Toshiaki and Muto Toshiro, who were respectively President, Vice-President and CEO of the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee. A meeting with Tokyo Governor Koike Yuriko was also held.

Vatican

From Japan, the President returned to Italy for a visit to the Vatican for a private audience with Pope Francis. At the meeting,  they discussed sport and the contribution of sport to solidarity and peace around the world. The Pope expressed his appreciation for the initiatives being taken by the IOC, particularly the support for refugees though the Refugee Olympic Team and the Olympic Refuge Foundation (ORF). President Bach expressed thanks for his strong support and informed His Holiness that the IOC was inspired by His Holiness’ great affection and support for refugees.

IOC / Greg Martin

Addressing the International Summit on Sport, held at the Vatican on 29 and 30 September, President Bach underlined the Olympic Movement’s mission to promote sport as a force for good in the world and highlighted its ongoing commitment to foster solidarity, peace and non-discrimination. “In these difficult times – with divisions and wars on the rise – we need this unifying power of sport to promote our Olympic mission of peace and solidarity more than ever,” he said. “But peace is about much more than setting aside differences. It is also about creating a better world where everyone is able to flourish; where people are treated equally; where all forms of discrimination and exclusion have no place.” Read the full speech here.

The International Summit on Sport welcomed more than 200 people from the world of sport, including International Federations and amateur sports associations. Amongst the speakers were Filippo Grandi, UN High Commissioner for Refugees, and IOC Member Andrew Parsons, President of the International Paralympic Committee (IPC). At the congress, representatives of different Christian denominations and other religions were in attendance, together with representatives from non-profit organisations and educational institutions working for inclusion in society through sport.

During the Summit, President Bach joined Pope Francis and other leaders from major sports and intergovernmental organisations in signing a new declaration to foster inclusion and access to sport for all. Recent times have seen the emergence of new challenges for societies, many of them accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Declaration recognises the important role that sport plays in turning these challenges into opportunities and most notably in contributing to a more inclusive society, in which every person is accepted and welcomed, regardless of ability or disability. The Declaration is a new commitment to promote the social and inclusive benefits of sport. Read the full news release here.

IOC / Greg Martin

 President Thomas Bach met Italian political leader Giorgia Meloni. Mrs Meloni is most likely to be the first female Prime Minister in Italy after her success in the weekend's elections, winning a majority with her coalition. Top of the agenda were the Olympic Winter Games Milano Cortina 2026. Mrs Meloni offered her full support for successful Olympic Games. "These Games are very important for us. Italy is more than able to stage magnificent Games, and we want to impress the world again. You can count on us," she said.

President Bach was joined in the meeting by the CONI President Giovanni Malagó, who is also an IOC Member and President of the Milano Cortina 2026 Organising Committee. President Bach thanked Mrs Meloni for her strong support for sport and the Olympic Movement which she has shown for many years during her political career.  During the hour-long meeting, the two also agreed on the importance of the autonomy of sport.

Also in Rome, the President had a meeting with IOC Member Mamadou Diagna Ndiaye, with whom he discussed the preparations for the Youth Olympic Games Dakar 2026 and various topical Olympic matters.

President Bach also met IOC Member and IPC President Andrew Parsons in Rome. The next editions of the Olympic Games were addressed.

Back in Lausanne, President Bach had a meeting with a delegation from Anta, the IOC’s Official Sportswear Uniform Supplier, led by Ding Zhizhong, Chairman of Anta Sports Group. Together they spoke about the excellent partnership between their two organisations.

The President talked about a number of Olympic topics with IOC Honorary Member Sam Ramsamy, who is also Vice-President of the International Swimming Federation.

For the International Day of Peace, celebrated on 21 September, the IOC President wrote an op-ed in which he underlined that “there is no peace without solidarity”. Read the full text here.

COMMISSIONS

For the first time in history, President Thomas Bach has appointed an equal number of women and men to the IOC commissions for 2022. This marks a historic milestone in the IOC’s efforts to increase gender balance at its governance level, which was a key recommendation of Olympic Agenda 2020 and its successor, Olympic Agenda 2020+5. It contributes to the IOC’s wider goal of fostering gender equality and inclusion throughout the sports movement. Read the full news release here.

OTHER OLYMPIC NEWS

The IOC has unveiled the latest evolution of its visual identity, inspired by more than a century of design heritage, which aims to bring the Olympic brand and its core values to life. The evolved brand identity was created by Canadian agency Hulse & Durrell, in collaboration with the IOC and a team of international artists, typographers and designers. Read the full news release here.

INTERNATIONAL FEDERATIONS

SUMMER IFS

World Athletics has recently published its Competition Manipulation Watch List. The World Athletics Council approved the introduction of a Competition Manipulation Watch List at its meeting in Oregon in July, in response to an Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) investigation prompted by 17 reports of suspicious competition results during the qualification period for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020. The World Athletics Competition Department will work with Member Federations that are placed on the Watch List to improve and reform their competition procedures. More details here.

Meeting on 26 September in Prague, Czech Republic, the 2022 World Rowing Congress awarded the 2025 World Rowing Championships to Shanghai, in the People’s Republic of China. The Congress also decided to provisionally award the 2026 World Rowing Championships to Amsterdam, the Netherlands. The Mauritania Rowing Federation has been added as a member of World Rowing – the total number of member national rowing federations is now 157. The next Congress will be held on 11 September 2023 in Belgrade, Serbia. Find out more about other decisions here.

The 191st Congress of the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) was held on 22 September in Wollongong, Australia, in parallel with the 2022 UCI Road World Championships. On this occasion, the Congress approved the UCI 2023 budget and the UCI Agenda 2030, as well the affiliation of the Bhutan Cycling Federation. The UCI now has 202 member national federations. Full info here. Earlier, the UCI Management Committee approved the 2023 calendar for several disciplines, and made further progress in the areas of integrity and sustainable development. Full details here.

The 39th Rhythmic Gymnastics World Championships were held in Sofia (Bulgaria) from 14 to 18 September. This 2022 edition not only crowned nine world champions but also revealed the first qualifiers for the Olympic Games Paris 2024. More info here on the website of the International Gymnastics Federation (FIG).

UIPM

The Union Internationale de Pentathlon Moderne (UIPM) has entered into an agreement for the development of a ground-breaking new modern pentathlon facility in Kunming, capital city of Yunnan province in southwest China (photo). The facility will benefit modern pentathlon development in China and across Asia. The UIPM Asia-Pacific Development Centre complex will include the UIPM Altitude Training Base and the five-in-one UIPM Asia-Pacific International Event Centre. It will be fully operation by the end of 2025 and will provide a key Asian base capable of hosting top-class global, continental and national competitions and events. Full details here.

World Archery

World Archery has announced that its former President,  Francesco Gnecchi-Ruscone (photo), died in Milan, Italy, on 20 September at the age of 98. Gnecchi-Ruscone served as the seventh President of the IF (then called FITA) from 1977 to 1989, before being named Honorary President by his successor, Jim Easton. He was also Chair of the Board of Justice and Ethics for more than 20 years until 2011. Gnecchi-Ruscone led a restructuring of the Federation’s governance, expanding the scope of the Executive Board and the continental associations. He was also President of the Italian Archery Federation from 1969 to 1981, and was a member of the Italian NOC. He was also a member of the Council of the Global Association of International Sports Federations (GAISF). More info here.

World Triathlon Development and Education, in conjunction with the Korean Triathlon Federation, has officially launched the fifth edition of the World Triathlon Coaching Education Programme. This has played an integral role in World Triathlon’s coaching education landscape for developing nations since 2017. In 2021, the programme was delivered in a new online and completely virtual format, and in 2022, the programme will be once again conducted online. Full details here. In addition, the World Triathlon Return To Play Guidelines for athletes who have had COVID-19 have been updated and are now available in full on www.triathlon.org. World Triathlon has also announced that triathlon has been included in the programme of the Commonwealth Youth Games 2023, which will take place in Trinidad and Tobago from 4 to 11 August. More details here.

From 16 to 24 September in Huntington Beach (USA), the 2022 ISA World Surfing Games brought together 246 of the world’s best surfers representing 51 countries. Officially declared open by the President of the International Surfing Association (ISA), Fernando Aguerre, the competition also marked the start of the road to the Olympic Games Paris 2024, with the first places for these Games awarded. More details here. During this competition, the surfers also elected four new members of the ISA Athletes’ Commission. All details here. The ISA has also confirmed the dates of the 2023 Surf City El Salvador ISA World Surfing Games, which will take place from 30 May to 7 June 2023 in El Sunzal/La Bocana. The competition will also serve as the second event in the Olympic qualification process, with four slots for the Olympic Games Paris 2024 up for grabs. More info here.

NATIONAL OLYMPIC COMMITTEES

Albanian NOC

The Albanian NOC recently took action to celebrate International Clean Up Day on 17 September. The goal of the Day is to find a polluted plastic area and clean it, so Farka Lake in Tirana was part of their efforts to fight global warming and pollution. The NOC staff members invited the sports community to join the celebrations and increase awareness of climate change.  This activity was led by French volunteer Gabriel Ginoux, who is working in the Albanian NOC in the framework of the project "Ambassadeur Génération 2024". Paris 2024 is committed to staging climate-positive Olympic and Paralympic Games. More info at www.nocalbania.org.al.

Cuban NOC

On 16 September in Havana, the presidents of the Cuban and Portuguese NOCs, Roberto Leon Richards Aguiar and José Manuel Constantino, signed a new cooperation agreement. Under the terms of the agreement, the two NOCs will work together on areas such as coach training and  development, doping control, IT applied to sport, university exchanges and advice on organising multisport competitions. During his visit to Cuba, the Portuguese NOC President also learned about the functioning of the Cuban NOC and visited several sports facilities and centres. 

NOC of the Dominican Republic

The NOC of the Dominican Republic has announced that a technical course for wrestling coaches and referees was held from 25 to 30 September for 34 people from across the country. Placed under the auspices of United World Wrestling (UWW), this training was organised by the national wrestling federation at Albergue Olimpico in Santa Domingo. The course was coordinated by the NOC’s Olympic Solidarity programme. More info here.

NOC of Lithuania

The fifth season of the Dreams & Teams project was officially presented at an event in Kaunas. Organised by the British Council in Lithuania and the NOC of Lithuania since 2017, the project is aimed at using sport to develop the competencies of the 21st century. The event brought together former and future participants in the project ‒ secondary school students and educators. The programme included a discussion attended by the project's long-term participants, educators and Olympian swimmer and 2022 European bronze medallist Andrius Šidlauskas. The participants also took part in a quiz and various practical leadership- and cooperation-building activities. More details here.

As part of the support strategy for national federations in preparing Moroccan athletes for the Olympic Games Paris 2024, this month the Moroccan NOC (CNOM) launched a new scholarship programme to provide additional financial support to eligible Moroccan athletes. These scholarships are partly financed by Olympic Solidarity and ACNOA, and mainly thanks to the CNOM and the Sports Ministry through the convention on implementing the pluriannual athlete preparation and participation programme for international competitions between 2019 and 2028, signed in April 2019. More details here.

Spanish NOC

The Spanish NOC’s Green Flame project was recently presented at the NOC headquarters in Madrid. Begun four months ago, the project will end in April 2024 with the launch of an application that will allow the CO2 emissions generated by the sports world to be understood, measured and reduced. This initiative is part of the NOC’s efforts to help Spanish sport meet sustainability standards. Full details here. In addition, the NOC and the Ibereólica Renovables group have extended their partnership agreement to the end of 2024. The company will thus continue to be the NOC’s exclusive sustainability strategy partner in the areas of energy efficiency and renewable energy development. More details here.

Venezuelan NOC

Venezuela’s first Olympic champion, boxer Francisco “Morochito” Rodríguez, celebrated his 77th birthday at the Venezuelan NOC headquarters on 20 September. At the Venezuelan Olympic Museum, the gold medallist could see the gloves he was wearing when he achieved his historic victory at the Olympic Games Mexico 1968. NOC President María Soto and Board members Elida Párraga and Alejandra Benítez were with him, alongside his wife, Sabina de Rodríguez, his son, Franco Rodríguez, and his granddaughter, Franyelys Rodríguez.

ORGANISING COMMITTEES FOR THE OLYMPIC GAMES

PARIS 2024

On 20 September, the Organising Committee for the Olympic and Paralympic Games Paris 2024 unveiled the key dates for Games ticketing. From 1 December 2022 to 31 January 2023, fans around the world can register for the draw to buy “multi-ticket” packs. Sales will then start on 15 February 2023, and continue for several weeks. Paris 2024 will open the sales phase for single tickets for the Olympic Games in May 2023, and for the Paralympic Games in autumn 2023. Full details here. In addition, the Paris 2024 Organising Committee has appointed Thomas Jolly as Artistic Director of the Opening and Closing Ceremonies of the Olympic and Paralympic Games. The founder and director of his own performance group, in which he himself acts, Thomas Jolly will be supported by a multidisciplinary artistic team that will represent the best of the French and international scene. The artistic project will be presented in 2023. More details here.

ORGANISING COMMITTEES FOR THE YOUTH OLYMPIC GAMES

GANGWON 2024
Gangwon 2024

The Gangwon 2024 Winter Youth Olympic Games Organising Committee held an event with local young people at the PyeongChang Olympic Museum to launch the slogan “Grow Together, Shine Forever”, celebrating the 500-day countdown to Gangwon 2024. A variety of youth-centred activities took place throughout the day, including a Museum visit followed by venue tours, the unveiling of the slogan, and a Q&A session with Team Kim. One of the activities initiated by the Gangwon 2024 youth group, “growth planting”, saw all the participants come together to plant a tree, symbolising growth and reflecting the meaning of the slogan. Full news release here.

RECOGNISED ORGANISATIONS

ANOC

The Events Commission of the Association of the National Olympic Committees (ANOC) met last week  under the leadership of its Chairman, Timothy Tsun Ting Fok, at the ANOC Office in Lausanne to discuss upcoming events; the ANOC General Assembly in October in Seoul, Republic of Korea; and the 2nd ANOC World Beach Games and the General Assembly in Bali, Indonesia, from 5 to 15 August 2023. The Commission discussed many proposals on how to make the events even more attractive for the participants and also how to help the NOCs with new sponsorship possibilities. More details here.

Hellenic Olympic Committee

European Olympic Committees (EOC) President Spyros Capralos, who is also  Hellenic Olympic Committee President, took part in the meeting of the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly in Athens, Greece, where he spoke about the social inclusion of migrants, refugees and internally displaced persons through sport. In his speech, Capralos presented the key role that the European NOCs have played in supporting the IOC  Refugee Olympic Team, noting that “21 of the 29 refugee athletes at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 were hosted by European NOCs”. He also gave an update on the assistance being provided by the EOC to the Ukrainian Olympic Committee, before explaining how the EOC is working with the IOC to maximise the impact of solidarity funding for the Ukrainian Olympic community. More details here on the EOC website.

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) played a central role during the 2022 Korea Anti-Doping Agency (KADA) Seminar for Asia and Oceania, held on 28 and 29 September in Busan. Under the theme ‘Spreading the Values of Sport through the Cooperation of Anti-Doping Organisations’, the seminar attracted 81 participants from 28 nations across Asia and Oceania and aimed to  contribute to capacity-building in the region through the sharing of information and best practices. Full info here. In addition, WADA has outlined its webinar schedule for October 2022. Anti-doping education, how its Intelligence & Investigations team works with confidential sources, and World Anti-Doping Code compliance are among the topics covered.

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