Olympic Highlights 05/10/2020

05 Oct 2020



IOC President Thomas Bach invited the IOC Members to take part in a conference call on 1 October. During his introduction, he underlined the various challenges and opportunities that the Olympic Movement is facing, and the current situation related to the upcoming editions of the Olympic Games. During a three-hour long Q&A Session, the Members were able to discuss the current situation facing the Olympic Movement. Great confidence was expressed in the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 and in the stability of the Olympic Movement.  Three more calls were held with the NOCs, and calls will also take place with athletes’ representatives and the Summer and Winter International Federations.

President Bach was in Imola, Italy, on 26 and 27 September for the UCI Road World Championships. Accompanied by the President of the International Cycling Union (UCI), David Lappartient, he saw the men’s and women’s elite road races and got to talk to a number of the athletes as they prepare for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020.

After watching the women’s race, he congratulated Anna Van der Breggen, who took the World Championship road title for the second time in her career. Van der Breggen, from the Netherlands, who was unstoppable in Imola, also won the women’s road race gold medal at the Olympic Games Rio 2016.

Shortly after the race, President Bach said: “It’s a great experience to finally see live sport again. Everybody was waiting for these moments, especially the athletes, which is why I’m so pleased to be here. The IOC wants safe and secure Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 for all the athletes and spectators, and cycling has delivered a tremendous example of how to organise a complex and very safe sports event.”

IOC / Greg Martin
With President Lappartient, President Bach attended the medal ceremony of the men’s elite road race, won by Frenchman Julian Alaphilippe ahead of Switzerland’s Marc Hirschi and Belgium’s Wout van Aert.

IOC / Greg Martin
Also present were IOC Members in Italy Ivo Ferriani, who is President of the International Bobsleigh and Skeleton Federation, and Giovanni Malagò, who is President of the Italian National Olympic Committee (CONI). Also there was Francesco Ricci Bitti, who is President of the Association of Summer Olympic International Sports Federations (ASOIF). The following morning, President Bach had a breakfast with the IOC Members, during which they discussed the preparations for the upcoming Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 and the Olympic Winter Games Milano Cortina 2026.

IOC / Christophe Moratal
The IOC President welcomed the President of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), Witold Bańka, to Olympic House. The two leaders addressed a wide range of topics regarding the protection of clean athletes.

IOC / Greg Martin
President Bach also welcomed Dr. Friedrich von Bohlen – Managing Partner of dievini Hopp Biotech holding – to Lausanne. During their meeting, Dr. von Bohlen provided the President with some valuable information and advice regarding the availability and efficiency of approved vaccines against COVID-19.

President Bach met Jean Todt, President of the International Automobile Federation (FIA), with whom he discussed the various current topics that link their respective organisations.


IOC / Greg Martin

The first IOC Coordination Commission meeting with Milano Cortina 2026 was held virtually on 29 September. The Local Organising Committee updated the Commission members on its considerable progress since winning the right to host the Olympic Winter Games last year and its desire to deliver sustainable Games with a strong legacy in the spirit of Olympic Agenda 2020 and the New Norm. President Bach welcomed the members of the Commission, which is chaired by Sari Essayah. They were joined by Milano Cortina 2026 and Italian NOC President Giovanni Malagò and Milano Cortina 2026 CEO Vincenzo Novari. One of the major milestones praised by the Coordination Commission was the adoption, by the Italian Parliament, of an Olympic Law which dictates the organisation and governance of Milano Cortina 2026. Among the topics addressed were the development of Milano Cortina 2026’s Games vision, its legacy plans and the venue masterplan. Full news release here.

TOP Partners

As companies and organisations around the world react to the COVID-19 pandemic, olympic.org highlights the efforts being made by the Worldwide Olympic Partners to support athletes during this time, and the needs of the communities in which they operate. Read here how the TOP Partners are supporting the fight against COVID-19.

international federations

summer ifs

The World Rowing Federation (FISA) has announced that more than 570 top European rowers from 31 nations will head to Poznań (Poland) for the 2020 European Rowing Championships from 9 to 11 October. As a result of the COVID-19 global pandemic, this will be the third on-water competition for the 2020 international rowing season, following the staging of the European Rowing Under-23 Championships in Duisburg (Germany) and the European Rowing Junior Championships in Belgrade (Serbia) – both in September. Racing will take place on Lake Malta in the heart of Poznań. Detailed info here.

Meeting on 24 and 25 September during the 2020 UCI Road World Championships in Imola - Emilia-Romagna, the Management Committee of the International Cycling Union (UCI) awarded 11 UCI World Championships for the 2021-2026 period, and took important decisions in areas such as support for those involved in road cycling during the COVID-19 pandemic and safety. The UCI Congress, meanwhile, will take place by videoconference on 5 November. Detailed info here.

The International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) and World Para Powerlifting have signed an agreement entitled “Strengthening the World”, which will see both organisations strengthen their relationship in a variety of mutually beneficial areas. The topics in the three main areas of collaboration include the development of a dual Technical Official pathway to offer opportunities in both sports, the sharing of accessibility standards and joint anti-doping initiatives to raise awareness within the sports. Full info here.

The International Swimming Federation (FINA) has announced the FINA Swimming World 2021 calendar, which will be composed of six legs from September to October 2021 across Asia, the Middle East and Europe. All the stops of the 2021 World Cup will be contested in 25m-pools and are qualifying events for the postponed FINA World Swimming Championships 25m, which will be held in Abu Dhabi (United Arab Emirates) from 13 to 18 December 2021. Full calendar here.

The 2023 ITTF World Table Tennis Championships Finals will be staged in Durban, South Africa, after a vote by the Member Associations during the 2020 General Assembly Meeting of the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF), held remotely on 28 September. This is the first time that the ITTF’s most prestigious event is being held in South Africa, and the first time on the African continent since it was staged in Cairo, Egypt, in 1939. During the meeting, two major governance reforms to the ITTF Constitution were also adopted, with the creation of an ITTF Tribunal, which assumes the judicial powers that previously belonged to the ITTF Executive Committee, and an ITTF Integrity Unit. More detailed info here.

national olympic committees

Saudi Arabian Olympic Committee
On 27 September, Saudi Arabia celebrated the 20th anniversary of its first Olympic medal. During the Olympic Games Sydney 2000, Hadi Souan (see photo) secured the silver medal in the 400m hurdles, writing himself into Saudi Arabian sporting history and quickly becoming a national hero. With the anniversary falling in the same week as the Kingdom celebrated Saudi National Day, Souan’s achievements have played a central role in the Saudi Arabian Olympic Committee (SAOC)’s National Day celebrations. By embracing and championing the positive impact sport and the Olympic values can have on societies, Souan has increased activity levels throughout Saudi Arabia, inspiring new generations of children to participate in sport.

The Chinese Taipei Olympic Committee (CTOC) and its Athletes’ Commission held a “Sports Agent Forum” at the National Sports Training Centre on 26 September. The CTOC invited sports agents, media and sports law experts to share their knowledge and experience. The Forum was aimed at helping athletes gain a better understanding of the work of sports agents. Full details here. Furthermore, “2020 Wonderland – Dapeng Bay Marine Festival" concluded the Chinese Taipei Olympic Committee (CTOC)’s 2020 Olympic Day celebration. This event comprised marine leisure activities and sailing championships. Some 652 competitors not only took part in the Dapeng Bay National Championships organised by the Chinese Taipei Sailing Association, but also relayed the #StayStrong message through the wind. Olympic Day 2020 in Chinese Taipei is an ongoing #StayStrong, #StayActive, #StayHealthy campaign initiated and inspired by the IOC to motivate and support the athletes, and to bring hope and optimism to everyone. More detailed info at www.tpenoc.net.

Colombian NOC
The Olympism for Children programme got underway on 29 September in primary and secondary schools across Bogotá. The programme is being organised by the Colombian NOC, through the Colombian Olympic Academy and the District Institute for Leisure and Sport (IDRD), with support from Olympic Solidarity. At an official ceremony, the Academy provided the IDRD with the first 900 Olympism for Children booklets, as part of the first stage of Olympism for All, a programme designed to provide information and generate interest within Colombian society about the Olympic philosophy and Olympic values, with family at the core. The next three stages are: Olympism for Youth, Olympism for Adults and Olympism for the Family. More details here.

Spanish NOC

The President of the Spanish NOC, Alejandro Blanco, held a videoconference meeting with 45 representatives of national sports federations to discuss distribution and protocol measures for the 10,000 COVID-19 rapid tests donated by the Regional Government of Andalusia. He explained to all the federation representatives how to request tests for upcoming sports competitions. Such requests can be submitted until 1 April 2021. More info here.

The United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee (USOPC) has published a document entitled Considerations for Participation in National or International Camps or Competitions in the Context of COVID-19. As athletes return to training and competition, both in the United States and abroad, this resource is intended to guide athletes, National Federations and other sports organisations in creating informed plans specific to their sport and circumstances. The considerations will be refined over time and updated at TeamUSA.org/coronavirus.

Moroccan NOC
On 19 September, the Moroccan NOC organised an anti-doping awareness session in El Jadida, in cooperation with the Regional Anti-Doping Organisation (RADO). The session brought together a number of Moroccan weightlifters training to qualify for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020. In addition, the NOC’s technical team held a meeting to take stock of the progress being made with preparations for Tokyo 2020. More info at www.cnom.org.ma.


After last year's inaugural edition of the largest sports conference in Slovakia – SPORT (R)EVOLUTION – the Slovak Olympic and Sports Committee (SOSC) organised its second edition online due to the current anti-pandemic measures. The conference, attended by around 650 participants, featured a diverse range of sport-related topics, including the new challenges for the Olympic and sports movement, re-planning the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, marketing from behind the Olympic rings, and behind the scenes at the National Hockey League (NHL). The conference included 13 discussions and one talk, and involved contributions from over 35 speakers. Among the key speakers from Slovakia were IOC Member Danka Barteková; SOSC President Anton Siekel; and member of the FIBA Basketball Hall of Fame, coach Natália Hejková. In addition, four international speakers took part remotely, among them the IOC Head of NOC Games Services, Toshio Tsurunaga, NHL player Brent Seabrook and certified NHL Players’ Association agent Gerry Johannson. More details at www.olympic.sk.

Organising Committees for the Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020

The Organising Committee for the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020 (Tokyo 2020) has announced the Olympic Torch Relay plans for 2021. The Olympic Torch Relay will start its journey on 25 March 2021 from the J-Village National Training Centre in Fukushima Prefecture and then travel through all 47 prefectures across Japan. In principle, the route and the schedule of the Relay will remain as originally planned. Full details here. Tokyo 2020 also announced that it has successfully collected enough plastic to create the podiums to be used in all Olympic and Paralympic victory ceremonies, engaging the whole population of Japan in the podium production process in a historic Games first. Launched in June 2019, the Recycled Plastic Victory Ceremony Podium Project mobilised citizens to donate used household plastics for recycling, with the cooperation of major retailers and 113 schools from across Japan, and the active participation of P&G Group offices and organisations. The Tokyo 2020 Games will be the first occasion in the history of the Olympic and Paralympic Games in which members of the public have participated in the collection of used plastic to produce victory ceremony podiums. Full details here.

Paris 2024

At its meeting on 30 September chaired by Tony Estanguet, the Paris 2024 Board of Directors set out the headline decisions following the concept review of the Olympic Games Paris 2024. Reflecting a united vision and a shared desire to adapt the project to take into account the current situation, the decisions made will help to create some room for manoeuvre in the budget while also bolstering the core values championed by Paris 2024, in particular the strong community focus in Seine-Saint-Denis. The Board of Directors was thus asked to consider ways of better exploiting existing venues. Full news release here. In addition, Paris 2024 has announced that Orange has become a Premium partner and official supplier to the Olympic and Paralympic Games Paris 2024. Orange is one of the world’s leading telecommunications operators. Full news release here.

Organising Committees for the Youth Olympic Games

Lausanne 2020

The Winter Youth Olympic Games Lausanne 2020 picked up the prize for the “Best Winter Sports Competition 2019/2020” at the Winter Sports TOPS Awards in Beijing, held earlier this month. The entry was submitted by Switzerland Tourism. The Winter Sports TOPS Awards were launched in 2016 as a celebration of winter sports around the world, and to help encourage more people in China to participate in winter sports. The awards categories cover many areas of winter sport, such as stadiums, resorts, events and digital media. Full news release here.

Recognised Organisations

On 29 September, the Executive Committee of the Association of National Olympic Committees of Africa (ANOCA) held an extraordinary meeting chaired by ANOCA President and IOC Member Mustapha Berraf. The decision was taken to reallocate the next editions of the African Youth Games. Initially planned to be held in Lesotho, the 2022 edition will now take place in Addis Ababa in Ethiopia, and Lesotho will host the 2026 edition in the city of Maseru.

On 30 September, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) published the 2021 List of Prohibited Substances and Methods; the 2021 Summary of Major Modifications and Explanatory Notes; and the 2021 Monitoring Programme. The 2021 List, which has been redesigned in order to improve navigation and usability for athletes and their support personnel, was approved by WADA’s Executive Committee during its meeting on 14 and15 September, and will come into force on 1 January 2021. Full news release here.

Olympic Highlights IOC News
back to top