Following an invitation by the National Olympic Committee of Ukraine, IOC President Thomas Bach visited Kyiv on Sunday 3 July. He was accompanied by IOC Member and President of the Ukraine National Olympic Committee Sergii Bubka and the Ukrainian Sports Minister, Vadym Guttsait.
He met around 100 athletes from the Ukrainian team at the Olympic Training Centre, and listened to their first-hand accounts of their experiences of training and competing in extremely difficult conditions. Speaking to them at the Training Centre, President Bach said: “We want to show the solidarity of the Olympic Movement with our friends here in the Ukrainian Olympic Community because we know that you are living very difficult moments, and we want not only to tell you, we want to show you, we want to reassure you that you are never alone with the Olympic Community. We are with you with our hearts, with our thoughts every day, and we want to support you to make your Olympic dreams come true.” At the Centre he was also joined by two-time Olympic sprint champion and IOC Member Valeriy Borzov.
Earlier, the President visited a badly damaged sports facility in Kyiv. He was able to see the destruction at the Avangard basketball hall, which was hit during a missile attack on the city.
Later the President held hour-long talks with the Ukrainian President, Volodymyr Zelensky. President Zelensky told the IOC President, “I want to thank you personally for your support for our athletes and the Ukrainian Olympic Community.
He also reiterated his strong support for the IOC’s position with regard to the war in Ukraine. President Bach told the Ukrainian President, “I want to thank you for holding such a meeting addressing sport at such a difficult time for your country. This is further confirmation of your commitment to sport and the Olympic values. We want to show solidarity in particular with the Ukrainian Olympic Community, and to demonstrate to the athletes and coaches that they are not alone and that we stand by their side.”
During a media conference, President Zelensky also welcomed the new strengthened initiatives from the International Olympic Committee that the IOC President had announced during the visit, which go beyond coordinating the support for more than 3,000 Ukrainian athletes both at home and abroad. President Bach committed to continuing and even strengthening the IOC’s support for Ukrainian athletes, with a special view to the Olympic Games Paris 2024 and the Olympic Winter Games Milano Cortina 2026, and their respective qualifying events. As a result, the aid fund for athletes will be tripled to USD 7.5 million. And Sergii Bubka, as the coordinator of this fund, will continue to rally and coordinate the support of the entire Olympic Movement beyond this IOC fund. President Bach also committed to convening in Lausanne, together with the NOC and the Sports Minister of Ukraine, a Ukrainian Sport Recovery Conference of the Olympic Movement.
Before leaving for Ukraine, President Bach met the Polish President, Andrzej Duda. They discussed topics of mutual interest including the current international situation and the work being done by Poland to welcome and support refugees and to help Ukrainian sport.
Last week, President Bach was in Munich for the start of the celebrations marking the 50th anniversary of the Olympic Games Munich 1972. He attended a reception hosted by the German Olympic Sports Confederation (DOSB) and the unveiling of new Olympic rings in Munich’s Olympic Park.
During his speech in front of hundreds of guests, amongst them more than a dozen German medallists from the Games 50 years ago, IOC President Bach said: “Munich is a perfect example of how to organise sustainable Olympic Games.” He recalled that the Games were full of cheerfulness, openness and hospitality. The Games were inspired by IOC Member and then-NOC President Willi Daume, who chaired the Organising Committee, and the former Mayor of Munich, Hans-Jochen Vogel. They were meant to help Germany distinguish itself from its own past and show a new Germany after World War II. “Down to every detail, the architecture and concept of the Games were inspired by openness and enjoyment of life,” said Bach.
The IOC President remembered the many golden moments of the two German teams at the time: from the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG) and the German Democratic Republic (GDR). For the first time in Olympic history, Munich 1972 saw two completely separate German delegations.
Unfortunately, on 5 September 1972 hate and violence muted the spirit of the Games. President Bach said: “The brutal attack on the Israeli team shocks us until today and fills us with disgust and shame. For many of us it is one of those moments in life from which we know exactly where we were when we received the news.” The attack on the Israeli team was also an attack on the whole Olympic community and its values, the IOC President emphasised: “This is why we remembered the victims from Israel and the German policeman during the Opening Ceremony of the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 with a minute of silence. Today we want to bow again in honour of the victims.
Despite the cowardly attack, the NOC of Israel never turned its back on the Olympic Games, Bach continued: “The Israeli athletes continued to participate in the Olympic Games and to embrace the uniting power of the Olympic Movement. We are very thankful to them.
This is why the unveiled Olympic rings are also a symbol of the persistence of the Olympic values and the resistance of the Olympic Games, President Bach concluded. “The Olympic rings show us that sport can play its part in making the world a better place, and that the Olympic values of solidarity and peace are greater than hatred and division. Read the full news release here.
During a ceremony also held in Munich, the first democratically elected President of the National Olympic Committee of the former German Democratic Republic (GDR), Professor Dr. Joachim Weiskopf, has been awarded the Olympic Order. “We associate with the name Joachim Weiskopf a great historic moment in our recent German history: German reunification,” said President Bach in his speech. Weiskopf, who is now 94 years old, was elected President of the NOC of the GDR in July 1990. He led the organisation during the unification process with the NOC of the former Federal Republic of Germany (FRG), which was accomplished at the end of 1990. The NOC of Germany (GER) emerged from this process.
President Bach recently hosted Susanne Lyons, the President of the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee (USOPC), and her counterpart from the Cuban Olympic Committee, Roberto León Richards Aguiar. The IOC President took the opportunity of the visit by both NOCs to Olympic House for a joint meeting to show the unifying power of sport and the Olympic Movement. Together, they talked about topics of mutual interest, including the preparations of their respective athletes for the upcoming Olympic Games Paris 2024 and Los Angeles 2028.
Last week, at Olympic House, President Bach welcomed the President of the NOC of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Dr Seyed Reza Salehi Amiri, and the Iranian Minister for Sport and Youth, Dr Seyed Hamid Sajadi Hazaveh. Discussions focused on the role of sport in Iranian society, compliance with the Olympic Charter and the next Olympic Games.
Also at Olympic House, the IOC President presented the Olympic Order to Tjaša Andrée-Prosenc, Vice-President of the International Council of Arbitration for Sport (ICAS), who was also a member of the International Skating Union (ISU) Council for nearly 20 years, and a long-time member of the Slovenian NOC Executive Board. More recently, she served as Deputy President of the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS)’s Anti-Doping Division at the Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022.
Earlier, President Bach had attended the inauguration of the new CAS headquarters at the Palais de Beaulieu in Lausanne. Also present at the ceremony were CAS Secretary General Matthieu Reeb, ICAS President John Coates, Vaud Councillor of State Philippe Leuba, Mayor of Lausanne Grégoire Junod, and a number of heads of IFs.
President Bach held phone conversations with Emma Terho, IOC EB member and Chair of the IOC Athletes’ Commission, and Anant Singh, IOC Member and Chair of the IOC Communications Commission. Various topical Olympic matters, including the next editions of the Olympic Games and Youth Olympic Games, were addressed.
With IOC Member and Senegalese NOC President Mamadou Diagna Ndiaye, the President discussed the preparations for the Youth Olympic Games Dakar 2026 and those of the Senegalese athletes for the Olympic Games Paris 2024.
The President met with Tricia Smith, IOC Member and Canadian NOC President. Together, they discussed various Olympic topics and Canada’s interest in hosting future Olympic Winter Games.
The President also spoke with Professor Stephan Wassong, President of the International Pierre de Coubertin Committee and Director of the Olympic Studies Centre at the German Sport University in Cologne.
IOC Member Uğur Erdener, who is also Chair of the IOC Medical and Scientific Commission, has been awarded the Gold Medal of the International Federation of Sports Medicine (FIMS) for his extraordinary services to sports medicine globally. The medal was presented by FIMS President Fabio Pigozzi during a ceremony held at the Italian NOC headquarters in Rome.
IOC Member Mustapha Berraf, who is also President of the Association of the National Olympic Committees of Africa (ANOCA), represented the IOC President at the Opening Ceremony of the Oran 2022 Mediterranean Games, which was held on 25 June in Oran (Algeria).
The Worldwide Olympic Partners joined athletes, Olympians and people around the world by celebrating this year’s Olympic Day, showing their united support for a more peaceful world. Learn more about how the TOP Partners joined the celebrations and inspired people to get active here.
Other olympic news
To mark the first International Day of Women in Diplomacy, the IOC reiterated its commitment to advancing gender equality in sport. To ensure that more women have access to leadership roles within the IOC and the Olympic Movement, the IOC has undertaken a number of initiatives. The International Day of Women in Diplomacy was created by the United Nations (UN) on 20 June 2022. Adopted by consensus, the UN resolution entitled “International Day of Women in Diplomacy” reaffirms that the participation of women, on equal terms with men and at all levels of decision-making, is essential to the achievement of sustainable development, peace and democracy. Full news release here.
The powerful role of sport in promoting the health of the ocean and protecting life below water has been highlighted at the UN Oceans Conference currently taking place in Lisbon, Portugal. In a session entitled “Racing for Clean Seas: Sport as a game-changer in promoting ocean health and accelerating the implementation of SDG 14”, the participants discussed the ways in which sports organisations are addressing the global problem of marine litter and plastic pollution. IOC Sustainability Ambassador, Olympic Champion in sailing at Tokyo 2020 and Rio 2016 and silver medallist at London 2012 Hannah Mills, represented the IOC at the event. Read here the full news release.
The International Cycling Union (UCI) has published its Annual Report - including the financial statements – for 2021. Approved by the UCI Management Committee at its meeting in Arzon (France) from 14 to 16 June, the Report highlights the numerous advances made and the financial targets met. Detailed info here.
On 29 June, the International Swimming Federation (FINA) announced the composition of its inaugural elected Athletes’ Committee for the 2022-2026 period. The gender and discipline-balanced Athletes’ Committee will play a major role in ensuring that all voices at the heart of aquatics are heard and represented equally. Alia Atkinson from Jamaica and Jack Laugher from Great Britain were confirmed as the new FINA Athletes' Committee Chair and Vice-Chair respectively. More info here.
The World Curling Federation (WCF) has announced that the 2023 World Men’s Curling Championship will be hosted in Ottawa, Canada, from 1 to 9 April 2023. Ottawa was originally scheduled to host the championship in 2021, but due to the pandemic, it was moved inside the Calgary bubble alongside other curling events. Full details here.
National Olympic committees
This year, the Barbados Olympic Association (BOA) organised four events to celebrate Olympic Day. From 20 to 25 June, the activities included a Virtual Week-Long Walk, a Twitter Space Discussion on the topic “E-Sport: Is it Sport?”, and a physical activity event dubbed #Move For Peace held on 23 June. Meanwhile, the celebration culminated on 25 June with an Olympic Day 2K Fun Run & Fun Evening, with activities such as a basketball shooting competition, hula hoop and roller race. Full details here.
The 8th Lithuanian Children’s Games, the largest physical activity project for kindergarten children in Lithuania, organised by the NOC of Lithuania (LNOC), attracted a record number of participants with 44,000 participants all over Lithuania. More than 400 pre-school establishments organised their own sports festivals, and the final phase was marked by the organisation of 10 major sports festivals. The final stage saw the attendance of the project patron, the country's First Lady Diana Nausėdienė; LNOC President and IOC Member Daina Gudzinevičiūtė; and 12 Lithuanian Olympians and top athletes. An average of 600 spectators were present at each festival. More info at www.ltok.lt.
This year saw the 14th edition of the Spanish NOC’s “Todos Olímpicos” (“All Olympic”) initiative. The aim of this educational project is to promote the values of sport and Olympism in the country’s schools. The project has grown over the years since 2008, and in total almost 300,000 children have taken part, with 118 athletes talking to them about their sporting and personal experiences. More details here.
Organising Committees for the Olympic Games
On 27 June, the Organising Committee for the Olympic and Paralympic Games Paris 2024 launched its Cultural Olympiad, which brings together the world of culture and the Olympic and Paralympic movements. The programme invites the world of culture to join the momentum of the Games to develop a cultural identity for Paris 2024. Using sport as a vector to access art, the multidisciplinary artistic and cultural initiatives will run until September 2024 in all French territories through Cultural Olympiad-labelled projects. Full details here. In addition, on 26 June, a bustling and successful Olympic Day 2022 was held in the area around the Stade de France, which was transformed into a huge open-air playground. Tens of thousands of people came with their families or friends to discover, practise and admire more than 30 Olympic sports on the Paris 2024 Games programme, as well as several Paralympic sports. A number of great champions were present to share their passion and chat to the public. The event was led by Paris 2024, the Ministry of Sport and the Olympic and Paralympic Games, and the French National Olympic and Sports Committee (CNOSF), alongside stakeholders from Seine-Saint-Denis. Full details here.
The Athletes’ Support Programme Commission for the Olympic Games Paris 2024 of the Association of the National Olympic Committees of Africa (ANOCA) met at the ANOCA headquarters in Abuja (Nigeria) on 20 and 21 June. Under the coordination of Commission Chair Seydina Omar Diagne, the members reviewed all aspects of the preparation of African athletes for Paris 2024. The ANOCA Athletes’ Support programme is based on the judicious use of Olympic Solidarity budgets and the effectiveness of ANOCA grants, and is aimed at providing support for the preparation and qualification of elite athletes with the potential to qualify and perform well at these Olympic Games. Full details here.