Olympic highlights 07/10/2019

IOC / Greg Martin



The IOC Executive Board (EB) met on 2 and 3 October at the Olympic House in Lausanne. They discussed the upcoming editions of the Olympic Games, the selection of future Olympic Games hosts, the protection of the integrity of sport and the athletes, and several other institutional matters.  

Concerning the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, the organisers reported that Olympic preparations continue to be on track. They also reported that over 3.5 million tickets have now been sold for the Olympic Games. Some 80,000 volunteers are currently being selected and trained from among more than 200,000 applicants, with over 10 per cent of the participants coming from outside Japan, and approximately 120 countries. Tokyo 2020 also updated the EB on the large number of test events that have been held this summer. More details here.

After the IOC Session in June this year agreed on the evolution of the revolution of future Games host elections, the EB discussed and approved how this new approach, which includes the creation of two Future Host Commissions (Summer and Winter), will be implemented. After consultation with the EB, the two Commissions were appointed by the IOC President. They are both gender-balanced: five female members and five male members for the Summer Games, and four female members and four male members for the Winter Games. IOC Members Kristin Kloster Aasen from Norway and Octavian Morariu from Romania were named Chairs of the Commissions for Summer and Winter, respectively. The Commissions are made up of IOC Members who are not on the Executive Board. Additionally, there are representatives of the athletes, IFs, NOCs and the International Paralympic Committee (IPC), in line with the IOC regulations. See the full composition of the Commissions here.

The EB was also presented with an update on the preparations for the Youth Olympic Winter Games Lausanne 2020.

The IOC EB was given a report on the steps being taken in boxing on the road to the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020. The Chair of the Monitoring Group, Nenad Lalovic, provided an update on the situation of the International Boxing Association (AIBA), which had its recognition suspended in May, and IOC Sports Director Kit McConnell reported on the work of the Olympic Boxing Taskforce on behalf of its Chair, Morinari Watanabe. The main points were the achievements since the IOC Session in June. The anti-doping arrangements for Tokyo 2020 will be replicated for the qualification events, with the International Testing Agency (ITA) doing over 500 in-competition tests and the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) responsible for sanctioning in the event of an Anti-Doping Rule Violation. The Olympic Boxing Taskforce has also placed a heavy focus on engagement with the NOCs, National Federations and athletes by using every existing opportunity, including a number of continental games. A dedicated website with content in multiple languages has been launched on Athlete365, the IOC’s platform devoted to athletes. More details here.

Concerning anti-doping activities, the IOC EB was informed by the ITA about the most comprehensive pre-Games testing programme ever conducted, which will be coordinated by the ITA prior to the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020. After this presentation, the IOC EB underlined the importance of considering the long-term storage of pre-Games testing samples. For Tokyo 2020, both the testing and the sanctioning components of the anti-doping system will be independent from the IOC. The ITA and the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) will handle these respectively. The IOC has also delegated the reanalysis programme from past Games to the ITA. The IOC EB also approved the IOC Needle Policy for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 and the Winter Youth Olympic Games Lausanne 2020. More details here.

In addition, following the banning of US coach Alberto Salazar by U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA), the IOC will write to the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) to get full clarity on the scope and depth of this investigation.

With regard to athlete engagement, the IOC EB was informed that, for the first time, the IOC Athletes’ Commission has started its direct, in-person engagement with athletes prior to the Olympic Games. The Commission has been able to reach 8,500 athletes and 2,300 entourage members by attending 15 international sporting events this year, including four continental games, World Championships and a number of competitions in Tokyo. More details here.

A report on the International Olympic Academy (IOA) was also presented. The IOC EB approved an investment of EUR 12.5 million to support a comprehensive renovation project for the IOA, in order to strengthen Olympic education and promotion of the Olympic values. The inauguration of the renovated IOA is scheduled for 27 June 2021, in the framework of the IOC Session in Athens.

The IOC Executive Board also approved the proposal to put forward the Alliance of Independent Recognised Members of Sport (AIMS) to the IOC Session in January 2020 for full recognition, in accordance with Rule 3.3 of the Olympic Charter, which states that the IOC may recognise IFs and associations of IFs. This does not confer recognition on individual members of AIMS, and the existing process for IF recognition remains unchanged.

Five changes of nationality were approved in agreement with the respective IFs and NOCs. The athletes were permitted to change nationality without serving the three-year period since last representing their former countries. Full details here.

Following the disqualification of athletes from the Olympic Winter Games Sochi 2014, the IOC EB confirmed diploma reallocations. Full details here.

There was a report on the activities of the Olympic Channel which continues to grow and expand. Since its launch in August 2016, the

Olympic Channel has had a total of 2.45 billion video views across all its different platforms. It has also partnerships with 91 IFs and multisport organisations and availability in 11 languages.

This week, President Bach also welcomed Yuri Titov, Olympic champion and former President of the International Gymnastics Federation (FIG). He was also an IOC Member from 1995 to 1996.

The IOC President met Bill Daly, deputy commissioner of the NHL (National Hockey League), who paid a courtesy visit to the IOC.

Meetings were held with IOC EB members Kirsty Coventry, Ivo Ferriani, Nenad Lalovic and Prince Feisal Al Hussein, with whom President Bach discussed various Olympic issues.

The President took part in a meeting of the IOC - Olympic Capital Commission, a regular meeting with the authorities of the city, represented by the Mayor of Lausanne, Grégoire Junod, and the authorities of the Canton of Vaud, represented by Council of State members Pascal Broulis and Philippe Leuba.

IOC / Greg Martin
A reception was organised at the Olympic Museum to mark the retirement of Francis Gabet, Director of the Olympic Foundation for Culture and Heritage. President Bach thanked Francis Gabet for the remarkable work he had accomplished during his 16 years at the Olympic Museum, and in particular for the implementation of the 'Museum 2020' project. The new Director of the Foundation, Angelita Teo, was also introduced at the reception.
Other Olympic news

The IFs of cycling, rowing, rugby, tennis, triathlon and wrestling are cooperating to help develop the leadership and technical skills of high-potential female coaches. Supporting Recommendation 6 of the IOC’s Gender Equality Review Project, which seeks to increase the proportion of female coaches at the Olympic Games, the six IFs have teamed up with the IOC through Olympic Solidarity to offer a 14-month programme for a limited number of high-performance coaches, to be led by the Women’s Sport Leadership Academy at the University of Hertfordshire, Great Britain. The first session of the pilot project will take place from 3 to 8 November 2019. More details on the ITU and World Rowing websites.

International Federations


The International Basketball Federation (FIBA) and the IOC have confirmed the qualification path for the eight men’s and eight women’s teams that will be competing in the inaugural 3x3 Olympic tournament, from 25 to 29 July 2020. There will be three ways to qualify for the 3x3 event at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020: via the FIBA 3x3 Federation Ranking (four spots per gender); via an Olympic Qualifying Tournament (three spots per gender); and via a Universality Olympic Qualifying Tournament (one spot per gender). Full details here.

Modern pentathlete Ilke Ozyuksel was awarded the Mustafa V. Koç Sports Award, one of the most prestigious prizes in Turkish sport. This year, the 22-year-old athlete won her fourth medal at the International Modern Pentathlon Union (UIPM) World Cup, as well as setting a new women’s world record for Laser Run at the European Championships in Bath (Great Britain). Her award was presented at a ceremony in Istanbul on 24 September by the President of the Turkish Olympic Committee and IOC Vice-President Uğur Erdener. IOC EB member Kirsty Coventry, who also chairs the IOC Athletes’ Commission, and UIPM President Klaus Schormann also attended the ceremony. The Mustafa V. Koç Sports Award honours people who have made an outstanding contribution to the Olympic values. More info at www.pentathlon.org.

The board of the International Tennis Federation (ITF) has reappointed Mary Pierce of France and Mark Woodforde of Australia as the two ITF Board Athlete representatives to serve as board members for the 2019-2023 term. René Stammbach of Switzerland was appointed Treasurer, and continues in his role as Chairman of the Finance Committee. Three vice-presidents were appointed: Katrina Adams (USA), Bernard Giudicelli (France) and Bulat Utemuratov (Kazakhstan).

The World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) has announced the softball teams that have qualified for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020. Six teams will take part in the Olympic tournament: host nation Japan; the USA, 2018 WBSC World Champions; Italy, winner of the Europe/Africa qualifier; Mexico and Canada, the top two teams of the Americas Qualifier; and Australia, winner of the Asia/Oceania qualification event. More details here.

TheInternational Surfing Association(ISA)has announced that the2019 ISA World Stand-Up Paddle (SUP) and Paddleboard Championship (WSUPPC) will take place in El Salvador from 23 November to 1 December. 2019. This will mark the 8th consecutive year that the ISA has run the World Championships. The first World Champions were crowned in 2012 in Peru. More details here.

National Olympic Committees

Spanish Olympic Committee

Manuel Pastrana, information technology director of the Spanish Olympic Committee, presented the NOC’s CONPaaS project to his counterpart at the NOC of Malta, David Guehring. Malta is very interested in this initiative to create a shared IT platform for the NOCs. The concept was introduced at an ICT conference organised in Madrid in November 2015, which was attended by 27 NOCs from Spanish- and Portuguese-speaking countries. More info here.

Olympic Federation of Ireland
President of the Irish Olympians Association and Olympic Gold Medallist Ronnie Delany (r. on photo) was presented with the OLY pin by CEO of the Olympic Federation of Ireland, Peter Sherrard (center) at the NOC Headquarters in Howth. Delany was accompanied by three time Olympian and Treasurer of the Irish Olympians Association John Bouchier Hayes (l.). Ronnie Delany won the 1500m at the Olympic Games Melbourne 1956. More details here.

Photo Kishimoto / JOC
The Japan Olympic Museum opened its doors to the public on 14 September. The Museum, operated by the Japanese NOC, is located in Shinjuku, near the main stadium for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020. The museum offers various activities that combine sport with culture and education, in collaboration with athletes. It is intended to become the centre of the Olympic Movement in Japan. Ahead of the grand opening, school children decorated the welcome wall of the museum with Olympic symbols (see photo), and were taken on a guided tour by Olympians. Read more on the Japan Olympic Museum Museum website: www.japan-olympicmuseum.jp/en

By 28 September, with 300 days left before the Opening Ceremony of the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, Sweden had obtained 36 individual places to compete in Japan. Six teams have already qualified. According to Peter Reinebo, Chef de Mission and CEO of the Swedish Olympic Committee, Sweden hopes to send over 160 athletes to Tokyo. The country has just launched a new national Olympic project with the goal of winning 20 medals at the Olympic Winter Games Milano Cortina 2026 and Los Angeles 2028. More info at www.sok.se.

Recognised Organisations

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has just introduced “Spotlight”, a new communications tool that aims to inform stakeholders of the daily activities being carried out around the globe by the WADA team and its partners to deliver clean sport. The first issue looks at education and how it fits into the broader anti-doping landscape. Full details here.

Generations for Peace has announced a partnership with the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation (Laureus USA) and the Gary Comer Youth Center located in Chicago’s South Side to implement a programme named Youth Sport and Arts for Resilience (Youth SOAR). Generations for Peace’s first programme in the United States will train, mentor and support ten youths from Greater Grand Crossing, a Chicago district heavily affected by gun violence. These young people will implement weekly sport and arts activities for 100 younger local children, who will then be responsible for organising four community engagements with other local youth. In total, the programme will benefit 930 young people and is expected to reduce levels of youth violence, strengthen youth resilience to violence, and increase youth’s sense of belonging to a positive peer group. More details here.

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