Olympic Highlights 08/10/2021

IOC / Greg Martin



IOC President Thomas Bach welcomed the European Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, Mariya Gabriel, who is also responsible for sport, at Olympic House. President Bach gave Commissioner Gabriel a tour of the IOC headquarters. During the visit, Mrs Gabriel signed the IOC’s “golden book”. Together, they discussed the European Sport Model as well as the upcoming editions of the Olympic Games and the importance of ‘safeguarding’. Commissioner Gabriel also congratulated President Bach on the success of the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020 and thanked him for the IOC’s support and pledge for the European Commission campaign #HealthyLifestyle4All. While in Lausanne, the Commissioner also visited The Olympic Museum and tweeted afterwards: “Pleased to visit the Olympic Museum, the cradle of Olympic values which EU shares.”

President Bach held a phone conversation with  the new President of the Inter-American Development Bank, Mauricio J. Claver-Carone. The two leaders spoke about the excellent partnership between their two organisations and the sports development programmes and projects that have been implemented, particularly those in underprivileged regions and countries. They agreed to continue and strengthen their cooperation.

The President discussed a number of Olympic topics in a phone conversation with IOC Doyen Richard W. Pound.  

IOC / Greg Martin

President Bach met IOC Member Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović at Olympic House. They spoke about several topical Olympic matters.

The President also met Paul Caine, the President of On Location, a leader in experiential hospitality. In March 2021, the company was appointed as the exclusive service provider for the Olympic and Paralympic Games Paris 2024, Milano Cortina 2026 and LA28 hospitality programmes. 

Having spoken to the IOC Members last week, President Bach held phone consultations with the NOCs, the Olympic Winter IFs and athlete representatives. The main topic of discussion was the preparations for the Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022.


IOC EB member Emma Terho, who is also Chair of the IOC Athletes’ Commission, has been appointed as one of the five sports movement representatives on the Executive Committee of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA). Her appointment was approved by the WADA Foundation Board. She replaces Danka Bartekova on the ExCo. Terho has been a member of WADA’s Foundation Board and Athlete Committee since 2018. More details here.

IOC / Greg Martin

The IOC has announced the composition of its Coordination Commission for the Games of the XXXV Olympiad after electing Brisbane 2032 as Olympic and Paralympic host last July in Tokyo. Five-time Olympian and two-time Olympic champion in swimming Kirsty Coventry, from Zimbabwe, will chair the Commission. The most decorated Olympian from her continent, Coventry was the Chair of the IOC Athletes’ Commission, and in this capacity a member of the IOC Executive Board, from 2018 until earlier this year, when the IOC Session in Tokyo approved the change of her IOC membership status to Individual Member. Sixty-six per cent of the Brisbane 2032 Coordination Commission members are women, with the number of female chairs of IOC Commissions now 12 out of 30. Read the full news release here.

Other Olympic news

More than 250 official publications related to the Olympic and Paralympic Games held in Tokyo have already been integrated into the library collection of the Olympic Studies Centre (OSC), and are now available on the Olympic World Library (OWL) for future Games organisers, researchers, journalists, students and various other stakeholders in the Olympic Movement to consult freely. On the Olympic World Library, the Tokyo 2020 publications can be searched by various topics, such as sustainability, legacy, athletes and sports. The material is invaluable information for historians and researchers, but also for managers of specific functional areas of current and future Organising Committees. Full news release here.

International Federations

Summer IFs

On 4 October, the International Association Football Federation (FIFA) and the World Health Organization (WHO) marked the two-year anniversary of a strategic collaboration aimed at promoting and protecting the physical and mental health of people worldwide. The signing of a four-year memorandum of understanding (MoU) in 2019 kick-started a range of joint initiatives, from promoting physical activity and addressing mental health challenges to advocating for adherence to public health measures and equitable access to vaccines, diagnostics and treatments to fight the COVID-19 pandemic. More info here about the campaign and initiatives.

The International Gymnastics Federation (FIG) is introducing a Virtual Media Centre at the 2021 FIG Artistic and Rhythmic Gymnastics World Championships in Kitakyushu (Japan) later this month. As a response to the global coronavirus pandemic and the subsequent travel restrictions, the FIG, together with the local organising committee and FIG broadcast partner Eurovision Sport (EBU), has designed a Virtual Media Centre to allow worldwide media to produce dedicated coverage of the events remotely. More info at www.gymnastics.sport.


Meeting at the International Swimming Federation (FINA) headquarters in Lausanne on 4 and 5 October, the FINA Reform Committee discussed a series of strategic recommendations, which have been developed to modernise FINA and take its six disciplines into a new era. The Reform Committee was formed to assess potential changes to FINA and provide strategic recommendations in a variety of areas, including governance, communication, marketing, gender equity, events, athlete safeguarding, sports medicine and sports development. Full info here.

The International Tennis Federation (ITF) has published a special edition of its magazine, ITFWorld, to celebrate the players and defining moments of the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020. More info here about the ITFWorld Tokyo 2020 Special Edition, which has been produced in addition to the regular issues of the magazine.

National Olympic Committees

Albanian NOC

The President of the Albanian NOC, Fidel Ylli, recently paid a visit to the refugee camp hosting Afghan people who came to Albania and settled in the coastal city of Durres. He was accompanied by the President and the Secretary General of the Cycling Federation, respectively Skender Anxhaku and Alfred Tahiraj. He took the opportunity to meet with the representatives of the Olympic Movement in Afghanistan who are staying in Albania, together with dozens of high-level athletes from various sports, including boxing, cycling and swimming (see photo), to whom he expressed his support and emphasised the message of social inclusion through sport. To this end, the NOC will soon organise an Olympic Day with sports activities, where the main focus will be the integration of Afghan athletes. More info at www.nocalbania.org.al.


On 4 October, with a little over 100 days until the Olympic and Paralympic Games Beijing 2022, Team France was officially presented (photo). The new visual identity for Team France was also unveiled. This event marks a turning point in the history of French sport; already united as one single team, the French Olympic and Paralympic athletes for both summer and winter sports will now wear clothing bearing the same emblem until the Olympic Games Paris 2024 and beyond. During the event, Brigitte Henriques, President of the French National Olympic and Sports Committee (CNOSF), and Marie-Amélie Le Fur, President of the French Paralympic and Sports committee (CPSF), announced the names of the chefs de mission who will lead the delegations in Beijing: Nathalie Péchalat, President of the French Federation of Ice Sports, will lead the Olympic delegation and Jean Minier, Sports Director of the CPSF, will lead the Paralympic delegation. Full info here and on the Paris 2024 website.

Romanian NOC

The nine Team Romania athletes who won medals at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 were honoured during an Award Gala Evening held at Olympic House in Bucharest. They were presented with their prizes by the Romanian Olympic and Sports Committee and its partner, Toyota Romania. The Embassy of Japan in Bucharest was the co-organiser of the Gala. On this occasion, Toyota Romania told the audience about the TOP Partner Toyota project Beyond Zero, which is intended to eliminate the carbon emissions of its vehicles in the near future. More info here.

Spanish NOC

The Spanish NOC and the UCAM Catholic University of Mercia paid tribute to the athletes belonging to the alliance created by the two entities who competed at the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020. In the Japanese capital, the UCAM was the university with the most Games participants, with a total of 74 athletes (61 Olympians and 13 Paralympians). The event was held in the presence of NOC President Alejandro Blanco and UCAM President José Luis Mendoza. More details here.

Venezuelan NOC

No sooner have the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 ended than the Venezuelan NOC is already turning its attention to the Paris 2024 and Los Angeles 2028 Games. The NOC’s Technical Commission, chaired by Luis Seijas, recently met at the NOC’s headquarters, with more than 25 technical directors in attendance (see photo). The agenda included a range of topics, including a comparative assessment of the performances by NOCs from the Americas at the Rio 2016 and Tokyo 2020 Games; a status update on preparations for the Cali Valle 2021 Junior Pan-American Games; and the structure of the NOC Technical Commission.

Organising Committees for the Olympic Games

Milano Cortina 2026

As it prepares to take centre stage upon the conclusion of both the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games Beijing 2022, the Milano Cortina 2026 Organising Committee used this week’s Delivery Partners Meeting to share important progress updates with the IOC and International Paralympic Committee (IPC). With the IOC’s Milano Cortina 2026 Coordination Commission Chair, Sari Essayah, and the Milano Cortina 2026 President, Giovanni Malagò, in attendance, the discussions covered the progress made since the last Coordination Commission meeting in April this year. The team from Milano Cortina 2026 shared their learnings from the Games Education Programme held during Tokyo 2020. Updates on the ongoing development of their venue design were also provided. An overview of Milano Cortina 2026’s organisational design was presented, among other things. Read the full news release here.

Recognised organisations


Meeting in Dubrovnik (Croatia), the 6th Assembly of the European Athletes elected a new European Olympic Committees (EOC) Athletes’ Commission for the 2021-2023/2025 period (see photo). In total, more than 70 athletes and NOC representatives from across Europe attended the meeting. Following a meeting, the members of the Commission elected Gerd Kanter as Chair of the Commission for a further term of two years, and Jonathan Guerreiro as Vice-Chair for a four-year term. Alexandra Longova was appointed as Secretary. Full details here.

Commonwealth Games Federation

On 7 October, Queen Elizabeth II officially launched the Birmingham 2022 Queen’s Baton Relay in a ceremony at Buckingham Palace in London. Louise Martin, President of the Commonwealth Games Federation, and the Chairman of the Organising Committee for the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, John Crabtree, were present at the ceremonial party. They were also joined by the baton bearers, made up of athletes who will be competing next year, young flagbearers from the West Midlands, the Birmingham 2022 Hometown Heroes and representatives from across the Commonwealth. The Queen’s baton will now visit all 72 nations and territories of the Commonwealth for 294 days, covering 140,000 kilometres. The global journey will conclude at the Opening Ceremony of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games on 28 July 2022. More details here.

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