Olympic Highlights 09/09/2019

IOC / Greg Martin



IOC President Thomas Bach took part in the final day of the fourth annual edition of the IOC Youth Summit. Fifty-three IOC Young Leaders – formerly known as IOC Young Change-Makers (YCMs) –, came together to put their creativity to the test as part of the first ever IOC “Createathon” for the forthcoming Winter Youth Olympic Games Lausanne 2020. During a Q&A session, President Bach said: “The IOC Youth Summit is always a highlight of the year, as it is very inspirational to see young creative people so committed to the Olympic Values. They have developed a lot over the years and they now play an even more important role in the IOC decision making process. They give us inspiration in shaping the future of the Olympic Games and the Olympic Movement”. President Bach has appointed 16 IOC Young Leaders to the IOC Commissions 2019 bringing the number up from 7 in 2018. Also present at the Summit, Virginie Faivre, President of the Lausanne 2020 Organising Committee, commented: “We have put young people at the heart of Lausanne 2020 at every step to create iconic elements such as our mascot, medal, song and visual identity. I am delighted we can pool the diverse imaginations of the IOC Young Leaders. Their ideas are truly inspiring.” Full press release here.

President Bach met IOC Member Narinder Dhruv Batra, who is also President of the International Hockey Federation (FIH), accompanied by Thierry Weil, FIH CEO, and Tayyab Ikram, an FIH Executive Board member. Among the various points addressed were the preparations for the Olympic hockey tournament in Tokyo next year.

IOC / Greg Martin 

The IOC President met Michael Evans, President of Alibaba, a Worldwide Olympic Partner. Together they discussed upcoming plans for the next editions of the Olympic Games – Tokyo 2020 and Beijing 2022. Evans was accompanied by Michael Payne, a marketing consultant and former IOC Marketing Director.

IOC / Greg Martin

The President met writer George Hirthler, who promotes the life and vision of Baron Pierre de Coubertin, and film producer Mark Mitten. Together they discussed a project for a film on the work of the founder of the IOC and reviver of the Olympic Games.

IOC / Greg Martin

The President received the President of the German Ice-Hockey Federation, Franz Reindl, a bronze medallist at the Olympic Winter Games Innsbruck 1976. They discussed the role of ice hockey at the Olympic Winter Games and the participation of the German ice hockey team in the Winter Youth Olympic Games Lausanne 2020.

The IOC President also met Kate Robertson and Hans Reitz, organisers of the One Young World Summit, which will be held in Munich (Germany) in 2020. 

A number of topical Olympic matters were addressed in a meeting with IOC Vice-President Zaiqing Yu.


University of Chungbuk

IOC Vice-President Zaiqing Yu received an honorary doctorate from the University of Chungbuk (Republic of Korea) in recognition of his contribution to international sport. The ceremony was held ahead of the opening of the World Martial Arts Masterships in Chungju, at which Yu represented the IOC. The IOC Members in the Republic of Korea, Seung-min Ryu and Kee-heung Lee, and former United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon were present.

IOC / Greg Martin

Felicité Rwemarika represented the IOC at the General Assembly of the Commonwealth Games Federation in Kigali (Rwanda) from 3 to 5 September.


The IOC announced the names of six world-class athletes who will help the young athletes at Lausanne 2020, from 9 to 22 January 2020. They join a list of 13 previously appointed athletes. The group consists of one ice hockey player, Mark Streit; one ski jumper, Jernej Damjan; one moguls skier, Hannah Kearney; one cross-country skier, Maria Ntanou; one Nordic skier, Tara Geraghty-Moats; and one biathlete, Henrik L’Abée-Lund. Full news release here.

On 30 August, the Olympic Boxing Task Force confirmed the names of the cities that will host the five qualification events held on the Boxing Road to Tokyo 2020. The Task Force also announced the creation of an Athlete Ambassador Group, as well its collaboration with PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) on the refereeing and judging process. Full press release here.

international sportS FEDERATIONS


The XXI Congress of the International Basketball Federation (FIBA), which brought together delegates from 156 national federations in Beijing (People’s Republic of China), concluded on 31 August, on the eve of Basketball World Cup 2019. Besides the election of the FIBA Central Bureau, the Congress appointed the Nominations Panel and the Ethics Panel, and adopted amendments to the FIBA General Statutes. More info here. In addition, 11 personalities from the world of basketball were inducted into the FIBA Hall of Fame.

The International Swimming Federation (FINA) has unveiled the 2020 calendar of the annual circuit of the FINA Diving Grand Prix as well as the dates of the FINA World Junior Diving Championships. Taking place over eight legs, it will kick off in Europe in Madrid (Spain) from 14 to 16 February, then go to Rostock (Germany) from 20 to 23 February, before heading to North America with Windsor (Canada) from 14 to 17 May. The circuit will continue in Asia, in Singapore from 29 to 31 May, and Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia) from 5 to 7 June, and will stop in Africa in Cairo (Egypt) from 17 to 20 June. The final legs will be staged in Bolzano (Italy) from 3 to 5 July and Gold Coast in Australia from 6 to 8 November. The World Junior Diving Championships will be held in Kyiv (Ukraine) from 6 to 8 November 2020. More info at www.fina.org.


During its meeting in Budapest (Hungary), the Executive Board of the International Modern Pentathlon Federation (UIPM) approved a new tetrathlon concept proposed for introduction at the Youth Olympic Games Dakar 2022. New tetrathlon incorporates fencing into the existing UIPM sport of triathle, which combines swimming with laser run. Xiamen (People’s Republic of China) was chosen to host the UIPM 2020 Congress.  The UIPM 2021 Pentathlon World Championships will take place in Minsk (Belarus), and the UIPM 2020 Junior World Championships will take place in Drzonkow (Poland). More details here.


The International Triathlon Union (ITU) has announced the name of the six inductees of the fifth edition of the ITU Hall of Fame. The induction ceremony was held at a gala dinner organised at the end of August in Lausanne, where the 2019 World Triathlon Grand Final was being held. They are: Sheila Taormina, Emma Moffat, Daniel Unger, Brad Kahlefeldt, Sarah Springman, Doug Hiller and Sergio Migliorini. Full details here.

Winter Ifs

1998 Getty

The International Biathlon Union (IBU) learnt that Norwegian Halvard Hanevold (photo) died on 3 September. The 49-year-old Hanevold took part in five editions of the Olympic Winter Games from 1994 to 2010, during which he won three gold, two silver and one bronze medal. In Nagano 1998, Hanevold took gold in the 20km Individual. At both Salt Lake City 2002 and Vancouver 2010, he won gold with the Norwegian 4 x 7.5km relay team. He also participated in 16 World Championships, at which he won five gold medals, and 432 World Cup competitions. More details here.

The World Curling Federation (WCF) and Curling Canada agreed an eight-year extension to their current world championship hosting arrangement at the World Curling Congress in Cancun (Mexico). The agreement will see the World Women’s and Men’s Curling Championship held in Canada in alternating years, up until 2028. More info here. Also in Cancun, the number of WCF Member Associations grew from 61 to 64, as the WCF Board approved the Dominican Republic, India and Kuwait as conditional members. More info here.


NOC of Bahrain

A course for fencing coaches was recently organised by the Olympic Academy of the NOC of Bahrain, in cooperation with Olympic Solidarity. A total of 27 coaches took part in this course at the headquarters of the Bahrain Fencing Association.


A bilateral cooperation agreement was signed between the Chinese Taipei Olympic Committee (CTOC) and the Hellenic Olympic Committee (HOC) last month. CTOC President Hong-Dow Lin and Emmanuel Kolympadis, HOC Secretary General, inked the agreement at the signing ceremony. The ceremony was attended by Che-Hung Lin, Deputy Director General of Sports Administration, Ministry of Education; Isidoros Kouvelos, President of the International Olympic Academy (IOA); Theodora Bakoyannis, a Greek Member of Parliament; and many other guests. This is the 37th NOC to sign a Bilateral Cooperation Agreement with the CTOC. Furthermore, a ceremony was held to mark the unveiling of the CTOC’s “ATHENA” prize and the grand opening of the 42nd Session of the Chinese Taipei Olympic Academy (CTOA). During the ceremony, Hong-Dow Lin awarded the Laurel Medal to Isidoros Kouvelos in appreciation for the IOA’s continuous support towards the CTOA. More info at www.tpenoc.net

1992 / Allsport / Vandystadt / Guichaoua Yann

The Spanish NOC announced the death of Olympic medallist Blanca Fernández Ochoa (photo) on 4 September, at the age of 56. She competed in four consecutive editions of the Olympic Winter Games (Lake Placid 1980, Sarajevo 1984, Calgary 1988 and Albertville 1992). At Albertville 1992, she won bronze in the slalom, becoming the first Spanish female athlete to win a medal at the Winter Games. More details here.

Venezuelan NOC

The Golden Boys Foundation, which trains young basketballers, visited the headquarters of the Venezuelan NOC. Children, youngsters and Foundation representatives were able to enjoy a sports education and incentive programme implemented by the NOC. NOC President Eduardo Álvarez joined the participants during a visit to the Venezuelan Olympic Museum.


Tokyo 2020

The Tokyo Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (Tokyo 2020) has launched its “Tokyo 2020 Open Innovation Challenge”, a technology competition aimed at creating an innovative spectator experience and encouraging as many people as possible to become involved in the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020. Participants are invited to develop and submit prototypes of any type of technology application leveraging the very latest Cloud and AI technologies. The aim is to enhance the future spectator experience for sporting events and highlight Tokyo 2020’s commitment to innovation. Alibaba Cloud and Intel are partnering with Tokyo 2020 to organise the Challenge. More info here.

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