Olympic Highlights 10/05/2021

10 May 2021

IOC activities


The President of the People’s Republic of China, Xi Jinping, and the IOC President, Thomas Bach, talked by telephone on Friday (7 May) and discussed the progress of preparations for the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games Beijing 2022, in the light of the improving health and economic situation in China. The two leaders spoke about the close cooperation between the IOC and Chinese authorities with regard to health questions and the measures already being taken to ensure safe and secure Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games Beijing 2022, as well as the preparations by Chinese athletes for the upcoming Olympic Games Tokyo 2020. President Bach thanked the Chinese leader for his great support since their last meeting, during which time the Chinese Olympic Committee has assisted in making vaccines available for Games participants in countries where regulatory approval has been granted by their governments. Now others are also joining this initiative. Beyond this, the two leaders discussed all the other matters that are important to the success of the Olympic Games and long-term mutual cooperation.

During a phone call, President Bach and the Prime Minister of Hungary, Viktor Orbán discussed the European Sports model.  They also discussed the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 and preparations for the Hungarian team and their participation in the postponed Games. The two leaders also discussed a wide range of Olympic matters as well as the international sports events being staged in Hungary.

President Bach had discussions with the Chairman and CEO of the pharmaceutical company Pfizer, Albert Bourla, which resulted in an agreement that Pfizer and BioNTech will donate vaccines to teams heading for the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020. (See full story under ‘Other Olympic News’ section.)

On 4 May, President Bach went to the headquarters of the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) in Aigle (Switzerland), where he was welcomed by UCI President David Lappartient and Director General Amina Lanaya. They discussed the upcoming Games in Tokyo and the new Olympic Virtual Series, which will be produced by the IOC and five International Federations, including the UCI, ahead of this summer’s Games. Accompanied also by the IOC Director General, Christophe De Kepper, the IOC President also visited the World Cycling Centre and met athletes who are currently training at the Centre, including Olympic Solidarity scholarship-holders.

© IOC / Greg Martin

At Olympic House, President Bach held a meeting with the President of the International Bobsleigh and Skeleton Federation (IBSF), Ivo Ferriani, who is also an IOC Executive Board member. They discussed topics of mutual interest, including the preparations for the Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022.

The IOC President also discussed a number of Olympic topics with IOC Member Seung Min Ryu.

With Thomas Weikert, President of the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF), the IOC President spoke about the preparations for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020.

President Bach, accompanied by the Director General, met the recently re-elected President of the International Federation of Sport Climbing (IFSC), Marco Scolaris. Together, they discussed, among other things, the preparations for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, where sports climbing will make its Olympic debut. 

President Bach held a videoconference with TOP Partner Intel’s CEO, Pat Gelsinger, to discuss the excellent cooperation between the two   organisations and the preparations for the forthcoming editions of the Olympic Games.


Lydia Nsekera was re-elected as President of the NOC of Burundi at the organisation’s general assembly on 24 April. This will be her second term of office.

Top partners

Through the joint initiative “Athletes For Good Fund”, the IOC, the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) and Worldwide Olympic Partner P&G will award more than USD 500,000 in grants to charitable causes selected and supported by Olympic and Paralympic athletes ahead of the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020. The recipients of the grants include 28 Olympians and hopefuls, and 24 Paralympians and hopefuls, representing 20 countries and 25 sports – all training for their Olympic or Paralympic dream in Tokyo. The Athletes for Good Fund, established by the IOC, the IPC, and P&G, aims to celebrate and endorse the work of athletes who partner with causes to serve their communities in areas such as equality and inclusion, environmental sustainability and community impact, including COVID-19 relief. Read the full new release here.

Other Olympic news

For safe and secure Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020, the IOC welcomed Pfizer and BioNTech’s donation of vaccines to teams heading for the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020. The IOC and the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Pfizer Inc. and BioNTech SE to donate doses of the companies’ COVID-19 vaccine to Games participants from National Olympic and Paralympic Committees around the world. NOCs will work with their local governments to coordinate local distribution in accordance with each country’s vaccination guidelines and with local regulations. This is not only to contribute to the safe environment of the Games, but also out of respect for the residents of Japan. It is important to note that any additional doses delivered by Pfizer and BioNTech will not be taken out of existing programmes, but will be in addition to existing quotas and planned deliveries around the world. During a conversation between Albert Bourla, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Pfizer, and Suga Yoshihide, Prime Minister of Japan, the host country of Tokyo 2020, Bourla made an offer to donate the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine to athletes and their delegations participating in Tokyo 2020. Following this conversation, the Japanese government had a meeting with the IOC, and now the donation plan has been produced. Read here the full news release.

In the lead-up to Tokyo 2020, the IOC this week launched a new campaign aimed at raising awareness of the threat of competition manipulation among qualified athletes, their entourage members and officials, while empowering them to “MAKE THE RIGHT DECISION”. Athlete365, the IOC’s digital platform for Olympians and elite athletes, now features a dedicated section on the prevention of competition manipulation, with a wealth of educational material and advice from athlete ambassadors selected in close collaboration with the IFs and NOCs. Read here the full news release. 

The IOC and Tokyo Metropolitan Government (TMG) have agreed that a celebratory half-marathon event will be held in Tokyo in autumn 2022. On the day of this Celebration Marathon, a wide range of participants, from less experienced runners to elite competitors, including those with a disability, will be able to take part in the event, over part of the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Marathon course. An interactive event for Tokyo residents and children will also be hosted by the IOC. This will include the opportunity for them to try out different sports and activities in the company of Olympic medallists and top-level athletes. Full news release here.

This week, the IOC unveiled olympics.com, its new digital platform, which provides a comprehensive source for information, news and original content related to the Games. As we approach the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, olympics.com will be the single source for all Games-related information, as well as comprehensive detail about every edition of the modern Olympic Games going back to 1896. There will also be new digital features, including more personalised user experiences, ticketing, fantasy games and an Olympic e-commerce presence. Full news release here.

Lacoste has unveiled a new line of clothing and accessories that celebrates the Olympic Games Tokyo 1964, as part of its licensing agreement with the IOC. These Lacoste items are the fourth apparel collection created by the label to celebrate the graphic legacy of an iconic Olympic Games edition, joining the limited-edition Grenoble 1968, Mexico City 1968 and Los Angeles 1984 lines that were launched over the last two years, under a licensing partnership with the IOC, to create co-branded collections around four past Olympic Games. The agreement forms part of the IOC’s Global Licensing Strategy – an initiative in line with Olympic Agenda 2020+5 that aims to engage and connect fans through official merchandise that strengthens and promotes the Olympic brand, not only during the Olympic Games, but between Games editions as well. Full news release here.

International federations

Summer ifs

The World Rowing Federation (FISA) has announced a record entry for the 2021 World Rowing Final Olympic Qualification Regatta. Over 400 athletes from 49 nations will head to Lucerne, Switzerland, to earn their places at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020. The regatta runs from 15 to 17 May, with the finals on the 17 May. Olympic qualification spots will be contested in the 14 Olympic boat classes. Full details here. In addition, qualification for the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020 continued for rowing with the World Rowing Asia & Oceania Olympic & Paralympic Qualification Regatta in Tokyo. This Regatta, which has just been completed, was indeed a great success with perfect racing conditions for the rowers. Full details here.

The International Basketball Federation (FIBA) has announced that the new trophy for the FIBA Women's Basketball World Cup was unveiled on 3 May. This trophy will be awarded for the first time at the FIBA Women's Basketball World Cup 2022 in Sydney, Australia, where 12 powerhouse nations across the five continents will compete from 22 September to 1 October. Players from the FIBA Women's Basketball World Cup 2018 in Tenerife, Spain, took part in the digital launch, as well as legends of the women's game and promising young players representing the future, and also several National Federations. More info here.

Following the successful staging of the FINA Diving World Cup, from 1 to 6 May at the Tokyo Aquatics Centre, the International Swimming Federation (FINA) and the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee published a joint statement in which they expressed their appreciation and gratitude to the Japan Swimming Federation, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, and the Japan Sports Agency for their dedication and support to all participants in the event. During the six-days of competition for this World Cup (attended by 224 athletes from 46 nations), strict COVID-19 countermeasures were put in place in order to ensure the health and protection of all those taking part in the event. All participants fully complied with the measures in place. Full statement here.


The Union Internationale de Pentathlon Moderne (UIPM) has extended the contract of Shiny Fang (photo) as Secretary General until June 2025. She will continue to manage the UIPM administration throughout the Olympic Games Paris 2024 cycle. After serving as Deputy Competition Manager of Modern Pentathlon at the Olympic Games Beijing 2008 and Competition Manager at the 2010 Asian Games, she started her UIPM career by assisting UIPM President Klaus Schormann on international affairs in 2008. She was appointed Secretary General by the UIPM Executive Board in December 2012, succeeding Joël Bouzou OLY, who became UIPM Vice-President. More info here.


The International Volleyball Federation (FIVB) announced on 4 May the results of the first-ever FIVB Athletes’ Commission presidential elections, with Dutch beach volleyball player Madelein Meppelink (left on photo), being elected as President for the next four years. Meppelink is a two-time Olympian, two-time European champion and former world number one player. For the first time ever, the President of the Commission will be a member of the FIVB Board of Administration. Meanwhile, Gilberto “Giba” Amauri de Godoy Filho (right on photo), three-time Olympic medallist and three-time world champion, was elected as Secretary of the Commission. Giba served as Athletes’ Commission President from 2016-2020. Full info here.

national olympic committees

© Algerian NOC

For World Press Freedom Day, the Algerian NOC (COA), in collaboration with the National Organisation of Algerian Sports Journalists (ONJSA) organised a seminar on 2 May entitled “Sports Press in Algeria: an analysis”. Various speakers analysed the situation of the Algerian sports press, particularly during the period of the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as competition from websites and social media. The second segment focused on “Football in the Spotlight” and the role of public powers to promote other sports. The participants also spoke about developing a charter of work and honour between the press and the various sports partners (the Ministry of Youth and Sports, the COA, sports federations, leagues and clubs). Active and retired journalists who have made their mark in sport were also honoured. More info on www.coa.dz.

The Colombian NOC’s Gender Equality and Diversity Commission successfully organised its first workshop on protecting athletes from harassment and abuse in sport on 4 May. It brought together 127 people, who confirmed their participation in the Commission’s next workshop. More info here.

The Moroccan NOC (CNOM) held an information meeting at its headquarters on 4 May for the national federations concerned by the Games in Tokyo. The purpose of the meeting was to give details of the medical support provided by the CNOM before, during and after the Games; the second edition of the Playbooks for Tokyo 2020 published by the IOC, the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) and the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee; and the antidoping rules in place during the Games. More details here. The CNOM’s teams also took part in the webinar organised by Olympic Solidarity on 29 April on NOC management and knowledge sharing.

© Spanish NOC

Spanish NOC President Alejandro Blanco (right in photo) received a visit from the Ambassador of Iraq in Spain, Adel Mustafa Kamil (left). The two leaders discussed possible agreements between their NOCs, and joint activities with coaches, athletes and officials of the two countries. More info here. In addition, the NOC announced that the Spanish Council of Ministers recently appointed Albert Soler as the new Director General of the Council for Sports (CSD), at the proposal of Culture and Sport Minister José Manuel Rodríguez Uribes. Soler already occupied this role from 2008 to 2011. A former Secretary of State for Sport from April to November 2011, he was also Director of Sporting Institutional Relations at FC Barcelona from 2014 to March 2021. Detailed info here.

© Venezuelan NOC

The Venezuelan NOC and the team in charge of its delegation for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 organised a virtual meeting with representatives of the national sports federations that have athletes already qualified – or are in the process of qualifying – for the Games. The latest information on logistics, preparations and the updated Playbooks was provided to the participants. Besides NOC President Eduardo Álvarez Camacho, Chef de Mission Arturo Castillo and Games Technical Director Víctor Vargas, nine representatives of national sports federations took part in this meeting. More details here.

Recognised organisations

From 25 to 27 April, the European Olympic Committees (EOC) Coordination Commission for the European Games 2023 met in Antalya, Turkey. Discussions were held with European Athletics (EA), the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) and TOP Olympic Partner Atos. Led by Chair Hasan Arat, the EOC Commission discussed with the respective parties their possible collaboration for the organisation of the 2023 European Games, which will be held in Krakow-Malopolska (Poland). More info here.


The Global Association of International Sports Federations (GAISF) recently concluded the second of two Safeguarding Workshops, co-organised with the IOC on 21 and 28 April, designed for International Federations to learn ways to take meaningful action to create safe sporting environments for athletes. A total of 79 people from 42 organisations attended the two workshops, of which the majority were from the Association of IOC Recognised International Sport Federations (ARISF) and the Alliance of Independent recognised Members of Sport (AIMS). Full news release here.

The IPC has announced that athletes from every continent will run for the IPC Athletes’ Council elections. A record-equalling 22 athletes have been accepted as candidates for the six summer representative positions. The elections will take place from 19 August to 3 September during the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games. Full details here.

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