On Monday 8 June, Olympic House reopened with a 30 percent occupancy in accordance with the Swiss health authority guidelines while also allowing a graduated return to normal. IOC staff have been working from home since 16 March because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
On 10 June, the IOC Executive Board (EB) held its second remote meeting. The EB members discussed the next editions of the Olympic Games, the IWF situation as well as nominations of new IOC Members and several other institutional matters.
At a time when demonstrations against racism are held all over the world, the IOC EB opened its meeting with the adoption of a resolution with regard to racism and inclusion in which the IOC condemns racism in the strongest terms. The IOC stands for non-discrimination as one of the founding pillars of the Olympic Movement. The IOC EB supports the initiative of the IOC Athletes’ Commission to explore different ways of how Olympic athletes can express their support for the principles enshrined in the Olympic Charter, including at the time of the Olympic Games, and respecting the Olympic spirit.
The EB received updates on the planning and preparations for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020. The Tokyo 2020 report was given by the Organising Committee’s President, Yoshiro Mori, and its CEO, Toshiro Muto, while IOC Coordination Commission Chair John Coates reported on behalf of the “Here we go” Task Force. A key element of the presentation was Tokyo 2020 sharing the positioning, principles for re-planning, and a roadmap to the Games in 2021. The positioning and principles put the athletes and sport at the centre of the plans for Tokyo 2020, and address the desire to simplify and optimise Games preparations and delivery. The roadmap outlines the key activities, initiatives and milestones up until Games time in 2021. Full details here.
Concerning the Olympic Games Paris 2024, the EB agreed to maintain the previously set deadline of December 2020 to confirm the event programme and athlete quotas, including consideration of the events in the four additional sports (breaking, skateboarding, sport climbing and surfing) proposed by the Organising Committee. This decision is based on the recommendation of the Olympic Programme Commission after receiving feedback from the athletes, IFs, NOCs and Paris 2024. With the confirmation of the original deadline, December’s IOC EB meeting will now see a decision made on requests from 20 of the 27 Olympic IFs for changes to the Paris 2024 event programme. Full details here.
An update was made on the situation of the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) following the recent release by Professor McLaren of the “Independent Investigator Report to the Oversight and Integrity Commission of the International Weightlifting Federation” (see here the IOC statement following the release of this investigation). The EB took note that the information gathered in the independent investigation is now being further reviewed and addressed by the IWF Oversight and Integrity (O&I) Commission, which has also received a more detailed report that has not yet been made available to the IOC. Full details here about the EB decisions with regard to the IWF.
The EB also approved the reallocations of medals, diplomas and medallist pins from three editions of the Olympic Games and one Youth Olympic Games following decisions made by the Court of Arbitration for Sport. Full details here.
The IOC EB proposed five new IOC Members - three women and two men – for election to the IOC Session, which will be held virtually on 17 July 2020. Four of the five proposed new Members are Individual Members, while one candidature is linked to a function within an IF. The candidates are: Maria de la Caridad Colón Ruenes (Cuba); Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović (Croatia), Princess Reema Bandar Al-Saud (Saudi Arabia), Battushig Batbold (Mongolia) and Sebastian Coe, President of World Athletics (Great Britain). Full details here.
In addition, the EB also agreed to submit to the Session the change from a Membership linked to a NOC to Individual Membership for William Frederick Blick.
The EB also agreed to submit to the Session the extension of the term of IOC Member Zaiqing Yu (membership linked to his function as Vice-President of the NOC of China and age limit to be reached on 31.12.2021) from the end of 2021 to the end of 2025, due to the important role that he plays in Chinese sport and society.
The day after the EB, at The Olympic Museum in Lausanne, IOC President Thomas Bach met the President of the Association of Summer Olympic International Federations (ASOIF), Francesco Ricci Bitti. Together they discussed about the preparations for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, the financial concerns caused by the coronavirus pandemic as well as various Olympic topics.
Flor Isava-Fonseca (3rd from right on photo) was honoured by the Venezuelan NOC on the occasion of her 99th birthday on 20 May. In a statement, the NOC recalled her long and rich career as a champion in horse riding, tennis and golf, as a journalist and writer, and within the IOC, as the first female Executive Board member.
The IOC’s Coordination Commission for the Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022, chaired by IOC Vice-President Juan Antonio Samaranch, praised the progress being made by the Beijing 2022 Organising Committee as preparations for the next Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games continue. During the meeting held on 9 June via video conference, Beijing 2022 confirmed that it is now in the readiness phase and also emphasised its plans to continually and carefully monitor and review the global context, adapt strategies accordingly, strengthen overall coordination and respond to risks and challenges as it spares no efforts in preparations for hosting the Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022. The status of venues was one of several talking points during the meeting. The Commission also heard about the assessment being conducted by Beijing 2022 in relation to the postponement of the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 to 2021. Full news release here.
The IOC’s Coordination Commission for the Olympic Games Paris 2024 chaired by IOC Member Pierre-Olivier Beckers-Vieujant, met on 3 June by videoconference with the Paris 2024 Organising Committee and its partners. Since the candidature, the Paris 2024 Games preparations have been innovative and responsible. The presentations made by the Paris team to the Commission reaffirmed their commitment to this strategy as the first Organising Committee to fully implement the measures outlined in Olympic Agenda 2020 and its New Norm. They also acknowledged a shift in approach in recent months, given the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Coordination Commission fully supported this vision and committed to working closely with the organisers to achieve this ambition. Full news release here.
On 28 May, the IOC announced the composition of its commissions for 2020. This has once again shown a year-on-year progression towards gender equality, with 47.7 per cent of positions across the 30 commissions now held by women, up from 45.4 per cent in 2019. Since 2013, as a result of Olympic Agenda 2020, female participation in the IOC commissions has more than doubled (from 20 per cent in 2013). This year’s IOC commissions week is scheduled from 2 to 8 November 2020. It will be decided at a later stage if the meetings will be held in person or remotely. Full news release here.
Other olympic news
World Environment Day was celebrated on 5 June at a time when the world was still grappling with the coronavirus pandemic. Largely linked to environmental degradation, this crisis has been a stark reminder of just how important it is to respect and protect the natural world. As part of its response to the crisis, the IOC has reaffirmed its commitment to minimising its ecological footprint, protecting the environment and raising awareness about its importance: as an organisation, through the Olympic Games and as the leader of the wider Olympic Movement. Full news release here.
World Athletics has unveiled its four-year Strategic Plan and released its Olympic qualifying process. During three online meetings held on 3 June, World Athletics discussed with its 214 member federations the new Strategic Plan; the latest medical advice on the coronavirus pandemic, particularly as it impacts on athletes returning to training and competition; and the updated Olympic qualifying process for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 next year. Full details here.
The International Basketball Federation (FIBA) has published recommendations on returning to basketball, with the Return to Basketball – Restart Guidelines for National Federations, in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. A basketball-specific Risk Assessment Tool has also been produced in collaboration with the World Health Organization (WHO). FIBA's guidelines, published in English, French and Spanish, are primarily for national federations that are seeking direction and advice on the restart of basketball activities and competitions, with the vast majority around the world having been halted in mid-March due to the pandemic. More details here.
The International Association Football Federation (FIFA), the WHO and the European Commission have joined forces to launch the #SafeHome campaign to support women and children at risk of domestic violence. The campaign is a joint response from the three institutions to the recent spikes in reports of domestic violence, as stay-at-home measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 have put women and children experiencing abuse at greater risk. The five-part video awareness campaign features 15 past and present footballers – men and women – who have stressed their support in addressing this critical issue. Full details here.
On 21 May, the International Swimming Federation (FINA) announced that its General Congress, at which the FINA Bureau for the period 2021-2025 is to be elected, will take place on 5 June 2021 in Doha (Qatar). The new members of the FINA Bureau will start their term immediately after the conclusion of the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, in August 2021. More info here.
On the occasion of World Environment Day 2020 on 5 June, the International Modern Pentathlon Union (UIPM) celebrated the environmental impact of a decade of lead-free Laser Run. In 2010, the UIPM launched the new competition format that would be of profound benefit to the environment. It was not called Laser Run at the time, but the new-look combined event created an annual saving of 25 tonnes of lead, a colossal amount of metal previously required for shooting competitions and training around the world. Full details here. Furthermore, on 11 June, UIPM has released a manual to help National Federations to safely resume training as COVID-19 Coronavirus restrictions begin to ease. Full info here.
On 10 June, the International Tennis Federation (ITF) announced further measures to support stakeholders impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and the ongoing suspension of professional tennis. The package, approved by the ITF Board, represents a total relief fund of more than USD 2.6million. The new measures include funding for National Associations to help facilitate the return to tennis through national and junior tournament grants, top ranked junior player grants, and funding for players ranked 501-700. There will also be development support available for officials, as well as provisions for the return of Beach Tennis. More details here.
On 26 May, the International Volleyball Federation (FIVB) launched its Athletes’ Relief Support fund to provide short-term assistance to professional volleyball and beach volleyball players who have been affected financially by the global coronavirus pandemic. An initiative of FIVB President Ary S. Graça F° and the FIVB Athletes’ Commission, approved by the FIVB Executive Committee, it will offer support to those athletes who are in financial hardship due to the postponement and cancellation of FIVB events. Online applications will be open for a one-month period from 26 May to 23 June 2020. More info here.
The World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) has been running Baseball5 webinars for development in Africa. Four online courses brought together officials and coaches from Botswana, Ghana, Kenya, South Africa, Tanzania, Tunisia, Uganda and Zambia. The first module was about Baseball5 in general. The second webinar was devoted to scoring and umpiring. Coaching was targeted in the third and fourth webinars. In addition, the WBSC has published a set of health and operational recommendations for the safe return of baseball and softball activity. The publication is entitled “Safe Return to Baseball/Softball -- COVID-19 Prevention Guidelines”. More info at www.wbsc.org.
Due to the ongoing global challenges caused by COVID-19, the World Curling Federation (WCF) has decided to cancel the World Curling Congress scheduled to be held in St Petersburg (Russian Federation) from 4 to 6 September 2020. This Congress will now take place virtually on 6 September 2020. More details here.
national olympic committees
In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Cape Verde NOC has launched a campaign on its digital platforms entitled “United by the Olympic Spirit”. This campaign aims to connect all sports lovers and feel the Olympic spirit, inviting them to participate from their homes. The NOC will also organise online lectures on its social networks open to the general public about Olympism, the various sports and reflections on the Olympic Movement in Cape Verde. More info here.
At the end of May, an online forum entitled “The Return” (“El Regreso”) was organised by television channel Antena 2 in collaboration with the Colombian NOC. Sports leaders and journalists discussed the current situation of sport and the return of physical activity and sport around the world. Those taking part included NOC President Baltazar Medina and the President of Panam Sports, Neven Ilic, who is also President of the Chilean NOC and an IOC member. More details here. In addition, on 9 June, the draft law on sports coaches was approved in a plenary session of the Colombian Chamber of Representatives. It was developed by the NOC, among others, and seeks to dignify the profession of sports coach, protect athletes and guarantee the education and training of sports coaches, ensuring they are up-to-date. More details here.
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Côte d’Ivoire NOC has been working with the national government to help the population, in particular vulnerable families. At the initiative of NOC President and IOC honorary member Lassana Palenfo, the NOC has donated foodstuffs and other goods to the state through the Ministry of Solidarity, Social Cohesion and Combatting Poverty. The NOC has also donated five million CFA francs to the Ministry of Health and Public Hygiene to purchase medical equipment. These donations were made by NOC First Vice-President Georges N’goan (right of photo), in the presence of the NOC Executive Board members.
In the framework of its sustainable development strategy, the Spanish NOC has teamed up with partners such as the International Centre for Training Authorities and Leaders in Malaga (CIFAL Málaga)-UNITAR (United Nations Institute for Training and Research) to implement the Olympic Agenda 2020 recommendations and the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). On World Environment Day on 5 June, the NOC and CIFAL Málaga-UNITAR launched the first training course on the SDGs and the UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development for athletes and members of Spanish sports federations. More details here.
American sprinter and three-time Olympic champion Bobby Joe Morrow died at the age of 84 at the end of May. At the Olympic Games Melbourne 1956, Morrow won gold in the 100m, 200m and 4x100m, matching Jesse Owens' performance 20 years earlier at the Olympic Games Berlin 1936. The same year, Morrow was named Sportsman of the Year by Sports Illustrated. More info here on the United States Olympic Committee website.
Olympic medallist Georgie Harland (photo) has been appointed as Team GB's Chef de Mission for the Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022, thus becoming the first-ever female Chef de Mission for Great Britain and Northern Ireland at the Olympic Games. A former modern pentathlete, Harland, 42, won bronze at the Olympic Games Athens 2004 in the women’s individual event. Sport Engagement Manager at the British Olympic Association (BOA) for nearly 10 years, she was Chef de Mission at the Winter Youth Olympic Games Lausanne 2020 and Deputy Chef de Mission at the Olympic Games Rio 2016, a role which she will replicate for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 next year. Full details here.
This year, the NOC of the Islamic Republic of Iran intends to celebrate Olympic Day in the form of “Sports, Art and Literature competitions”. These competitions will be held for all age groups and have different topics such as: painting, caricature, short movies, photography and short stories. All participants are also required to apply health protocols and social distancing to prevent the spread of coronavirus. More info at www.olympic.ir.
The Jordan Olympic Committee (JOC) has welcomed the government’s decision to reopen sports clubs and sporting events behind closed doors, after a suspension of over two months as part of measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19. A task force, established and led by the JOC, and working with National Federations, sports clubs and sports media, was crucial in engaging and attaining approval from the government for the sports sector to reopen on 6 June. The JOC also announced a package of precautionary measures and guidelines, approved by the Jordanian Ministry of Health, for the sports sector to implement to ensure a smooth return to the “new normal”. More info at www.joc.jo.
This year, the Lithuanian NOC (LNOC) will celebrate Olympic Day by holding a virtual run of the Lithuanian Olympic Mile. Its length is in fact 1,988 metres, symbolising the date of the restoration of the LNOC. The LNOC and Lithuania's Olympic team, the LTeam, are inviting all Lithuanians in the country and worldwide to join this commemoration by running on 23 June. The participants can then share their results on social media using the hashtag #OlimpinėDiena2020. More info at www.ltok.lt.
The Czech Olympic Committee has announced that during the lockdown period, some 60 Czech athletes arranged training exercises assigned to the individual letters of the alphabet based on their own names. A simple challenge to exercise was sent on the Czech Olympic Team social networks, which reached over 1.5 million people and was shared over 5,000 times. The Steadfast Athletes series also attracted great attention. It describes the training of athletes during the quarantine period when standard training facilities were out of bounds. In addition, the “Dialogues” coaching seminar took place online for the first time. It is organised by the Czech Coaching Academy several times a year at various locations around the country for dozens of coaches and parents. Read more here.
During the COVID-19 crisis, the Tunisian NOC has been involved in a series of initiatives aimed at encouraging athletes to set an example to the community as part of the national effort to combat the pandemic; promote the Olympic values among the population; and highlight what it means to belong to the Olympic Movement. As part of this, several athletes have made video messages for the national awareness campaign for a healthy and active lockdown. The NOC has been running a quiz on its Facebook page on the history of the Olympic Movement, the Games, Olympic champions and the Olympic values. Athletes are also invited to help create a digital album aimed at recording their participation in the Games and promoting the Olympic legacy. More details on www.cnot.org.tn.
Organising Committees for the Olympic Games
On 27 May, Paris 2024 Organising Committee for the Olympic and Paralympic Games President Tony Estanguet; Nicolas Ferrand, Executive Director of SOLIDEO; Nobel Peace Prize winner Muhammad Yunus; and Eric Pliez, Chairman of Les Canaux, met with all the Olympic and Paralympic Games stakeholders during a meeting of the Social and Solidarity Economy (ESS) 2024 Strategic Committee. They discussed the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the firms belonging to the ESS group, and the economic opportunities for these companies resulting from the Games in 2024. The ESS firms have been in the front line in combating the pandemic, whether manufacturing face masks, helping vulnerable sections of the population or taking part in the solidarity initiatives in the hardest-hit areas. All the ESS 2024 Strategic Committee members reaffirmed their desire to closely involve the social partners in the organisation of the Games. More details on www.paris2024.org.
A Technical Working Group, comprising representatives from the Association of National Olympic Committees (ANOC) and the Director of Olympic Solidarity, has confirmed the level and distribution of ANOC’s Tokyo 2020 funding for NOCs. Funding will be made available to the NOCs to assist them with exceptional costs relating to athlete preparation for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 and the COVID-19 crisis in general. The fund will be distributed to the NOCs via the Continental Associations under the coordination of Olympic Solidarity to avoid duplication of existing programmes. ANOC will allocate a total of USD 11,650,000 to the five Continental Associations. Full details here.
The President of the International Committee of the Mediterranean Games (ICMG), Amar Addadi, the Executive Committee and the chairs of the commissions met recently by teleconference. The situation in the world and in Mediterranean sports was assessed in relation to the development of the fight against COVID-19. The Mediterranean Games in Oran, the Mediterranean Beach Games, the annual calendar of meetings and the meetings of the ICMG Executive Committee and the Commissions were also discussed. More info at www.cijm.org.
During its meeting held via video conference on 10 June, the Council of the Association of Summer Olympic International Federations (ASOIF) agreed to organise its General Assembly in a “virtual” format on 10 November 2020. Originally scheduled for spring this year, the Assembly had been postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As this meeting will feature the election for the next term of the ASOIF presidency, the Council decided to hold the voting by electronic means during the General Assembly. The Council also approved publishing the report of the Third Review of International Federation (IF) Governance on 16 June 2020. Full details here.
The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) published “live” webinar schedule for June as part of its 2021 Code Implementation Support Programme. The programme was launched at the beginning of May. More info here. In addition, WADA and the Conference of Ministers of Youth and Sports of French-speaking Countries (CONFEJES) have signed a partnership agreement that will strengthen the integrity of sport and help tackle doping within the 43 CONFEJES member countries. More info here.
The Executive Committee of the Fédération Internationale Cinéma Television Sportifs (FICST) has decided that Milan (Italy) will host the 38th edition of the Sport Movies & TV – Milan International FICTS Festival from 7 to 10 November 2020 under the slogan “Let's start again with sport and culture.” Meetings, exhibitions, workshops, activities and performances will also take place. More info here.