Olympic Highlights 12/09/2022

IOC / Greg Martin

IOC ACTIVITIES

PRESIDENT

IOC President Thomas Bach paid tribute to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II at the IOC Executive Board meeting on 9 September. He told the members of the Executive Board: “With the passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, we have lost a great supporter of sport and the Olympic Movement. Her Majesty was the only head of state to declare open two editions of the Olympic Games and was already present at the Olympic Games London 1948. As patron of the British Olympic Association, she provided invaluable advice and help to the Olympic community.”

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He added: “Whenever one could see her attending a sports event, you could feel her appreciation of sport and how much joy it brought her. She was herself an accomplished equestrian.

This enjoyment of sport and her wonderful sense of humour were clearly represented in her appearance at the Opening Ceremony of the Olympic Games London 2012, where her participation in the world-famous video sketch will be remembered fondly by everyone who saw it. Our thoughts are with the Royal Family and in particular our IOC colleague, Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal, and all the members of the Olympic community in the United Kingdom and across the Commonwealth.”

The members of the Executive Board stood in a minute’s silence as a sign of respect for Her Majesty, and the Olympic flag and the Union flag are flying at half-mast at Olympic House.

IOC / Greg Martin

On 8 and 9 September, President Thomas Bach chaired a meeting of the IOC Executive Board (EB) at Olympic House, which some EB members joined remotely. President  Bach opened the EB meeting with a minute of silence to honour the memory of the 11 Israeli victims and the German policeman who lost their lives in the terrorist attack at the Olympic Games Munich 1972. Also honoured were IOC Honorary Members Patrick Chamunda and Ottavio Cinquanta, who recently passed away. The EB received updates on the activities of the Olympic Movement, the IOC commissions and the IOC administration, as well as reports from the Organising Committees for the Olympic Games.

The IOC EB has approved the proposal to move the Olympic Games Paris 2024 venues for shooting; the boxing preliminaries and fencing ranking round of modern pentathlon; as well as the Olympic Games Main Press Centre.  These changes align with Paris 2024’s continued efforts to optimise its Games without compromising its ambition, supported by the continued commitment of Games stakeholders to deliver a new era of Olympic Games. More details here.  In addition, a new boxing qualification system for Paris 2024 was approved by the EB after a full update on the situation of boxing, including governance issues within the International Boxing Association (IBA). Full details here.

Concerning the Olympic Winter Games Milano Cortina 2026 and Olympic Games LA28, the updates outlined the progress being made by future hosts in recent months, their concerted effort to integrate Olympic Agenda 2020 and New Norm recommendations into planning, and a consistent theme of optimisations to Games delivery. The latter is being supported across all Olympic Games editions by the IOC’s new Games Optimisation Group, chaired by IOC Member Kirsty Coventry. This was established following recommendations outlined in the final Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 Coordination Commission report. Read here the full news release. In addition, the Qualification System Principles for Milano Cortina 2026 were approved by the EB. Full details here.

In regard to the Winter Youth Olympic Games Gangwon 2024, these Principles were approved by the IOC EB in October 2021, but some amendments were agreed during the meeting on 8 September, which also saw the approval of individual qualification systems per discipline for ice hockey (3-on-3 tournament), biathlon, skating, skiing and snowboarding, and bobsleigh and skeleton. Full details here.

The IOC Strategic Framework on Human Rights was approved by the IOC EB. The Framework will fundamentally shape the working practices of the IOC, the Olympic Games and the Olympic Movement, ensuring that human rights are respected within their respective remits. With the approval of the Framework, the IOC ensures that people’s rights are put at the core of its operations and are respected in line with international agreements and standards – within its remit. Full details here.

The EB decided to suspend the NOC of Guatemala with effect as from 15 October, if certain criteria are not met before that date. The EB also issued a final warning to the NOC of India. As a consequence, it decided to postpone the IOC Session due to take place in Mumbai in May 2023 until September or October 2023. Read here the full news release.

The Olympic Movement is increasing its commitment to fight climate change and preserve the natural environment by creating the Olympic Forest Network – an initiative driven by NOCs. During its meeting, the IOC EB agreed that the IOC would support the creation of the Olympic Forest Network by establishing a series of principles, based on which NOCs would be able to join. Following the EB’s approval, the IOC will work with its partner, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), to provide support on this initiative. Full details here.

The EB also approved a change of nationality for one athlete, in view of the Olympic Games Paris 2024. More details here.

IOC / Greg Martin

The 50th anniversary of the terrorist attack on the Israeli Olympic team at the Olympic Games Munich 1972 was commemorated on 5 September at Olympic Park in Munich and at the Fürstenfeldbruck airfield, where the events unfolded in 1972. The attack ended with the death of 11 members of the Israeli team and a German policeman. 

IOC President Thomas Bach was one of the speakers at the ceremony in Fürstenfeldbruck, which was hosted by the German government. The ceremony was attended by the German Federal President, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, and the President of Israel, Jitzchak Herzog, who both addressed the audience. The families of the victims and the President of the NOC of Israel, Yael Arad, also took part. The European Olympic Committees were represented by IOC Member Daina Gudzineviciute, and the German NOC by its President, Thomas Weikert.

“5 September 1972 was the darkest day in Olympic history. What began so peacefully and joyfully ended in inconceivable suffering. We share the pain of the relatives of the 11 Israeli victims and the German policeman. To this day, that barbaric attack fills us with horror, shame and disgust,” President Bach said in his speech. (Please find his full speech here.) Bach reminded everyone that the meaning of the Olympic Games is the peaceful celebration of “the unity of humankind in all our diversity, regardless of political or cultural differences”. He concluded his speech by saying: “That is why our commemoration ceremony today has an even deeper meaning: We stand together, united in our remembrance, but also in our commitment to the peace mission of the Olympic Games. In this way, we show that the values of human solidarity and peace are stronger than all the forces of hatred and division.”

IOC / Greg Martin

Earlier in the day, a ceremony was also held in Munich at the memorial commemorating the victims of the attack. The IOC laid a wreath. Read the full news release here.

IOC / Greg Martin

From Munich, the IOC President went to Poland to receive “The Special Prize 2022” from the Polish Economic Forum at its meeting in Karpacz, in the presence of the Prime Minister of Poland, Mateusz Morawiecki, and the Prime Minister of the Czech Republic, Petr Fiala. The prize was given in recognition of the IOC’s peace-building work and the reforms carried out under Olympic Agenda 2020 in the fields of good governance, sustainability and climate change.  Accepting the prize, President Bach said: “This award belongs to the entire Olympic Movement, because without the support of so many people around the globe, our mission to make the world a better place through sport could never be accomplished.” During the award ceremony, President Bach was accompanied by the President of the Polish NOC, Andrzej Krasnicki. Ukrainian Olympic Committee President and IOC Member Sergii Bubka was also present. Also attending was IOC Member Kolinda Grabar- Kitarović. Read the full news release here.

This week, at Olympic House, President Bach discussed a number of topical Olympic issues with IOC EB member Emma Terho, who also chairs the Athletes’ Commission.

IOC / Greg Martin

The Governor of San Juan Province in Argentina, Sergio Uñac, paid a courtesy visit to President Bach. Together, they spoke about the success and the legacy of the Youth Olympic Games Buenos Aires 2018 and the role of sport as important enabler for the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

The IOC President also met Thierry Zintz, former Director of the MEMOS (Executive Masters in Sports Organisation Management) programme and Professor Emeritus at the Catholic University of Louvain (Belgium).

Also at Olympic House, the IOC President  welcomed members the Association of Moroccan Executives in Switzerland (ACOMS), accompanied by EB member Nawal El Moutawakel.

WCF / Céline Stucki

On 11 September, President Bach met the new President of the World Curling Federation (WCF), Beau Welling, elected earlier that day at the WCF General Assembly held at The Olympic Museum. On this occasion, the IOC President paid tribute to the outgoing WCF President, Kate Caithness, and awarded her the Olympic Order. Earlier in the week, the IOC President had addressed the WCF Board at Olympic House. (see also under ‘Winter IFs’)

Top partners
Allianz

In the lead-up to the Olympic Games Paris 2024, Worldwide Olympic Insurance Partner Allianz is helping athletes take the next steps in their careers. The company took the opportunity to engage with athletes, future generations of sports leaders and other stakeholders at the 2022 European Championships, which recently took place in Munich, Germany, where Allianz’s headquarters are based. A total of 57 athletes from 20 countries gathered at Allianz’s headquarters for a networking event that outlined the support and services available to athletes through the company, and which included inspirational talks from experts on topics such as networking, financial literacy and how athletes can build their personal brand. Full info here.

International federations

Summer Ifs

World Athletics has published its Annual Report and Accounts for 2021, a year that saw a strong return to international competition, despite the ongoing challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, which added layers of complexity to the governance of global sport. Almost 11,000 athletes were able to compete in more than 100 elite competitions, including three World Athletics Series events, the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, 12 Wanda Diamond League events and 69 World Athletics Continental Tour meetings. Full details here.

ICF

The International Canoe Federation (ICF) has announced the completion of the inaugural ICF Special Olympics Stand Up Paddle clinic in Gdynia, Poland, on 7 September, the opening day of the ICF SUP World Championships. Event ambassador and two-time reigning SUP world champion Fiona Wylde led a team of Olympians, world champions and other elite athletes to provide the clinic for a group of Special Olympic athletes. The clinic was organised by the ICF in cooperation with the Polish Special Olympics Committee. More info here.

The Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) and the organisers of the 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships have unveiled the full schedule of the 11-day event taking place in Glasgow and across Scotland from 3 to 13 August 2023. This is the first time all 13 UCI World Championships will be combined into one mega-event, making it a cycling event unmatched in size and scale. Full details here.

Plastic waste from Rugby World Cup Sevens 2022, which kicks off in Cape Town on 9 September, will be turned into affordable housing as part of the tournament’s drive to deliver South Africa’s most environmentally responsible rugby event ever. World Rugby’s Environmental Sustainability Plan 2030 – launched earlier this year – maps out what the global rugby family should do to contribute to a healthier planet and a more sustainable society. More info here.

WS

World Sailing has completed the move to its new headquarters in Hammersmith, Central London (Great Britain). The new premises in Shortlands were formally opened by World Sailing President Quanhai Li. He was accompanied by World Sailing CEO David Graham. More details here.

Winter Ifs
WCF

Beau Welling (photo) was elected as the new World Curling Federation (WCF) President at the WCF General Assembly held at The Olympic Museum in Lausanne. He succeeds Kate Caithness after her 12-year term of office. Welling was elected as a WCF Board member in 2018, with his original four-year term concluding this year. More details here.

National Olympic committees

Lithuanian NOC

The Lithuanian NOC has just published the last story of the second season of its HeForShe campaign, which promotes gender equality in sport. Modern pentathlon coach Vilma Juchnevičiūtė talks about what it means to be the only girl in the boys’ water polo team, the breakthrough and the most important lessons from her first coach, Jonas Čirūnas. Today, Vilma herself is a children's coach in modern pentathlon, and her work is guided by the approach and values that Čirūnas instilled in her. Full details here.

COC/Barbora Reichova

The Czech NOC has informed us that two-time Olympic javelin champion Barbora Špotáková (photo) announced the end of her career in Prague, just a few hours after competing at the Diamond League final in Zurich. During an international career spanning 23 years, the Czech legend earned two Olympic gold medals (Beijing 2008 and London 2012) and one silver medal (Rio de Janeiro 2016), three world titles and a full set of European medals. She also set the current world record of 72.28m back in 2008. Full details here on the NOC website and here on the World Athletics website.

Organising Committees for the Olympic Games

Gangwon 2024

The Organising Committee for the Winter Youth Olympic Games Gangwon 2024 unveiled its new “Grow together, shine forever” slogan at the 500-days-to go mark of the Games countdown. Gangwon 2024 aims to provide young people with special opportunities, not only to grow through sport, but also for education at all stages of the Games’ preparations, while spreading the Olympic values. Full info here.

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