Olympic Highlights 13/12/2021

IOC / Greg Martin



This week, on the agenda of IOC President  Thomas  Bach, there were three  days  of  meetings  of  the  Executive Board (EB) and the 10th Olympic Summit, as well as several other video calls and conferences.

The  10th Summit  was  held  from Olympic House and remotely  by videoconference on Saturday 11 December. Discussions focused on several topics of interest to the Olympic Movement, including the successfully held Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, the upcoming Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022, the sports calendar, the Olympic Virtual Series and esports, good governance, anti-doping and Olympic Agenda 2020+5. The Olympic Summit  brings  together  leading  representatives of  the  Olympic  Movement.  It  forms  part  of  the ongoing  dialogue  and  consultation  on  important issues and subjects of significance for the future of the Olympic  Movement.  Read the full text of the Summit declaration here.

The  IOC  EB  met  remotely  via  videoconference from 7 to 9 December. Chaired   by  the IOC   President,   the   Board   discussed   the   next editions of the Olympic Games as well as various Olympic institutional issues.

In its report to the EB, the Beijing 2022 Organising Committee highlighted its readiness as Games preparations are finalised. Both Beijing 2022 and IOC Coordination Commission Chair Juan Antonio Samaranch highlighted the growing anticipation for next year’s Games. Beijing 2022 and the IOC also re-emphasised the importance of COVID-19 countermeasures in light of the continually evolving global health situation. This commitment to delivering safe and secure Games will be supported by the imminent publication of the second edition of the Beijing 2022 Playbooks. With less than 60 days to go until the Olympic Winter Games Opening Ceremony, the team in Beijing explained that they were now in operational delivery mode. Read the full news release here.

In addition, on 6 December, the IOC issued a statement on the announcement by the US government concerning the presence of government officials and diplomats at the Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022. Read here the full text of the statement.

With regard to Paris 2024, the IOC’s Coordination Commission Chair, Pierre-Olivier Beckers, explained in his report that the team in Paris had taken full opportunity of their observation in Tokyo to kick off the next stage of their preparations. Later this month, the Organising Committee is expected to announce key advances relating to its ceremonies. Going into next year, it will be looking to build on the successful engagement activities that have continued to grow in 2021. More details here.

For LA28, the IOC’s Coordination Commission Chair, Nicole Hoevertsz, highlighted in her report the recently approved agreement between the City of Los Angeles and LA28 which establishes an operational framework that supports co-creating Games centred around collaboration, community benefit, risk mitigation and financial protections. LA28 was also praised for launching its legacy initiatives, seven years in advance of the 2028 Games. More details here.

Furthermore, the list of sports to be included in the LA28 initial sports programme was discussed by the EB. Twenty-eight sports, including skateboarding, sport climbing and surfing, will be proposed for inclusion in this initial sports programme at the 139th IOC Session in February 2022. A pathway  for potential inclusion by the IOC Session in 2023 has been provided to boxing (AIBA), weightlifting (IWF) and modern pentathlon (UIPM), subject to the fulfilment of conditions specific to each of them. More details here.

The EB approved the final venue master plan and the dates for the 4th Winter Youth Olympic Games (YOG) Gangwon 2024. Gangwon will host the Winter YOG from 19 January to 1 February 2024. A total of 81 events are scheduled for a fortnight of competition and celebration. Full details here.

The IOC EB received a summary of a recent visit to Dakar by an IOC delegation, which allowed the Youth Olympic Games 2026 Organising Committee, the IOC and local stakeholders to progress preparations. In addition to reviewing venue construction and refurbishment, it also provided an opportunity to agree on several key activities to be organised in 2022. This is part of the pre-Games legacy plan. More details here.

Concerning the support to the sports community in Afghanistan, an aid package of up to USD 560,000 was approved by the IOC EB; this will benefit up to 2,000 beneficiaries and help them over the winter. National sports team elite athletes and coaches, in addition to National Federation officials still living in Afghanistan, will be eligible to access this financial aid, and priority will be given to women. The IOC will work with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to deliver this financial assistance directly to the Olympic community in the country. Full details here.

Following the recommendations of the IOC Members Election Commission, the EB will submit the following proposals on membership to the 139th IOC Session: election of three new IOC Members; election of four IOC Honorary Members; re-election of one IOC Member; re-election of and change of status of one IOC Member; and extension of the term of office of one IOC Member. Full details here.

The IOC EB accepted the proposal of the IOC Athletes’ Commission to create a second Vice-Chair position.  The position will be open to both the elected and the appointed members, providing more inclusivity for the IOC AC’s appointed members. Full details here.

The EB also agreed to propose to the IOC Session the re-election of two members of the IOC Ethics Commission for a new four-year term, in their capacity as IOC Members: Pierre-Olivier Beckers-Vieujant and Auvita Rapilla. Full details here.

The eligibility of two athletes for the Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022 was also confirmed by the IOC EB following their requests for a change of nationality. Detailed info here.

This week, President Thomas Bach and the new President of the International Ski Federation (FIS), Johan Eliash, talked about the upcoming Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022, and in particular the preparations of the Olympic skiing competitions.

The IOC President spoke with Thomas Weikert, the newly elected President of the DOSB (German  Olympic  Sports  Confederation). The two men  addressed various Olympic topics, including the next editions of the Olympic Games.

President Bach spoke with Yamashita Yasuhiro, President of the Japanese NOC and also an IOC Member, and with Hashimoto Seiko, President of the Organising Committee for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, concerning the intention of Sapporo to host the Olympic Winter Games 2030.

With Susanne  Lyons,  President  of  the  United  States Olympic  and  Paralympic  Committee  (USOPC), the President talked about topics of mutual interest, including the   preparations for  the upcoming Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022.

President Bach attended a videoconference meeting between the IOC and representatives from the US city of Salt Lake City, Utah. Discussions focused on a possible candidacy by Salt Lake City to host the Olympic Winter Games.

President Bach discussed a number of current Olympic issues with IOC Member Uğur Erdener, who chairs the IOC Medical and Scientific Commission.


On the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the IOC Athletes’ Commission, the first-ever book which charts the history and evolution of the IOC Commission, from its early beginnings as the all-important institutional mouthpiece of the athletes within the Olympic Movement, has been published.  Entitled The International Olympic Committee Athletes’ Commission: Its Foundation, Development & Transition, 1981-2000, this is a new book by Professor Stephan Wassong, with a special contribution by Olympic champion Michelle Ford-Eriksson. The book is free of charge and available online. Full news release here.

TOP partners

Worldwide Olympic Partner Atos played an instrumental role in the success of the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020. As the Worldwide IT Partner and lead technology integrator of the Olympic Games, Atos was responsible for orchestrating and securing all the vital IT systems that were needed to keep the Games running smoothly and securely. And with more people connecting with the Games remotely than ever before, these digital services played a vital role in enabling fans and stakeholders around the world to follow the performances of the athletes. Full details here.

Other Olympic news

The Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 reached a global broadcast audience of more than three billion people, according to independent research conducted on behalf of the IOC. Official coverage on Olympic broadcast partners’ digital platforms alone generated 28 billion video views in total – representing a 139 per cent increase compared with the Olympic Games Rio 2016, and underlining the changing media landscape and Tokyo 2020’s designation as the first streaming Games and the most watched Olympic Games ever on digital platforms. Fifty-nine per cent believed the Games had represented a “light at the end of the tunnel” in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. Read the full news release here.

On the occasion of International Anti-Corruption Day, celebrated worldwide on 9 December, the IOC has reiterated its commitment to protecting sport’s integrity at all levels. For its part, the IOC fights corruption at organisational level as well as on the field of play. This is a complex undertaking which often goes beyond sporting jurisdiction. Therefore, the IOC has long-standing bilateral relationships with a range of expert organisations in the fields of anti-corruption and the prevention of competition manipulation, such as the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and INTERPOL. Full news release here.

The third IOC Sustainability Report notes that the IOC has achieved 15 of its 18 sustainability objectives for the period 2017-2020, raising its ambition to address climate change and helping to make sustainability mainstream across the Olympic Movement. The report also reveals the organisation’s 17 new objectives for 2021-2024, focusing on climate, biodiversity and the circular economy, and further advancing sustainability across the Olympic Movement. More details here.

To mark the upcoming Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022, The Olympic Museum takes a look back at the entire history of the event through the exhibition Rêver en blanc – or “dreaming in white”. The exhibition, which opened to the public on 9 December, also explores current and future challenges facing the winter editions of the Olympic Games, and the IOC’s commitment towards organising responsible, inclusive and sustainable Games. Read the full news release here.

International Federations

Summer Ifs

The Kafue River and Rowing Centre, World Rowing’s clean water “action” initiative with the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), has gained three new rowing ambassadors. Seven-time Olympian Olaf Tufte of Norway is one of the best-known rowers in the world, who won two Olympic gold medals, one silver and one  bronze. Maike Diekmann from Namibia knows very well the importance of clean, fresh water to her home continent, and she is her nation’s first-ever Olympic rower, having competed in the women’s single sculls in Tokyo. Sam Bosworth is a new Olympic champion from New Zealand, having won in the men’s eight in Tokyo. More info here.

The International Cycling Union (UCI) has announced that Czech athlete Katerina Nash has been re-elected President of its Athletes’ Commission by her fellow commission members, for a four-year term. Her election took place during the first meeting of the new-look commission, held on 6 December by videoconference. A former cross-country skier, and a specialist in cross-country mountain bike as well as cyclo-cross, Nash has appeared at five Olympic Games (two winter and three summer). More info here. In addition, the 2022 UCI Road World Championships will be held in the Australian city of Wollongong, situated less than 100km south of Sydney. Some 1,000 athletes are expected to compete from 18 to 25 September 2022. Info here.

World Archery

World Archery’s Executive Board gathered at the World Archery Excellence Centre in Lausanne, with some members joining remotely, for its end-of-year meeting on 5 December. The 2025 World Archery Championships and World Archery Congress were awarded to the Korean city of Gwangju, while Winnipeg in Canada will now host the 2025 World Archery Youth Championships. There were a number of other decisions aimed at the continued professionalisation of events, including the launch of the international licence programme in 2022. Full info here.

Winter Ifs

The World Curling Federation (WCF) has announced that the first-ever World Wheelchair Mixed Doubles Curling Championship is set to take place in Lohja, Finland, from 30 April to 6 May 2022. Held less than three weeks after the Paralympic Winter Games Beijing 2022, the event will thus allow some athletes to compete in both a World Wheelchair Curling Championship and the Paralympic Games in the same year. The Championship plans to feature upwards of 25 teams, and will see one female and one male player per team. More details here.

National Olympic Committees

Albanian NOC

A Memorandum of Understanding for the 2021-24 Olympic cycle was recently signed by the President of the Albanian NOC, Fidel Ylli, and the President of the Sri Lankan Olympic Committee, Suresh Subramaniam. This agreement is aimed at increasing partnership in sports, exchange of experiences, and cooperation at the level of the Olympic sports federations, mainly for elite athletes. During his visit to Tirana, Subramaniam was received by Albanian Sports Minister Evis Kushi and the Mayor of Tirana, Erjon Veliaj. More info at www.nocalbania.org.al.

Brazilian Olympic Committee

On 7 December, during the 2021 Olympic Brazil Award ceremony, organised by the Brazil Olympic Committee (BOC), Rebeca Andrade (artistic gymnastics, women’s vault) and Isaquias Queiroz (sprint canoeing), both Olympic champions at Tokyo 2020, were named the Best Athletes of the Year. Janeth Arcain, a silver medallist at Atlanta 1996 and bronze medallist at Sydney 2000 with the women's basketball team, received the Adhemar Ferreira da Silva trophy. Volleyball player Fernanda Garay, a gold medallist at London 2012 and silver medallist at Tokyo 2020, took home the Athlete of the Fans trophy. Full details here.

Six athletes have been appointed onto the British Olympic Association’s (BOA) Athletes’ Commission after voting closed on the election of new members. Abbie Brown (rugby sevens), Andrew Matthews (bobsleigh), Eve Muirhead (curling) and Bryony Page (trampoline) will join the Commission for the first time in 2022, whilst Adam Gemili (athletics) and Lizzy Yarnold (skeleton) have been re-elected for a second term. Lizzie Simmonds (swimming) replaces Ben Hawes (field hockey) as the new Commission Chair following a vote earlier this year. More details here.

Lithuanian NOC

The second edition of HeForShe, a project promoting gender equality in sport, was presented during the Sports Film Festival in Vilnius on 7 December. The Lithuanian NOC launched the United Nations project HeForShe in Lithuania a year ago, with Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaitė serving as the initiative’s patron. With this project, men are invited to express their support for women and, together with them, actively aspire for equal gender opportunities, and be a united and visible driving force for change. The new edition kicked off with the story of Dalia and Artūras Katuliai, who are passionate hockey players and cofounders of the Ice Hockey Academy in Vilnius. Full info here.

On 2 December, the Moroccan NOC attended a webinar jointly organised by the IOC and the Association of National Olympic Committees (ANOC) on the theme of “sport for climate action”. In addition, on 30 November, the operational team in charge of the NOC's communications took part in the second workshop organised by ANOC concerning the NOC digital acceleration programme. More info at www.cnom.org.ma.

Organising Committees for the Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020

The Organising Committee for the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020 has announced  the launch of the Tokyo 2020 Podium Legacy Project, whereby the podiums used at all 878 victory ceremonies during the Tokyo 2020 Games will be presented to the schools attended by the Japanese Olympians and Paralympians who competed at the Games, and to local municipalities that hosted Tokyo 2020 competition venues. This will make the podiums accessible to children and future generations as a legacy of the Tokyo 2020 Games.

Recognised Organisations

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has announced the resignation for personal reasons of James Wood of Australia as the Chair of the independent Compliance Review Committee (CRC). Wood, whose term as Chair was due to expire at the end of 2022, will be replaced on an interim basis by the current CRC Vice-Chair, Henry Gourdji of Canada, who will see out the remainder of the term. In turn, Gourdji’s position as an independent member of the CRC will be filled early next year, for the same interim period. Full details here.

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