Olympic Highlights 14/02/2020

14 Feb 2020



The historic manuscript laying out the original plans to revive the Olympic Games has been donated to The Olympic Museum in Lausanne, almost 130 years after it was written by Baron Pierre de Coubertin. The donation was made by Alisher Usmanov, who is also President of the International Fencing Federation.
Speaking on this occasion, IOC President Thomas Bach said: “Today we are witnessing history. At one level, we are witness to this historic document, the manuscript of the speech that laid out the philosophical foundations of the Olympic Movement. On another level, we are witnessing a historic moment, with this manuscript returning to its Olympic home, the place where it belongs.” Thanking Usmanov for the donation, the IOC President added: “This donation today goes well beyond the handing over of a manuscript to The Olympic Museum. Your generosity is making this unique moment possible, a moment that reminds us so vividly of the mission of the Olympic Games to unite the world in peaceful competition. It is thanks to your generosity that we can reflect on our history today and celebrate this direct link to our founding father.” For his part, Usmanov said: “This manuscript is the manifesto for the modern Olympic Games. Pierre de Coubertin had a vision of a world united by athletic pursuits and not divided by confrontations and wars. I believe that The Olympic Museum is the most appropriate place to keep this priceless manuscript.”

Those attending the ceremony with Alisher Usmanov included Alexandra de Navacelle de Coubertin, President of the Pierre de Coubertin Family Association; Stephan Wassong, a professor at the German Sport University Cologne, and President of the International Pierre de Coubertin Committee; and French Olympic historian Jean Durry (pictured). IOC Member Princess Nora of Liechtenstein also attended the ceremony before meeting President Bach to discuss various Olympic topics. Read the full press release here.

IOC / Greg Martin

A delegation from the Mohammed VI Sports Champions Foundation paid a courtesy visit to the IOC President. The delegation was led by the Foundation’s President, Moncef Belkhayat, and was composed of IOC Executive Board member Nawal El Moutawakel, Moroccan NOC Vice-President Kamal Lahlou and Aziz Bouderbala, a former international footballer.

IOC / Greg Martin

The IOC President met Yuki Ota, President of the Japanese Fencing Federation, who won silver medals at the Olympic Games Beijing 2008 and London 2012. He presented him with the Olympic pin for his silver medal in Beijing. Yuki Ota is also a Vice-President of the International Fencing Federation.

IOC / Greg Martin

With Alain Dehaze, CEO of the Adecco group, the discussions centred on the IOC’s Career+ programme, which has supported more than 45,000 athletes in 189 countries since its creation in 2005 in cooperation with Adecco. They also discussed how to strengthen the relationship and extend the support provided to athletes.

President Bach hosted Martin Sorrell, former CEO of WPP and a member of the IOC’s “High Level Digital” Advisory Group. The impact of digitisation on sport was their main topic of discussion.


Photographer Senegalese NOC

Mamadou Diagna Ndiaye (left of photo), IOC Member and President of the Senegalese NOC, met the Prime Minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau (right of photo), who was visiting Senegal. On this occasion, the Senegalese NOC and the Canadian NOC signed an agreement concerning the organisation of the Youth Olympic Games, which will be held in Dakar from 22 October to 9 November 2022.

International FEDERATIONs



The International Basketball Federation (FIBA) has announced that the Basketball Africa League - BAL) has named two-time National Basketball Association (NBA) All-Star and Olympian Luol Deng (photo) as BAL Global Ambassador. Following his retirement from an NBA career that spanned 15 years, Deng will help grow the BAL's profile throughout Africa and around the world, while inspiring young African people through basketball. Deng played with the British team at the Olympic Games London 2012 and captained Team Africa at the NBA Africa Games in 2015 and 2017. He was elected President of the South Sudan Basketball Federation in November last year. The BAL is a partnership between FIBA and the NBA featuring 12 club teams from across Africa. More details here.

In line with the announcement it made on 4 November 2019, the International Cycling Union (UCI) approved its new regulations on the eligibility of transgender athletes to compete in events on the UCI International Calendar at the meeting of its Management Committee on 30 January in Dübendorf (Switzerland). The new regulations will come into force on 1 March 2020. Full details here.


The International Association Football Federation (FIFA) and FIFPRO, the World Players’ Union, have reached an agreement to establish the FIFA Fund for Football Players (FIFA FFP), which aims to provide financial support to players who have not been paid and have no chance of duly receiving the wages agreed with their clubs. The agreement envisages the establishment of a monitoring committee composed of FIFA and FIFPRO representatives to process, assess and act on applications for grants from the FIFA FFP. The agreement was signed by FIFA President and  IOC member Gianni Infantino (right of photo) and his FIPRO counterpart, Philippe Piat (left of photo). This new mechanism will come into operation on 1 July 2020. More details here.

The International Gymnastics Federation (FIG) has announced the names of three great gymnastics champions who will be serving as ambassadors at the World Championships this year, the 16th Aerobic Gymnastics World Championships in Baku (Azerbaijan) from 14 to 16 May, and the 27th Acrobatic Gymnastics World Championships in Geneva (Switzerland) from 29 to 31 May. The ambassadors were chosen by the FIG in cooperation with the organising committee in each host country. More details here.

The International Judo Federation (IJF) and the Crans Montana Forum have joined forces to contribute to building a better world. The IJF President, Marius Vizer, and the founder of the Forum, Jean-Paul Carteron, signed a cooperation agreement on behalf of their two organisations in Paris (France) on 8 February. This agreement is expected to launch several educational projects to inspire young people with the values of sport. More info here.

The International Swimming Federation (FINA) recently unveiled the “Best Athletes of the Year 2019” in each of its six aquatic disciplines, for both men and women. In swimming, the top honours went to Caeleb Dressel (USA) and Sarah Sjostrom (Sweden), while Chinese stars Xie Siyi and Shi Tingmao took the prizes in diving. In artistic swimming, Russia shone with Aleksandr Maltsev in the men’s category and Svetlana Romashina and Svetlana Kolesnichenko in the women’s category. Kristof Rasovszky (Hungary) and Ana Marcela Cunha (Brazil) were named the best athletes in open water swimming, with the Italian men’s team and the United States women’s squad dominating in water polo. Finally, Gary Hunt (Great Britain) and Rhiannan Iffland (Australia) received the award in high diving. More info at www.fina.org.


The International Volleyball Federation (FIVB) has opened access to the Referee Resource Centre for all up-and-coming referees to assist in their development. This online educational programme is open to new and prospective referees with an interest in learning more about officiating and honing their skills. The Centre is free to access and enables content to be downloaded, both for individual referees, for self-directed improvement at their own pace, or as a non-profit teaching aid to assist in the development of referees by national federations. More details here.

NationaL OlympiC COMMITTEes

Cuban NOC

The Cuban NOC held its general assembly on 29 January. The meeting was chaired by NOC President Roberto Leon Richards, and those attending included the President of the National Institute of Sport, Physical Education and Leisure (INDER), Osvaldo Vento Montiller. The main agenda items were the preparations for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 and the joint IOC and PanAm Sports programmes. The Cuban NOC has also signed a cooperation agreement with the NOC of Belize, which it has been supporting with technical assistance since 2004.

NOC of El Salvador

As part of the commemoration of its 95th anniversary, the NOC of El Salvador organised conferences on sport and Olympism in the country. The speakers were NOC President Eduardo Palomo; Rodrigo Rendón, a volunteer at the Olympic Academy of El Salvador; and historian Gregorio Bello Suazo. Among the guests were former NOC President Melecio Rivera; Henry Nuñez, the President of the Central American Sports Organisation (ORDECA) and the NOC of Costa Rica; Gerardo Aguirre, President of the NOC of Guatemala; and Julio Cáceres, President of the Sports Confederation of Guatemala. The ORDECA President presented a souvenir to the NOC of El Salvador on this occasion. More details here.

Spanish NOC

On 6 February, the Spanish NOC headquarters hosted a presentation on the All Olympic (Todos Olímpicos) and Olympic Heroes (Heroes Olímpicos) campaigns taking place in six autonomous communities (Madrid, Valencia, the Canary Islands, Extremadura, Castile and Leon, and Andalusia). Since the launch of these campaigns 12 years ago, more than 150,000 schoolchildren from more than 2,000 schools have learned about the Olympic values. Almost 100 high-level athletes have also taken part in these campaigns, which are designed to promote and raise awareness about the Olympic values. More info at www.coe.es.   

Hellenic NOC

Hellenic NOC President and IOC member Spyros Capralos (right of photo) recently hosted three-time Olympic weightlifting champion Pyrros Dimas (left of photo) at the NOC headquarters, and congratulated him on his appointment as a Champion for Peace by the Peace and Sport organisation. The Peace and Sport Director, Iris Vlachoutsicos (centre of photo) was also present. More details sur www.hoc.gr.

recognised Organisations

On 11 February in Montreal (Canada), the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and the University of Sherbrooke officially launched the University’s Research Chair on Anti-Doping in Sport. The Chair and related graduate programme in the field of humanities – which were developed in partnership by the two organisations, but which will be independently led by the University – aim to develop globally recognised expertise in the field of anti-doping through an approach focused on advancing research and knowledge transfer. Full details here.

The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) recently announced that it is to open its first Paralympic Museum, in Tokyo. Located in the Nihonbashi part of the city, the museum will operate from 25 August to late September. It will showcase the history of the Paralympic Movement, the evolution of the Paralympic Games and the legendary athletes who have taken part in them. More details here.

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