Olympic Highlights 15/10/2021

IOC / Greg Martin



At Olympic House, IOC President Thomas Bach welcomed a delegation from the Ukrainian NOC, led by its President and IOC member Sergey Bubka, who was also accompanied by the Minister of Youth and Sports, and Olympic fencing champion, Vadim Gutsait. President Bach thanked them for their warm welcome during his visit to Kiev last month to mark the 30th anniversary of the  NOC. They also discussed Ukraine’s interest in hosting a future edition of the Olympic Games as part of the IOC’s new approach to future host elections.

The IOC President and Joël Bouzou, President of the World Olympians’ Association (WOA) , discussed the cooperation between the IOC, through its Athletes’ Commission, and the WOA, plus the next editions of the Olympic Games. Bouzou is also Chair of the Peace and Sport organisation.

President Bach discussed the preparations for the Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022 with IOC member Juan Antonio Samaranch, Chair of the IOC Coordination Commission for these Games.

Also at Olympic House, President Bach and IOC member Uğur Erdener, who chairs the IOC Medical and Scientific Commission, spoke about several topical Olympic matters.

The President discussed a number of Olympic topics in a telephone conversation with IOC member Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al-Thani.

On Saturday 16 October in Athens (Greece), the IOC President will chair a meeting of the IOC Executive Board (EB). From Athens, he will travel to Olympia for the lighting ceremony of the Olympic Flame for the Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022.  In Olympia, the newly refurbished premises of the International Olympic Academy will be inaugurated, and the 100 years of the IOC Executive Board will also be commemorated.

IOC / Dave Thompson

IOC member Prince Albert II has been awarded the Pierre de Coubertin 2020 Prize by the French Sports Writers Association. The prize is awarded every four years on the occasion of the Games of the Olympiad, and the recipient is a person whose works of literature or art, or social or political action have promoted the Olympic spirit.

IOC / Greg Martin

IOC member  Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović has been appointed by the IOC President as Chair of the Future Host Commission for the Games of the Olympiad. An IOC member since 2020, Mrs Grabar-Kitarović is a former President of the Republic of Croatia. She will lead the Commission with immediate effect. The previous Chair, Kristin Kloster Aasen, stood down following her election to the IOC EB, because no EB member can serve on the Future Host Commissions (for the Games of the Olympiad and the Olympic Winter Games), to ensure the broader participation of the IOC Session in the selection procedure. As Mrs Grabar-Kitarović was a member of the Commission, the vacant position on the Future Host Commission for the Games of the Olympiad has been filled by IOC member and President of World Triathlon Marisol Casado. Full news release here.


The IOC, the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) and Worldwide Olympic and Paralympic Partner Visa  announced that Olympic skateboarder Rayssa Leal from Brazil and Paralympic javelin thrower Holly Robinson from New Zealand have selected Social Skate and Ronald McDonald House to each receive a USD 50,000 donation from Visa. To demonstrate that one good turn deserves another, Visa will make these donations on Rayssa and Holly’s behalf after both athletes won the Visa Award, a fan-voted award recognising inspirational moments away from the field of play at the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020 (photo). Full news release here.


On the occasion of World Mental Health Day (10 October), the IOC issued a reminder that it has put tools and initiatives in place to support athletes’ mental health and well-being, including: the IOC Mental Health in Elite Athletes Toolkit, the Mentally Fit Helpline, and the educational, expert-led content available on Athlete365. The athletes’ mental health has always been a priority for the IOC, and with the COVID-19 pandemic forcing the postponement of the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 by a year, the challenges of elite athletes were further accentuated. More info here. Also read  an exclusive interview with US artistic gymnast Simone Biles on sparkling mental health published on olympics.com.


World Rowing

World Rowing has announced the appointment of Vincent Gaillard (right in photo) as its new Executive Director effective January 2022, replacing Matt Smith (left). Smith announced last year that he wished to step down by the end of 2021 after more than 25 years in the role. With international experience that includes the NBA, Coca-Cola’s Olympic and FIFA projects, and successively as CEO of GAISF and European Professional Club Rugby (EPCR), Gaillard will work alongside the World Rowing President, Jean-Christophe Rolland (centre), and Council to develop the organisation’s current and future strategic plans, and will also lead the staff from the headquarters in Lausanne. More info here.

After the events which occurred in Afghanistan in August 2021, the International Cycling Union (UCI) has reached out to members of the cycling family, the Olympic Movement and also other members of the population whose lives and safety have been under threat, to enable them to leave the country. As part of a vast operation carried out in conjunction with Sylvan Adams, owner of the UCI WorldTeam Israel Start-Up Nation and NGO IsraAID, with help from various governments, the Asian Cycling Confederation (ACC) and FIFA, the UCI has participated in the evacuation of 125 Afghan citizens, all of whom have been able to reach Europe via Tirana in Albania. Thirty-eight are being settled in Switzerland, with the others going to Canada, France, Israel and the USA. Full info here.

Following unanimous approval by its Bureau, meeting online on 11 October, the International Swimming Federation (FINA) has published details of the reform recommendations that it expects will drive progress in the areas of governance, communication, marketing, events, digital, safeguarding, medical, gender equality and sports development. The recommendations are at the heart of a report from FINA’s Reform Committee, which has now been circulated to FINA National Member Federations in anticipation of the FINA Extraordinary Congress in Abu Dhabi (United Arab Emirates) on 18 December. Full details here.

The Executive Board of World Triathlon has approved the first events of the 2022 season. The new season of the World Triathlon Championship Series will finish with the Championship Finals in Abu Dhabi. Eleven World Triathlon Cups are already planned, and Andorra will return as host of the World Triathlon Winter Championships. Full details here. In addition, World Triathlon has announced that Oman will host the first-ever women’s duathlon events in October and December 2021. Click here for an interview with Baida Alzadjali, a representative on the World Triathlon Women’s Committee, and part of the local organising committee for these events.


Albanian NOC

The Albanian NOC celebrated Olympic Day in honour of the Afghan people who are staying in a refugee camp in Durres. Many sports activities were organised under the direction of the Albanian Olympic Academy, in cooperation with the Albanian Cycling Federation and two schools in Durres, "Vasil Ziu" and "Bernardina Qerraxhia". The activities highlighted the Olympic values of friendship, respect, solidarity and unity for around 100 children and more than  200 Afghan refugees, including dozens of high-level athletes. NOC President Fidel Ylli was present at the event. More info at www.nocalbania.org.al.

Moroccan NOC

Since the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, the Moroccan NOC has been holding meetings with the national sports federations, to evaluate the preparation and performance of Moroccan athletes at the Games. More details on www.cnom.org.ma.

Ukrainian NOC

More than 1,000 trees have been planted in Western Ukraine as part of the Ukrainian NOC’s Olympic Heritage Programme. This large-scale Olympic eco-campaign took place in one of the forests of Prykarpattia with the participation of UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador and NOC President Sergey Bubka, famous Olympians and members of the region’s sports community. Launched  two years ago, this initiative is aimed at enhancing Olympic traditions, combining the experience of legendary Olympians, the dreams of young athletes and the sports community, to improve the environment. It is now being implemented in different parts of Ukraine. Full details here.

Venezuelan NOC

Forty-two days before the first Pan-American Junior Games in Cali-Valle, the Venezuelan NOC presented the uniform of the Venezuelan delegation for these games. The ceremony took place at the NOC headquarters, with NOC President Eduardo Álvarez, among others, in attendance. Some 180 young Venezuelan athletes will take part in these games from 25 November to 5 December 2021.


PARIS 2024
Paris 2024

On 31 October, to mark 1,000 days to go until the Opening Ceremony of the Olympic Games Paris 2024, a unique pursuit race will be held on the Champs-Elysées. Free and open to everyone, this race (over roughly 5km) will bring together the reigning two-time Olympic marathon champion, Eliud Kipchoge, who will start the race, and 2,000 other participants. Those who cross the finishing line before Kipchoge will win their entry for the 2024 “Marathon Pour Tous”, the Paris 2024 mass event run. The Marathon Pour Tous will take place over the same route as the Olympic marathon. A shorter 10km race on this same route will also be offered to enable all athletes, regardless of their level, disability or age, to enjoy a unique experience during the Olympic Games Paris 2024. Full details here.


The Association of National Olympic Committees of Africa (ANOCA) produced a video on the occasion of its 40th anniversary celebrations in Abuja (Nigeria), during which a video message from the IOC President was broadcast. More info here.


Davide Tizzano from Italy (see photo) was elected as President of the International Committee of Mediterranean Games (ICMG) during a General Assembly held online. He succeeds Amar Addadi from Algeria, who led the organisation for 18 years. A rowing world champion (1986) and sailing world champion (1993), Tizzano also won two Olympic gold medals in rowing, at the Olympic Games Seoul 1988 and Atlanta 1996. He has been on the ICMG Executive Board since 2013 and was President of the Athletes’ Commission for three years. Since 2014, he has been the Director of the Formia Olympic Centre, the training centre of the Italian Olympic team. During the General Assembly, the city of Heraklion (Crete, Greece) was selected as the host city of the 2023 Mediterranean Beach Games. A presentation was also given on the preparations for the upcoming Mediterranean Games in 2022 in Oran (Algeria) and in 2026 in Tarente (Italy). More info here.

“Developing healthy and sustainable communities” is the central topic of the 2021  Congress of the International Association for Sports and Leisure Activities (IAKS). This 27th edition of the world’s leading international forum on the planning, building and operation of sports and leisure facilities will take place from 26 to 29 October in Cologne (Germany). More than 40 speakers and 500 participants from 40 nations are expected for this edition, which will be staged in a hybrid format for the first time. Full details here.

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