Olympic Highlights 17/09/2021



IOC President Thomas Bach was in the Ukrainian capital Kiev last weekend to celebrate 30 years of the country's NOC and to meet the nation's President, Volodymyr Zelensky.

During a meeting at the Ukrainian President's residence, President Zelensky congratulated President Bach on the delivery of extremely safe and successful Olympic Games in Tokyo. They both noted the outstanding performance of Ukraine’s athletes, and President Zelensky thanked President Bach for the continuing long-term support for Ukrainian sport. President Zelensky informed the IOC President that Ukraine is determined to become a host for the Olympic Winter Games, and that his country would therefore enter into the Dialogue Phase with the IOC and send a delegation to the IOC headquarters in Lausanne as soon as possible. President Bach warmly welcomed the initiative, “given the great sports tradition of Ukraine, and after having seen a very impressive presentation of the most recent sports and sports infrastructure in the country”. The two leaders had earlier visited the newly opened Urban Sports Park in Kiev, part of plans to improve sporting facilities in the country.

President Bach was also joined by NOC President and Olympic champion IOC member Sergey Bubka, who accompanied him throughout his visit, along with IOC member and Olympic champion Valeriy Borzov. He was also joined by the Minister of Youth and Sports Vadim Gutsait, who is also an Olympic champion in fencing.

IOC / Greg Martin

In the evening of Saturday 11 September, a gala celebration was held in the presence of 200 Ukrainian Olympians, among them 116 Olympic medallists. The following day, President Bach visited the Ukrainian Olympic sports centre, which is undergoing extensive renovations.  At the centre he met many athletes, a number of whom are aiming for the Olympic Games Paris 2024.

Throughout his trip, President Bach had the chance to speak to a large number of Ukrainian athletes and Olympians, many of whom thanked the IOC for making the Olympic Games in Tokyo happen.

IOC / Greg Martin

President Bach discussed a number of Olympic issues with IOC member Octavian Morariu, who chairs the Future Host Commission for the Olympic Winter Games.

The IOC President received Hungarian NOC President Krisztian Kulcsar at Olympic House. They discussed the Games in Tokyo and the performance of Hungarian athletes, as well as Hungary’s wish to stage Olympic Games in the future.

During a telephone call, President Bach and the President of the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA), Aleksander Ceferin, discussed various topical Olympic issues and the European sports model.

The IOC President also met marketing consultant and former IOC Marketing Director Michael Payne.  

honorary Members
IOC / Arnaud Meylan

On 16 September, IOC Honorary Member Vitaly Smirnov celebrated the 50th anniversary of his election as an IOC member. A few days earlier, he was awarded the Order of Merit for the Fatherland 1st Class by the Russian Federation during a ceremony held in the Kremlin in Moscow. Smirnov, who is also Honorary President of the Russian Olympic Committee, was presented with the distinction by Russian President Vladimir Putin. 

Other Olympic news

In a letter to the International Boxing Association (AIBA), the IOC expressed once again strong concerns with regard to the situation of the International Federation. Please find the letter here.

The Olympic Refuge Foundation, the French Sports Ministry and a consortium of partners have co-created a new programme for young refugees in France. In the framework of an agreement signed between the ORF and the French Sports Ministry in February 2021, France has provided the Foundation with EUR 1 million to deploy integration-through-sport programmes for refugees and displaced persons in the Île-de-France region. With a view to implementing this programme, a two-day workshop was held in Paris this week with the Sports Ministry and the six partners to devise a unique three-year programme to support refugees and asylum-seekers in France. This is the second programme that the ORF will implement in Europe. Full news release here.

“Tomorrow’s Leaves”, an animated film commissioned by the Olympic Foundation for Culture and Heritage (OFCH), has been selected for the prestigious London Film Festival, under the “Family Shorts” category. An eight-minute film produced by the Academy Award-nominated Yoshiaki Nishimura, “Tomorrow’s Leaves” celebrates the Olympic spirit, and reinforces the links between sport, culture, education and environmental responsibility. It will be screened in London on 17 October. Full news release here.

One month after the closing of the Olympic Agora at Tokyo 2020, Japanese artist Makoto Tojiki says it was “an opportunity of a lifetime to be able to contribute to the Olympic Games in [his] home country”. Tojiki, one of three internationally-renowned headlining artists at the Olympic Agora Tokyo 2020, created a grand, illuminated sculpture entitled “Solidarity and Collaboration” for the cultural hub in the heart of the host city. To learn more about it, click here.

International Federations

Summer IFs

On Colour Blind Awareness Day 2021, World Rugby has launched a new set of guidelines designed to help people with colour vision deficiency enjoy the game at all levels. The guidelines have been published on the world.rugby website, and have been structured to allow people to quickly find the components most relevant to them. The guidelines are divided into sections for those who watch rugby, those who play rugby, and those who host and organise rugby. Full details here.


An ISA Coaching Symposium was held in Costa Rica for the first time from 30 August to 1 September. Held in collaboration with the Costa Rican Surfing Federation and Costa Rican Olympic Committee with the support of Olympic Solidarity, 16 national surf coaches participated to receive both theoretical and practical training from 5 ISA Course Presenters in the Americas region. Full details here on the International Surfing Association (ISA) website.

winter IFs

The World Curling Federation (WCF) held its second virtual Annual General Assembly on 11 September. During the Assembly, the WCF member associations ratified a new international championship; made several changes to the Rules of Curling; held elections for two positions on the Board; confirmed amendments to the WCF Constitution; and excluded a member association. More info here.

National Olympic Committees


The Barbados Olympic Association (BOA) has announced that Rohansonn Waithe (left in photo), Treasurer of the Barbados Chess Federation, and track and field athlete Ayanna Morgan (right)  are taking part in the 61st International Session for Young Participants, hosted by the International Olympic Academy (IOA) held virtually from 17 to 23 September 2021. The 2021 International Session comes just one month after the BOA held the inaugural National Session for Young Participants, where the candidates had an opportunity to prepare for the annual IOA International Session. The main topic for the IOA Sessions this year is “Olympic Movement and the Pandemic”, while the special topic for the International Session is “Olympic Games and the Pandemic: Opportunities, Challenges and Changes”. More info at www.olympic.org.bb.

Czech Olympic Committee

The Czech Olympic Committee celebrated Olympic Day with the traditional Olympic Run, moved due to pandemic to 8 September. More than 71,000 competitors from all over the Czech Republic, as well as pupils from 320 schools, took part in the largest running event in the country. In Prague, the race was started in Hvězda Park by actor Václav Neužil (photo), who played the legendary runner Emil Zátopek in the film of the same name. Zatopek was the starter of the first edition of the 1987 Olympic Run at Strahov. Runners also helped children from disadvantaged families to keep doing sports. Taking place on 8 September, exactly one month after the end of the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, some Olympians who competed in Tokyo, such as Olympic shooting champion Jiří Lipták, gymnast Aneta Holasová, wrestler Artur Omarov and judoka David Klammert, attended the event, which was held in 89 different places throughout the country. More info here.

Spanish NOC

The Spanish NOC recently organised a ceremony in honour of the journalists, photographers and others who covered the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020. In total, 102 journalists and 44 members of the media were in the Japanese capital to follow and report on Spanish athletes’ performances. The event was hosted by NOC President Alejandro Blanco. Full details here.

Venezuelan NOC

Olympic champion and world triple jump record-holder Yulimar Rojas (photo) recently visited the Venezuelan NOC headquarters. There she met the media, first at a press conference in the auditorium, then at a face-to-face event organised at the Olympic Museum. She shared with them details of her Olympic adventure in Tokyo, her relationship with dancing, and her development as an athlete. More details at www.covoficial.com.ve.

Organising committees for the olympic games

Beijing 2022
Beijing 2022

“Together for a Shared Future” was revealed as the official motto of the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games Beijing 2022 at a ceremony held in the city’s Capital Museum on 17 September. The Organising Committee explained that the motto represents the power of the Games to overcome global challenges as a community, with a shared future for humankind. Beijing 2022 said that the motto demonstrates unity and a collective effort, embodying the core values and vision of the Olympic Movement, and the goal of pursuing world unity, peace and progress. The team in Beijing also ensured that the motto considered the key values of the Paralympic Games, in particular the role they play in contributing to a more inclusive society. Full news release here.

Paris 2024
Paris 2024

On 8 September, the Organising Committee for the Olympic and Paralympic Games Paris 2024 and the city of Paris launched the Olympic and Paralympic Flag Tour for the 2024 Games. With a symbolic start in Seine-Saint-Denis, the Tour will initially take in 20 departments and 10 regions, covering more than 10,000km and passing through around 30 towns and cities between 8 September and mid-October. The flags will then be flown outside Paris City Hall. The Tour will continue until 2024, with regular events held throughout France at the initiative of the towns and local authorities with the “Terre de Jeux 2024” label that would like to host the flags. Full press release here.

Los Angeles 2028
Getty Images

The Organising Committee for the Olympic and Paralympic Games Los Angeles 2028 has appointed  Kathy Carter (photo) as Chief Executive Officer (CEO), to lead the successful planning and execution of the 2028 Games. As CEO, Carter will report to LA28 Chair Casey Wasserman. Carter joined LA28 in October 2018 as Chief Revenue Officer and Chief Executive Officer of US Olympic and Paralympic Properties, LLC. Since joining LA28, she has overseen LA28’s Founding Partners commercial programme. She has also worked closely with NBCUniversal on a partnership that will give brands elevated opportunities around the LA28 Games. Full news release here.

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