Olympic Highlights 18/03/2019

18 Mar 2019



The IOC President met a delegation from the Chad NOC, led by its President, Abakar Djermah Aumi. The topics discussed included the situation of sport in the country, the preparation of its athletes for the Olympic Games and other Olympic topics of mutual interest.

President Bach also met Odette Assembe Engoulou, Vice-President of the Cameroon NOC and Chair of the Women’s Commission of the Francophone Badminton Association. They mainly discussed the situation of sport in the country.

President Bach was a recipient of the International Hockey Federation (FIH) President’s Award, in recognition of his longstanding support for the sport and the FIH. He was presented with the Award by FIH President Narinder Batra at a ceremony at the FIH headquarters in Lausanne. Also addressing the FIH Executive Board, the President underlined the various challenges facing the Olympic Movement today (more details here).

With Alisher Usmanov, President of the International Fencing Federation (FIE), discussions covered various Olympic subjects, including preparations for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020.

Meetings were also held with IOC Vice-President Uğur Erdener and IOC Member Luis Mejia Oviedo, during which various general topical Olympic matters were discussed.

IOC / Greg Martin

The IOC President also welcomed French boxer Sarah Ourahmoune, a silver medallist at the Olympic Games Rio 2016 and Vice-President of the French NOC. Together, they spoke about the role of athletes in society and the Olympic Games Paris 2024, in which Ourahmoune is involved. She also donated the equipment she wore during the Olympic tournament in Rio to The Olympic Museum.

With Mahesh Ramanujam, President and CEO of US Green Building, President Bach talked about the IOC’s sustainability strategy and how it will be implemented in Olympic House, the IOC headquarters.

The President also met the Chief Executive Officer of Credit Suisse, Tidjane Thiam; the Polish Sports Minister, Witold Banka; and the Vice-Minister for Sport of the Dominican Republic, Marcos Díaz.


Julie Duffus

Beatrice Allen (left on photo), IOC Member and member of the IOC Sustainability and Legacy Commission, has represented the IOC at the United Nations Environment Assembly held in Nairobi (Kenya). Speaking on behalf of the IOC, she said: “This Assembly is a success story, with delegates from all walks of life contributing to the debate on how to make this world a better place.  The IOC’s interventions revolve around the need for strong partnerships in terms of dialogue, research and funding of environmental conservation initiatives.” Climate change and plastic pollution took centre stage at the Assembly, with the IOC representatives highlighting the many ways in which the Olympic Movement is addressing these issues. Full press release here.


The Evaluation Commission for 2026, chaired by IOC member Octavian Morariu, was in Sweden this week for the first of its visits to the two Candidate Cities for the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games 2026.  There were five days of discussion and venue tours from 12 to 16 March in Stockholm-Åre. The same format will be followed in Milan-Cortina (Italy), from 2 to 6 April. The visit is part of the ongoing collaboration with the Cities and the respective NOCs introduced as part of the new Candidature Process, which provides greater support and expertise directly from the IOC and the Olympic Movement. Full press release here.

The IOC Medical and Scientific Commission is calling on researchers to apply for support and funding for athlete-centred projects. Applications will be open until 1 June. Multi-centre and collaborative projects and research that has the potential to directly benefit Olympic athletes are encouraged. Areas of research eligible for support include injury and illness prevention studies as well as IOC Consensus Statement topics, such as transgender athletes and mental health. More info here.

TOP Partners


With 500 days to go to the Opening Ceremony of the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, Worldwide Olympic Partner Samsung marked the milestone with the opening of “Galaxy Harajuku”, its innovative showcase. In the lead-up to the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, visitors to Galaxy Harajuku will be able to experience Samsung’s cutting-edge mobile technology, as well as enjoy a variety of interactive activities that will encourage Japanese consumers and fans to embrace the Olympic spirit through innovative smartphone technology. More details here.

OTHER olympiC NEWs

A new guide developed by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), in partnership with the IOC, outlines how the careful planning, location and design of new sports venues and facilities can help avoid potential negative impacts on nature – and even contribute to its conservation. Developed as part of a partnership between the IOC and IUCN, the guide, Sport and Biodiversity: Guidelines for mitigating biodiversity impacts of new sports venues, was released at the United Nations Environment Assembly taking place in Nairobi (Kenya). Full press release here.

The Olympic Channel and SportsMax have announced a new partnership featuring both linear and digital programming across 22 Caribbean territories in support of their objective to engage new audiences and younger generations with the Olympic Movement all year round. Beginning on 12 March, SportsMax will broadcast over 700 hours of Olympic-related content under the “Olympic Channel” brand on its channels. Full press release here.

The IOC announced that Sony Pictures Networks India (SPN) has been awarded the broadcast rights in India and the Subcontinent for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, as well as the Winter Youth Olympic Games Lausanne 2020. The Olympic Channel and other IOC digital platforms will also feature highlights and replays of key events. Full press release here.

International FEDERATIONs


The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) Council met in Doha (Qatar), host city of the 2019 World Athletics Championships, to make a range of important decisions on topics, including the future of the Diamond League, the Olympic qualification system, the Russian Athletics Federation reinstatement status, race walking and competition rules. More details here.


At the end of 2018, World Rowing (FISA) joined forces with the Women’s Sports Network (WSNet) to highlight issues around teenage girls and sport. This has led to the ROWMoJo initiative, a digital version of which can be found here. Adopted by FISA as part of its global programme to get more girls practising the sport, a Brazilian/Portuguese version of ROWMoJo is now available, launched by WSNet in cooperation with the Brazilian Rowing Confederation: http://www.wsnet.co.uk/ROWMoJo, which can be downloaded for a small fee. In other news, to celebrate International Women’s Day, FISA put out a call for images showing female umpires and organisers around the world. On 8 March, it then published a number of these photos, to celebrate and promote equality at all levels of the sport. More details here.


The International Hockey Federation (FIH) also joined the IOC in celebrating International Women’s Day. From 4 to 8 March, stories were published on the FIH website (www.fih.ch) illustrating the work done on the five continents by women involved in the hockey community. Read the press release here.


A delegation from the International Swimming Federation (FINA), led by Executive Director Cornel Marculescu and Facility Committee Chairman Joaquin Pujol, completed a site visit at the beginning of March in Gwangju (Republic of Korea), to review and assess the preparations to the upcoming 18th FINA World Championships, taking place from 12 to 28 July 2019. The FINA delegation toured the facilities to check on the progress of the five venues for the World Championships and to discuss final preparations. It was reported that works are on track and everything will be ready to welcome the athletes in July. The competition schedule was also announced a few days ago (schedule here). More info at www.fina.org.

World Rugby

With just under 200 days to go until the Rugby World Cup 2019, World Rugby and ChildFund, the principal charity partner for the Rugby World Cup, have confirmed that a record GBP 1.5 million has been pledged to ChildFund Pass It Back, an innovative sport for development programme led by ChildFund in partnership with World Rugby and Asia Rugby that delivers an integrated life skills and rugby curriculum for children and young people in disadvantaged communities across Asia. This innovative rugby and life skills programme builds resilience and includes learning on leadership, problem-solving, gender equity, conflict-resolution and planning for the future. The pledged funds will enable more than 25,000 children and young people from disadvantaged communities to take part in and benefit from the programme. With its focus on gender inclusion, approximately half of all the players and coaches to-date are female. More details here.

National Olympic COMMITTEes

Algerian NOC

To mark International Women’s Day, the Algerian NOC, in collaboration with Olympic Solidarity, organised a women and sport seminar in Algiers on 9 March. Under the theme of “Olympism, encouraging and protecting women”, the seminar addressed four topics: the promotion and responsibility of sports leaders; the importance of gender equality and diversity in sport; preventing intimidation, harassment and abuse in sport; and the media coverage given to female athletes. Several personalities from the national and African sports movement were present, including the Minister of Youth and Sport, Mohamed Hattab; NOC President Mustapha Berraf; Comoros Islands NOC President Ibrahim Ben Ali; Malian NOC Vice-President Aminata Keita; Olympic champions Hassiba Boulmerka, Nouria Benida-Merrah, Abderrahmane Hammad and Mohamed Allalou; and a number of national sports federation presidents. More details on www.coa.dz.

Argentinian NOC

For the sixth year in a row, the Argentinian NOC is organising an advanced sports management course, supported by Olympic Solidarity, with 56 students taking part this year. On 11 March, during the opening ceremony led by NOC Vice-President Alicia Masoni de Morea, the 33 students from the 2018 edition were presented with their diplomas. This course is composed of six modules covering sports organisation management, strategic management, human resources management, economic management, marketing management and major sports event organisation. More details here.

Getty Images / Matt King

The Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) has expanded its community outreach programme, “Olympics Unleashed”, into schools across Australia’s most populous state, New South Wales. Already running in schools in Queensland in 2018, “Olympics Unleashed” takes Olympians and aspiring Olympians into schools to teach students important lessons in goal-setting, working hard, building resilience and overcoming setbacks. More than 100 Olympians will be trained by education and presentation experts in how to effectively tell their Olympic journey stories to teenage children in a classroom. Before the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, the AOC hopes that more than 85,000 students will benefit from having an Olympian come to their school. In Queensland, after only a few months, 30,000 children have already had lessons and more than 80 athletes have been trained in delivering them. More info at www.olympics.com.au. In addition, the AOC awarded its highest honour, the Order of Merit, to outgoing Governor-General Peter Cosgrove AK MC (Retd) at a ceremony in Sydney on 8 March. The function was organised by AOC President and IOC Member John Coates AC to thank Sir Peter for his service as Australia’s Governor General since 2014, and for the particular interest he has shown in the Olympic Movement. This was the first time the AOC has acknowledged a Governor-General in this way. More details here.

Brazilian NOC

To celebrate 500 days to go before the Opening Ceremony of the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, the Brazilian NOC unveiled the 12th WE ARE TEAM BRAZIL (#SOMOS TIME BRASIL) sculpture at Marina da Glória in Rio de Janeiro, in the presence of some top names in Brazilian sport and NOC Vice-President Marco La Porta, who spoke about the work the NOC has been doing. Standing more than five metres wide and two metres high, the green, yellow and blue sculpture will enable the public to get involved in an incentive campaign, with the encouragement of Brazilian athletes. More details here.

Colombian NOC

On 6 March, the Colombian NOC signed a cooperation agreement with the Faculty of Medicine at the National University of Colombia, aimed at jointly developing training, organisation and administration programmes in the fields of sports sciences, leisure, education and physical activity. NOC President Baltazar Medina and the Dean of the Faculty, José Ricardo Navarro Vargas, signed the agreement, which will lead to mutual cooperation mechanisms to create, develop and implement academic training, research and dissemination projects and promote Olympic Movement-related studies. More details here.

Côte d’Ivoire NOC

The Côte d’Ivoire NOC has signed a sponsorship contract with the Confédération Générale des Entreprises de Côte d’Ivoire (CGECI) for the Youth Olympic Games 2022 Programme. The document was signed on 12 March in Abidjan by NOC 1st Vice-President Georges Joseph N'goan and CGECI President Jean-Marie Ackah. Designed by the NOC, this Programme is aimed at helping Ivorian athletes aged from 9 to 13 prepare for the African Youth Games in Maseru (Lesotho), from 25 February to 6 March 2022, and the Youth Olympic Games 2022 in Dakar (Senegal). The Programme will consist of identifying talented male and female athletes in various disciplines, who will then follow a training and preparation programme until 2022, which will include taking part in international competitions.

COE / Nacho Casares

At the beginning of March, Spanish NOC President Alejandro Blanco (right of photo) hosted his counterpart from the Cape Verde NOC, Filomena Fortes (left of photo). Their discussions focused mainly on the sports policies of the two NOCs and the upcoming African Beach Games, which will be held in Cape Verde in June this year. More details here. In addition, the NOC, Barcelona Football Club and the Catholic University of San Antonio de Murcia (UCAM) have signed an agreement which, thanks to the “Barça Innovation Hub” initiative, will allow for various forms of mutual cooperation. More details here. Also, in the framework of the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, the NOC has signed a cooperation agreement with the Cervantes Institute to develop cultural, educational and social projects linked to the promotion of the Spanish language and culture, which will be run in the Institute’s branch in Tokyo. More details here.

USA Cycling

Cyclist Kelly Catlin (photo), America’s three-time world champion and 2016 Olympic silver medallist, has died in California at the age of 23. She won three consecutive team pursuit world titles, in 2016, 2017 and 2018, plus a silver medal at the Olympic Games Rio 2016, and two individual pursuit bronze medals at the World Championships in 2017 and 2018. More details here on the US Olympic Committee website.

Kazakhstan NOC

The Kazakhstan NOC has signed a memorandum of cooperation with UNESCO. The document was signed by Saken Mussaibekov, NOC Secretary General, and Krista Pikkat, Director of the UNESCO Almaty Cluster Office for Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, during their meeting in the Kazakhstan NOC branch office in Almaty. Within the framework of this memorandum, the parties intend to join forces to promote physical education and sport. Special attention will be focused on inclusive and equal access to sports, as well as developing the Olympic Movement among the people of Kazakhstan. The collaboration will focus on key areas such as Sport for All, education, gender equality and the fight against doping. More info here.

Panamanian NOC

At a recent press conference, the Panamanian NOC launched a fundraising project entitled #OneCountryOneTeam (#UnPaísUnEquipo), to help Panamanian athletes prepare for the Games in 2020. On this occasion, NOC President Camilo Amado was accompanied by athletes Kristine Jiménez (judo) and Peter Vega (triathlon). The project consists of three specific programmes: partners (socio), fans (fanático), and official equipment (indumentaria oficial). The Socio#UnPaísUnEquipo programme will enable people who contribute to the Olympic Movement to enjoy a number of benefits such as discounts in shops linked to the NOC, visits to the NOC headquarters and a regular newsletter. The NOC President signed up to become the first “socio” of the project. More details here.

Venezuelan NOC

The headquarters of the Venezuelan NOC hosted more than 100 participants for the first module of the sports management course for physical education teachers in the state of Vargas and the capital. Organised at the NOC headquarters with the support of the national education ministry and Olympic Solidarity (OS), this module featured a number of topics, including OS and NOC projects, biomechanics applied to sport, learning motricity and the most frequent sports injuries. The second module is scheduled for April this year.


Tokyo 2020

Tokyo 2020

The Tokyo Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (Tokyo 2020) has unveiled the official sports pictograms (above) of the forthcoming Games in Japan. Created by Japanese designer Masaaki Hiromura, the pictograms embody the uniqueness and athleticism of each sport and highlight the dynamism of athletes. They were designed in line with Tokyo 2020’s theme, “Innovation from Harmony”, while drawing inspiration from the Olympic Games Tokyo 1964, when pictograms were first widely used. More details here. In addition, Tokyo 2020 has announced that the Olympic flame will arrive in East Japan on 20 March 2020, where it will be displayed in the areas most affected by the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami ahead of the Olympic Torch Relay. The theme of the Torch Relay is “Hope Lights Our Way”, and the display of the Olympic flame dovetails with the concept that the Games should help aid reconstruction in disaster-hit areas of Japan. Tokyo 2020 will exhibit the flame, which will be lit in Greece, in the Iwate, Miyagi and Fukushima prefectures, the areas most affected by the disaster, for two days each from 20 to 25 March 2020, before the Relay commences on 26 March. More details here.

Organising Committees for the Youth Olympic Games

Lausanne 2020

Lausanne 2020

On 15 March, Lausanne 2020 marked the 300-days-to-go milestone by unveiling the Games pictograms, the graphic representations of the sports that will feature on the programme at next year’s Winter Youth Olympic Games, which start on 9 January 2020.  In line with the Youth Olympic approach of ensuring that the Games are “by and for young people”, the Lausanne 2020 team entrusted the design and development of the pictograms to ERACOM, the art and communication school located in the host city of Lausanne. More details here.

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