Olympic Highlights 18/06/2021

IOC / Greg Martin



This week, IOC President Thomas Bach was at the Swiss National Cycling Time Trials in Lausanne to give his support to one of the newly selected athletes from the IOC Refugee Olympic Team Tokyo 2020.  President Bach was there to see Badreddin Wais cross the line in the elite men’s race. Badreddin, a refugee originally from Syria, is part of the newly announced team that will shortly be heading to the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020. The team members will first meet up in Qatar for their welcome experience before flying to Tokyo in mid-July. Twenty-nine athletes competing across 12 sports and from 13 host NOCs will be part of the IOC Refugee Olympic Team Tokyo 2020. The athletes were selected from among the refugee athletes currently supported by the IOC through the Olympic Scholarships for Refugee Athletes programme. Read the full news release here.

In a telephone conversation, IOC President Thomas Bach and Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison discussed the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 and the Australian athletes’ participation in the Games. Morrison once again reaffirmed his government’s total support for Brisbane’s candidature to stage the Olympic Games in 2032.  The two men also discussed a wide range of other Olympic subjects.  

IOC / Greg Martin

At Olympic House, President Bach welcomed IOC Member and Ukrainian NOC President Sergey Bubka. They discussed various Olympic subjects including the upcoming Olympic Games Tokyo 2020.

IOC / Greg Martin

The IOC President held a videoconference meeting with Chinese NOC President Gou Zhongwen. The main topic of their discussions was the Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022. IOC Vice-President Yu Zaiqing and IOC Members Li Lingwei and Zhang Hong also attended the meeting.

The President met with the President of the Spanish NOC, Alejandro Blanco. They discussed the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 and Spanish athletes’ preparations for these Games. Blanco also gave a presentation on the training centre for refugee athletes, based in Madrid, which is the first of its kind.

The IOC President also discussed a number of Olympic topics with IOC Vice-President and Finance Commission Chair Ser Miang Ng. 

In addition, President Bach spoke on the phone with IOC Member Prince Albert II who is also Chair of the IOC Sustainability and Legacy Commission.

The world leaders of the Group of Seven (G7) met in Carbis Bay (UK) from 11 to 13 June, and expressed their backing for the holding of the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020 in a safe and secure manner. In the communiqué released after their Summit last weekend, the G7 Leaders said: “In Cornwall we have revitalised our G7 partnership. Our Shared Agenda for Global Action is a statement of our shared vision and ambition as we continue to collaborate this year and under future Presidencies. As we do so we look forward to joining with others to ensure we build back better, in particular at the G20 Summit, COP26, and CBD15 and the UN General Assembly, and reiterate our support for the holding of the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020 in a safe and secure manner as a symbol of global unity in overcoming COVID-19.” IOC President Thomas Bach welcomed the statement: “We thank the G7 leaders for their support. We take this as a great encouragement to deliver safe and secure Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020 for everybody in this spirit of worldwide solidarity.” This backing was reiterated in bilateral meetings that Japanese Prime Minister Suga Yoshihide had on the side-lines of the summit. Read the full news release here.

Other Olympic news

On 15 June, the IOC, the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) and the Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020 (Tokyo 2020) began publishing the third and final editions of the Tokyo 2020 Playbooks. Read the full news release here.

On 17 June, the IOC announced the details of its project to plant the “Olympic Forest” in Mali and Senegal, an element of the IOC’s climate-positive strategy.  The project is a contribution to the Great Green Wall initiative, which restores degraded landscapes across Africa’s Sahel region. It will involve planting around 355,000 native trees across approximately 90 villages in Mali and Senegal – host of the Youth Olympic Games Dakar 2026 – and will cover a combined area of around 2,120 hectares. More than planting trees, the Olympic Forest will contribute to increasing the local communities’ food and economic security. Read the full news release here.

International Federations

Summer IFs

The World Rowing Federation has announced the conclusion of its Olympic qualification process. A record number of countries have qualified for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 in rowing. Eighty countries are heading to Tokyo, an increase of 11 compared with the previous edition in Rio in 2016. Those qualified include nine countries competing in Olympic rowing for the first time: Ivory Coast, Benin, Nicaragua, the Dominican Republic, Namibia, Morocco, Uganda, Sudan and Saudi Arabia. Full details here.

The International Swimming Federation (FINA) has announced that the 10 teams and 22 duets taking part in the Artistic Swimming competition at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 are now selected, after the qualification event for the discipline held in Barcelona (Spain) from 10 to 13 June. Full details here.

The Executive Board of the International Modern Pentathlon Union (UIPM) has voted to reschedule the UIPM 2021 Youth World Championships (U19/U17). The competition, which had been due to take place in Alexandria (Egypt) in July, has been moved to 13 to 19 September. The decision was taken on the grounds of health and wellbeing, given the high number of minors from around the world who will be taking part. The UIPM 2021 Junior World Championships, with participants aged 19 and under, will go ahead in Alexandria from 12 to 18 July. Full info here. Furthermore, six coaches and seven athletes from across six continents have been elected by their peers to represent them on the UIPM Coaches Committee and UIPM Athletes’ Committee. They will serve from 1 January 2022 to 31 December 2024. Full details here.

The International Tennis Federation (ITF) has announced that the third edition of the ITF World Participation Conference will take place from 12 to 14 July, providing a virtual platform for global conversation about increasing participation in tennis and sport. The theme of the conference will be “Innovating to drive participation in sport”. The impact of major sporting events on participation, digital strategies to drive participation, and utilising insight and evidence for participation in sport will be some of the topics covered during the Conference. More info here.

national olympic committees

Hellenic Olympic Committee

The President of the International Handball Federation (IHF), Hassan Moustafa, visited the Hellenic Olympic Committee (HOC) premises and met HOC President and IOC Member Spyros Capralos, in the presence of the 1st Vice-President and member of the HOC Plenary Session, Stelios Angeloudis. During their meeting, they discussed beach handball, the creation of a large handball field in Athens, and the promotion and development of the sport nationally and globally. Full details here.

On 18 June, the NOC of Kazakhstan has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to support the refugees in their desire to practice sports, to give them the opportunity to participate in educational programs and sports events on the territory of Kazakhstan. The Memorandum was signed by the NOC Secretary General Andrey Kryukov and the Regional Representative of the Office of the UNHCR in Central Asia, Hans Friedrich Schodder. The parties agreed to develop further cooperation within the framework of specific projects. More details on www.olympic.kz/en

Liechtenstein Olympic Committee

On 16 June, more than 580 schoolchildren took part in the Olympic Day 2021 celebration all over Liechtenstein. This was the first major sporting event in months and represented a milestone in this difficult period. The children got the chance to discover a total of 27 different sports presented by associations and clubs in Liechtenstein, and they also learned from several Olympians also present. Liechtenstein’s Prime Minister, Daniel Risch, visited several of the sites, and even tried out some of the activities. The President of the Liechtenstein Olympic Committee, Stefan Marxer, thanked the sports federations for their commitment, as most of the 120 coaches at the 27 stations took a day off specially for the event.  More details here.

The Moroccan NOC has announced that, on 8 June, its operations team responsible for communication took part in the first workshop organised by the Association of National Olympic Committees (ANOC) on the NOCs’ digital acceleration programme. More details on www.cnoma.org.ma.


The Saudi Arabian Olympic Committee (SAOC) has signed a five-year memorandum of understanding (MoU) with NEOM to collaborate on developing and enhancing a globally competitive sports ecosystem within Saudi Arabia. Signed by Prince Abdulaziz Bin Turki Al Faisal Al-Saud, the SAOC President, and Nadhmi Al-Nasr, the NEOM Chief Executive Officer (see photo), the agreement also encourages partnership in the development of a national strategy for sport across the country. More info at www.olympic.sa

Spanish NOC

Spanish NOC President Alejandro Blanco and North Macedonian NOC President Daniel Dimevski met during the European Olympic Committees General Assembly in Athens (Greece) last week and signed a cooperation agreement between their two organisations (photo). The aim of the agreement is to promote sports development in the two countries by exchanging knowledge and experience between coaches, athletes and officials. More details here.

Organising committees for the olympic games

paris 2024

The Organising Committee for the Olympic and Paralympic Games Paris 2024, the French Paralympic Sports Committee (CPSF) and the Assembly of French Departments (ADF) - in collaboration with ADN Tourisme (the National Federation of Institutional Tourism Organisations) - have launched season 2 of the #ExploreTerreDeJeux2024 programme under the banner of sport for all. This programme enables local authorities with the “Terre de Jeux 2024” label to identify their most beautiful sports routes and itineraries and to share them on their social media to encourage people to practise sport, using the Terre de Jeux 2024 digital tools. After the success of the first season, this second season will identify and share sports routes that are accessible to all participants, regardless of their disability. Full press release here.

recognised organisations

On 9 June, the President of the Association of the National Olympic Committees of Africa (ANOCA) and IOC Member, Mustapha Berraf (r. on photo) had an audience with the Ambassador of the Russian Federation in Algeria, Igor Beliaev (l.) at the ANOCA Headquarters annex in Algeria. At the heart of their discussions was the supply of doses of the Sputnik vaccine to African Olympic and sports delegations ahead of their participation in the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 and other international sports events. A preliminary agreement was signed with the Russian authorities and NOC. More info at www.africaolympic.com.

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has announced that global testing figures are continuing to rise as activities of a growing number of Anti-Doping Organizations (ADOs) worldwide are returning to normal. The latest figures, released on 17 June, show that 24,430 samples were collected in May 2021 by 152 ADOs, which is the highest number of samples collected since the COVID-19 pandemic started in March 2020. Despite restrictions that are still in place throughout parts of the world, out-of-competition testing is now at a level greater than for the same period in 2019. In-competition testing figures for May 2021 were also the highest in the past 15 months with 8,281 samples collected from events and competitions. Full details here.

To mark Olympic Day on 23 June, the International Sports Cinema and Television Federation (FICTS) will launch a new free network with 27,234 streaming videos for its 123 member countries on the SPORTMOVIESTV.COM platform, the first Digital Community of Information and Sports Culture. The FICTS will also organise several activities such as projections and special events (webinars, workshops, etc.), simultaneously in the 20 locations of the "World FICTS Challenge" and in Milan, which will host the 39th edition of the Sport Movies & TV Milan International FICTS Festival from 26 to 30 November 2021. More info at www.sportmoviestv.com.

The International Association of Olympic Collectors (IAOC) has announced the first international virtual exhibition of Olympic collectibles (AIWOS 2021), which will be held from 23 July to 3 October. Alongside collectors belonging to an IAOC member association, for the first time young collectors around the world aged under 21 can also take part, without needing to belong to a member association.  Khunying Patama Leeswadtrakul, IOC Member and Chair of the IOC Culture and Olympic Heritage Commission, will be the honorary chair of this virtual exhibition. Visitors will be able to see the exhibition on www.aicolympic.org. More info here.

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