Olympic Highlights 20/09/2022

IOC / Greg Martin



IOC President Thomas Bach was in Italy this week as he received the Collare D'Oro, the highest award of the Italian Olympic Committee (CONI). The award was presented by CONI President and IOC Member Giovanni Malagó; while IOC Executive Board member Ivo Ferriani and IOC Honorary Members Mario Pescante, Franco Carraro and Manuela Di Centa took to the stage to pay tribute and remember key moments from the IOC President's Olympic career. Italian Olympians past and present were also there, with swimming gold medallist and IOC Member Federica Pellegrini paying tribute.

IOC / Greg Martin

One surprise guest was Carl Montano, one of President Bach's Italian opponents in the final of the men's team foil event at the Olympic Games Montreal 1976.  The pair had not seen each other since they stopped competing.

Accepting the award, President Bach said: "This award truly belongs to the entire IOC and the whole of the Olympic Movement. Because, without the support of so many around the globe, our Olympic mission to make the world a better place through sport could never be accomplished."

IOC / Greg Martin

Later, the President was also given the Flambeau D’Or award by Panathlon International for his "outstanding contribution to the Olympic Movement and advancing the cultural role of sport." The award was presented by the President of Panathlon International, Pierre Zappelli.

IOC / Greg Martin

President Bach later toured the CONI Athlete High Performance Centre and met a number of Ukrainian taekwondo athletes who are training at the facility and being looked after by the CONI. Also present was an athlete from Afghanistan.

IOC / Greg Martin

The President also met fellow fencer and Olympic Champion from the Olympic Games Tokyo 2022, Ukrainian athlete Olga Kharlan, who is also training in Italy.

IOC / Greg Martin

Leaving Rome, President Bach headed for Pratoni, where the International Equestrian Federation (FEI) is holding its World Championships. He spent the day with FEI President and IOC Member Ingmar De Vos at the course, which was an equestrian venue for the Olympic Games Rome 1960. During the day, he met many of the competitors in the team and individual eventing – and was able to see the many safety measures that the FEI has introduced to make equestrian sport safer for horses and riders.

IOC / Greg Martin

In Rome, President Thomas Bach also met outgoing Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi on 15 September. The two leaders discussed the preparations for the Olympic Winter Games Milano Cortina 2026 and the current geopolitical situation.

This week, at Olympic House, the IOC President held a consultation call with the IOC Members, the NOCs, the Summer and Winter IFs and athletes’ representatives to exchange points of view and discuss various topical Olympic issues. The President recalled the IOC’s actions since the beginning of the conflict in Ukraine, which include both measures to protect the integrity of competitions and sanctions and assistance to the Ukrainian Olympic community. He also mentioned the approval of the IOC Strategic Framework on Human Rights by the IOC Executive Board last week, and its impact on Olympic Movement stakeholders.

Also at Olympic House, President Bach and IOC Member Battushig Batbold discussed a wide range of Olympic topics, including the next editions of Olympic Games and Youth Olympic Games.

The President also had a conference call with the President of the Republic of Yemen, Rashad Al-Alimi.  They discussed the support for the athletes and NOC of Yemen, in particular regarding qualification for and participation in the Olympic Games Paris 2024.

IOC / Greg Martin

President Bach received the President of World Sailing, Quanhai Li, accompanied by IOC Vice-President Ser Miang Ng, a former vice-president of the IF. A number of Olympic topics, including the preparations for the Olympic Games Paris 2024 and the Youth Olympic Games Dakar 2026, were addressed.

IOC / Greg Martin

During a Tunisian NOC delegation visit to Olympic House, President Bach met with the NOC’s President, Mehrez Boussayene. They discussed the situation of sport in the country and different developing projects aiming to prepare the Tunisian athletes for the upcoming editions of the Olympic Games. The NOC President also gave President Bach a series of books recounting the NOC's programmes and initiatives to promote sport and the Olympic values over the past four years, as well as a copy of the NOC's strategic plan for 2032. During the visit, the Tunisian NOC also signed the commitment letter for the United Nations’ “Sports for Climate Action Framework”.

President Bach also received Patrick Vajda, President of the International Federation of Sports Officials (IFSO) and the French Multisport Officials Association (AFCAM), accompanied by IFSO Secretary General Charlotte Girard-Fabre. Together, they discussed the upcoming Olympic Games Paris 2024 and the issue of gender parity among officials at the Games. Now a member of the IOC Athletes’ Entourage Commission, Vajda, a former fencing referee, officiated in the final of the team foil event at the Olympic Games Montreal 1976, which was won by President Bach and his team-mates.

Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images

LA28 is preparing to deliver inspiring Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2028. That was the message delivered to the members of the IOC Coordination Commission - chaired by Nicole Hoevertsz -, who visited the city this week. During the visit, the Organising Committee took the opportunity to update Coordination Commission members on pivotal milestones reached over the last 12 months. This included the Organising Committee confirming the dates for the Olympic (14-30 July) and Paralympic (15-27 August) Games, as well as an update on the progress with the review of potential OCOG-proposed sports, conducted in close partnership with the IOC and the respective International Sports Federations. The Coordination Commission members also visited a number of venues across the city, noting LA28’s plan for no new permanent venues required for the Games. Read the full news release here.

IOC / Philippe Woods

For three days last week at The Olympic Museum in Lausanne, the 13th IOC Advanced Team Physician Course brought together more than 110 participants (including 31 speakers) from 37 countries. This Course is geared towards the practical issues of working with high-level athletes in a team sports setting. The 11th IOC Course on Cardiovascular Evaluation of Olympic Athletes also took place at The Olympic Museum. With more than 44 participants (including 9 speakers) from 22 countries over two days, the Course offered the attending physicians a basic knowledge of cardiovascular evaluation, in line with the protocol suggested by the IOC. Both Courses are organised under the auspices of the IOC Medical and Scientific Commission, which is chaired by Uğur Erdener.

other olympic news
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Yusra Mardini made history as part of the first IOC Refugee Olympic Team, and now her inspirational journey to the Olympic Games Rio 2016 is being celebrated in the movie The Swimmers, which premiered at the 2022 Toronto International Film Festival. The movie has also been chosen to open the Zurich Film Festival on 22 September. Full news release here.

The IOC has opened the nominations for the latest edition of the IOC Coaches Lifetime Achievement Awards. Now a well-established honour after three successful editions, the Awards are an opportunity for coaches who have gone above and beyond in assisting athletes on their Olympic journeys to be celebrated by those they work with. Run by the IOC Athletes’ Entourage Commission, the awards provide a platform to acknowledge coaches’ accomplishments and commitment to the Olympic values. Full news release here.

On 15 September, the IOC announced that applications are now open for the sixth generation of the IOC Young Leaders programme, supported by Worldwide Olympic Partner Panasonic. The programme aims to support young people in the development and implementation of social projects that use sport to solve issues in their communities. Full details here. Furthermore, at the beginning of September, a group of IOC Young Leaders joined other inspirational young people from across the globe at the One Young World Summit, held in Manchester (Great Britain), helping to promote the Olympic values and the power of sport as a global force for good. Full details here.


As the Olympic Movement strives to achieve gender equality at all levels in sport, the under-representation of women among elite coaches poses one of the bigger challenges. WISH – the Women in Sport High-performance pathway programme – is a key element of the IOC’s response. Backed by USD 1 million in Olympic Solidarity funding, WISH is now gaining momentum. Two of four cohorts have already joined the programme, and from 15 to 19 August, 19 coaches from the first cohort gathered at the Institute of Sport at the UK’s University of Hertfordshire for the residential week of their 21-month programme, under the banner of “Empowering Women Coaches”. Read the full news release here

The trailer for ‘The Redeem Team’ documentary reliving Team USA Basketball’s thrilling quest for Beijing 2008 redemption has been released on 13 September, ahead of the documentary’s 7 October launch worldwide exclusively on Netflix.  ‘The Redeem Team’ is the first collaborative feature documentary between the IOC and Netflix. More info here.

International federations

Summer ifs

On 15 September, the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) announced that it had become a signatory of the United Nations Sport for Climate Action Framework. Table tennis is determined to embrace sustainability principles fully and to further include sustainability in all its operations, to be part of the solution to the most pressing challenges of our time. Full details here.

National Olympic committees

Hellenic Olympic Committee

A workshop on "strategic planning for the future of sports" took place at the Hellenic Olympic Committee (HOC) for the sports federation members of the HOC. The workshop was held as part of the RINGS project, of which the HOC is a partner together with 10 other European NOCs.

The RINGS programme aims to develop and modernise the strategic planning of NOCs in Europe and is implemented by the Office of the European Olympic Committees in the European Union. It is co-financed by the European Commission, through the Erasmus+ Sport programme. Full details here.

Saudi Olympic and Paralympic Committee

The Saudi capital of Riyadh recently launched the torch relay for the 2022 Saudi Games, which will be held from 27 October to 7 November. The torch will be travelling 3,500 kilometres across the country for a total of 22 days. The relay’s mission is to promote the positive values of these games and convey peace and friendship to residents and visitors alike throughout its journey. The ceremony was attended by Prince Fahd bin Jalawi bin Abdulaziz bin Musaed, Vice-President of the Saudi Olympic and Paralympic Committee and Director of the Saudi Games, and Princess Dilayl Bint Nahar Al Saud, Deputy Director of the Saudi Games. More info at https://olympic.sa/en.

Spanish NOC

On 13 September, Spanish NOC President Alejandro Blanco was at the headquarters of the National Sports Council (CSD) to sign up for European Week of Sport 2022, a European Commission initiative. Organised simultaneously throughout the European Union from 23 to 30 September, the aim of this Week is to promote physical exercise and healthy lifestyles, to combat inactivity. The activities in Spain will be coordinated by CSD Chair José Manuel Franco. Olympic athletes and European Week of Sport ambassadors Youba Sissokho (boxing) and Laura García-Caro (athletics) were also present. More details here.

Venezuelan NOC

The President of the Venezuelan NOC, María Soto, recently met Cristián Morales Fuhrimann, the representative for the Pan-American Health Organization (PAHO) and World Health Organization (WHO) in Venezuela. The aim of the meeting, as well as strengthening relations between the institutions, was to work together to promote prevention measures against COVID-19 and other illnesses via a vaccination campaign that also promotes healthy lifestyles. The importance of the example set by high-level Venezuelan athletes in this regard was underlined. 

Recognised organisations

The International Pierre de Coubertin Committee (CIPC) has announced that Coubertin’s Olympic Memoirs have now been successfully translated into Hindi and Swahili. The announcement was made on the CIPC website on 2 September, the 85th anniversary of Coubertin’s death. More details here. Coubertin’s Olympic Memoirs have already been translated into Czech, English, German, Japanese, Polish, Russian and Spanish.

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