Olympic Highlights 22/02/2021

22 Feb 2021



Following the appointment of Hashimoto Seiko as Tokyo 2020 President, the IOC issued the following statement.

“The IOC warmly welcomes the decision of the Tokyo 2020 Executive Board to appoint seven-time Olympian Hashimoto Seiko as the new President of the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee. She was until today the Minister for the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games, Minister in charge of Women's Empowerment and Minister of State for Gender Equality in the Government of Japan.

IOC President Thomas Bach said: “My heartfelt congratulations go to my fellow Olympian Hashimoto Seiko on her appointment as President of the Organising Committee Tokyo 2020. With her great Olympic experience, having won a medal, participated in seven editions of the Olympic Games and the Olympic Winter Games, and having led Japan’s delegation to the Olympic Games multiple times, she is the perfect choice for this position. She will ensure that the focus in the final months of preparation remains on the athletes’ experience while planning all the necessary COVID-19 countermeasures.

“Hashimoto Seiko can draw on her rich political experience as a Minister and many other political functions. This will help to deliver safe and successful Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020 in partnership between the Organising Committee, the Government of Japan, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government and the IOC.

“With the appointment of a woman as President, the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee is also sending a very important signal with regard to gender equality, which is one of the topics we addressed in Olympic Agenda 2020, the reform programme for the IOC and the Olympic Movement. We stand ready to support the OCOG and other organisations in their desired aims within their spheres of responsibility.”

John Coates, the Chair of the IOC Coordination Commission Tokyo 2020, said: “We have been working closely together ever since Hashimoto Seiko was appointed as Olympic and Paralympic Games Minister. I am looking forward to extending our collaboration even further. The Organising Committee will benefit from her Olympic as well as her political experience.”

The IOC remains as committed as ever to the safe and successful delivery of the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020. We are strengthened in this by the unwavering commitment of the Japanese Government, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, the Japanese Olympic Committee and the Organising Committee.”

President Bach was kept informed of the appointment process for the new Tokyo 2020 President during a telephone call with the two IOC members in Japan, Watanabe Morinari and Yamashita Yasuhiro, in which IOC Vice-President and Chair of the IOC Coordination Commission Tokyo 2020, John Coates also took part.

President Bach congratulated Marukawa Tamayo for her appointment as the new Minister for the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020, succeeding Hashimoto Seiko. “Building on our fruitful cooperation that we enjoyed during your previous term as Olympic Minister, I am full of confidence that working together in close partnership, we will deliver safe and successful Olympic and Paralympic Olympic Games Tokyo 2020. […] We are looking forward to joining forces with you once again to make the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 into a celebration of solidarity, resilience and unity of humankind in all our diversity.”

IOC President Thomas Bach has thanked the G7 for their strong support for the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020 in the communique following the meeting of G7 Leaders on 19 February.

The communique issued at the end of the virtual meeting of G7 Leaders supports the “commitment of Japan to hold the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020 in a safe and secure manner this summer as a symbol of global unity in overcoming COVID-19”.

Welcoming the statement, President Bach said: “We welcome the message of support from the G7 Leaders for the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020, to be held this summer. At the IOC, we are very grateful for this strong signal of confidence and encouragement. This will inspire us to reinforce even further our efforts, together with the Japanese government and the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee, to organise these Olympic and Paralympic Games in a safe and secure way for all the participants.”

Today’s statement follows similar support from the G20 Leaders’ Summit in November, when the leaders gave their backing to the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020 and the Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022.

IOC / Greg Martin

Olympic Refuge Foundation (ORF) Chair and IOC President Thomas Bach, and Roxana Maracineanu, the French Minister for Sport, signed an agreement in Lausanne on Monday 15 February confirming France’s financial support for the work of the ORF. “This agreement will enable the ORF to achieve its goal of expanding into urban areas and in this way reach not only refugees and migrants, but also their host communities building solidarity,” said President Bach. “I would like to thank in particular President Emmanuel Macron, who was the initiator of this support for the Olympic Refuge Foundation on the French side, and his government.”

Roxana Maracineanu said: “I am convinced that sport is a powerful tool for integration and emancipation,” and “I’m also proud that, looking ahead to Paris 2024, the French government is working hand-in-hand with the IOC’s Foundation to support – through sport – migrants and refugees hosted in our country.” Read here the full news release.

During their meeting, the IOC President and the French Minister also talked about the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 and Paris 2024 as well as the European sports model. Pierre-Olivier Beckers-Vieujant, who chairs the IOC Coordination Commission for the 2024 Games in Paris, also attended the meeting.

The IOC President had a courtesy call with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Korea, Chung Eui-yong, who was Special Advisor to the Korean President for Foreign Affairs and Director of National Security. They had previously met on several occasions in connection with the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018 and the participation of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea in those Games.

At the invitation of the George Washington University Sports Business Association in Washington DC. (USA), President Thomas Bach took part virtually in the Sports Industry Networking & Career Conference, SINC2021. During a Q& A session, he spoke to 300 participants about the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, Olympic Agenda 2020+5 and leadership. The session was moderated by three-time Olympic medallist in bobsleigh, Elena Meyers-Taylor, who is also an Alumni of the George Washington University.

President Bach also discussed a number of Olympic topics with IOC member Pierre-Olivier Beckers-Vieujant.

In addition, the President addressed the IOC Olympic Programme Commission, chaired by IOC member Karl Stoss, which met remotely.


The IOC Executive Board (EB) has proposed a new strategic roadmap, Olympic Agenda 2020+5, to the upcoming IOC Session. It consists of 15 recommendations. The new roadmap follows Olympic Agenda 2020 and will guide the work of the IOC and the Olympic Movement for the next five years. Olympic Agenda 2020+5 will be submitted to the IOC Members for discussion and adoption at the 137th IOC Session in March this year. The 15 recommendations have been developed though an inclusive and collaborative process. They are based on key trends that have been identified as likely to be decisive in the post-coronavirus world. They are also areas where sport and the values of Olympism can play a key role in turning challenges into opportunities.

The IOC EB has also finalised the Closing Report of Olympic Agenda 2020. This report describes in detail each of the 40 recommendations of Olympic Agenda 2020, the different activities carried out to implement them, and their impacts on the IOC and the Olympic Movement. The EB concluded that 88 per cent of the recommendations have now been achieved. This represents a slight increase from December 2020, when the EB determined that 85 per cent had been achieved. This increase demonstrates that Olympic Agenda 2020 is an ongoing process. The changes it introduced are continuing to evolve and will carry on having an impact going forward.

The Closing Report of Olympic Agenda 2020 will also be submitted to the IOC Session in March for final approval. Read the full news release here.

Other Olympic news

The IOC has received the World Anti-Doping Agency’s independent Compliance Review Committee’s confirmation that the implementation guidelines for the Court of Arbitration for Sport’s decision regarding the Russian Anti-Doping Agency will not lead to non-compliance procedures if fully applied. Read the full news release here.

international federations

summer ifs

On 12 February, during its first meeting of 2021, by video conference, the Executive Committee of the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) announced that the Latvian Basketball Association will host the FIBA U19 Basketball World Cup 2021. The event will take place from 3 to 11 July in the cities of Riga and Daugavpils. Status reports were presented on preparations for the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournaments tipping off on 29 June in Canada, Croatia, Lithuania and Serbia, and the upcoming Olympic Games Tokyo 2020. The Committee also confirmed that the FIBA Mid-Term Congress will take place virtually on 3 June 2021. More details here.

The International Swimming Federation (FINA) has announced the upcoming launch of its brand new website. With this major digital reform, an emphasis has been put on the personal user experience so that accessibility to basic content such as results, scores and rankings is facilitated. In addition, several innovations will be available such as full revised interface usability compatible with any device and screen; plus results and athlete sections completely revamped with more data and information available. More at www.fina.org.

At the start of February, World Sailing's Council approved the appointments to the Committees and Commissions for 2021-2024. The members of World Sailing's Committees and Commissions are experts in their fields, and include internationally renowned sailors, officials, coaches and administrators. Click here for more details.

national olympic committees
NOC of Kazakhstan

Andrey Kryukov, the Secretary General of the NOC of Kazakhstan, recently met International Skiing Federation (FIS) Freestyle Moguls and Aerials Race Director Andrea Rinaldi. They discussed the organisation of the upcoming Moguls and Aerials World Championships 2021, which will be held from 8 to 11 March in Almaty, just before the World Cup Finals on 13 and 14 March, also in Almaty. The preparation of the Kazakhstan national team for the Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022, as well as the possibility of involving world-leading experts in the training of teams as consultants were also discussed. More details on www.olympic.kz/en.

On 17 February, the Moroccan NOC’s Digital Olympic Academy organised a videoconference on “High-level sport: Study and analysis, advantages and limitations of the different models”. In addition, on 6 February, the NOC broadcast the first episode of the “Words of Champions” programme, featuring Olympic rider Abdelkebir Ouaddar. More details on www.cnom.org.ma.

NOC of Mongolia

On the occasion of its 65th anniversary, the NOC of Mongolia welcomed all the surviving Presidents at Olympic House (photo). The current NOC President, Naidan Tuvshinbayar, thanked them for their great contribution to the creation, development and strengthening of the Olympic Movement in Mongolia. Former NOC Presidents Shagdarjav Magvan, also an IOC Honorary Member, G. Dashzeveg, S. Jamts and Demchigjav Zagdsuren attended the meeting, which was widely covered by local media. Also present was D. Baatar, son of E. Darisuren, the NOC’s founding President. Since its creation in 1956, there have been 12 NOC Presidents, and Team Mongolia has competed at 27 editions of Winter and Summer Olympic Games since 1964, capturing 26 Olympic medals.

Spanish NOC

The Ministry of Ecological Transition and Demographic Challenges (MITECO), the Ministry of Culture and Sport and the Spanish NOC have strengthened their collaboration with the signing of an agreement on the environment and sustainability in sport. The objective of this agreement is to promote collaboration on environmental and social sustainability and the dissemination of the values of Olympism, thus contributing to the implementation of a model of ecological transition in the sports sector in Spain, as well as greater social awareness with regard to sustainability. The agreement was signed by the Minister for Ecological Transition and Demographic Challenges, Teresa Ribera; the Minister for Culture and Sport, José Manuel Rodríguez Uribes; and the NOC President, Alejandro Blanco (see photo). More details here..

Venezuelan NOC

The headquarters of the Venezuelan NOC recently hosted the international sports management diploma presentation ceremony, the culmination of eight months of training for the graduates (pictured above). The NOC organised this training in collaboration with the University College of Administration and Marketing (CUAM). After the ceremony, the participants attended the opening of the Olympic Gallery, with the three floors of the NOC headquarters displaying photographs taken by Edison Gámez during the Olympic Games Beijing 2008, London 2012 and Rio de Janeiro 2016. More details here.

Recognised organisations


On 13 February, the curtain came down on the Vuokatti 2021 Virtual Week, organised by the European Young Olympic Ambassadors (EYOA). This consisted of a series of online activities for athletes between 6 and 13 February, the original dates of the 15th European Youth Olympic Festival. The activities will now continue throughout the year until the Ambassadors travel to Vuokatti in December 2021, where they will engage with the athletes on site. More details here on the European Olympic Committees (EOC) website.

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has launched its 2021 series of athlete-led webinars for athletes, which is an initiative started last year by WADA’s Athlete Committee that enables interactive engagement by the Agency with athletes worldwide. The first webinar of the series, titled 2021 COVID-19 and Clean Sport Update, will be held on 25 February, and will focus on the impact of COVID-19 on athletes and the anti-doping system. More info here. In addition, the WADA has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the European Union Agency for Law Enforcement (Europol). With intelligence and investigations increasingly becoming key tools in the protection of clean sport around the world, this MOU will enhance the cooperative relationship between WADA’s independent Intelligence and Investigations Department and Europol, with the aim of combatting the illegal production and distribution of doping substances within the European Union. The MOU is similar to the one that has been in place between WADA and INTERPOL since 2009. Read more details here.

Olympic News Olympic Highlights IOC News
back to top