On 20 May, the final day of the 139th IOC Session was held remotely from Olympic House in Lausanne. IOC President Thomas Bach chaired the meeting, which was attended in person by the IOC Executive Board (EB) members and the IOC Doyen Richard W. Pound. As at every Session, the proceedings were streamed live on YouTube.
Before starting the IOC Session, the IOC Members paid tribute to their colleague, Alex Gilady, who passed away on 13 April after the Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022, in the last year of his term as an IOC Member. President Bach said: “Alex Gilady was a pioneer in so many aspects. Of course, with regard to television and Olympic broadcasting but it is going far beyond. He was always full of ideas, creativity. For his outstanding contributions to the Olympic Movement, the IOC EB has therefore decided to posthumously award Alex Gilady the Olympic Order.”
Addressing the IOC membership, President Bach underlined the impact of the Russian invasion of Ukraine on the world of sport and the Ukrainian Olympic community. He elaborated on the IOC’s actions since the outbreak of war, which have included both protective measures for the integrity of competitions and sanctions against those responsible for the war. He also spoke of the dilemma the entire Olympic Movement has been facing, since it cannot fully live up to its mission to unite the entire world in peaceful competition. He concluded this part of the speech by stating: “Our Olympic mission is not a political mission. Our Olympic mission is a humanitarian mission.”
As part of the opening speech, President Bach passed the floor to Sergii Bubka, IOC Member and President of the NOC of Ukraine, to provide an update on the Olympic community’s support for the humanitarian efforts in Ukraine.
President Bach went on to reflect on the overwhelming response from across the globe to the hosting of the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 and the Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022 in unprecedented circumstances. The President highlighted just some examples of the achievements of the Olympic Agenda 2020+5 recommendations, building on the foundations of Olympic Agenda 2020. He said: “We can look to the future from a position of strength, which was never a foregone conclusion in our uncertain times.” Read the full speech here. Full news release here.
The IOC’s Tokyo 2020 Coordination Commission Chair, John Coates, presented the Commission’s final report. The detailed report analyses how these Games were delivered during a global pandemic. An overview of key achievements, examples of positive impact and an outline of the legacies of the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 are all included in the report. Read some of the highlights here. The 139th IOC Session also looked back at the resounding success of the IOC Refugee Olympic Team at Tokyo 2020. Full news release here.
An interim report on the Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022 highlighting the Games’ success, as well as important updates from Paris 2024 and Milano Cortina 2026, whose preparations are advancing, were also presented to the IOC Session and provided a positive outlook for the Olympic Movement. Full news release here.
The IOC Session elected Olympian Pau Gasol Sáez to the IOC Ethics Commission in his capacity as an IOC Member and representative of the IOC Athletes’ Commission. He will remain in office for four years. Full news release here.
Reaching the age limit at the end of 2022, two long-standing IOC Members, Richard W. Pound and Pál Schmitt, were elected as IOC Honorary Members, with their terms starting on 1 January 2023.
On the topic of human rights, IOC Members were presented with a progress report as an introduction to the key principles of the IOC Human Rights Strategic Framework, which is scheduled to be finalised by September 2022. In line with Olympic Agenda 2020+5, the Framework will cover and provide specific action plans for each of the IOC’s three different spheres of responsibility: the IOC as an organisation, as the owner of the Olympic Games and as the leader of the Olympic Movement. Full news release here.
The IOC published its 2021 Annual Report following its approval by the IOC Members. The Report has as its subtitle Faster, Higher, Stronger – Together, the new Olympic motto which was updated in 2021 to reflect the Olympic Movement’s special focus on solidarity during challenging times. Full news release here.
Also released at the IOC Session, a new report from the IOC, entitled “Over 125 years of Olympic venues: post-Games use”, revealed that 92 per cent of permanent venues used for the Olympic Games in the 21st century, and 85 per cent of all permanent Olympic venues since 1896, remain in use, creating wide-ranging benefits for residents in Olympic host cities and regions. Full news release here.
Ahead of the IOC Session, the IOC President chaired the meeting of the IOC Executive Board (EB), which was held in hybrid format on 18 and 19 May. The EB discussed the next editions of the Olympic Games as well as several Olympic institutional issues.
With regard to the Olympic Games Los Angeles 2028, the EB has approved the sports programme evaluation criteria that will be used to review each sport’s disciplines and potential new sports for the Games. Full news release here.
Following the disqualification of a number of athletes and the results of their events being adjusted accordingly by the IFs involved, the EB has decided to reallocate medals, diplomas and medallist pins in events in biathlon and athletics from the Olympic Games Sochi 2014 and Tokyo 2020. Full news release here.
At Olympic House, President Bach spoke with IOC Member Watanabe Morinari, also President of the International Gymnastics Federation (FIG). The two men discussed various Olympic topics including the upcoming Olympic Games Paris 2024 and the IOC Boxing Working Group chaired by Watanabe.
Also at Olympic House, the IOC President welcomed the President of the NOC of Kazakhstan, Timur Kulibayev, who was accompanied by the NOC Secretary General, Andrey Kryukov. They discussed a range of Olympic topics, including Kazak athletes’ preparations for the Olympic Games Paris 2024 and the Winter Youth Olympic Games Gangwon 2024 and the current international situation.
The IOC President had a telephone conversation with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi. They discussed the Olympic Refuge Foundation (ORF) and several topical matters.
President Bach held meetings with IOC Doyen Richard W. Pound and a number of EB members.
Ioc honorary members
IOC Honorary Member Habu Gumel, who is also President of the Nigerian Olympic Committee, joins a group of distinguished foreign personalities to be honoured by Emperor Naruhito and the Government of Japan with one of the most prestigious imperial decorations: The Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Neck Ribbon. He is receiving this distinction in recognition of his contribution to promoting bilateral cooperation between Japan and Nigeria and the Olympic family through sport.
Other Olympic news
The IOC is strengthening support to the athlete community worldwide. The IOC Athletes’ Department has finalised its structure and is delivering on its mission to strengthen the rights and responsibilities of athletes, as a direct result of the Olympic Agenda 2020+5 recommendations. Led by Beijing 2008 Olympian Kaveh Mehrabi, a former international badminton player, the IOC Athletes’ Department will now operate across four key pillars: support and partnerships; relations; community engagement; and athlete communications and digital activations. Read the full news release here.
The World Rowing Executive Committee and the Organising Committee for the 2022 World Rowing Championships in Račice (Czech Republic) have now confirmed that the event can take place from 18 to 25 September 2022. In line with World Rowing guidance and that of the local public health authorities, the Organising Committee will prepare a COVID-19 Response Plan which will be published online. Full info here.
United World Wrestling (UWW) hosted a Referees and Coaches Course in Kochani, a city east of Skopje, the capital of North Macedonia, from 2 to 9 May (see photo). North Macedonia will now implement a dedicated programme for women's wrestling, which is a significant part of UWW's 2022-2026 strategy. The programme will contribute to the next stage of national training camps dedicated to women's wrestling in Macedonia. Full details here. UWW also organised technical courses for coaches and referees from 7 to 14 May in Hanoi (Vietnam) prior to the Southeast Asian Games. A total of 55 coaches and referees from Cambodia, Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam attended the training. An anti-doping workshop was also delivered by the Vietnam Anti-Doping & Sports Medicine Centre. Full info here.
The International Swimming Federation (FINA) has announced that Melbourne (Australia) will host the 2022 FINA World Swimming Championships (25m) from 13 to 18 December 2022. It will be the first time that Melbourne has hosted this event, with the state-of-the-art Melbourne Sports and Aquatic Centre to serve as the host site. More details here.
On 17 May, the International Tennis Federation (ITF) and the IOC published the details of the Qualification System for the Olympic Tennis Event at the Olympic Games Paris 2024. Full details can be found here.
On 18 May, World Sailing launched its dedicated Paris 2024 Olympic Sailing Competition website with just 800 days to go to the Olympic Games Paris 2024. The new website will be the central hub for the latest news and official information for fans, sailors and officials in the run-up to the Games. Sailing will take place in Marseille on the shores of the Mediterranean between 28 July and 8 August, and will feature kiteboarding for the first time, following its successful Olympic debut at the Youth Olympic Games Buenos Aires 2018. Full info here.
A record 10 nations are set to feature in the first-ever Baseball5 African Championship, which will be staged in Tanzania from 23 to 26 May. A 29-game schedule has been unveiled for the unprecedented event, which is the first-ever continental championship tournament in recent history for either baseball or softball on the African continent. More details here on the website of the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC).
National Olympic Committees
The President of the Albanian NOC, Fidel Ylli, welcomed a group of eight Ukrainian athletes to the NOC headquarters. These athletes are staying for more than a month in Albania and are continuing their training in the city of Elbasa. The athletes and their coaches were accompanied by the Ukrainian Ambassador to Albania, Volodymyr Shukrov, representatives of the Albanian Athletics Federation, and two NOC Executive Board members. At the end of the meeting, the NOC President and the Ukrainian Ambassador exchanged souvenirs before joining everyone for a lunch, which the President of the Ukrainian NOC and IOC Member Sergii Bubka joined remotely. Info at www.nocalbania.org.al.
The Brazilian Olympic Committee (BOC) has officially established a Women in Sport Commission. The initiative aims to foster women's participation and boost gender equality, as well as aiding the establishment of policies that provide for the promotion and qualification of women in sport. The first meeting was held on 16 May at the NOC headquarters (see photo). More details here. In addition, the BOC has announced Gustavo Herbetta as its Director of Marketing. Forty-five-year-old Herbetta worked for 15 years in the publicity sector in Brazil and the United States in leadership positions in large multinational communications companies, and has been working for the past 10 years exclusively in sports marketing. Full info here.
The Women and Sport Commission of the NOC of the Dominican Republic, chaired by Dulce María Piña, recently organised a seminar on gender equality in sport. The participants included IOC Vice-President Nicole Hoevertsz; Panamerican Sports Organisation (Panam Sports) President and IOC Member Neven Ilic; and Panam Sports Women and Sport Commission Chair Alicia Morea. The seminar was organised under the auspices of Olympic Solidarity and coordinated by Panam Sports. More info here. During this seminar, a ceremony was held to present the judo (-57kg category) gold medal from the Lima 2019 Panamerican Games to judoka Ana Rosa. This medal was reallocated to her following the disqualification of Brazil’s Rafaela Silva for doping. More details here.
David Ross has been appointed as the new independent Chair of the British Olympic Foundation (BOF), the charitable arm of the British Olympic Association (BOA). Ross, aged 56, will replace the outgoing Chair, Neil Townshend. Having served on the BOA Board as a non-executive Director for 10 years between 2011-2021, Ross is currently a serving Board member at the British Paralympic Association. More details here.
The NOC of Portugal has released a paper entitled “Priority areas and general recommendations for Portuguese sport”. Published in English, the document covers several case studies and sports policies from several European countries, along with one-to-one interviews with experts and key stakeholders. The study’s general recommendations aim to encourage all stakeholders to reflect on the present and future of sport in Portugal, after analysing other European countries’ systems and solutions. More details here.
Diane Henderson became the first female President of the Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee (TTOC) at the NOC’s first virtual election held a few weeks ago. An experienced sports administrator, she has contributed significantly to sports governance, athlete welfare, strategic planning and sports mediation. As Chair of the Women in Sport Commission, she has been a key proponent of the continued push for education in sport in Trinidad and Tobago. She was the first female on the Executive Board of the National Association of Athletics Administrations (NAAA), paving the way for a succession of female executive members who contributed to its progress, and has been an integral member of, and instrumental in several aspects of development at, the TTOC. Full details here.
Organising Committees for the Olympic Games
At the Change Now Summit 2022, the President of the Olympic and Paralympic Games Paris 2024 Organising Committee, Tony Estanguet, presented the Committee’s catering strategy for the Games. The scale of the ambition is equal to the challenge at hand, with 13 million meals to be served during the Olympic and Paralympic Games and strong commitments that will guide their preparation. The Paris 2024 Organising Committee has worked with relevant stakeholders (from the agricultural and catering sectors, NGOs, experts, nutritionists, partners, athletes, chefs, etc.) to enhance French expertise and promote social and environmental practices that are more sustainable during the Games. Full news release here.
Through its National Paralympic Committee Development Programme (NPCDP), the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) is making EUR 1 million worth of grant funding available to nearly 130 National Paralympic Committees (NPCs) for sport and organisational development. Designed to enhance the Paralympic Movement’s growth and sustainability, NPCDP funding has been made available since 2017 thanks to significant support from the Worldwide Paralympic Partnership with Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC). Full news release here.
The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA)’s Executive Committee and Foundation Board met in a hybrid format in Cairo (Egypt) on 18 and 19 May, respectively. During its meeting, the WADA Foundation Board unanimously approved the final round of governance reforms (news release here) and selected Busan (Republic of Korea) as the host city for the sixth World Conference on Doping in Sport, which will take place in November 2025 (info here). In addition, the WADA and the Fonds de recherche du Québec (FRQ) recently renewed their memorandum of understanding. Over the past five years, the two organisations have successfully collaborated on a number of projects, particularly in connection with the use of artificial intelligence and the development of biomarkers of doping. Full news release here. WADA has also published its 2021 Code Compliance Annual Report. More info here.