Olympic Highlights 23/11/2022

IOC ACTIVITIES

PRESIDENT

Last week, IOC President Thomas Bach was in Bali, Indonesia, to address the G20 leaders at the Summit. He then flew to Doha, Qatar, to attend the opening of the FIFA World Cup.

At the end of the Summit, the G20 Chair and President of the Republic of Indonesia, Joko Widodo, emphasised in a statement the unifying power of the Olympic and Paralympic Games and expressed his support for the political neutrality of sport: “As Chair of the G20 Summit, and together with other G20 leaders, I underscored the importance of sport for health, and its power to unite the world, especially in the current global situation”. He added: “the success of the next Olympic and Paralympic Games will highlight the importance of preserving global neutrality in international sporting events and governing bodies.” For the IOC President, "this support is of invaluable importance in these very divisive times, and particularly coming from the Chair of the G20 Summit.” Full news release  here.

IOC/ Greg Martin

The French President, Emmanuel Macron, also made clear his strong support for the political neutrality of sport, the Olympic Games and particularly the upcoming Olympic Games Paris 2024.  "I don't know in which context the Olympic Games that we will organise in France [in 2024] will take place on the geopolitical level," Macron said. "But these major events are meant to allow athletes from all countries, sometimes including countries at war, to bring sport to life. And also to find, through sport, ways of talking to each other when people can no longer do so. I think that should be preserved,” he said.

IOC/ Greg Martin

Earlier, in his address at the G20 Summit, the IOC President made an appeal to the world leaders to support the political neutrality of sport. He told them that the fundamental goal of the Olympic and Paralympic Games was “bringing the whole world together in peaceful competition, without any discrimination whatsoever”. However, he noted that the war in Ukraine has affected the Olympic Movement in a unique way, before adding that, in an increasingly polarised world: “If sport becomes – in this way – just another tool to achieve political goals, international sport will fall apart. Olympic sport needs the participation of all athletes who accept the rules, even and especially if their countries are in confrontation or at war. A competition between athletes from only like-minded states is not a credible symbol of peace,” he said.  He concluded his address to the world’s leaders gathered at the G20 Summit: “I reiterate the call to you, the world leaders, that I made already at the Opening and Closing Ceremonies of the Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022: Give peace a chance!” Full speech here and full news release here.

In Bali, the IOC President had the opportunity to meet most of the Heads of State and Government present at the G20 Summit, as well as the UN Secretary-General, António Guterres, and the Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund, Kristalina Georgieva.

In a meeting with the Director General of the World Health Organization, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, health was a major topic of the G20 Summit. During the week, WHO and the IOC further strengthened their close working relationship (see also under “Other Olympic News”). 

IOC/ Greg Martin

The President concluded his stay in Bali by taking part in a press conference, with IOC Member Erick Thohir and the Indonesian Minister of Youth and Sport, Zainudin Amali.

Throughout his visit in Bali, the IOC President was accompanied by IOC Member in Indonesia Erick Thohir, who is also the Minister of State-Owned Enterprises, and by the Indonesian NOC President, Raja Sapta Oktohari.

From Bali, President Bach went to Doha, Qatar, to attend the Opening of the FIFA World Cup. The President met the Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin  Hamad Al Thani, who is also an IOC Member. They spoke about the tense geopolitical situation and its impact on sport and other issues of mutual interest.

In Doha, President Bach also held a meeting with the President of the Qatar Olympic Committee, Sheikh Joaan Bin Hamad Bin Khalifa Al Thani. They discussed a range of Olympic topics.  

MEMBERS
Getty Images

IOC Executive Board member and Deputy Chair of the IOC’s Gender Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Commission Prince Feisal Al Hussein represented the IOC at the 8th International Working Group (IWG) World Conference on Women and Sport, held in New Zealand from 14 to 17 November. Speaking at the opening of the Conference, Prince Feisal called on sports organisations to do more to fight harassment and abuse in sport. “We have to ensure as an organisation, as National Olympic Committees, International Federations, clubs, that our environment is safe for our children,” he said. “We know it is a tough fight, we know it is a long fight. But it is a worthwhile fight,” he added. The IWG on Women and Sport is the world’s largest network for gender equity and equality in sport. Full news release here. (See also under ‘Other Olympic News’)

OTHER OLYMPIC NEWS

On 16 November, the IOC confirmed that its inaugural Olympic Esports Week will take place in Singapore between 22 and 25 June 2023. The announcement marks the next major step in supporting the development of virtual sports within the Olympic Movement and engaging further with competitive gamers. In partnership with the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth, Sport Singapore and the Singapore NOC (SNOC), the Olympic Esports Week will showcase the best of virtual sports – hybrid physical and simulated sports – with the four-day festival, including exhibiting the latest technologies, panel discussions, education sessions and show matches. Read the full news release here.

The 8th International Working Group (IWG) World Conference on Women and Sport closed with 11 young women taking the stage to deliver a call to action, reflecting on the wealth of interactive workshops, panel discussions and inspiring leader speeches on diversity, policy, investment, youth, male allyship, safeguarding, climate change, portrayal, inclusion and more. “We need to work holistically – together – if we want to bring about the necessary change in sport to ensure the inclusion of women in all their diversity,” observed Lydia Nsekera, Chair of the IOC’s Commission on Gender Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, and an IOC Member. This year’s Conference, which took place from 14 to 17 November in Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland, Aotearoa New Zealand, saw some 1,200 attendees and a further 500 online getting inspired and sometimes challenged by more than 220 sessions delivered by nearly 500 international presenters, both in person and virtually. Read the full news release here.

A recent World Health Organization (WHO) report shows that 81 per cent of adolescents and 27.5 per cent of adults are not undertaking sufficient physical activity. In response to the situation, a new joint programme between the IOC and WHO aims to strengthen the role of sport in contributing to the global target of a 15 per cent reduction in physical inactivity by 2030 and fostering healthy and active lives. The three-year programme is informed by the WHO landmark Global Action Plan on Physical Activity (GAPPA) 2018-2030 and the IOC’s Olympism 365 strategy. Read the full news release here.

As part of the ninth edition of the Advanced Olympic Research Grant Programme, the Olympic Studies Centre (OSC) has selected seven research projects, underlining their academic quality and significance with respect to the priority fields of research identified by the IOC. Find out more info about the 2022/2023 Advanced Olympic Research Grant winners and their projects here.

The Official Film of the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 “Side B”, by acclaimed Japanese director Naomi Kawase, has been selected for the International Film Festival of Rotterdam (IFFR). The second part of the film will have its world premiere from 25 January to 5 February 2023 at this important cinematic event in the Netherlands. “While Side A of the film focuses on the athletes and the new sports that made their debut at Tokyo 2020, Side B showcases how the Olympics were held during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Kawase. The first part, “Side A”, had its world premiere in May this year, at the prestigious Cannes Festival. Read the full news release here.

INTERNATIONAL FEDERATIONS

SUMMER IFS
UCI

The inaugural Certificate of Advanced Studies (CAS) in cycling coaching got under way mid-November at the UCI World Cycling Centre (WCC) in Aigle, Switzerland. The cutting-edge course is organised and run by the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI), its WCC and the University of Lausanne (UNIL). It is tailored for experienced coaches who already have a university degree in sports sciences or the UCI WCC Level 3 coaching certificate. The 18 participants – 10 of whom are funded by Olympic Solidarity – come from 14 countries. The course is also part of the UCI WCC’s partnership with UNIL signed in 2021. Full details here. In addition, the UCI Climate Action Charter has been signed by 80 of cycling’s stakeholders. UCI WorldTeams, UCI Women’s WorldTeams, National Federations and major event organisers are among the signatories. The Charter, adopted by the UCI Management Committee in September, provides an opportunity for organisations operating within the sport to publicly commit to reducing cycling’s environmental impacts, advancing the UN Sustainable Development Goals and promoting everyday cycling. More info here.

The International Swimming Federation (FINA) has released the FINA Open Water Tour 2023 calendar. The 2023 edition will feature six events, with the annual series complementing the open water swimming at the 20th FINA World Championships, Fukuoka 2023. Discover the full schedule here.

UIPM

Klaus Schormann (photo) won a vote of no confidence in his position as President of the Union Internationale de Pentathlon Moderne (UIPM) during the UIPM 2022 Congress held online on 12 and 13 November. After the adoption of the obstacle discipline in its Statutes and Competition Rules, the UIPM will continue to review its sport to work towards inclusion in the Olympic Games Los Angeles 2028. The introduction of term limits for office-bearers starting on 1 January  2025 was also approved, while several competitions were awarded for 2023/2024, and the winners of the UIPM 2022 Annual Awards were announced. Full details here.

The International Tennis Federation (ITF) is introducing new provisions to its constitution that will ensure greater gender balance across the leadership of global tennis. During the ITF General Meeting held in Glasgow (Great Britain), the ITF member national associations approved the amendment of the ITF constitution to introduce minimum gender representation requirements on the ITF Board of Directors. The constitutional reforms will become effective from 2027. Full details here.

The International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) has announced the 10 athletes elected to the  ITTF Athletes’ Commission by their peers. They will serve a four-year term. The elections were held between 7 to 13 November. The number of voters increased by 18 per cent compared with the election held in 2018, while participation of para-athletes almost tripled. During the forthcoming ITTF Summit in December in Amman, Jordan, the Commission members will elect two chairs to sit on the ITTF Executive Committee. For the first time, the two chairs will be one man and one woman to ensure gender parity. Full details here.

ISA / Sean Evans

At the International Surfing Association (ISA) Annual General Meeting, Fernando Aguerre (photo) was re-elected as ISA President. He was first elected as President in 1994. In addition, the AGM approved four new ISA Member Federations from Egypt, Mauritius, Mozambique and Saudi Arabia, bringing the total ISA membership to 113. Updates were also given in key governance areas, including gender equality, athlete development and ISA membership support. Full info here.

NATIONAL OLYMPIC COMMITTEES

NOC of Argentina

The 9th edition of the advanced sports management course organised by the NOC of Argentina, under the auspices of Olympic Solidarity, has just come to an end. Over the nine months of training, the participants developed and presented case studies, shared their experiences, studied the academic material proposed, analysed their own institutions, and found innovative solutions to the problems they face in sports management on a daily basis. More details here.

Brazil Olympic Committee

“Creativity creates culture. Culture shapes values. Values determine the future.” With this motto, the Brazil Olympic Committee (COB) promoted “Esporte Cria,” an event presented to almost 1,000 teenagers from 24 schools in the State of Rio de Janeiro. The aim was to show that it is possible to work in sport without being an athlete or coach. During his opening speech, COB President Paulo Wanderley shared details of his own career. The event is an initiative of Transforma, the COB’s Olympic values promotion programme, in partnership with the Rio de Janeiro State Department of Education. Full details here.

Cape Verdean Olympic Committee

The Cape Verdean Olympic Committee (COC) hosted the President of the Republic of Cape Verde, José Maria Neves, at its headquarters in Praia on 15 November. There were meetings with the NOC President and IOC Member, Filomena Maria Fortes, and other NOC officials, plus the heads of the member federations. During his visit, the President highlighted the evolution of Olympism in the country from the NOC’s creation in 1989 until today, and stressed the importance of incorporating the good practices of Olympism into Cape Verdean society. More details here. In addition, the Cape Verdean NOC, in partnership with the international organisation Fight for Peace, will bring together the Cape Verdean federations of combat sports and martial arts, namely boxing, judo, taekwondo and karate, in a joint project aimed at preventing violence and crime, mainly in the city of Praia. The project, entitled Life Champions, is already open for registration and will provide a network of 25 trainers who will work with young people. The memorandum of understanding with the federations was signed on 11 November. More info at www.coc.cv.

Colombian NOC

The Colombian NOC has been honoured by the Colombian Motor Sport Federation (Fedeautos), in recognition of its constant support and contribution to the development and future of motor sport. A ceremony organised in Bogota as part of Fedeautos’ 50th anniversary brought together numerous sports leaders, current and retired drivers, and journalists. More details here.

NOC of the Dominican Republic

The general assembly of Dominican sports federations approved the financial report from the NOC of the Dominican Republic by a large majority. At a meeting at the NOC headquarters on 14 November, the annual report presented by NOC President Antonio Acosta was also approved, and the delegates present reappointed José Cordero as auditor for the next 12 months. More details here.

Olympic Committee of Israel

The Olympic Committee of Israel organised two events on 8 November. In the morning, the 5th annual innovation and sports conference, “Sports Tech Nation 2022”, was held in Tel Aviv. The NOC along with its strategic partners (Technion Institute of Technology, the Weizmann Institute of Science and Levinsky-Wingate Academic Centre) led a unique session focusing on themes such as genetics, biomechanics, the biological clock and elite sports, with seven women and seven men taking part. In the afternoon, the 2nd Directors Forum, a joint initiative of the NOC and “Athena - the Centre for Promoting Women’s Sports in Israel”, was held at Ono Academic College. The Forum aims to connect female and male sports directors with the business world, while providing practical tools for their integration into management levels and accelerating the echelon of senior managers to take leadership positions in the world of sports. This year, the main topic was innovation in marketing as a management tool, which was attended by 55 directors, including the NOC President, Yael Arad. More info at www.olympicsil.co.il.

Vytautas Dranginis

For the eighth year, the NOC of Lithuania (LNOC) and the Lithuanian Olympic Fund organised a Sports Film Festival. From 3 to 10 November, seven films were screened in Vilnius. Alongside LNOC President and IOC Member Daina Gudzinevičiūtė, who is also an Olympian (photo), many Olympic athletes attended the opening ceremony. The Festival opened with Visions of Eight, a film dedicated to the Olympic Games Munich 1972, which was screened at the Cannes Film Festival this year. Also present at the screening were the Israeli Ambassador to Lithuania, Hadas Wittenberg Silverstein, and Lithuanian Olympic athletes who took part in Munich 1972, including swimmer Birutė Užkuraitytė-Statkevičienė and track-and-field athlete Rimantas Plungė. More info at www.ltok.lt.

Oman Olympic Committee

The Oman Olympic Committee headquarters in Muscat was the setting for an Olympic Solidarity course for handball coaches at the end of October. The course was organised by the Oman Handball Federation in cooperation with the NOC, supported by the IOC and conducted under the supervision of the International Handball Federation (IHF). The course covered theory-based and practical lectures on topics such as athlete safeguarding, sustainability, prevention of injuries, first aid/CPR, nutrition and strength training. A total of 18 participants successfully passed the course, receiving an IHF C Licence certificate. Those 18 participants were part of a wider group of 25 people who attended the course, with the other attendees receiving participation certificates. More info at www.ooc.om.

Saudi Olympic and Paralympic Committee

The Saudi Olympic and Paralympic Committee (SOPC) recently signed the United Nations Sports for Climate Action Framework at the Saudi Green Initiative (SGI), a Forum held in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt. Prince Fahad Bin Jalawi signed up to the protocol on behalf of Prince Abdulaziz bin Turki Al-Faisal, SOPC President. The SGI Forum addressed the climate challenges in Saudi Arabia and the plans and achievements of 39 Saudi stakeholders in order to achieve the goals of SGI and 2030 vision. More details here.

Spanish NOC

On 17 November, the headquarters of the Spanish NOC in Madrid hosted the first International Olympic Journalism Congress, which was attended by media representatives, photographers, press agencies, communications directors from Spanish sports federations, athletes and journalism students. The Congress was organised by the NOC in collaboration with the National Sports Council, and among other topics looked at coverage of the Olympic Games with IOC experts and representatives in a series of presentations and round tables. Full details here.

ORGANISING COMMITTEES FOR THE OLYMPIC GAMES

PARIS 2024
Paris 2024

With just over 600 days until the Olympic Games Paris 2024 begin, the official mascots were revealed by the Organising Committee on 14 November. Called “The Phryges” [pronounced free-jes], the tribe of mascots are named after the iconic French hats. Their design is an evolution of this unique piece of cultural heritage which, throughout history, has symbolised freedom. Led by one Olympic and one Paralympic Phrygian, the tribe of mascots will be central to Paris 2024’s vision to change lives by leading a revolution through sport. Their mission is to demonstrate to the world that sport can change everything and that it deserves to have a central role in society. More details about how the Phrygian caps were brought to life through these mascots, the design process and other influences in their creation can be found on the Paris 2024 website. Read the full news release here.

RECOGNISED ORGANISATIONS

ICMG

During the Extraordinary General Assembly of the International Committee of Mediterranean Games (ICMG), Slovenian gymnast Sašo Bertoncelj (photo) was elected as the new Chair of the ICGM Athletes’ Commission. More info here about the ICMG Assembly held on 11 and 12 November in the Italian city of Taranto, host city of the 2026 Mediterranean Games.

WADA

The Executive Committee and the Foundation Board of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) met in a hybrid format – both virtually and in person – in Montreal, Canada, on 17 and 18 November, respectively. The Foundation Board re-elected the President, Witold Bańka, and Vice-President Yang Yang (photo) for a second and final three-year term (details here). Read here the other major decisions taken by the Executive Committee and the Foundation Board.

FICTS

The 40th edition of the Sport Movies & TV Milan International FICTS Festival was held from 9 to 13 November in Milan, Italy. The event included, among other things, 140 screenings and four Olympic-themed exhibitions, with a "special showcase" dedicated to the Tokyo 2020 and Beijing 2022 Olympics. Organised by the International Sports Cinema and Television Federation (FICTS), whose President is Franco Ascani, the Festival was opened by ASOIF President Francesco Ricci Bitti and brought together national and international guests from cinema, TV and sport, and 10 Olympic champions past and present. One day was dedicated to the Paralympic champions and another to "Ragazzi…in gamba – Olympic Values", with the presentation and promotion of the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games Milano Cortina 2026. More info at www.sportmoviestv.com.

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