Before their participation at Athletissima, the traditional Lausanne track and field meeting of the Diamond League, Olympic champions and Olympic medallists were welcomed by IOC President and Olympic champion Thomas Bach to Olympic House on 24 August.
Among the visitors were Olympic champions Armand “Mondo” Duplantis, Elaine Thompson-Herah, Christian Taylor and Mutaz Essa Barshim, as well as Olympic medallist Femke Bol, who recently won three gold medals at the European Championships in Munich, Germany. All of the athletes were awarded with OLY certificates of recognition by President Bach upon signing the Olympians Wall. President Bach also gave them a tour of the building and showed them his office.
The visit also saw a much-anticipated meeting between two Olympic champions and pole vault legends from past and present: Sergii Bubka, now an IOC Member, and Duplantis. Read the full news release here.
The following day, President Bach watched some of the world’s best pole vaulters compete in the Athletissima City Event held outside the stadium at Place de la Navigation by Lake Geneva. On Friday 26 August, the President was at the Stade Olympique in Lausanne for the Diamond League meeting.
The IOC President received India’s Olympic champion Abhinav Bindra, who is also a member of the IOC Athletes’ Commission. Bindra won India’s first individual Olympic gold medal, in the 10-metre air rifle event, at the Olympic Games Beijing 2008.). Together, they discussed about the situation of sport in India and the upcoming editions of the Olympic Games. Later, Bindra and his compatriot, Olympian Manisha Malhotra (tennis, doubles), signed the Olympians Wall and were presented with their OLY certificates by the President.
Also this week, President Bach presented his OLY certificate to three-time US Olympian Anthony Ervin, who won two gold medals in swimming (50m freestyle and 4x100m freestyle relay) at the Olympic Games Rio 2016.
President Thomas Bach met Michel Cadot, the Interministerial Delegate for the Olympic and Paralympic Games Paris 2024, and Laurent Nuñez, the new Prefect of the Paris Police. Their discussions centred on the preparations for the Games, and in particular the related security issues.
The IOC President received IOC Member Marisol Casado, who is also the President of World Triathlon. During their meeting, they addressed a number of Olympic topics, including the preparations for the Olympic Games Paris 2024.
Also at Olympic House, the President talked about various topical Olympic issues with IOC Members Anant Singh and Sarah Walker.
During a phone conversation with IOC Member Andrew Parsons, who is also President of the International Paralympic Committee (IPC), the current international situation and the next editions of the Olympic Games were addressed.
President Bach held a telephone discussion with the former German Ambassador to the United Nations, Christophe Heusgen, who is now Chair of the Munich Security Conference. Together they discussed the current international situation.
President Bach welcomed the President of the Swiss Confederation, Ignazio Cassis, to The Olympic Museum on the occasion of the Swiss National Day celebrations, held on 1 August. During their meeting, the two men discussed topics of mutual interest. They also spoke about the current geopolitical situation and the role of sport as a bridge-builder in troubled times. Full news release here.
IOC Member Sari Essayah (r. on photo) took part in a commemorative event held in memory of Finnish Olympic champion Elias Katz. The event took place last month at the military cemetery of Rehovot, near Tel Aviv in Israel, where Katz was buried in 1947. Katz who – until the ceremony – was perhaps the least known Finnish Olympic champion, won the gold medal in the 3,000m team race alongside Paavo Nurmi and Ville Ritola, at the Olympic Games Paris 1924. He also won the silver medal in the steeplechase at the same Games. Honouring Katz’s memory, the Olympic rings were attached to the headstone of his grave by Sari Essayah and Zvi Katz, a member of his family. This is traditionally how Finland’s Olympic champions have been remembered and honoured. The event was attended by the Katz family, the Ambassador of Finland, guests from the Maccabi World Union and the local Finnish colony. The Finnish Sports Minister also sent a recorded video greeting on this occasion.
IOC Honorary Member Patrick Chamunda has died at the age of 77. He served as an IOC Member between 2002 and 2015. Over a period of 28 years, he held various positions on the Board of the Zambian NOC, and served 12 years as a member of the Executive Committee of the Association of National Olympic Committees of Africa (ANOCA). In 2015, the IOC awarded him the Olympic Order for his contribution to sport and the Olympic Movement, and especially in recognition of his efforts in establishing the Olympic Youth Development Centre in Lusaka, Zambia. The IOC President said: “Patrick Chamunda's voice carried weight in African sport and beyond. He was an exemplary promoter of the values and the social responsibility of sport, developing a wide range of initiatives, particularly in his home country of Zambia.” Full news release here.
The International Basketball Federation (FIBA), the NBA and the Egyptian Basketball Federation have announced that the 2022 Basketball Without Borders (BWB) Africa camp will be held from 28 to 31 August in Cairo, Egypt. The 18th BWB Africa camp will mark the first time the NBA and FIBA’s global basketball development and community outreach programme will be held in Egypt, and the first time on the continent since 2019 in Senegal. More than 60 of the top male and female players aged 18 and under from across Africa will learn directly from current and former NBA, WNBA and FIBA players, legends and coaches, and compete alongside the best young players on the continent. The campers and coaches will also take part in life skills, leadership development and community service programmes. Full info here. On 23 August, the FIBA Executive Committee convened by videoconference for their second meeting of 2022. The agenda focused mainly on the numerous events coming up over the next few months. Full details here.
During a conference in Cairo (Egypt) held a few weeks ago, International Canoe Federation (ICF) President Thomas Konietzko announced that the ICF will take a new approach to the development and growth of canoeing throughout Africa, by specifically targeting national federations that are already making progress in paddle sports. A further announcement concerned the appointment of a continental director, funded by the ICF, who will work specifically with the Egyptian and Nigerian federations to get more children involved in canoeing, and to train and develop coaches at all levels. The conference was attended by around 100 canoeing stakeholders, Egyptian NOC Vice-President Aladin Gabr, and representatives of the Egyptian Sports Ministry. Full details here.
The Jumping and Dressage World Championships, which took place in Herning (Denmark) in the first half of August, launched equestrian sports’ qualification cycle for the Olympic and Paralympic Games Paris 2024. Seven teams qualified. Attention now turns to the Eventing World Championship 2022 in Pratoni del Vivaro (Italy) in September, where the seven highest ranked teams will earn the first Eventing team qualification slots for Paris 2024. France, as the host nation, is automatically qualified for all the disciplines at the Olympic and Paralympic Games. More info on the International Equestrian Federation (FEI) website.
The International Gymnastics Federation (FIG) has published its inaugural FIG Yearbook online. The Yearbook provides the world’s gymnastics community with a 130-page summary of the FIG’s activities and achievements in 2021. Find out more here.
World Sailing has appointed leading sports lawyer and governance professional Urvasi Naidoo (photo) as its new Director of Legal and Governance. Urvasi joins World Sailing from the Commonwealth Games Federation. She has over 20 years’ experience in the sports sector having previously worked at the International Cricket Council, the Salt Lake Organising Committee for the Olympic Winter Games 2002, the Olympic Games London 2012, World Netball and the Union Cycliste Internationale. Full details here.
The International Surfing Association (ISA) confirmed on 23 August that Egypt will be its 111th National Federation Member. The number of ISA members in Africa now rises to 17, which is helping to drive forward the expansion of surfing across the continent. More info here.
The International Tennis Federation (ITF) has released an informative and entertaining short film documenting the history of tennis. Produced in collaboration with the International Tennis Hall of Fame and the United States Professional Tennis Association, the eight-minute film explores important moments throughout the sport’s history – such as the foundation of the Women’s Tennis Association in the 1970s, and the return of tennis to the Olympic Games in the 1980s. More details here.
World Triathlon has announced that the 2023 World Triathlon Winter Championships will take place in Skeikampen (Norway), from 23 to 26 March. The cross-country ski resort, 45 minutes away from Lillehammer, will host the Junior, U23, Elite, Para triathlon and Age-group world championships in winter triathlon and winter duathlon, as well as the Winter Triathlon 2x2 Mixed Relay. Full details here. In addition, in early August, World Triathlon’s Executive Board approved its Transgender Policy, following a period of consultation with several Committees (Medical, Athletes, Coaches, Legal & Constitution, Women and Equality, Diversion & Inclusion) as well as multiple experts in the field and from the transgender community. Full info here.
The World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) has released Playball WBSC, its first-ever baseball gaming app, as well as Softball WBSC, the first-ever mobile game dedicated to softball. The first online events – the U-12 Baseball World Cup and U-15 Women's Softball World Cup – start on 1 September and end on 1 October. The WBSC Executive Board approved esports as a new discipline and virtual version of baseball/softball in December 2020. More details here.
National Olympic committees
The inaugural Saudi Games will take place from 27 October to 7 November 2022, after being postponed from March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. For Prince Abdulaziz bin Turki Al Faisal, Minister of Sport and President of the Saudi Arabian Olympic and Paralympic Committee, the primary objective of these Games is to produce new sporting heroes through the Elite Athletes Programme launched less than a year ago. The competition is also intended to boost Saudi Arabia’s capacity to host major sporting events, in line with the Saudi Vision 2030. More info at www.olympic.sa.
Some 2,400 swimmers from the five continents swam from Asia to Europe on the occasion of the 34th Bosphorus Cross-Continental Swimming Race on 21 August. The 6.5km race was organised by the Turkish Olympic Committee (TOC), coordinated with the Governorship of Istanbul and supported by the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality. Turkish Youth and Sports Minister Mehmet Muharrem Kasapoğlu, Deputy Governor of Istanbul Niyazi Erten, TOC President and IOC Member Uğur Erdener, and Austrian Olympic Committee President and IOC Member Karl Stoss were among the guests who attended the race, held under the theme of “Sports for Everyone”. More info here.
A Level I course for ITF coaches was organised recently by the Uruguayan NOC, in collaboration with the Uruguayan Tennis Association and with the support of Olympic Solidarity. A total of 21 national coaches took part in the course, which was led by Uruguayan expert Pelayo Martínez. More details here.
Organising Committees for the Olympic Games
As part of the preparations for the Olympic surfing competitions to be held in Tahiti in 2024, three documents were recently signed in Papara to validate French Polynesia’s commitment to hosting these events. The three documents were a state protocol on safety and security, a framework agreement and an agreement in principle confirming the region’s desire to host the Olympic torch ahead of the Games. The documents were signed by the President of the Organising Committee for the Olympic and Paralympic Games Paris 2024, Tony Estanguet; the President of French Polynesia, Edouard Fritch; and the High Commissioner’s Secretary General, Eric Requet. The signing took place during Tony Estanguet’s first visit to the region, in mid-August. Full details here.
Organising Committees for the Youth Olympic Games
On 24 August, the Gangwon 2024 Youth Olympic Games Organising Committee (YOGOC) adopted a human rights charter. This outlines the ambition of the YOGOC, within its remit, to address salient human rights risks related to the operations of the Youth Olympic Games (YOG), in accordance with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Olympic Charter, throughout all phases of the YOG – from planning through to staging. Full news release here.
The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) mourned mid-August the passing of its Chief Operating Officer (COO), Frédéric Donzé (photo), who died suddenly after a short illness in Montreal (Canada) at the age of 50. He joined WADA in 2002 in the role of Media Relations and Communications Manager. In 2011, he became Director of WADA’s Europe Office and International Federation Relations, in Lausanne, before being appointed COO in 2016. Prior to joining WADA, Fred was a journalist in his native Switzerland, including a stint as sports editor of the Geneva-based newspaper, Le Temps. More details here. Furthermore, WADA has published its webinar schedule for September 2022, which kicks off on 8 September with an athlete-focused webinar on WADA’s future Athlete Council. Full programme here.