Olympic Highlights 29/10/2021

IOC / Greg Martin



President Bach announced that the IOC will cut its direct and indirect greenhouse gas emissions by 50 per cent by 2030, as part of its commitment to tackling climate change. “The climate crisis is arguably the biggest challenge humanity is facing,” said President Bach. “It is affecting all areas of our lives, including sport and we urge all other sports organisations to follow suit.” (see under “other Olympic news”).

He was in Crete, Greece, for the General Assembly of the Association of National Olympic Committees (ANOC). On the opening day, the President addressed the General Assembly, which was presided over by Acting President of ANOC and IOC Executive Board member Robin Mitchell.

In his speech, President Bach extended a big thank-you for the support for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 to all the NOC representatives, who took part in person and virtually. The IOC President stressed the invaluable input and the solidarity of the NOCs for the Games and said: “But in the end we were rewarded for all our efforts for overcoming all this uncertainty, because these Olympic Games were an overwhelming success in many respects.” President Bach explained that the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 have shown “that we can give hope, we can give solidarity to the people. And this is obviously what the world was longing for.” The President also thanked the NOCs for their support to help with the evacuation of 300 members of the Olympic community of Afghanistan, which is being coordinated by the IOC (see also under “other Olympic news”). Read the full news release here.

During the ANOC General Assembly, the President held a wide range of meetings. He thus met 24 IOC Members present on this occasion. Likewise, the President held meetings with the Presidents of the NOCs of Bahrain, France, Poland, Qatar and Spain, respectively Sheikh Khalid Bin Hamad Al-Khalifa, Brigitte Henriques, Andrzej Krasnicki, Sheikh Joaan Bin Hamad Bin Khalifa Al-Thani and Alejandro Blanco, as well as with the Secretary General of the NOC of Afghanistan Mohammad Yonus Popalzay. Meetings with the Presidents of the following Continental Associations of NOCs also took place: for Africa with Mustapha Berraf, for Europe with Spyros Capralos, for Oceania with Robin Mitchell, and for America with Neven Ilic. He met numerous other NOC Presidents and delegates to exchange about a wide range of Olympic topics.

Also in Crete, President Bach met the Greek Deputy Minister for Culture and Sport, Lefteris Avgenakis. The President congratulated the Deputy Minister on the successful organisation of the ANOC meeting, organised in close cooperation with the Hellenic Olympic Committee, whose President is IOC Member Spyros Capralos.

With 100 days to go until the Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022 begin, IOC President Thomas Bach said that preparations were progressing “very, very well”, acknowledging the readiness of the local Organising Committee and growing excitement amongst athletes. In a video news release from the IOC, Thomas Bach said: “The venues are already finished. Now, test events are underway with international participation. All that we’ve heard, so far, from the athletes is that they are excited about the state-of-the-art venues. So the stage is set for Beijing to write Olympic history as the first ever city to organise both summer and the winter editions of the Olympic Games.” Full news release here. (See also under ‘Beijing 2022’)

IOC / Greg Martin

In Lausanne, President Bach and the President of World Taekwondo, Chungwon Choue, discussed the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 and the upcoming editions of the Olympic Games as well as the excellent cooperation between the organisations.

IOC / Greg Martin

At Olympic House, the IOC President, accompanied by IOC Member Princess Reema Bandar Al-Saud, welcomed a delegation from the Saudi Arabian NOC led by its President, Prince Abdulaziz Bin Turki Al-Faisal Al Saud. Together, they discussed various topics of mutual interest, in particular the great progress of sport for girls and women in Saudi Arabia.

President Bach also welcomed IOC Member and Marketing Commission Chair Jiří Kejval, to Olympic House. Together, they discussed the excellent state and prospects of the IOC marketing programme. As he is also President of the Czech NOC, Kejval informed the IOC President about how the Czech athletes are preparing for the Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022.

The President met Olympic champion Abhinav Bindra, who was recently appointed as a member of the IOC Athletes’ Commission and a member of the IOC Members Election Commission. They discussed several Olympic topics.

The President addressed a number of Olympic matters by phone with IOC Member Prince Albert II, who is also Chair of the IOC’s Sustainability and Legacy Commission. Prince Albert will represent the IOC at the upcoming COP26 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Glasgow, where he will make a keynote speech. They discussed the IOC’s leading role on sustainability in the Olympic Movement and the IOC’s recent commitment to cut its direct and indirect greenhouse gas emissions by 50 per cent by 2030, as part of its commitment to tackling climate change.

The President had a call with Senator Mitt Romney who was President and CEO of the Organising Committee for the Olympic Winter Games Salt Lake City 2002. They discussed the development of the Olympic Movement. IOC Member Luis Moreno, who is the IOC’s Permanent Observer to the United Nations, also joined the call.

President Bach spoke by phone with Sarah Walker, a member of the IOC and the IOC Athletes' Commission. Together, they discussed the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 and Paris 2024, as well as several Olympic subjects concerning the athletes in particular.

IOC / Greg Martin

IOC Vice-President and Australian Olympic Committee President John Coates was awarded the Contribution to the Olympic Movement award at the 2021 ANOC Awards ceremony held in Crete. He received the award in recognition of his significant role within the Olympic family and in the successful delivery of the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020. The award was presented by Acting ANOC President Robin Mitchell and IOC President Thomas Bach. More info here.

IOC / Dave Thompson

IOC Member Humphrey Kayange will be inducted into the World Rugby Hall of Fame in 2021. He competed with Kenya in the first-ever rugby sevens Olympic tournament during the Olympic Games Rio 2016. Before that, he helped the Kenyan team reach two Rugby World Cup Sevens semi-finals, in 2009 and 2013, and was named World Rugby Sevens Player of the Year in 2009. Kayange finished his career in the World Series as Kenya’s third highest points scorer in sevens. More info here.

other olympic news

On 25 October, the IOC, the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) and the Beijing Organising Committee for the 2022 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games (Beijing 2022) published the first editions of the Beijing 2022 Playbooks. The two Playbooks, one for athletes and team officials, and one for all other stakeholders, provide comprehensive COVID-19 guidelines that will help participants prepare for travelling to and arriving in China, fulfilling their roles at the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, and their departure from Beijing. Full news release here.

Over the past few months, the IOC has, in coordination with NOCs, IFs, the IOC Member in Afghanistan, Samira Asghari, and the Organising Committee for the Olympic Games Paris 2024, and in collaboration with UNHCR, various NGOs and sports organisations, taken more than 300 members of the Olympic community from Afghanistan to safety. But there are still more than 700 people who are at risk and who remain in the country. They are mainly women and girls practising sport, as well as those supporting them and promoting women’s access to sport. With regard to these members of the Afghan Olympic community, the IOC is continuing its assistance in two different ways. Firstly, it is making every effort to get them evacuated to safe countries. Secondly, the IOC has been informed that a number of those having to remain are suffering from the humanitarian crisis in the country with regard to the availability of food and clothing. The IOC will therefore establish a humanitarian fund to provide assistance to them in these difficult times. Full news release here.

The IOC has announced that it will cut its direct and indirect greenhouse gas emissions by 50 per cent by 2030, as part of its commitment to tackling climate change. The announcement, made by the IOC President during the ANOC General Assembly, comes ahead of the UN Climate Summit (COP26) due to be held at the end of October in Glasgow, Great Britain. With this decision, the IOC increases its level of ambition from a previous commitment that set a 45 per cent reduction over the same time period, in line with the Paris Agreement on Climate Change. In order to achieve the 50 per cent cut in emissions by 2030, the IOC has set an intermediate reduction target of 30 per cent, to be achieved by 2024. Its action plan to deliver on this commitment will now be updated with increased efforts to reduce emissions in the areas of travel, energy use and procurement. Full news release here.

On 28 October, the IOC launched a unified online Olympic shop developed in collaboration with global merchandise leader Fanatics. Through the Olympic Shop, fans will be able to purchase official Olympic and Paralympic Games merchandise produced by licensees and suppliers appointed by the IOC and the Organising Committees of the upcoming Games editions, Paris 2024, Milano Cortina 2026 and LA28.The launch of the Olympic Shop comes as Paris 2024 marks its 1,000-day countdown to the opening of the next Olympic Summer Games. Full news release here.

International Federations
Summer Ifs

World Triathlon, whose President is IOC Member Marisol Casado, held its 34th Congress virtually on 24 October. The Congress was preceded by a full day of meetings for the 14 World Triathlon committees and commissions, which included the first reports from the new Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Commission and the NOC Relations Commission. The IF has reiterated its commitment to help ensure the 50 per cent reduction in CO2 emissions by 2030. The number of its member federations is now 165. Details of a return to a full calendar of events were given. More info about the Congress here. In addition, Lotta Johansson was announced as the winner of 2021’s Award of Excellence in recognition of her outstanding work to promote women’s involvement in the sport of triathlon and Para triathlon. Johansson has been a driving force behind the Swedish triathlon movement for more than 25 years. Full details here.


The World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) is partnering with the Olympafrica Foundation and the Association of National Olympic Committees of Africa (ANOCA) to promote baseball and softball in Africa. The agreement was signed during the ANOC General Assembly in Crete by WBSC President Riccardo Fraccari, ANOCA President and IOC Member Mustapha Berraf (see photo) and Olympafrica Foundation CEO Alassane Diack, with ASOIF President Francesco Ricci Bitti and ANOCA Secretary General Ahmed Abu Elgasim also in attendance. According to the agreement, the three organisations will collaborate to promote sport and sports education in general in Africa, and the sports of baseball and softball in particular, through initiatives such as the introduction of baseball5 as a development tool and competitive discipline across the continent. More details here.

National Olympic Committees

On 21 October, the Moroccan NOC took part in a webinar organised by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), the theme of which was “Tackling corruption and crime in sport in Africa”. Info at www.cnom.org.ma.

On 22 October, elections were held for the Spanish NOC’s Olympic summer sports athlete representatives. Five athletes were elected to the NOC Assembly: Saúl Craviotto (canoeing); Sandra Sánchez (karate); Ruth Beitia (athletics); Jesús Ángel García Bragado (athletics); and Alberto Fernández (shooting). Details here.

Organising Committees for the Olympic Games

Beijing 2022
Beijing 2022

On 27 October, to celebrate 100 days to go until the Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022 begin, the Organising Committee organised a number of activities. Beijing 2022 revealed the uniforms for staff, technical officials and volunteers at a special ceremony held in the Chinese capital. This follows yesterday’s launch of the Olympic and Paralympic medals (see below). A number of digital activations are also being undertaken across both Olympic and Beijing 2022 platforms over the coming days, capitalising on the growing engagement in the winter Games. Full info here. In addition, the medals’ design for the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games Beijing 2022, which were unveiled on 26 October, echoes the jade-inlaid medals of the Olympic Summer Games Beijing 2008, reinforcing the significance of Beijing as the first “dual Olympic city” to host both summer and winter editions of the Olympic and Paralympic Games. Based on the principle that the two Winter Games are equally special, the medals of the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games are inspired by the same concept and use the same design. Full details here.

recognised organisations

On 24 and 25 October, the XXV General Assembly of the Association of National Olympic Committees (ANOC) brought the Olympic family together in solidarity as the world’s NOCs were joined in Crete by representatives from the IOC, the IFs and other Olympic stakeholders. A total of 148 NOCs attended the General Assembly in person, with the remaining 57 joining online. More details here. On its closing day, the General Assembly agreed on several resolutions. To name a few, the NOCs reiterated their commitment to the non-politicisation of sport. They also pledged to engage with the UN Sports for Climate Action Framework and apply a similar reduction to the IOC in their greenhouse gas emissions. The NOCs also discussed the impact of FIFA’s proposal to hold the World Cup every two years and shared the concerns voiced by many in the sports movement that FIFA’s plan will pose a great threat to the survival of many sports other than football that are under the NOCs’ responsibility. Read the full resolutions here. In addition, the 2021 ANOC Awards honoured the athletes who shone at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020. Awards were also presented to breakthrough NOCs that had historic sporting moments at Tokyo. Full details about the winners here.

In a recent press release, the Association of the National Olympic Committees of Africa (ANOCA), through its President Mustapha Berraf, also an IOC Member, referred to the revision of the world football calendar. This revision, according to him, might jeopardise the development of sport in Africa. More info at www.africaolympic.com


The host city contract for the organisation of the 3rd Mediterranean Beach Games, Heraklion 2023, was officially signed and the flag of the Mediterranean Games was handed over by the International Committee of the Mediterranean Games (ICMG) during a ceremony held in Crete. The new ICMG President, Davide Tizzano; the Greek Deputy Minister for Culture and Sport, Lefteris Avgenakis; the President of the Hellenic Olympic Committee and IOC Member, Spyros Capralos; the Mayor of Heraklion, Vassilis Lambrinos; the Mayor of Malevizi, Menelaos Bokeas; and the Deputy Mayor of Hersonissos, Konstantinos Anastasakis, signed the contract. The 3rd edition of the Mediterranean Beach Games will take place from 2 to 9 September 2023. Full details here.


The President of the International Olympic Academy (IOA), Isidoros Kouvelos, introduced the IOA’s reform during the ANOC General Assembly in Crete. Recalling the recent inauguration of the renovated Academy’s premises, he highlighted the significance of the IOC investment the project, its long-standing support for the IOA’s work and their future partnership in the educational development of the IOA’s activities. Kouvelos also had a series of meetings, including with the President of the Saudi Arabian NOC, Prince Abdulaziz Bin Turki Al-Faisal Al Saud, in order to identify new collaboration synergies for the dissemination of Olympic education in Saudi Arabia. More details here.

The President of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), Witold Bańka, addressed the 8th Session of the Conference of Parties to the UNESCO International Convention against Doping in Sport, held in Paris (France) from 26 to 28 October. Stressing the importance of governments’ involvement in anti-doping, Bańka called on governments to implement the sanction framework for the Convention. Full details here.


On 26 October, the International Association for Sports and Leisure Facilities (IAKS) announced the winners of the IOC/IAKS and International Paralympic Committee (IPC)/IAKS architecture prizes during a gala held in Cologne (Germany). This year, 86 projects from all of the continents were in the running. Eighteen facilities received the IOC/IAKS Award for exemplary sports and leisure architecture, while seven additional facilities received the IPC/IAKS Distinction for accessible sports facilities. Showcasing the future of sports architecture, five student projects have been recognised for their originality and inventiveness. Full details here.

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