Olympic Highlights 29/11/2021

IOC / Greg Martin IOC / Greg Martin



This week, IOC President Thomas Bach was in Copenhagen (Denmark), where he addressed the Smart Cities and Sport Summit, an annual event of the World Union of Olympic Cities, chaired by the Mayor of Lausanne, Grégoire Junod. The role of cities to promote healthy and active societies was the focus of this 2021 edition. “This Summit is an opportunity to showcase the special role that cities, and specifically Olympic cities, can play to promote healthy and active living,” said the IOC President in a keynote address to the conference. “Cities are also at the forefront when it comes to rebuilding a more human-centred and more inclusive society in the post-pandemic world.” The President also noted that “just as the pandemic has highlighted the importance of physical activity, we see that the number of people who do not do enough sport is shockingly high. […] This goes against everything that we have learned during this pandemic – and that is: sport can save lives.” Full news release here.

During a ceremony, President Bach presented the Olympic Order to Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark, who became an IOC Honorary Member during the IOC Session in Tokyo. In his speech, the President underlined Prince Frederik’s passion and enthusiasm for sport, his commitment to Olympism and his attachment to the Olympic values, throughout the 12 years he was an IOC Member.  He also praised him as a “strong promoter of an active lifestyle” and for his “engagement and commitment to safeguard our planet for the next generation as a member of the IOC Sustainability and Legacy Commission, as well as through the environmental projects undertaken by your Foundation.” Prince Frederik announced his resignation as an IOC Member last June in order to concentrate on his official duties in Denmark.

Speaking at the 125th anniversary celebration of the National Olympic Committee and Sports Confederation of Denmark, President Bach said that they could “look back with great pride on a long history of promoting the role of sport in Denmark”. The President also praised the work of the NOC, chaired by Hans Natorp, which “has played an indispensable role in spreading the Olympic values of excellence, friendship, respect and solidarity” across Denmark. He added: “As Denmark’s largest grassroots sport organisation, the NOC has inspired generations with sport, bringing the joy of sport to all people.”

IOC / Greg Martin

During his stay in Copenhagen, President Bach visited the Danish Track Cycling Performance Centre in Ballerup, Copenhagen. He met young cyclists, including Amalie Dideriksen, silver medallist (women’s Madison) at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020.

IOC / Greg Martin

The President also went to the Orestad Skating Arena, where he visited a Danish NOC “Veteran Project”, a social initiative for male and female veterans who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan and are suffering from PTSD. The project uses sport as a tool for re-integration into society.

Throughout his stay in Copenhagen, President Bach was accompanied by the President of the National Olympic Committee and Sports Confederation of Denmark, Hans Natorp.

During the Smart Cities and Sport Summit, President Bach met Marion Schöne, the General Manager of the Munich Olympic Park. Schöne is also a member of the IOC Sustainability and Legacy Commission.

At Olympic House, President Bach addressed a number of Olympic-related matters with IOC Member Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović, who was recently appointed Chair of the Future Host Commission for the Games of the Olympiad. The President also spoke at the Commission meeting held remotely this week.  

The IOC President addressed the members of the Executive Committee of the International Fencing Federation (FIE) during their meeting at Olympic House. He congratulated them as well as their President Alisher Usmanov for their contribution to the success of the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020. He also spoke about the next editions of the Olympic Games as well as various topical subjects. President Bach will also address the FIE Congress to be held on Saturday 27 November in Lausanne.

In Lausanne, President Bach and Jean Todt, President of the International Automobile Federation (FIA), spoke about the excellent cooperation between their organisations.

In a phone conversation, President Bach and the CEO of TOP Partner Intel, Pat Gelsinger, discussed the excellent cooperation between their organisations and the preparations for the upcoming editions of the Olympic Games.

The IOC President remotely addressed the graduates from the Classes of 2020 and 2021 of the International Academy of Sports Science and Technology (AISTS), who were gathered at The Olympic Museum. Applauding those receiving their diploma, who included Olympians and IOC Member in Afghanistan Samira Asghari, the President congratulated them on being the first classes to complete one of most challenging Masters of Sports Administration during a global pandemic. He also praised them for showing, like the athletes at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, flexibility, determination, perseverance, resilience and solidarity, and he reminded them that they are now part of Olympic community.

On 21 November, the IOC President held a video call with three-time Olympian Peng Shuai from China. He was joined by the Chair of the IOC Athletes’ Commission, Emma Terho, and IOC Member in China Li Lingwei, who has known Peng for many years from her time in the Chinese Tennis Federation. At the beginning of the 30-minute call, Peng thanked the IOC for its concern about her well-being. She explained that she is safe and well, living at her home in Beijing, but would like to have her privacy respected at this time. That is why she prefers to spend her time with friends and family right now. Nevertheless, she will continue to be involved in tennis, the sport she loves so much. Read the full news release here.


IOC Member Richard W. Pound has been granted the title of “Founding President” of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), in recognition of his enormous contribution to the protection of clean sport. This title acknowledges, in particular, the part he played in WADA’s establishment in 1999 and the early years of the Agency’s existence as its first President. Pound received the honour during the WADA Foundation Board hybrid meeting in Paris (France) on 25 November. Among the many tributes paid to Pound, the IOC President said: “Richard Pound has made a great contribution for the protection of clean athletes by fighting vigorously against doping. I could experience this first-hand in my early days as an IOC Member when we were working together on what was then the Olympic Movement Anti-Doping Code, the forerunner to the World Anti-Doping Code. There, I could appreciate his strong commitment to the integrity of sports and competitions, and to the Olympic values. This clear orientation has been and still is the guiding thread in all the positions he has held, in particular as Founding President of WADA. The entire Olympic Movement owes him our gratitude for his outstanding contribution to the credibility of sport.”  Full details here.


IOC Member Kirsty Coventry was re-elected Vice-President of the International Surfing Association (ISA) at the IF’s Annual General Meeting, which was held remotely (see also under “International Federations”).

TOP Partner

Worldwide Olympic Partner Dow is set to inspire Japanese schoolchildren through the Tokyo 2020 banner recycling project. In total, 100 schools and kindergartens in the Kōtō district in Tokyo and Higashi-Matsushima city in Miyagi Prefecture are set to receive commemorative flowerpots marking the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 as part of a legacy project by Dow. This project is a good example of a solution to improve the sustainability of look and signage materials in the events sector. The flowerpots have been made from recycled banners that were used during the Games, as part of a pilot project to test a more sustainable solution for temporary decoration and signage. Full news release here.

other olympic news

The IOC Olympic Studies Centre (OSC) has launched the 2022/2023 edition of the Advanced Olympic Research Grant Programme. The main objective of this Programme is to promote advanced research with a humanities or social sciences perspective by established researchers on topics identified annually by the IOC. For the new edition, a total of 19 priority fields of research have been identified, dealing with key IOC activity areas such as the athletes’ mental health, the contribution of the Olympic Movement to the SDGs or initiatives improving women’s actual attainment of roles and positions across the organisations’ administration and governance. Find the full list of topics and more details here. Discover also the OSC collections on the Olympic World Library (OWL).

International Federations

Summer Ifs

On 25 November, World Athletics published the findings of a study conducted during the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 to identify and address targeted, abusive messages sent to athletes via social media. These results, which follow the launch of World Athletics’ Safeguarding Policy earlier this month, raise concerns that existing safeguarding measures on social media platforms need to be tougher to protect athletes. Online abuse may cause trauma for the affected individual, and can heavily impact athletes’ performances – both in training and during competition. More info here.

The International Swimming Federation (FINA) has announced the dates for the 2022 FINA World Championships (25m) in Kazan (Russian Federation). The competition will be held from 17 to 22 December at the Aquatics Palace in Kazan. Over 1,200 athletes from more than 180 countries around the world will compete over six days of competition. More details here.

The 2021 Annual General Meeting of the International Surfing Association (ISA) was held virtually for the first time. Among the decisions were the election of two ISA Vice-Presidents and one Executive Committee member, and the approval of amendments to the ISA Constitution and bye-laws. The meeting also saw the approval of Ukraine’s ISA membership, with the country becoming the latest National Surfing Federation. The ISA now has 109 member federations. In addition, the ISA has announced that Puerto Rico has been chosen as host of the 2022 ISA World SUP and Paddleboard Championship, which will take place in San Juan in November next year. More info at www.isasurf.org.


Petra Sörling has been elected as President of the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF), becoming the first-ever woman in this position. She is also the first reigning world champion (women’s doubles at the World Veterans Championships in 2018) to take on this role, and succeeds Thomas Weikert. The election took place during the 2021 ITTF Annual General Meeting held on 24 November in Houston (USA). Elected to the ITTF Executive Committee in 2009, she was in charge of several key areas such as the Para division and sustainability. She also took on the role of ITTF Executive Vice-President of Finance in 2013. More info here.

National Olympic Committees

Brazilian Olympic Committee

The Brazilian Olympic Committee Athletes' Commission recently held the 2nd Forum of Athletes' Commissions of the Brazilian Olympic Movement. The 2021 edition of the event brought together 42 members from 30 Olympic sports commissions, while others followed the meeting virtually. The Forum aimed to foster exchanges of information and strengthen the representation of athletes in sports management. During the two-day meeting, participants had the opportunity to share information on rights and duties, compliance, communication, marketing, planning and prospects for Paris 2024, among other things. More details here.

Hellenic Olympic Committee

The Hellenic Olympic Committee (HOC) celebrated 2021 World Judo Day in cooperation with the Judo Academy of Elliniko and Olympic judo champion Maria Karagiannopoulou, who invited refugee children, including asylum seekers and unaccompanied minors living in Athens, to a training session. Some 43 children had the opportunity to learn about the history and the values of judo, meet national coach Nikos Iliadis and several European and national judo champions, and participate in a joint training session with the Academy’s students. The event was organised in the framework of the “Together in Sport” project implemented by the HOC, in cooperation with the NGO METAdrasi and the German Olympic Sports Confederation (DOSB). More info at www.hoc.gr.

HOC/Péter Szalmás, Iranian NOC

A delegation from the Hungarian Olympic Committee (HOC) was recently in Tehran to conduct talks with the leadership of the Iranian NOC and the Iranian Minister for Youth and Sport. The Hungarian delegation comprised HOC President Krisztián Kulcsár, HOC Secretary General Bálint Vékássy and Hungarian Water Polo Association President Attila Vári. They met the President of the NOC of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Syed Reza Salehi Amiri, and Secretary General Keykavous Saeidi. The two parties signed a memorandum of understanding aimed at strengthening cooperation, organising training camps and exchanging knowledge in various sports. The HOC delegation also visited the Olympic Academy and Museum. More details here. In addition, the election of the HOC’s Athletes’ Committee was held on 13 November. Five new members were elected: wrestler Tamás Lőrincz, track and field athlete Balázs Baji, shooter Zsófia Csonka, judoka Éva Csernoviczki and water polo player Rita Keszthelyi. Gymnast Krisztián Berki, fencer Áron Szilágyi and handball player Gergely Harsányi were appointed by the HOC Executive Board, while swimmer Dániel Gyurta and short track speed skater Viktor Knoch are joining in their capacity as members of the IOC Athletes’ Commission and European Olympic Committees Athletes’ Commission, respectively. The two remaining members of the HOC Athletes’ Committee will be elected and appointed following the Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022. More info here.


On 22 November, the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) held an extended meeting of the ROC Athletes' Commission chaired by Sofia Velikaya. The meeting was attended by athlete representatives from Russian national sports federations, who were welcomed by Stanislav Pozdnyakov, the ROC President. The participants discussed an received information about anti-doping, athletes' rights and responsibilities and the prevention of competition manipulation. During round tables, the participants had also the opportunity to discuss topics such as the activities and the establishment of athletes' commissions in Russian national federations, educational opportunities for athletes, Olympic Agenda 2020+5, anti-doping testing, athletes' rights, Rule 40 of the Olympic Charter in relation to the Tokyo 2020 Games, and communication and interaction with the media. More info at www.olympic.ru.

Spanish NOC

The second Spanish NOC congress on sustainable development took place on 18 November at the NOC’s headquarters. This second edition, which was opened by NOC President Alejandro Blanco, addressed a number of topics related to the UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The topics discussed as part of round tables were: “Sustainable development in the Olympic Movement”, “Spanish NOC solutions to tackle climate change” and “Sustainability programmes with the Spanish NOC’s partners”, which covered energy efficiency, gender equality, sustainable mobility and education. More info here

Recognised organisations

The 2021 Piotr Nurowski “Best Summer European Young Athlete” Prize has been awarded to Romanian swimmer David Popovici. He received the most votes cast by the participants at the 41st European Olympic Committees (EOC) Seminar taking place in Samorin, Slovakia. Aged 16, Popovici was the youngest athlete in Team Romania at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020. He first made a splash on the international scene in 2019 at the European Youth Olympic Festival in Baku, where he won the gold medal in the 100m freestyle, and silver in both the 50m and 200m events. More details here.

The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) has announced that the Paris 2024 Paralympic Games will feature a record number of medal events and athlete slots for women, as well as more competition opportunities for athletes with high support needs. In total, a maximum of 4,400 Para athletes will compete in 549 medal events across 22 Para sports. The Games will include a record 235 medal events for women, eight more than at Tokyo 2020. In addition to more medal events, there will be at least 1,859 slots for female athletes, 77 more than Tokyo 2020. Full details here.


The Executive Committee of the International Committee of the Mediterranean Games (ICMG), chaired by Davide Tizzano, met for the first time with its new composition on 22 November in Athens (Greece). All the members were present, either on site or online. The main topic on the agenda was the Oran 2022 Mediterranean Games. The Committee also discussed the issue of ICGM permanent committees. More details here.

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