Olympic Highlights

28 Jun 2016
IOC News

IOC / Christophe Moratal



The IOC celebrated Olympic Day on 23 June at The Olympic Museum in Lausanne. Coming after the Olympic Summit on Tuesday 21 June, many of representatives from the Olympic Movement stakeholders were also present. In his speech, IOC President Thomas Bach said: “As we all look forward to the Games in Rio de Janeiro, perhaps the most important thing to remember on Olympic Day is that sport unites all of us. Olympic Day is a reminder of our shared humanity and our responsibility to uphold the Olympic values in everything we do». He also reminded that the Olympic Day was an occasion to celebrate the friendship and attachment between the IOC, Lausanne, the Canton of Vaud and Switzerland. During the ceremony, the President awarded the Olympic Order to the Mayor of Lausanne, Daniel Brélaz, in recognition of his important and active contribution to the Olympic Movement and its values. Before attending the evening reception the President took part in a meeting of the IOC-Olympic Capital Commission.

© IOC / Christophe Moratal

The IOC President also gave the start of the 3rd edition of the Olympic Capital Race in front of the fountain of The Olympic Museum.

© IOC / Christophe Moratal

The IOC President met a delegation from Human Rights Watch led by Minky Worden, director of global initiatives. They discussed how to advance gender equality and a number of human rights issues. Human Rights Watch also gave its full support to the Refugee Olympic Team which will take part in the Olympic Games Rio 2016.


© IOC / Arnaud Meylan

IOC Executive Board Member Juan Antonio Samaranch gave a lecture during the 56th International Session of the International Olympic Academy for Young Participants in Olympia (Greece). He spoke about “How the Worldwide TOP Partners can contribute to a more sustainable and protected environment.”


© IOC / Arnaud Meylan

Carlos Arthur Nuzman represented the IOC at a conference on “100 Days of Peace” which took place on 23 June in Rio de Janeiro. The conference was jointly organised by the archdiocese of Rio de Janeiro and the Organising Committee for the Olympic Games Rio 2016, of which Carlos Arthur Nuzman is President.


The Finance Commission and Audit Committee met this week in Lausanne. The IOC President attended the meetings, and took the opportunity to discuss a range of important issues with their members, and to underline the importance of good governance in the sports movement.


A Memorandum of Understanding was signed between the IOC and the World Union of Olympic Cities (UMVO) chaired by the Mayor of Lausanne, Daniel Brélaz, Memorandum pledging to collaborate in helping Olympic Cities maintain and develop a positive Olympic legacy. The cooperation agreement is a direct result of Olympic Agenda 2020, which called for closer collaboration between the two organisations with regard to sustainability and legacy. Complete press release here.

The IOC and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) launched their joint publication “Model Criminal Law Provisions for the Prosecution of Competition Manipulation: Booklet for Legislators” during an official event on 20 June 2016 at the UNODC headquarters in Vienna, Austria. Based on an extensive legal analysis of 52 national jurisdictions that criminalise match-fixing, the booklet includes a checklist of “good practice” elements identified from national legislation. It also proposes Model Criminal Law Provisions and additional guidelines for consideration by national legislators seeking to introduce legislative measures to combat competition manipulation. The event, attended by numerous states, was also an opportunity to inform participants about enhanced areas of cooperation between the IOC and UNODC to combat corruption and crime in sport. The booklet is available here.

On 20 June, World Refugee Day, the IOC commemorated the strength, courage and perseverance of the over 50 million refugees across the world, and how sport can contribute to their healing. One example of this is the story of nine year-old Solaf, a Syrian refugee living with her parents and older brother in the UN refugee camp of Azraq in Jordan. Despite everything she has been through, Solaf is a happy and lively child, who loves playing sports with her friends in the camp. Read the complete press release here.




Since the International Fencing Federation (FIE) opened its International School of Fencing Masters (EIMA) in Dakar, Senegal in 1999, 111 students have received diplomas. By creating teams of highly qualified coaches, the FIE aims to create and support a steady stream of international-level fencers from Africa. In May, 17 students from eight countries – Botswana, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Mali, Niger, Senegal, South Africa and Tunisia – took an examination to assess the first half of the training programme, under the supervision of FIE Deputy Sporting Director Jie Ao (see photo above). Final exams for the EIMA diploma take place in November.

Meanwhile, four-time Olympic sabre gold medallist Stanislav Pozdnyakov was elected President of the European Fencing Confederation (EFC) at the EFC Congress in Torun (Poland) on 19 June. Pozdnyakov won individual and team gold medals at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta, and team gold in Barcelona 1992 and Sydney 2000. He also won ten world championship titles between 1994 and 2007. More info on www.fie.ch.

Several weeks before Olympic Day, the International Hockey Federation (FIH) reached out to its National Associations in a bid to coordinate global activity to celebrate hockey on this day. As a result, more than 40 countries developed special hockey programmes for this year’s Olympic Day. Here are some of the highlights on www.fih.ch.

The International Judo Federation (IJF) has confirmed the official list of athletes who will participate in the Olympic Games Rio 2016. With 136 countries and 389 competitors, judo has established a new participation record for the Olympic Games (the previous record was set in London 2012 with 135 countries and 387 athletes). After a two-year race to secure Olympic qualification, the full list of men and women has been sent to the National Federations and NOCs. In addition, following the IOC’s decision to create a Refugee Olympic Team, two judokas who will be members of the team were added to the list, and a further athlete from Syria was also included. See the list and more info on www.ijf.org.

United World Wrestling (UWW) launched its first-ever Observers Programme in Los Angeles (USA) during the 2016 Freestyle World Cup. USA Wrestling and the World Academy of Sports helped support the inaugural programme. More than a dozen representatives of national federations and potential bid cities attended the programme, an ongoing workshop aimed at guiding organising committees through their preparation and delivery of United World Wrestling championships. The programme was mandatory for national federations already slated to host events in 2016 and 2017 and covered a wide array of event-related needs including event planning, management and legacy as well as fan engagement and services, communication activities, marketing and media services. More info on www.unitedworldwrestling.org.


Botswana’s biggest female swimming hope, Naomi Ruele (see photo above), has been swimming since her childhood. In 2015, after being put forward by her National Federation, the 19-year-old Olympic hopeful was awarded the International Swimming Federation (FINA) Athletes Scholarship. Since then she has had the opportunity to take part in major regional and international swimming competitions, and has dramatically improved her technical skills, endurance and times in the 50 m freestyle event. FINA made another scholarship available to 18-year-old Botswana swimmer David Van der Colff, who competes in 50 m freestyle, 50/100 m backstroke and 50 m butterfly. He will benefit from the scholarship for 11 months, from October 2015 to September 2016. These two scholarship awards are part of a broader development programme established by FINA in 2014, in the run-up to the Rio 2016 Games. More info at www.fina.org.

The global rugby family has joined the international sporting community in celebrating #OlympicDay as excitement builds ahead of rugby sevens' Olympic Games debut at the Olympic Games Rio 2016. With a record one million children getting into rugby in 2015, the Rio 2016 Olympic Games will provide a golden opportunity for rugby to reach, engage and inspire new participants and fans to get active and have fun through rugby. To mark Olympic Day, World Rugby has launched its This is Rugby Sevens educational video and updated Rugby Builds Character videos in four languages to share with and engage and inspire the global rugby family. More info on www.worldrugby.org.

The International Tennis Federation (ITF) announced the creation of a long-term plan for sustainable growth under a new agenda, ITF 2024, at its Annual Conference and AGM in Zagreb, Croatia on 22 June. ITF President David Haggerty outlined the ITF’s mission to develop, grow and promote tennis around the world through good governance, integrity and trust, inclusiveness, innovation, ambition and collaboration. He confirmed that the ITF’s priorities are growing and leading the game by inspiring more people to play, follow and watch tennis and by upholding the sport’s values and integrity. The ITF identified eight strategic leadership, management and collaboration priorities in order to achieve these goals. More info on www.itftennis.com.

World Archery announced that 28 athletes will be invited to the 2016 Archery World Cup Final which will be held in Odense (Denmark) on 24 and 25 September. Eight athletes in each of the four Archery World Cup competition divisions – recurve men, recurve women, compound men and compound women – compete for annual circuit crowns at the season finale each year. The top seven athletes in each ranking are invited, plus one representative from the host nation, up to a maximum of two per country. Discover the 28 athletes here on www.worldarchery.org.

The International Triathlon Union (ITU) has announced that National Federations in Korea, the Netherlands and Ireland will have their Technical Officials’ Education programmes (ATOEP) accredited. With the three new additions, 12 National Federations are included in the programme, which reinforces one of the ITU’s biggest aims: to continue improving the education of its officials in order to deliver top-notch events worldwide. The ITU’s ATOEP targets developed National Federations with an existing Technical Officials education programme, and provides the opportunity for these NFs to have their existing programmes accredited. More info on www.triathlon.org.


The International Surfing Association (ISA) has welcomed the Islamic Republic of Iran Surfing Association as its 100th member federation. The Iran Surfing Association formed in 2016 after the sport was first introduced in the country in 2010, when locals were inspired by Easkey Britton, a female surfer from Ireland, who came to Iran to surf and promote the sport and its values. Since then the sport has continued to grow and develop. Recognised by the Ministry of Sport and Youth in Iran and also a member of the Iran Federation of Sports Associations, the Iran Surfing Association will work with the ISA to create a development strategy for the sport across the country with a particular focus on the training of instructors. More info on www.isasurf.org.


© Australia Olympic Committee

Around Australia, Olympians went back to school, visiting primary and secondary schools to celebrate Olympic Day (see photo above). Olympians were out in force as they shared their Olympic experiences, participated in sports activities, highlighted the positive impact sport has had on their lives and shared the day on social media. Detailed info can be found here on the official website of the Australia Olympic Committee.

At its General Assembly on 10 June in Brussels the Belgian NOC awarded its fourth Order of Merit. This year, NOC President and IOC Member Pierre-Olivier Beckers-Vieujant presented the trophy to Ingrid Berghmans, a judoka and an advocate of women’s sport in Belgium and internationally. She won six world and seven European titles, and took part in the first women’s judo tournament at the Olympic Games in Seoul in 1988. In 2013 she was the first woman to be inducted into the Judo Hall of Fame, and she has been named Belgium’s Sportswoman of the Year eight times. On the same occasion, the NOC President presented the IOC “Sport and Innovation” trophy to Guy Chéron, director of the neurophysiology and biomechanics research unit of the Université Libre de Bruxelles. More info on www.olympic.be.

© Chilean NOC

The flag-bearer for Chile’s delegation to the Opening Ceremony of the Olympic Games Rio 2016 was invited to a ceremony at the Palacio de la Moneda in Santiago, the seat of the President of the Republic of Chile, in the presence of Chilean President Michelle Bachelet and the President of the Chilean NOC, Neven Ivan Ilic Alvárez. Marathon runner Erika Olivera (see photo above) was selected after garnering the highest number of votes in a ballot conducted on the website of national daily newspaper La Tercera and social networks. Erika Olivera will be taking part in her fifth Olympic Games. More info on www.coch.cl.

© NOC of Colombia

In Colombia, the Olympic Day celebrations started with a talk on the Olympic values at the NOC of Colombia headquarters in Bogotá. The talk was given by NOC President Baltazar Medina to coaches from the Institute of Recreation and Sports. Several sporting activities were also held on 23 June. Many athletes were present, including taekwondo athletes like Olympic medallist Oscar Muñoz and Doris Patiño, both qualified for the Olympic Games Rio 2016 (see photo above). On 19 June, a run was organised in Medellín, in which more than 6,000 people participated. More info on www.coc.org.co.

The Dominican NOC inaugurated its new Olympic headquarters on 20 June, in a ceremony attended by the President of the Dominican Republic, Danilo Media, and NOC President Luis Mejía. As well as administration facilities, the building includes a 50-room hotel, dormitories, athlete areas, a canteen, a laundry, a multi-sports hall, saunas, a clinic, a video games room and meeting rooms. More info at www.colimdo.org.

On 23 June the NOC of El Salvador organised a ceremony in front of the bust of Pierre de Coubertin in Coubertin Square at the multisport centre of the University of El Salvador. NOC President Eduardo Palomo, the Rector of the University, Luis Argueta Antillon, as well as members of the US Foundation American 300, its founder Robi Powers and US Olympic rowing champions Dan Beery and Susan Francia, who were visiting El Salvador, were present at the ceremony. Many Salvadorian athletes also attended the Olympic Day tribute to the founder of the modern Olympic Games. More info on www.teamesa.org.


The United States Olympic Committee announced a record-setting participation for Olympic Day 2016, with 2,120 events scheduled in 1,503 communities across the country expected to engage more than 800,000 Americans in celebration of the Olympic Movement (see photo above). The USOC worked with nearly 10,000 US Olympians and Paralympians to share their experiences and the role that the Olympic ideals have played in their lives at as many Olympic Day celebrations as possible. More info on www.teamUSA.org/olympicday.

© Georgian NOC

On the initiative of the Georgian NOC and in close collaboration with the Georgian Ministry of the Environment and Protection of Natural Resources, and the Parliamentary Committee for Environmental Protection, a seminar on “Sport and the Environment” was organised on 14 June at the NOC headquarters in Tbilisi (see photo above). The seminar brought together representatives and partners of the Olympic Movement, including national sports federations and regional sports organisations. Speakers from the NOC, government ministries and experts addressed key topics connected with sport and the environment. The seminar was also an excellent opportunity for the participants to share and exchange views and experiences on sustainable development and the Olympic Movement. The participants adopted a declaration covering the actions and initiatives to be implemented in the future, to enhance awareness of the links between sport and the environment. More info on www.geonoc.org.ge.

© Guatemalan NOC

On 19 June the Guatemalan NOC held its first Olympic Day Run in Petén, the cradle of the Mayan civilisation. Participants of all ages and abilities came together to run the 9.5 km course (see photo above). The starting gun was fired by race walker Mirna Ortiz, who will be competing in the Olympic Games Rio 2016. On the same day, the traditional Olympic Day Run took place in the city’s capital, Guatemala City, for the 28th time. More info on www.cog.org.gt.

© Olympic Committee of Hong Kong, China

The Olympic Committee of Hong Kong, China presents incentives to its member associations each year in recognition of the performances and achievements of Hong Kong athletes in continental and international competitions. This year’s presentation ceremony took place on 17 June at Olympic House in the presence of NOC President and IOC Member Timothy Tsun Ting Fok. During his speech, Mr Fok commended the performance of junior athletes in particular, noting that 80% of them would be travelling to Rio to compete in their very first Olympic Games. More info on www.hkolympic.org.

© Portuguese NOC

The Portuguese NOC announced that the training ship Escola Sagres (see photo above) left Lisbon on 21 June for Rio de Janeiro, where it will be the Portuguese hospitality house during the Olympic Games Rio 2016. With the ship goes the Portuguese flag, which was handed over by the Chef de Mission of the Portuguese delegation, Jose Garcia, and flag-bearer João Rodrigues. The Prime Minister of Portugal, Antonio Costa, was also at the ceremony. The ship will stop over in Cidade da Praia on Santiago Island in Cape Verde from 3 to 6 July, Recife in Brazil from 19 to 22 July and Salvador de Bahia from 26 to 28 July. Once it has berthed in Rio de Janeiro, from 3 to 22 August the ship will welcome Portuguese athletes and provide a venue for them to meet with fans and the media. More info on www.comiteolimpicoportugal.pt.

© Russian Olympic Committee

The Russian Olympic Committee informs us that the citizens of Belgorod celebrated Olympic Day with an activity in which young participants were invited to demonstrate their physical fitness and their knowledge of Olympic history. Olympic Day was marked by an “Olympic mile” race, boxing and sambo competitions and rhythmic and artistic gymnastics performances. Throughout the day, souvenirs of Rio 2016 and the Russian Olympic Committee were given to the participants (see photo above). A Brazilian-style carnival put the finishing touch on Olympic Day, which was also covered by local television and press. More info on www.roc.ru.

© NOC Slovakia

NOC Slovakia celebrated Olympic Day with festivities in the country’s capital, Bratislava, including the traditional Olympic Day Run in which students from 11 of Bratislava’s schools participated (see photo above). As well as the run, children were rewarded for taking part in athletics competitions. Olympic Day also marked the end of the Slovak Olympic Torch Relay Rio 2016, which began on 27 April, 100 days before the opening of the Games, and travelled through all the regions of Slovakia. The ceremony took place in the presence of the ambassadors of the relay, five-time Olympians and multiple Olympic medallists Martina Moravcova (swimming) and Michal Martikan (canoeing) as well as representatives of the 21 regional Olympic Clubs who presented their legacy for the Slovak Team to the Olympic Games Rio 2016. More info on www.olympic.sk.

© NOC of Uruguay

On the eve of the Olympic Games Rio 2016 the NOC of Uruguay held its traditional Olympic Day celebration in the presence of NOC President and IOC Member Julio César Maglione (right). The NOC took the opportunity to pay tribute to Félix Sienra Castellanos (left), a former athlete and sports leader who recently celebrated his 100th birthday. The NOC presented him with its Olympic award in gold, a distinction given to major figures in the Olympic Movement in recognition of their considerable contribution to the development of Olympic sport. Félix Sienra Castellanos, who competed in the sailing competition at the London 1948 Olympic Games, devoted his life to the practice of law and sport. He was involved in the administration of sailing for many years, and served several terms as Vice-President of the Uruguayan NOC. More info on www.cou.org.uy.

© Venezuelan NOC

The State of Anzoategui in Venezuela recently welcomed the Olympic and Paralympic “Golden Generation” roadshow, a national event organised by the Ministry of Youth and Sports in collaboration with the Venezuelan NOC, with the aim of paying tribute to the region’s athletes selected to take part in the Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Yulimar Rojas (athletics) and Gabriel Maestre (boxing) were some of the Olympians involved. The Olympic festival also saw the participation of various sports community figures including athletes, coaches, leaders, and physical education teachers.


RIO 2016

© Getty Images

Rio 2016 athletes’ village was unveiled on 23 June to mark Olympic Day. In one month's time, on 24 July, the first of thousands of athletes and team officials will start moving into the buildings that will be their home for the duration of the Games. Brazilian basketball star Janeth Arcain, a two-time Olympic medalist, was announced as 'Mayor' of the Olympic Village. The Olympic and Paralympic Village consists of 31 apartment buildings, some as high as 17 storeys. In total, there are 3,604 apartments, which will be home to more than 17,000 athletes and team officials during the Rio 2016 Olympic Games and 6,000 during the Paralympic Games. Complete press release here.

TOKYO 2020

The Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee welcomed Nissin Foods Holdings Co., Ltd. as Tokyo 2020 Official Partners, the second domestic tier of the Tokyo 2020 sponsorship programme. The company has been attributed the “Packaged Noodles and Pasta” category. This brings the total number of Tokyo 2020 domestic partners to 38, including 23 Official Partners. More info on www.tokyo2020.jp.


The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) announced on 24 June that, due to a non-conformity with the International Standard for Laboratories (ISL), it has suspended the accreditation of the Brazilian Doping Control Laboratory (Laboratório Brasileiro de Controle de Dopagem – LBCD – LADETEC / IQ – UFRJ) in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The suspension, which took effect on 22 June 2016 when the Rio Laboratory was notified, prohibits the Laboratory from carrying out all anti-doping analyses on urine and blood samples. It may appeal the decision to the Court of Arbitration for Sport within 21 days of receipt of notice. More info on www.wada-ama.org.

The development arm of the International Paralympic Committee (IPC), the Agitos Foundation, will partner with the Nippon Foundation Paralympic Support Centre (NFPSC) to promote inclusion and participation in Asia ahead of the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games. The NFPSC will invest in raising awareness and understanding of the Paralympic Movement, and training people within para-sport organisations across Asia over the next four years. The NFPSC hopes to contribute to a successful Paralympic Games in 2020 through the introduction of dedicated teaching in schools, and by supplementing support already given to Asian National Paralympic Committees by the Agitos Foundation. More info on www.paralympic.org.


The 56th International Session for Young Participants of the International Olympic Academy (IOA) was declared open in Athens, Greece, by the President of Greece, Prokopios Pavlopoulos (see photo above), in a ceremony attended by IOC Honorary Members Lambis V. Nikolaou and HM King Constantine. The session, which ends on 25 June, brings together 155 young men and women and 22 coordinators from 91 countries in Olympia (Greece). The main subject of the session was “Olympism as an effective tool for development and sustainability”, with a special focus on “Olympic values-based learning as an effective tool for environmental protection.” During the ceremony the honorary distinction “Athena” was awarded to the National Olympic Academy of Germany, represented by its Chair, Gudrun Doll-Tepper. The IOC’s “Pierre de Coubertin” award was presented to Hellenic Olympic Committee member and Hellenic Archery Federation president Petros Synadinos. More info on www.ioa.org.gr.

Related News

  • IOC News
    Olympic Highlights
  • IOC News
    Olympic Highlights
  • IOC News
    Olympic Highlights
back to top