Olympic Highlights

28 Jul 2016



IOC President Thomas Bach arrived in Rio de Janeiro on 27 July with just nine days to go before the Opening Ceremony of the Games of the XXXI Olympiad. Upon his arrival, President Bach was greeted by the President of the Rio 2016 Organising Committee and of the Brazilian Olympic Committee, IOC Honorary Member Carlos Arthur Nuzman, and IOC Member in Brazil Bernard Rajzman. The President was also welcomed by a dozen volunteers coming from all parts of Brazil to support the staging of the Games. “You can already feel the Olympic energy here at the airport and in the city with all the smiling volunteers full of excitement. We are looking forward to great Olympic Games,” said President Bach.

IOC / Ian Jones

From the airport, the IOC President went straight to the Olympic Village to see for himself the work being done there and meet the athletes. Commenting on his visit, President Bach said: “The Olympic Village will be fantastic. We have received assurances that the few remaining challenges will be overcome by Friday. The teams are in general very happy, the athletes are happy, they like the food, they like the Olympic atmosphere and you can feel the excitement building up.”

Later in the day the President met the Mayor of Rio de Janeiro Eduardo Paes as they visited the newly refurbished port area in Praça Mauá.

In the coming days, the President will chair the IOC Executive Board meeting on 30 and 31 July, then the 129th IOC Session from 1 to 4 August. A report on these Olympic meetings will appear in the next Olympic Highlights

On 24 July, the IOC Executive Board (EB) has further studied the question of the participation of Russian athletes in the Olympic Games Rio 2016. In its deliberations, the IOC EB was guided by a fundamental rule of the Olympic Charter to protect clean athletes and the integrity of sport. The study included the discussion of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA)’s Independent Person (IP) Report by Prof. Richard McLaren; the decision of the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) on 21 July 2016 concerning the rules of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF); as well as the Olympic Charter and the World Anti-Doping Code. Read here the full decision taken by the EB with regard to participation of Russian athletes in the Olympic Games Rio 2016.


On 11 July, with 25 days to go until the Opening Ceremony, the Chair of the Coordination Commission for the Olympic Games Rio 2016, Nawal El Moutawakel, announced that “Rio 2016 is read to welcome the world,” after her final pre-Games visit to the Brazilian host city. After meetings with the Rio 2016 Organising Committee, all three levels of local government (Federal, State and City), and a tour of a number of sporting venues, Nawal El Moutawakel also discussed the matter of the Zika virus, security issues and the work being carried out in the Guanabara Bay and Lagoa venues. An explanation of the legacy that the Olympic Games will leave to the city of Rio was also given. Read the complete press release here.



The IOC, in collaboration with worldwide TOP partner Samsung will deliver a limited-edition of sure Galaxy S7 Edge to every athlete competing in the Olympic Games Rio 2016. The device will enhance the athletes’ Games-time experience and help them to keep in touch with their family and friends, and capture and share their journey. The phones will have the IOC-developed “Olympic Athletes’ Hub” app installed. With the app, athletes will be able to connect directly to the IOC and the IOC Athletes’ Commission and can also learn about all the resources and programmes the IOC is making available to them. For the first time ever, the Rio 2016-inspired phone will incorporate the Olympic rings as part of the design. Read the complete press release here.


To provide a level playing field for all clean athletes at the Olympic Games Rio 2016, the IOC has put special measures in place, including targeted pre-tests and the re-analysis of stored samples from the Olympic Games Beijing 2008 and London 2012, following an intelligence-gathering process that started in August 2015. As part of this process, the IOC sanctioned Yulia Kalina, 27, of Ukraine for failing anti-doping test at the Olympic Games London 2012 as well as Sibel Özkan, 28, of Turkey for failing anti-doping test at the Olympic Games Beijing 2008. These two athletes have been disqualified from the Games and ordered to return the bronze medal from the 58 kg weightlifting event for Kalina, and the silver medal from the 48kg weightlifting event for Özkan.

Furthermore, reanalysis of the second wave of samples from Beijing 2008 and London 2012 has resulted in Provisional Adverse Analytical Findings (PAAFs) of 30 athletes from Beijing and Adverse Analytical Findings (AAFs) of 15 athletes from London. The latest results bring the total number of athletes who tested positive for prohibited substances from the first and second waves of reanalysis to 98. The third and fourth waves are expected to continue throughout and after the Olympic Games Rio 2016. The second wave of the Beijing 2008 retests focused mainly on medallists, as will subsequent testing. Read the complete press release here.

In line with the reforms of Olympic Agenda 2020 to strengthen support to athletes, and following the recommendations of four IOC Commissions (Athletes’, Athletes’ Entourage, Medical and Scientific, and Women in Sport), the IOC has announced that a clear structure will be in place in Rio for participants to report any incident of harassment or abuse. This procedure will be coordinated by an IOC Welfare Officer, who will be on site in the Village during the Games. All reported incidents will be dealt with through a confidential procedure linked to local law enforcement agencies and relevant disciplinary channels. In addition, guidelines for all NOCs and IFs to implement their own policies to safeguard athletes from harassment and abuse in sport have been developed by the IOC in collaboration with leading stakeholders from the Olympic Movement. Read the complete press release here.


The IOC held four successful days of individual workshops with the four cities competing to host the Games of the XXXIII Olympiad in 2024 – Los Angeles (USA), Rome (Italy), Budapest (Hungary) and Paris (France) (listed in the order of drawing of lots). The workshops were held in Lausanne from 12 to 15 July and focused on Stage 2 of the Candidature Process: Governance, Legal and Venue funding. They were led by Associate Director - Olympic Candidatures, Jacqueline Barrett, with the participation of experts in the relevant fields.The content was identical for each Candidate City and focused on the following areas: Financial matters (OCOG budget and Capital investment budget), Governance and Legal Matters, Marketing. The discussions allowed the participants to fully address any relevant points and to assist the cities to continue building solid projects which fit with the long-term development plans of the city and region and will leave a sustainable legacy. The workshops and course-correction concept are new to the Candidature Process Olympic Games 2024 and stem from Olympic Agenda 2020. Read the complete press release here.

The IOC has announced that approximately 620 athletes from 54 NOCs will benefit from the first ever NOC competition uniform support programme at this summer’s Olympic Games Rio 2016. The IOC, in collaboration with the World Federation of the Sporting Goods Industry (WFSGI) and nine of the world’s leading sports brands, is providing free competition clothing to NOCs and their athletes for the Games. Read the complete press release here.

The IOC has awarded the exclusive broadcast rights in the Caribbean to International Media Content Ltd (IMC), parent company of SportsMax and a subsidiary of Digicel Group, for the XXIII Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018 and the Games of the XXXII Olympiad Tokyo 2020. IMC will partner with broadcasters across the region and leverage all of Digicel’s platforms to deliver live coverage and highlights of the Olympic Games via free-to-air and cable television, as well as all mobile, streaming and other digital media platforms. In addition, the IOC and IMC will work together on distribution and content creation for the IOC’s soon-to-be-launched Olympic Channel. Read the complete press release here.



The Rio 2016 Olympic Games Athletics Statistics Handbook is now available on the website of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF). The 420-page book has been produced in association with the Association of Track and Field Statisticians (ATFS) and edited by renowned athletics statistician Mark Butler. It features a wealth of information, including results and reports of all 951 Olympic finals to date. The IAAF has also announced that the World U20 Championships from 19 to 24 July in Bydgoszcz (Poland) are welcoming a record 1518 athletes (832 men and 686 women). Bydgoszcz hosted the 2008 championships. No fewer than 160 IAAF member federations have confirmed their participation. More info on www.iaaf.org.

At the first Olympic qualification event open to professional boxers, which took place recently in Vargas (Venezuela), the President of the International Boxing Association (AIBA) and IOC EB Member Ching-Kuo Wu met the President of the World Boxing Association (WBA), Gilberto Jesús Mendoza. Three pro boxers out of the twenty registered for Vargas earned quota places to go to the Olympic Games Rio 2016. Both AIBA and the WBA agreed to consider future partnerships covering all aspects of boxing, from event organisation, boxer management and new championships, to training courses. More info on www.aiba.org.

Across five days (20 to 24 July), the 42nd UCI Junior Track Cycling World Championships are taking place at the headquarters of the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) in Aigle (Switzerland). More than 300 athletes from 43 countries - a participation record – are competing for 19 titles on the track of the UCI World Cycling Centre. The Centre has helped selected Junior riders to prepare for these World Championships in Aigle. Indeed, 16 athletes from 10 countries trained at the Centre, benefitting from its facilities and the advice of its professional trainers. During these Championships, the WADA and the UCI will lead a joint awareness programme entitled #IRideClean, in order to explain to the young athletes the dangers of doping. More info on www.uci.ch


The President of the International Equestrian Federation (FEI), Ingmar De Vos (2nd from left) and FEI Secretary General Sabrina Ibáñez (left) travelled to Seoul (Korea) to sign a Memorandum of Understanding with the Asian Equestrian Federation (AEF) and to discuss the ongoing development of equestrian sport in Asia and future Olympic formats in line with the implementation of Olympic Agenda 2020. On this occasion, they met with Sang Jin Park (second from right), Asian Equestrian Federation (AEF) President, Korea National Federation President and President of Samsung Electronics, and Sunny Hwang (right), Secretary General of the AEF, Vice President of the Korea National Federation and Vice President and Head of Global Sports Marketing at Samsung Electronics. The AEF, founded in 1978 in Bangkok (Thailand), is headquartered in Seoul and has 34 member National Federations. Over the next five years, a number of major sporting events will take place in Asia, including several five-star competitions as well as the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games. The FEI is committed to further developing equestrian sport as part of its new and closer cooperation with the AEF, creating more opportunities for high-profile equestrian events to be staged across the Asian continent and having more Asian athletes competing in top competitions. More info on www.fei.org.

The International Fencing Federation (FIE) has just published the Rio 2016 Press Kit. This 18-page booklet is intended to be the go-to media guide for fencing at the Olympic Games Rio 2016. It is available in four languages: English, French, Spanish and Portuguese. It is available for download on www.fie.ch. The FIE has also released the first-ever smartphone game officially recognised by world fencing’s governing body, and also a mobile app to follow the competition in Rio. FIE Swordplay is a deeply immersive fencing simulation experience that features stunning 3D graphics and real fencing physics. The mobile app, named Rio Loves Fencing, will provide news, images, videos and live results from the pistes of the Carioca Arena 3 during the Games.

Over one week last June in the Theodosia Okoh Hockey Stadium in Ghana, coaches, umpires and players took part in training sessions and workshops led by International Hockey Federation (FIH) Coach and Umpire Educators as part of the Targeted Assistance Programme (TAP).  With the TAP two years into its four-year lifespan, a further 2,000 sticks and other hockey equipment have been delivered to West African countries involved in the project. Coaches from Ghana, Togo, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire and Nigeria have all been working to develop the sport in clubs, schools and regions, and the arrival of a great deal of equipment was just the boost the coaches needed. The equipment has been collected from clubs and schools across the UK over the past few months thanks to support from the FIH, UK Sport and England Hockey. The FIH Targeted Assistance Programme is the FIH's global initiative to support Continental Federations and National Associations in the development of long-term sustainable development projects or programmes. More info on www.worldhockey.org.

After Japan, Cuba, Brazil, Turkey, Australia and Zambia, the International Judo Federation (IJF) has just released the latest episode of the #JudofortheWorld series, which features judo in Hungary. The characters featured in this film describe how Hungary became a judo country and how the sport continues to grow, practised by young children (see photo above) at school to top level athletes such as Olympic silver medallist, Ungvari Miklos, who is participating in his fourth Olympic Games in Rio. Today, judo is practised in some 200 schools throughout the territory. More info on www.ijf.org.

The International Swimming Federation (FINA) has announced that 242 young synchronised swimmers from 34 countries took part in the 15th FINA World Junior Synchronised Swimming Championships, which ran until 13 July in Kazan (Russia). The championships, for girls aged 15 to 18, are held every two years, in even years. A few days later, in Hoorn (Netherlands), around 200 swimmers from 32 countries, aged between 14 and 19, raced at the FINA World Junior Open Water Swimming Championships from 16 to 18 July. A total of three races for each gender, as well as two mixed races, were on the programme. More info on www.fina.org.

The Executive Board of the International Modern Pentathlon Union (UIPM) has confirmed that Shiny Fang has been reappointed as Secretary General for a second Olympic cycle. Ms Fang will continue to lead the UIPM throughout the four years leading up to and including the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, a period in which the UIPM will deliver on the implementation of the Olympic Agenda 2020. Furthermore, with two weeks to go before the Olympic Games Ro 2016, the UIPM has launched a new website: www.uipmworld.org.

World Rugby has launched a Request for Proposals (RFP) and announced details of a new universal approach to its global licensing programme. The expanded approach will include for the first time all its major properties and brands, including the Rugby World Cup and men’s and women’s Rugby Sevens Series, reflecting the IF’s mission to grow the global rugby family. For more info visit www.worldrugby.org.

On 15 July, the International Tennis Federation (ITF) announced the final list of singles and doubles entries for the Rio 2016 Olympic Tennis Event at the Olympic Tennis Centre in Barra Olympic Park from 6 to 14 August. Fifty-two countries will compete in this year’s event. Sixty-four players will compete in the men’s and women’s singles. Thirty-two teams will compete in the men’s and women’s doubles. Entries for the 16-team mixed doubles event will be determined on site in Rio. More info on www.itftennis.com.

The second edition of World Table Tennis Day on 6 April was a great success. Launched by the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF), the day included 196 events held across 83 countries around the world. Full report from the 2016 edition on www.ittf.com.

The International Triathlon Union (ITU) has unveiled an innovative new data platform that will allow external users to create feature-rich applications, as well as providing additional services to National Federations and partners. Triathlon API will complement the recently-announced development of the IOC’s Olympic Data Project. The in-house-developed application will be distributed freely to any external stakeholder. Furthermore, the ITU has also launched the social media campaign “ThisIsTriathlon” to engage fans to share their own triathlon journeys. By using either the hashtag #ThisIsTriathlon or #Triathlon2016, fans can submit photos and videos illustrating what it is that they love about the sport. Each week, the ITU will select a winning submission to earn prizes such as triathlon equipment or autographed gear. More info on www.triathlon.org.


The International Ski Federation (FIS) has announced that FIS Honorary Member Ján Mráz passed away on 14 July in Bratislava (Slovakia). A dedicated skier, Ján Mráz was one of the most important sports officials in Slovakia. He was a FIS Judge and Chairman of the Ski Association of Czechoslovakia (1954-1974). Among his many roles for FIS, he served as a Member of the Council (1969-1990) and was appointed FIS Honorary Member in 1990 in recognition of his outstanding services and commitment to the sport of skiing. Meanwhile, after the foundation of the Slovak Olympic Committee in 1992, Ján Mráz was appointed Secretary General. In 1996, he was honoured with the Olympic Order by the IOC for distinguished contributions to the Olympic Movement. More info on www.fis-ski.com.


Austrian NOC

The Austrian Olympic Centres celebrated Olympic Day with various workshops and education campaigns. The Olympic Centre in Dornbirn, Vorarlberg, invited 60 unaccompanied refugee minors from five homes (in Bregenz, Dornbirn, Feldkirch, Vandans and Lauterach) along with 50 students of the sports high school in Dornbirn. Four training sessions in football, karate, boxing and basketball were on the programme. Any of the young refugees who were interested in joining an association were given the opportunity to work off their membership fees and equipment costs by providing services to the association concerned. The Olympic Centres in Innsbruck, Linz, Salzburg-Rif and Vienna put on a number of sports activities with the help of Olympic champions (see photo above). As part of the “Sport for Integration” project developed by the Austrian NOC, the five Olympic Training Centres (Dornbirn, Innsbruck, Klagenfurt, Linz and Salzburg-Rif) initiated pilot projects in association with local sports clubs. Most of the people currently benefiting from the Austrian NOC’s initiative are asylum seekers, with a small number who have refugee status. A range of activities is on offer, from leisure sport to competition. More info on www.olympia.at.

Dinos Michaelides has been elected President of the Cyprus Olympic Committee. He will substitute the former President, Ouranios M. Ioannides, until the end of his mandate. Ioannides resigned on 13 June for health reasons. Active in sport for over 50 years, Dinos Michaelides is currently the President of the National Olympic Academy. A high-level athlete in different sports, he was the holder of several national records in athletics. More info on www.olympic.org.cy

Colombian NOC

On 15 July the Colombian NOC organised an international conference on sports journalism for Rio 2016 in Bogotá, in collaboration with Sergio Arboleda University and Olympic Solidarity (see photo above). The aim of the event was to provide basic information about coverage of the Olympic event for journalists and accredited personnel. Delegates included Argentinian journalist Alejandro Lifschitz, a member of the communication team for the Olympic Games Rio 2016, the President of the Colombian NOC, Baltazar Medina, and the NOC’s first vice-president and Chef de Mission of the Colombian delegation to the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, Ciro Solano. Topics included the communication challenge of Rio 2016, investigative journalism in Rio, Colombia’s communication strategy in Rio, sports, competition systems and Olympic Agenda 2020. More info on www.coc.org.co.

Dominican NOC

On the occasion of Olympic Day, hundreds of people took part in an Olympic walk in Valverde Mao, 230km from the capital Santo Domingo (see photo above). The walk ended a programme of activities organised by the Dominican NOC in collaboration with the Sports Union of Valverde Mao. NOC President Luis Mejía and Secretary General Antonio Acosta, addressed the participants, reminding them about the importance of sport for well-being, in particular for the young generation. More info on www.colimdo.org.

To celebrate the 122nd anniversary of the founding of the IOC, the NOC of El Salvador donated blankets to the neonatal unit of the San Juan de Dios Hospital in Santa Ana, to welcome the next generation of athletes and to promote the Olympic values from the first moments of life. This symbolic activity was coordinated by the NOC and the hospital. More info on www.teamesa.org.

As part of its strategic plan to better prepare its athletes for improved performance at the Olympic Games Rio 2016, The Gambia National Olympic Committee is financing a training camp for the three Gambian athletes in Italy. The 200m duo, Adama Jammeh and Gina Bass, as well as judoka Faye Alex Njie, are currently attending this training camp through this NOC scholarship. The sprinters are training at the Centro di Preparazione Olimpica in Formia while their judoka colleague has been at a training camp in Northern Italy after a two-week training camp in Paris (France), followed by a preparation competition in Hungary.

British Olympic Association

The British Olympic Association has launched its Ambition Programme for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, with 39 young athletes and coaches (see photo above) getting the chance to experience the Olympic environment this summer. The Ambition Programme works with national governing bodies to offer athletes and coaches aspiring to compete at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 a unique opportunity to have an inside experience of the Olympic Games. Of the 105 athletes on the Beijing 2008 programme, 43 went on to compete in London 2012, winning nine medals across eight sports. All four of Team GB’s medals at Sochi 2014 were contributed by a member of the 2012 programme, which included 130 athletes and 56 coaches from summer and winter sports. Info on www.olympics.org.uk.

Singapore National Olympic Council

Members of the Singapore delegation to the Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games came together on 9 July for the official flag presentation ceremony. Tan Chuan-Jin (2nd from left), Minister for Social and Family Development and President of the Singapore National Olympic Council, and Grace Fu (left), Minister for Culture, Community and Youth, presented the Singapore flags to the flag bearers, whose names were announced at the event. Badminton player Derek Wong (right) will be the flag bearer for the Olympic Games, with Yip Pinxiu carrying the flag for the Paralympic Games. Twenty-five athletes will represent Singapore at its 17th participation in the Summer Games. The official “One Team Singapore” support campaign was launched on the same day. More than 2000 people came together to celebrate Olympic Day together with athletes and officials. Tan Chuan-Jin and Grace Fu joined walkers on the 3.6 km Olympic Day Walk, enjoying the Olympic-themed artwork and sculptures installed at the Youth Olympic Park and along the Olympic Walk as part of the Singapore 2010 Youth Olympic Games legacy. More info on www.singaporeolympics.com.

The NOC of Thailand informed that the Olympic Day has been held on 26 June in Chiangkhong District in the Chiangrai Province. Around 10000 people took part in the celebration among which people coming from Laos and Vietnam. More info on www.olympicthai.or.th

José Avelino Rodrigues

A physical activity project based around the Olympic rings, designed by the Venezuelan NOC, will be unveiled at the Olympic Village in Rio. The IOC-approved project, initiated by NOC President Eduardo Alvarez, brought together a group of Venezuelan athletes and technicians to develop a leisure and training system incorporating the Olympic rings. Members of the men’s épée team, including Rubén Limardo (see photo) and Kelvin Reed, who will be in Rio this summer, tried out the exercise.


RIO 2016

Rio 2016

Pelé, the Brazilian football legend welcomed the Rio 2016 Olympic Flame to his hometown of Santos on 22 July (see photo above). The three-time World Cup winner hosted the Olympic Torch at the Pelé museum in the city. Pelé was wearing the Olympic Order that President Bach presented him last June. The Rio 2016 Olympic Torch Relay will arrive in Rio de Janeiro on 3 August, ahead of the Opening Ceremony at the Maracanã Stadium on 5 August.
The official posters for the Olympic Games Rio 2016 were unveiled on 12 July at a ceremony organised at the Museu do Amanhã (Museum of Tomorrow) in the Praça Mauá. The works have been produced by 12 Brazilian artists – Alexandre Mancini, Antônio Dias, Beatriz Milhazes, Claudio Tozzi, Ana Clara Schindler, Gringo Cardia, Gustavo Greco, Gustavo Piqueira, Guto Lacaz, Juarez Machado, Kobra and Rico Lins – and one Colombian, Olga Amaral. The posters are currently on display at the Deodoro Olympic Park. More info on www.rio2016.com


Chris Collison

At a workshop organised on 12 and 13 July in Lausanne, representatives from the IOC, Summer and Winter Olympic International Federations (IFs), the Association of National Olympic Committees (ANOC), the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) and other sports organisations, as well as technology experts discussed the way forward for the Sports Data project. Initiated by ASOIF (Association of Summer Olympic International Federations), this project is aimed at creating a unique sporting database containing historical and near-to-live results, athlete biographies and future calendar data. In a move to widen the scope of the initiative and extend it to the wider Olympic Movement, the IOC, in agreement with ASOIF and facilitated by the Olympic Channel, recently took over the coordination of the platform. The IOC President nominated last week the Steering Committee for the Project and asked IOC Executive Board Member Juan Antonio Samaranch to lead that group of experts. ASOIF President Francesco Ricci-Bitti as well as AIOWF President and IOC Member Gian-Franco Kasper have been nominated Vice-Chairs. IOC Member Kirsty Coventry, Austria NOC President Karl Stoss, World Sailing CEO Andy Hunt and Jake Wilkins from the New Zealand Olympic Committee will be joining that Steering Committee. In addition Andrew Ryan, Sarah Lewis and Jochen Färber will be coordinating the work between the Federations and the IOC as Ex-Officio Members. Read the complete press release here on www.asoif.com

The Rio 2016 Paralympic Games will be the setting for a groundbreaking programme in which images captured by some of the world’s best sports photographers will be made freely available across social media platforms. The programme is the result of a joint initiative between the Olympic Information Service (OIS) and the International Paralympic Committee (IPC). The OIS is a professional sports information service established under Olympic Agenda 2020 to support and cover the Olympic Games, Paralympic Games and Youth Olympic Games. More info on www.paralympic.org.

On 9 July the Declaration of Ethics in Youth Sport was signed at the Maison du Sport Internationale by the President of Panathlon International, Pierre Zappelli, and Lausanne municipal councillor Oscar Tosato.  More info on www.panathlon.net.

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