Olympic Highlights

15 Dec 2016



The IOC Executive Board (EB) reviewed the Olympic Games Rio 2016, the next editions of the Olympic Games, the protection of clean athletes and other institutional matters during its last meeting of the year in Lausanne.

A review and evaluation of the Olympic Games Rio 2016 outlining the success of the Olympic Games Rio 2016 was presented to the EB by different IOC Departments. For the IOC President, “with half of the world’s population watching the Games, Rio 2016 were the most consumed Olympic Games ever. These figures show the great appeal and the relevance of the Olympic Games”. “The other evaluation concerns the perception of the Olympic Games and the Olympic Movement,” he continued. “We were very encouraged that all positive attributes associated with the Olympic Games such as fair play, global unity, diversity had increased since London 2012. Both results together give us a strong foundation to address the challenges that we have ahead of us.” The EB Members also heard a report by Carlos Nuzman, President of the Rio 2016 Organising Committee followed by the closing remarks from the Chair of the Rio 2016 Coordination Commission, Nawal El Moutawakel. Read the full press release about the success of the Olympic Games Rio 2016 here.

Regarding the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, President Yoshiro Mori and CEO Toshiro Muto of the Organising Committee gave an update on the preparation and operational matters of the Games. The EB approved the venues for the five sports - baseball/softball, karate, skateboarding, sport climbing and surfing – that had been approved during the IOC Session in Rio de Janeiro this year for the Tokyo 2020 programme only.

With 428 days to go until the Opening Ceremony of the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018, the President of the Organising Committee, Hee-beom Lee, reported in particular about the large number of activities taking place in PyeongChang this winter, including the 24 test events that will be held this season in the country.

Executive Vice-President Zhang Jiandong, Secretary-General Han Zirong, and Deputy Secretary-General Wu Jingmi of the Organising Committee for the Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022, presented an overview of the main activities. They underlined the efforts being made to develop winter sports in China and promote the Games.

Following the Olympic Games 2024 Evaluation Commission Working Group’s recommendation, the EB approved all three Candidate Cities (Los Angeles, Budapest, Paris) transitioning to the next stage of the Candidature Process.

Concerning the Youth Olympic Games (YOG) Buenos Aires 2018, the EB agreed to add dance sport, karate and sport climbing to the 2018 sports programme. An update on the preparations for the Winter Youth Olympic Games Lausanne 2020 was also presented.

An overview of the ongoing implementation of Olympic Agenda 2020 was presented. The EB approved the principles of the new IOC Sustainability Strategy, an important Olympic Agenda 2020 priority. It also approved the recommendation of the Women in Sport Commission advising members of the Olympic Movement to set a minimum target of 30% for women’s representation in their governing bodies by 2020, and to adopt accompanying measures that will help them to reach this goal.

The EB decided to develop “safe places through sport” throughout the world, mainly for the benefit of refugees and migrants. The EB decided to create a Foundation and to invite other partners to join in.

An update was presented on the activities of the Olympic Channel since its successful launch after the Closing Ceremony of Rio 2016. Since the launch, there were nearly 1.5 billion impressions on Facebook alone. Across all Olympic Channel social media platforms, there were more than 382 million video views and more than 2.1 million followers. Marketing activities had started, with a strong focus on social media, to drive traffic to the Olympic Channel. Bridgestone and Toyota were the first Olympic Charter Founding Partners, and there were ongoing discussions with other Worldwide TOP Partners for additional Founding Partner agreements. It was reported that to date agreements with 38 IFs had been signed.

On the protection of the clean athletes, the EB issued a declaration (full text here) ahead of the publication of the McLaren report. The declaration outlines the roles and responsibilities of the two commissions established to address the findings of the McLaren report.

On the day of publication of the completed Independent Person Report, the IOC issued a statement in which it IOC thanks Prof. McLaren and his team and acknowledges the evidence produced. The detailed findings show that there was a fundamental attack on the integrity of t sport. Thus, the IOC will re-analyse all 254 urine samples collected from Russian athletes at the Olympic Winter Games Sochi 2014, since Prof. McLaren’s mandate did not include a full re-analysis of all these samples. The IOC has also extended the mandate of the Oswald Commission to examine all samples collected from Russian athletes during the Olympic Games London 2012. Read the full statement here.

The IOC President presented a report on the cluster of IOC Commissions meetings held in November and gave an update on the activities of all the IOC Commissions.

The International Cheer Union (ICU) and the International Federation of Muaythai Amateur (IFMA) were granted provisional IOC recognition for a period of three years by the EB.

The EB was informed of the appointment of Samuel Schmid, former President of the Swiss Confederation, former Federal Council in charge of the Army, Population and Sport and member of the IOC Ethics Commission, as the new Chair of the Inquiry Commission looking into allegations surrounding systematic doping with regard to the Olympic Winter Games Sochi 2014. Mr Schmid follows Guy Canivet – a former judge of the French Constitutional Court – who stood down from his position as Vice Chair of the IOC Ethics Commission and as Chair of the IOC Inquiry Commission for personal reasons, but he will continue to offer help and advice to the IOC.

The EB decided to award the Olympic Order to Guy Canivet, Leri Khabelov, President of the Georgian Olympic Committee, and Leandro Negre, former President of the International Hockey Federation.


The IOC President attended the opening of the new headquarters of the International Federation of Gymnastics (FIG) in Lausanne, in the company of the outgoing FIG President Bruno Grandi and president-elect Morinari Watanabe. Among the many distinguished guests present were IOC EB Members, several IOC Members, Presidents and Secretaries General of International Sports Federations, and representatives of the city of Lausanne and the canton of Vaud, including State Councillor Philippe Leuba. Read the full press release from FIG here.

During the meetings in Lausanne, the President met with the President of the Organising Committee of the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, Yoshiro Mori and its Director General Toshiro Muto. He was accompanied by the President of the Coordination Commission for these Games, IOC Vice President John Coates.

A meeting also took place with the President of the Organising Committee of the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018, Hee-beom Lee, accompanied by the President of the Coordination Commission for these Games, IOC EB Member Gunilla Lindberg.

A delegation from the NOC of United Arab Emirates led by its Vice-President, Minister of Health Abdulrahman Al Owass, has been welcomed by the IOC President accompanied by Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah, IOC Member and President of the Association of the National Olympic Committees (ANOC).

Meetings were also held with Vice-Presidents Juan Antonio Samaranch and Uğur Erdener, EB Members Ching-Kuo Wu, Sergey Bubka and Willi Kaltschmitt Luján, IOC Member Alex Gilady and the President of World Sailing, Kim Andersen.

The Olympic Foundation for Culture and Heritage held a meeting with the participation of the IOC President.


The IOC President congratulated the International Triathlon Union (ITU) at its 29th Congress in Madrid (Spain) on its success at the Olympic Games Rio 2016. He praised the ITU, under the leadership of President and IOC Member Marisol Casado, as a good example of good governance and sustainability. President Bach presented a trophy to Marisol Casado who was later elected for the third consecutive time as ITU President. He also attended the ITU Gala Dinner during which athletes have been inducted into the ITU Hall of Fame. The ITU event was attended by the Spanish Minister of Sport, Íñigo Méndez de Vigo y Montojo, IOC Member José Perurena, Spanish NOC President Alejandro Blanco and Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah, IOC Member and ANOC President (see also ‘IFs’ section’).

At The Olympic Museum in Lausanne, President Bach met the Chinese Minister of Foreign Affairs, Wang Yi, with whom he discussed preparations for the Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022.



Mario Pescante, the IOC’s permanent observer to the United Nations, represented the IOC at the 71st Session of the United Nations General Assembly on 6 December in New York (USA). Speaking during the annual debate on sport for development and peace, he paid tribute to the outgoing United Nations Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, who he said had been a “true friend of sport and the Olympic Movement” throughout his term of office. He welcomed the contribution sport had made to promoting tolerance and solidarity, gender equality and sustainable development, and highlighted the vital contribution of sport in building peace. He also emphasised the importance of defending the independence and autonomy of sport.


Craig Reedie (right) has been honoured with the 2016 Eagle Award by the United States Sports Academy (USSA). The award was granted in recognition of his important role as WADA President in the fight against doping, and for his commitment and contribution to the development of sport and the Olympic Movement. The award was presented in London by John S. Hunter (left), a distinguished educator and leader in sport and physical education in the United Kingdom, and a member of the Academy’s Board of Visitors.


Marisol Casado was re-elected as President of the International Triathlon Union for a third term at the 29th Congress in Madrid on 12 December. She was first elected as ITU’s President in Madrid eight years ago.



Julio César Maglione was re-elected as President of the Uruguayan NOC for the period 2016-2020 during the Assembly of the NOC at the end of November.


The Finance Commission, chaired by EB Member Ser Miang Ng, and the Audit Committee, chaired by IOC Member Pierre-Olivier Beckers-Vieujant, met this week in Lausanne. The IOC President took the opportunity to address the commissions and discuss a number of important issues with their members, while underlining the importance of good governance in the sports movement.


The IOC has announced that the reanalysis programme of samples from Beijing 2008 and London 2012 has led to 101 adverse analytical findings. Ninety-eight adverse findings were reported in July, since when three further results have been discovered. So far, 88 sanctions have been issued. The programme demonstrates the IOC’s commitment to clean Olympic Games. In order to provide a level playing field for all clean athletes at the Olympic Games Rio 2016, the IOC 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, in consultation with WADA, the IFs and the National Anti-Doping Agencies (NADOs). Read more here.


IOC / Philippe Woods

The Swiss tennis player, Timea Bacsinszky (photo), made a donation to The Olympic Museum in Lausanne. Silver medalist in double with Martina Hingis at the Olympic Games Rio 2016, she donated the tennis gear she was wearing during the finals, and which is now part of the Museum’s collections.



Philippe Fitte / IAAF

At the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) annual awards gala, which took place in Monte Carlo (Monaco) on 2 December, Usain Bolt of Jamaica and Almaz Ayana of Ethiopia were named male and female World Athletes of the Year 2016. Usain Bolt, who became Olympic 100 metres champion for the third time in Rio, has already won the award five times, but for Almaz Ayana, who won the Olympic 10,000 m, it is a first. The prizes were presented by IAAF President Sebastian Coe and IOC Member Sovereign Prince Albert II (see photo above). Find out more about the other 2016 winners here. The IAAF Special Congress, which also took place in Monte Carlo, voted in favour of a resolution for constitutional reform, which will be delivered in two stages – beginning 1 January 2017 and 1 January 2019 – ushering in a new era of transparent and accountable sports administration. Read a full account here.

Rio 2016 Olympic champions featured heavily among the winners of the 2016 World Rowing Awards, presented by World Rowing (FISA). They included Croatian brothers Martin and Valent Sinkovic, who were named the Male Crew of the Year and Polish athletes Magdalena Fularczyk-Kozlowska and Natalia Madaj, who became Female Crew of the Year. The award winners will be honoured on 28 January 2017 at a gala dinner during the 2016 World Rowing Coaches Conference in Vancouver, Canada. Read a full account here.


On 4 December the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) celebrated 1,000 days to go to the 2019 Basketball World Cup in China. A special event took place at the Wukesong Culture & Sports Centre, where former China international and global icon Yao Ming (see photo) was unveiled as the competition’s first ambassador. On hand for the event were a number of distinguished guests, including China’s Vice Minister of Sports Gao Zhidan, the Vice Secretary General of the Beijing Municipal Government Jiang Fan, members of the local organising committee, representatives of the eight host cities, FIBA Chief Operating Officer Markus Studer and FIBA Media and Marketing Services Director General Frank Leenders. Read the full report here.


The International Swimming Federation (FINA) rewarded its best athletes of 2016 at the 3rd “Soirée des Etoiles” World Aquatics Gala, which took place in Windsor (Canada) on 5 December (see photo above). Male and female laureates were chosen from each of six aquatic disciplines. Michael Phelps (USA) and Katinka Hosszu (Hungary) were named the best male and female athletes of the year, after their outstanding results at the Olympic Games Rio 2016. Michael Phelps received a special award from FINA – “Aquatic Legend, the Greatest of All Time” – as a tribute to his 28 Olympic medals, an unprecedented feat across all sports. The complete list of awards can be found here.

IOC / Ian Jones

The International Tennis Federation (ITF) has announced that Steve Wilson (see photo) has been appointed Executive Director of Communications and International Relations. He will take up the post on 9 January 2017. Over the last 25 years, Steven Wilson has been European Sports Editor for the Associated Press. He has covered 15 Summer and Winter Olympic Games. He will take over from Barbara Travers, who has worked as ITF Head of Communications since 1999. Read the full report here.

The International Triathlon Union (ITU) is to expand its development programme for the 2017 season. Next year, athletes from developing and emerging National Federations will have the opportunity to apply for funded travel assistance and coaching support at seven ITU Triathlon World Cups, which is an increase of three races from 2016. The ITU’s primary objective with this development project is to provide support, resources and expertise to athletes who have the potential to compete at World Cup level, as well as to qualify for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. Read the full report here. Furthermore, during the 29th ITU Congress in Madrid, the delegates voted on ITU Board and Committee positions. Six National Federations were also incorporated into the ITU triathlon family: Algeria, Benin, Burkina Faso, Zambia, Congo DRC and Central Africa. Concerning good governance, a resolution was passed at the Congress prior to voting to set the term limits of an ITU President to three. Read the full press release here.


Legendary sailor Paul Elvstrøm died aged 88 at his birthplace in Hellerup (Denmark) on 7 December. Known as the Great Dane or the Mozart of Sailing, he is one of only three Olympians to win the same individual event four times in a row. He won four consecutive Olympic gold medals at the Olympic Games London 1948, Helsinki 1952, Melbourne 1956 and Rome 1960. He also competed in the Olympic Games Mexico 1968 and Munich 1972. Elvstrøm returned to the Olympic Games Los Angeles 1984 and Seoul 1988 when his daughter, Trine, crewed for him, making them the only father/daughter combination to have competed together at the Games. They finished fourth in Los Angeles (see photo above). Paul Elvstrøm also won 13 World Championships in seven different monotype sailing classes. He is one of only four Olympic athletes to have competed over a 40-year span. Read the full press release on the website of World Sailing (www.sailing.org). Furthermore, World Sailing has selected Kiel in Germany to host the 2017 Para World Sailing Championships from 20 to 25 June, during the world-renowned Kiel Week 2017. The announcement comes less than one month after World Sailing released the Para World Sailing Strategic Plan for 2017–2020. Read more here.


From 28 November to 1 December a delegation led by the President of the Association of National Olympic Committees of Africa (ANOCA), IOC Honorary Member Lassana Palenfo, which included Ahmed Nasser Mostefa, President of the Association of African Sports Confederations (AASC) and a representative of the African Union conducted a working visit to Algiers (Algeria). The visit was part of preparations for the forthcoming African Youth Games, due to take place in Algiers in 2018, which will serve as a qualifying competition for the 2018 Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires. In addition to visiting the competition sites, the group met the Minister for Youth and Sports, El Hadi Ould Ali, and the Minister for Maghreb and African Affairs and the Arab League, Abdelkader Messahel. The African Youth Games hosting contract was signed by the ANOCA President, the Algerian Minister for Youth and Sports, the President of the Algerian NOC and the Wali of Algiers (see photo above). Read more here.

Cape Verde NOC

On 1 and 2 December the NOC of Cape Verde hosted an ANOCA Advanced Zone II Sport Seminar on the topic of sports management in the region, to exchange experiences and outline new strategies (see photo above). The focus of the seminar was to create a “Sport for Life” platform within the “VerdeOlympics” project. Two representatives of each Olympic Committee outlined future strategies for the continuity of the project. During the seminar, talks were given on sport and good governance, organising sports events, promotion and sponsorship, and management and leadership. More info on www.coc.cv.

Cyprus NOC

The Cyprus National Olympic Academy held its 28th annual session on the theme of “The Impact of Sport on Social Health”, with the participation of more than 150 delegates. The keynote speaker was Harvard professor Constantinos Psimopoulos, who analysed how physical activity can be used to prevent disease and to promote health and wellness in society. Other speakers included Diamantis Mastrogiannakis, professor of sociology at the University of Seattle, Ioannis Mouzas, a professor of gastroenterology, and Dimitris Iakovides, a professor of molecular biology. The session concluded with a round table, during which the speakers answered questions put by the president of the academy and moderator of the session, Dinos Michaelides, and the other participants. Read more on the Cyprus NOC website: www.olympic.org.cy.

NOC of Guatemala

The NOC of Guatemala and the Autonomous Sports Confederation of Guatemala (CDAG) paid tribute to the country’s athletes at a ceremony to mark Athletes’ Day on 7 December at the Palacio de los Deportes (see photo above). Athletes from 46 national federations and associations were rewarded for their achievements and commitment. The 21 athletes who competed in the Olympic Games Rio 2016 were also presented with their Olympic participants’ badges and participation diplomas. More info on www.cog.org.gt.

NOC of El Salvador

The President of the NOC of El Salvador, Eduardo Palomo (2nd from left) attended a forum on “Corruption in sport” as part of a “Transparency and Anti-Corruption” week from 5 to 9 December. The event was organised by the Consortium for Transparency and Anti-Corruption, which is made up of four civil organisations: the National Development Foundation (FUNDE – the national branch of Transparency International), the Democracy-Transparency-Justice Foundation, the El Salvador Foundation for Economic and Social Development (FUSADES) and the El Salvador Journalists’ Association (APES). The forum was also attended by representatives of governmental and non-governmental organisations, members of parliament and journalists. More info on www.teamesa.org.

Tamás Róth

Hungarian athletes who completed in the 1956 Olympic Games in Melbourne commemorated the anniversary of the Games and that of the 1956 Hungarian Revolution at a ceremony hosted at the University of Technology and Economics in Budapest. The event, which was organised by the Hungarian Olympic Champions’ Club, whose president is György Nébald, reunited 20 Olympians who competed in Melbourne. Nine Olympic champions were present, including five-time Olympic champion gymnast Agnes Keleti (who is now 95 years old), along with Olga Lemhényiné Tass, Erzsébet Reviczkyné Köteles, Alice Kertész, Jenő Hámori, Lídia Sákovicsné Dömölky, Gábor Benedek, György Kárpáti and Antal Bolvári. They were transported to the event in a bus virtually identical to the one in which they began their journey from Budapest to Melbourne, 60 years ago (see photo above). The Vice President of the Hungarian NOC, Zoltán Magyar, attended the ceremony. A film by János Péter Zoltán and Dezső Dobor, entitled “It began as an Olympics”, was also shown. More info on www.olympic-hun.org.

Nepalese NOC

The South Asia Olympic Council (SAOC) held a meeting recently at the headquarters of the Nepalese NOC in Kathmandu (see photo above). The capital of Nepal is due to host the 13th South Asian Games from 9 to 18 March 2019. At the meeting, the SAOC officially announced that the President of the Nepalese NOC, Jeevan Ram Shrestha, and the NOC Secretary General, Lama Tendi Sherpa, would be the SAOC’s President and Secretary General respectively, as stipulated in the SAOC Charter. It was also decided that the SAOC would establish its permanent headquarters in Nepal.

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