Category Archives: Olympics

In the wake of Rio’s “Marvellous Games”, Tokyo makes strong strides towards 2020

Press Release

In the wake of Rio’s “Marvellous Games”, Tokyo makes strong strides towards 2020

The International Olympic Committee (IOC)’s Coordination Commission for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 today completed its third official visit to the Japanese capital (1-2 December). The Commission acknowledged the organisers’ significant progress in Games preparations, as well as their commitment to quickly finalise the venue master plan and integrate the five new sports approved during the IOC Session in Rio de Janeiro into their plans.

Building on the success of the Olympic Games Rio 2016 and an internationally acclaimed handover ceremony, Tokyo 2020 showcased over the last two days how its state of the art facilities will offer a unique Olympic and Paralympic experience to the world’s best athletes in 2020. The Coordination Commission also heard about the proposed venues for the sports of baseball/softball, karate, skateboard, sports climbing and surfing, which were included on the Tokyo 2020 programme following a proposal by the Tokyo organisers in response to the new opportunity provided by Olympic Agenda 2020.

“We are very pleased with the significant progress that has been achieved since the last visit of the Coordination Commission to Tokyo,” said the Chair of the Coordination Commission, John Coates. “We have seen that President Mori, Governor Koike, Minister Marukawa and Minister Matsuno all share a common desire to deliver outstanding Olympic Games in 2020 for the athletes and for the people of Tokyo and Japan. The IOC and all of the Japanese partners are rowing in the same direction. Our continued close collaboration will ensure that the venue masterplan is finalised quickly; that the significant savings in the Games budget are delivered; and that the local population is left with an important positive legacy from these Games.”

He continued, “It is particularly pleasing that the revenues of Tokyo 2020 have increased significantly, which will support the achievement of a balanced Organising Committee budget. For the other components relative to the overall budget, we are convinced that significant savings will be made.”

The Coordination Commission welcomed the outcome of the discussions of the Four-Party Working Group, including confirmation of the Sea Forest and Aquatics venues, while the volleyball venue is expected to be finalised soon. It also noted the progress that has been made over the last month towards achieving further cost savings for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games, with an additional amount of over USD 400 million having been saved on venue construction, which comes on top of the approximately USD 1.8 billion savings made on the revised construction budget last year.

The President of the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee, Yoshiro Mori, said, “During the IOC Coordination Commission meetings over the past two days, we were able to hold productive discussions on various aspects of preparations for the Games with the members of the Commission, led by Chairman John Coates. The Commission gave a very positive evaluation of our overall progress in each area of the Games.

“The word ‘integration’ was emphasised. With the growing number of Tokyo 2020 staff members, it is indeed the key element of our organisation – how to operate as ‘one team’.  The Commission provided us with some valuable ideas about how to make the best use of the remaining three years and eight months until the Tokyo 2020 Games.

“We firmly believe that sport has the power to change the world and the future. With this as Tokyo 2020’s vision, we will continue making best efforts to prepare for and deliver successful Games.”

The finalisation of the venues and the optimisation of their design mark another important step towards the shaping of a strong legacy, not only in Tokyo but in Japan as a whole. The engagement of the Japanese population towards the Games is mounting, as was demonstrated by the over 800,000 people who gathered in the streets of Tokyo to give the 87 Japanese medallists and their teammates from the Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games an ecstatic homecoming a few months ago. This event undoubtedly provided a taste of the kind of scenes the athletes can expect when the capital hosts the Olympic and Paralympic Games in four years’ time. The same enthusiasm is accompanying the Olympic flag tour that is currently travelling around the country.

Strong engagement and high interest in the Games are also being displayed by the Japanese business community, with Tokyo 2020’s success in signing 42 domestic partners (15 Tier 1 and 27 Tier 2) so far underlining the Japanese economy’s strong support for the 2020 Games.

The coming year will be another important sporting one for Tokyo 2020. The Tokyo organisers will be in Lausanne next week to present for IOC approval the venues of the five new sports that were presented to the Coordination Commission this week. These new venues, which are a mix of temporary and existing venues, have been selected with a view to the experience of the athletes; efficiency of planning and delivery; and their legacy. The final list of events on the Olympic sports programme of the 2020 Games is then due to be agreed upon by the IOC in summer 2017.

The two-day visit by the Commission covered a number of topics, including Tokyo 2020’s experience and observation of the Olympic Games Rio 2016, sport, NOC Services, Olympic Village, people management, engagement, sustainability, spectator experience, venues and the Paralympics. The Commission’s fourth visit to Tokyo is scheduled for June 2017.

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PRRD sends off team Ph to Rio Olympics, vows more support for athletes

MANILA (Presidential Communications Office) — President Rodrigo R. Duterte on Monday led government officials in the send-off ceremony for the Philippine delegation to the Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

“Just try your best, and the conscious mind would always be in the direction of love of country,” the President told the members of Team Philippines, adding that “of the 100 million Filipinos plus, few are given the opportunity to be a part of a team or to be working for government and it’s not given to everybody.”

The President vowed that he will exert efforts to source funds for the athletes by instituting reforms in government agencies and using public funds for the good of all Filipinos.

Six of the 12 Rio Olympians were present during the momentous event, namely: long jumper Maristela Torres, golfer Miguel Tabuena, taekwondo jin Kirstie Elaine Alora, weightlifters Hidilyn Diaz and Nestor Colonia, and table tennis player Ian Lariba. The other six athletes are training abroad.

During the send-off, President Duterte also increased the individual allowance of the delegates to the quadrennial games, which he hopes would boost the morale of the Rio-bound athletes.

Leading the country’s sports officials during the ceremony at Malacanan Palace were Philippine Sports Commission chairman William “Butch” Ramirez, Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) president Jose “Peping” Cojuangco, and Jose “Joey” Romasanta, POC first vice president who is also the Chef-de-Mission for the Philippine delegation.

To date, the highest honor garnered by the country from the Olympics were two silver medals, both in boxing. Anthony Villanueva gave the Philippines its first silver medal at the 1964 Tokyo Olympics, and 32 years later, Mansueto “Onyok” Velasco captured the silver during the 1996 Atlanta Games. PND

Beijing named host city of Olympic Winter Games 2022

Beijing named host city of Olympic Winter Games 2022

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) today named Beijing, People’s Republic of China, as the host city of the Olympic Winter Games 2022.

The Chinese capital was chosen over Almaty, Kazakhstan, in a vote at the 128th IOC Session in Kuala Lumpur. Beijing received 44 votes to Almaty’s 40.

As a result, Beijing will become the first city to host both a summer and winter edition of the Olympic Games, following the city’s successful staging of the Summer Games in 2008.

Right after the election, representatives of Beijing together with IOC President Thomas Bach signed the Host City Contract (HCC), which is available here. This is the first time that the HCC is being made public, which is a result of the recommendations of Olympic Agenda 2020 – a reform package that significantly changed the host city selection process.  

Beijing aims to use the Games to accelerate the development of a new sport, culture and tourism area, and to encourage interest in winter sports in a region that is home to more than 300 million people in northern China.

Although the bid process for 2022 began before the approval of Olympic Agenda 2020, the reforms have already had a significant impact on Beijing’s Olympic plans. Olympic Agenda 2020 calls for a stronger focus on sustainability, legacy, and transparency, while making it easier for host cities to tailor Games that meet their needs rather than trying to fit a template.

Beijing took advantage of the flexibility provided by Olympic Agenda 2020 to improve its plans for the Games and reduce costs. The city will rely heavily on existing venues, including those built for the Games in 2008, such as the iconic Bird’s Nest stadium.

Beijing’s proposed budget for investment in Olympic villages, sports venues and other infrastructure totals 1.5 billion US dollars – significantly less than for Olympic Games in the past. The proposed operational budget should be fully offset by revenue from ticket sales, marketing sponsorships and other income. Thanks to an additional contribution from the IOC of approximately 880 million US dollars to support the staging of the Olympic Winter Games in 2022, Beijing is confident that it will either break even or make a profit.

In addition, post-Games legacy uses for all permanent venues have already been identified to ensure that Games-related investments deliver benefits for years to come.(pr)

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The International Olympic Committee is a not-for-profit independent international organisation made up of volunteers, which is committed to building a better world through sport. It redistributes more than 90 per cent of its income to the wider sporting movement, which means that every day the equivalent of USD 3.25 million goes to help athletes and sports organisations at all levels around the world.

Lausanne named Winter Youth Olympic Games host for 2020

Lausanne named Winter Youth Olympic Games host for 2020

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) today named Lausanne, Switzerland, as the host city of the 3rd Winter Youth Olympic Games in 2020.

Lausanne, home to the IOC headquarters since 1915 and known as the Olympic Capital, was chosen over Brasov, Romania, during a vote at the 128th IOC Session in Kuala Lumpur, with 71 votes to Brasov’s 10.

In line with Olympic Agenda 2020, the IOC’s strategic roadmap for the future of the Olympic Movement, approved last December, the Evaluation Commission for the Winter Youth Olympic Games 2020 focused its assessment of the two Candidate Cities for the first time on the key opportunities and risks associated with both bids and a focus on the athletes’ experience. The Commission, chaired by IOC Member in China Yang Yang, noted that both Lausanne and Brasov were capable of organising the Games. Lausanne was praised in particular for its good use of existing, temporary and demountable venues, in line with Olympic Agenda 2020 sustainability reforms.

Lausanne 2020 organisers have proposed 10 to 19 January 2020 as the dates for the Games. Over 1,000 athletes ranging in age from 15 to 18 are expected to compete at the Winter Youth Olympic Games 2020. Both YOG Candidate Cities were informed that a review of sports, disciplines and events will take place after the 2nd Winter Youth Olympic Games, due to be held in Lillehammer, Norway, in February 2016, and that the overall list of events would be completed approximately three years ahead of the Youth Olympic Games 2020.

President Bach will establish a Coordination Commission to assist Lausanne 2020 throughout its preparation period.

The Youth Olympic Games are about competing, learning and sharing. They are a celebration of sport, youth, diversity and the Olympic values. They also exemplify the fundamental principle of Olympism to blend sport with culture and education. At the heart of the learn-and-share approach, a set of unique activities endeavours to equip the young athletes with sport and life skills; propose an innovative and powerful introduction to Olympism; and inspire participants to become ambassadors of the Olympic values.

The 1st Winter Youth Olympic Games were held in Innsbruck, Austria in 2012. The 2nd edition is scheduled to take place from 12 to 21 February 2016 in Lillehammer, Norway.

For more information on the Youth Olympic Games, please visit: www.olympic.org/yog.(pr)

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The International Olympic Committee is a not-for-profit independent international organisation made up of volunteers, which is committed to building a better world through sport. It redistributes more than 90 per cent of its income to the wider sporting movement, which means that every day the equivalent of USD 3.25 million goes to help athletes and sports organisations at all levels around the world.

IOC and INTERPOL support national efforts to combat competition manipulation in Norway

IOC and INTERPOL support national efforts to combat competition manipulation in Norway
*Supporting the clean athletes part of the implementation of Olympic Agenda 2020 reforms

As part of increased collaboration between the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and INTERPOL to protect the integrity of sport through education and awareness programmes, as outlined in Olympic Agenda 2020, the first Partnership Development Meeting (PDM) was held today in Oslo, Norway.

Norway was the first country to ratify the Council of Europe’s Convention on the Manipulation of Sports Competitions. Today’s meeting enabled the IOC and INTERPOL to test, through scenarios, the country’s readiness to confront competition manipulation within its borders. Participants, who included high-level representatives from the government, law enforcement agencies, sports betting authorities and sports, responded to allegations of competition manipulation and built a comprehensive and unified approach to combatting them. PDMs are currently being developed by the IOC and INTERPOL for other countries around the world according to their own unique circumstances.

“This meeting is another tangible result from Olympic Agenda 2020, which is all about protecting the clean athletes from doping, match-fixing, the manipulation of competitions and related corruption,” said IOC President Thomas Bach. “Together, the IOC and INTERPOL are developing robust education and awareness programmes that are already having a positive impact in the fight to protect the integrity of sport. INTERPOL’s know-how and educational expertise is crucial in this regard.”

INTERPOL Secretary General Jürgen Stock said: “Our common action with the International Olympic Committee to protect the integrity of sport through PDMs, training and capacity building helps strengthen confidence in fair play by the public and all those who have a stake in keeping sports clean and safe.”

Recognising the commitment by Norwegian authorities to sport’s integrity, Mr Stock added: “A coordinated prevention strategy to keep sports clean is necessary, and must involve stakeholders on national, regional and international levels.”

The meeting included representatives from the Norwegian Ministry of Culture, the Norwegian Olympic Committee (NOC), the Football Association of Norway, the Norwegian National Lottery, the Norwegian Gaming and Foundation Authority, the Norwegian National Authority for Investigation and Prosecution of Economic and Environmental Crime (ØKOKRIM), National Criminal Investigation Service (NCIS) Norway (Organised Crime section), INTERPOL’s National Central Bureau (NCB) Oslo, the National Police Directorate Norway, the IOC and INTERPOL.

Norwegian Minister for Culture and Sport Thorhild Widvey said: “An efficient fight against manipulation of sports competitions requires combined efforts from sport, betting operators, betting regulators and other public authorities, including the police. By strengthening national coordination and international cooperation in this field, we will be better prepared to tackle the challenges facing sport.”

As part of Olympic Agenda 2020, the IOC’s strategic roadmap for the future of the Olympic Movement, a USD 20 million fund is being leveraged to protect the clean athletes. USD 10 million has been earmarked to prevent match-fixing, manipulation and related corruption; the other USD 10 million is being used to support projects offering a new scientific approach to anti-doping.

Pâquerette Girard Zappelli, the IOC’s Chief Ethics and Compliance Officer, said: “The IOC recognises its responsibility to support the Olympic Movement, and particularly National Olympic Committees, in recognising, resisting and reporting breaches of sport’s integrity. In order to build a firewall around sport, to protect clean athletes and clean competitions, we need partners who can help us strengthen that firewall. We cannot fight this alone.”

“Our collaboration with INTERPOL enables us to develop tailored solutions for each national situation. Together we address the various complex, multi-jurisdictional integrity risks that sport is confronted with today,” she continued. “Through PDMs and other training courses, we are strengthening good governance and investigative capacity to bring to justice those who attempt to destroy the soul of sport.”

The IOC signed a Memorandum of Understanding with INTERPOL in January 2014. Since then, the two organisations have widened the scope of previous activities and drafted a strategy for concrete action over the 2015-2017 period. The IOC and INTERPOL will continue to provide Partnership Development Meetings tailored to the unique circumstances of governments, law enforcement agencies and betting operators around the world. The two organisations are working together to deliver workshops with National Olympic Committees (NOCs) and an annual seminar with International Federations (IFs) on the risk of match-fixing, manipulation of competitions and related corruption. An e-learning platform targeting all the participants at the Olympic Games – athletes, their entourage as well as NOC and IF officials – is also being developed.(pr)

Death of Peter Tallberg, IOC member in Finland

It is with great sadness that the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has learnt of the death of Peter Tallberg, IOC member in Finland, at the age of 77.

A five-time Olympic sailor, Peter Tallberg was the second-longest serving current IOC member, having been elected in 1976. Only Doyen Vitaly Smirnov, who was elected in 1971, has served longer.

IOC President Thomas Bach immediately reacted to the death of Peter Tallberg: ‘As the founding chairman of the Athletes’ Commission, Peter was my first teacher at the IOC,’ he said. ‘He worked all his life for sport and for protecting the clean athletes. The athletes of the world and all those who love sport owe him a huge debt and he has left a lasting legacy for the Olympic Movement for which we can all be grateful. As a mark of respect and to remember such a great man the Olympic flag will be flown at half-mast for three days at the IOC headquarters in Lausanne’ Bach added.

During his 40-plus years working for the Olympic Movement, Mr Tallberg had a strong and far-reaching impact. He chaired the Athletes’ Commission from its inception in 1981 until 2002, when he became an Honorary member of the commission. He was also a member of the following commissions:

– Eligibility (1979-1980)
– Olympic Programme (summer) (1980-1994)
– Olympic Movement (1981-1999)
– Coordination for the Games of the XXVe Olympiad in 1992 in Barcelona (1989-1992)
– Study for the Preparation of the Olympic Games of 1996 (1989-1990)
– Preparation for the XII Olympic Congress (1989-1994)
– Enquiry for the Games of the XXVII Olympiad in 2000 (1993)
– Coordination for the Games of the XXVIII Olympiad in 2004 in Athens (1998-2004)
– “IOC 2000” (1999), Evaluation for the XXI Olympic Winter Games in 2010 (2002-2003)
– Coordination for the Games of the XXX Olympiad in 2012 in London (2005-2012)
– Nominations since 2014

Mr Tallberg was the President of the International Yacht Racing Union (IYRU, later International Sailing Federation – ISAF) (1986-1994); President of the Finnish Yachting Association (1977-1983), and President of the Scandinavian Yacht Racing Union (1978-1981).

He captained the Finnish Olympic Yachting team (1976), was Vice-President of the Finnish Squash Association (1974-1976), became a Council member and Secretary General of the General Association of International Sports Federations (GAISF, later SportAccord) (1988-1998), and was a member of the Executive Board of the European Sport Conference (1994-1998).

Mr Tallberg worked tirelessly to place the athletes at the heart of the Olympic Movement and to protect sport from all forms of corruption. He was a Council Member of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) (1999-2002) and member of the World Olympians Association (WOA) (2007-2014) as liaison for the IOC Athletes’ Commission.

Before transitioning into the administrative side of sport, Tallberg was a decorated sailor who competed in five editions of the Olympic Games. His best performance at the Games was a fourth-place finish in Star at Tokyo 1964. He finished 15th in the 5.5m in Rome 1960, 11th in Star at Mexico City 1968, 12th in Soling at Munich 1972, and 11th in Star at Moscow 1980.

Tallberg was Junior European centreboard yachting champion (1953); Finnish champion in Finn (1969), in Soling (1970 and 1972), in H (1974); Nordic Finn champion (1969); Swedish champion (1963 and 1965) and European Star champion (1967).

He also enjoyed practising other sports, including squash, table tennis, skiing and golf. As a skier, Tallberg was Finnish junior slalom champion in 1954. He finished 3rd in the Finnish senior squash championships in 1978.(pr)

The IOC expresses its deepest sympathies to Peter Tallberg’s family.

IOC President announces ground-breaking educational service for elite athletes

News Release

IOC President announces ground-breaking educational service for elite athletes

International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach today announced that the IOC will launch a free, online education service aimed specifically at Olympians, other elite athletes and their coaches.

The new service, called “The IOC Athlete Learning Gateway”, will go live on 28 Mayduring the 7th IOC Athlete Career Programme Forum in Lima, Peru.

For over a year, more than 4,000 athletes and coaches from around the world have been helping the IOC test and develop the pilot version of the experimental “MOOC” (massive open online courses). Leading academics, sports institutes, sports leaders and Olympians have contributed content for the programme, including courses and live online seminars.

President Bach said: “The long-term interests of athletes are a priority for the IOC. Through Olympic Agenda 2020, the IOC has a unique opportunity to act as a bridge between busy athletes and the world’s best academics and learning tools. The IOC Athlete Learning Gateway will allow athletes to shape their futures while still pursuing their athletic careers.”

Recommendation 18 of Olympic Agenda 2020, the IOC’s strategic roadmap for the future of the Olympic Movement, calls for support to athletes to be strengthened. This includes the development of athlete career programmes with all the relevant stakeholders and increasing engagement with athletes on important topics related to their careers on and off the field of play.

“This is just one of many important new initiatives being driven by the Olympic Agenda 2020 reforms, which will strengthen and improve support for the athletes,” said IOC Athletes’ Commission Chair and Athens 2004 silver medallist Claudia Bokel. “This inspiring free electronic platform will give athletes, wherever they may be in the world and at whatever stage of their athletic career, access to educational material produced by leading academics and athletes. This is an important step forward for the welfare of athletes.”

IOC Entourage Commission Chair and Seoul 1988 gold medallist Sergey Bubka said: “The life of an athlete is extremely busy: they are constantly on the road; they spend a lot of time training. It is very difficult to find the time to study, to properly prepare for life after sport. But thanks to the many changes brought about by Olympic Agenda 2020, athletes will continue to be given more and more opportunities like the IOC Athlete Learning Gateway. This online tool gives athletes the means to successfully combine sport and education for brighter futures.”

The pilot programme for the IOC Athlete Learning Gateway was evaluated by the IOC’s Athletes’ Commission, Entourage Commission and a dedicated independent Academic Advisory Board. The IOC President agreed with their recommendation to establish the full service as part of Olympic Agenda 2020.

To view the pilot service, click here. A new link to The IOC Athlete Learning Gateway will be published on 28 May along with more information about the new service.

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The International Olympic Committee is a not-for-profit independent international organisation made up of volunteers, which is committed to building a better world through sport. It redistributes more than 90 per cent of its income to the wider sporting movement, which means that every day the equivalent of USD 3.25 million goes to help athletes and sports organisations at all levels around the world.