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Olympic highlights of the week of 29 March 2014

2014-03-31 10:05:00 IOC

IOC ACTIVITIES

PRESIDENT

On 25 March in Lausanne, IOC President Thomas Bach attended the presentation by the three architecture practices of their designs for the possible new IOC headquarters, in the presence also of IOC Vice-Presidents Nawal El Moutawakel, Craig Reedie and Zaiqing Yu, Executive Board (EB) member Ching-Kuo Wu and IOC member Lambis V. Nikolaou.

This week, President Bach has had meetings with:
- Indian NOC President Narayna Ramachandran;
- Michelle Ford, an Olympic swimming champion and former IOC Athletes’ Commission member;
- Claude Louis Gallien, International University Sport Federation (FISU), President, and FISU Secretary General Eric Saintrond;
- Lausanne sports leaders;
- IOC Vice-Presidents Nawal El Moutawakel, Craig Reedie and Zaiqing Yu, EB members Ching-Kuo Wu and Claudia Bokel and IOC member Kirsty Coventry.

From 29 March to 2 April, President Bach will be in the Middle East, where he will visit Kuwait, Qatar and Saudi Arabia. Read all the details in next week’s Highlights.

MEMBERS
On 28 March, Jean-Claude Killy has announced that he is stepping down as an IOC member after two decades of service to the Olympic Movement. The three-time Olympic gold medallist joined the IOC in 1995. He was a member of a number of IOC commissions, most recently chairing the Coordination Commission for the XXII Olympic Winter Games in Sochi in 2014. President Bach, who was informed of Killy’s decision some months ago, said Killy had had a profoundly positive impact on the Olympic Movement, both as an athlete and as an administrator: “Having already been a sporting legend as an athlete, he later dedicated himself to the IOC, its values and ideals – also with great success. In this respect, I could mention many of his accomplishments, but I know that he himself would consider his unique contribution to the fantastic success of the 2014 Sochi Olympic Winter Games as his greatest achievement”. For these Games in Sochi, Jean-Claude Killy has been awarded the Order of Honour by Russian President Vladimir Putin at a ceremony in the Kremlin on 24 March.

Syed Shahid Ali has received a lifetime achievement award from the Lahore Polo Club in Pakistan, one of the oldest polo clubs in the world.

Tsunekazu Takeda has been appointed as a Vice-President of the Organising Committee for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo. (See also the Tokyo 2020 section below.)


INTERNATIONAL SPORTS FEDERATIONS

SUMMER IFs
On 20 and 21 March at the headquarters of the International Handball Federation (IHF) in Basle (Switzerland), around 50 members of the IHF’s various commissions attended a meeting on “how to make handball more attractive”. All the ideas and proposals submitted will serve as a basis for other discussions and decisions at the forthcoming IHF Forum on the future of handball, which will be held in October this year in Bjerringbro (Denmark).

The International Hockey Federation (FIH) has announced changes to its match format, moving from two 35-minute halves to four 15-minute quarters This new format will be applied as of 1 September to all the major FIH competitions, including the Champions Trophy, the World League final and the qualifying events for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio.

The International Rugby Board (IRB) informs us that the second IRB World Rugby Conference and Exhibition (IRB World Rugby ConfEx) will take place on 17 and 18 November 2014 in London (Great Britain). The event will feature the IRB Medical Commission Conference, insightful plenary sessions, workshops and an exhibition, as well as providing an opportunity to network with leading figures and decision-makers from across rugby and the wider world of sport.

A new event has been added to the calendar of the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF), the ITTF Legends Tour. This Tour will give table tennis fans across the globe another opportunity to watch the great players such as Sweden’s Olympic champion Jan-Ove Waldner, his compatriots Jörgen Persson and Mikael Appelgren, China’s Jiang Jialiang, Belgium’s Jean-Michel Saive and Frenchman Jean-Philippe Gatien. The first stop of the new Tour will be at Jemeppe-sur-Meuse, in the province of Liège (Belgium), on 7 May 2014.

In addition, the road to the table tennis competition at the 2016 Games in Rio will start at the 2015 European Games in Baku (Azerbaijan), which will qualify one man and one woman, the winners of both singles events. The 172 positions available in Rio, 86 for men and 86 for women, will be allocated over the next 12 months.

WINTER IFs
The European Broadcasting Union (EBU) and the International Skating Union (ISU) have reached an agreement on exclusive media rights from 2015 to 2019, marking 50 years of EBU-ISU partnership. This new deal will ensure that more than 130 events over the four seasons (2015/16; 2016/17; 2017/18; 2018/19) will enjoy maximum free-to-air exposure on EBU members’ radio, TV and online channels. The portfolio covers 52 World and European Championships in the three ISU disciplines of figure skating, speed skating and short track, as well as the series of Grand Prix and World Cups, together with “ISU World Team Trophy of Figure Skating”.

RECOGNISED IFS
The International Surfing Association (ISA) has announced that Afghanistan has become its 82nd member.


NATIONAL OLYMPIC COMMITTEES


Presentation during the General Assembly of the Algerian NOC 

On 22 March, the Algerian NOC held its General Assembly, during which the Algerian Olympic Order of Merit was presented to several personalities such as Mohamed Tahmi, Minister of Youth and Sport. Awards were also presented to the athletes who performed best in the continental competitions during 2013. In line with the new NOC statutes, two women became members during the Assembly: Karima Sadok, Vice-President of the Fencing Federation, and Fériel Chouiter, a member of the NOC Medical Commission.


Participants in the Argentinean NOC’s sports administration course

On 21 March, the Argentinean NOC organised its first advanced sports administration course, with support from Olympic Solidarity and the national body for elite sport. At the opening ceremony, NOC Secretary General Mario Moccia stressed the importance of training for the management and running of sports institutions. Lasting nine months, this course features monthly meetings and case studies for distance learning with tutors.

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