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Olympic Highlights

2014-09-03 10:19:00 IOC




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On 28 August, IOC President Thomas Bach closed the 2nd Summer Youth Olympic Games (YOG) in Nanjing (People’s Republic of China). He thanked the young athletes who had taken part: “You are the future of the Olympic Movement. You have competed with determination. You have shown respect for your opponents and the rules. You have given us a glimpse of your bright future and the bright future of the Olympic Movement”. He also hailed the quality of the organization of the Summer Youth Olympic Games which “were a resounding success thanks to our wonderful Chinese hosts”, before thanking the government and the people of China, Jiangsu Province and Nanjing as well as the thousands of volunteers. After declaring the 2014 Youth Olympic Games closed, the IOC President invited the next generation of young Olympic athletes to Buenos Aires in 2018.

IOC President with the recipients of the Olympic Order. ©IOC/Ian Jones

Earlier in the day, President Bach had invited the YOG organisers for a thank-you breakfast in the presence of the Governor of Jiangsu Province and President of the Nanjing 2014 Organising Committee (NYOGOC), Li Xueyong; the Chinese NOC President, Liu Peng; and the Member of the Communist Party Committee Jiangsu Provincial Standing Committee and Executive President of NYOGOC, Yang Weize; as well as representatives of the city of Nanjing and Jiangsu Province. Together with the Chairman of the Coordination Commission for the Nanjing 2014 YOG, Alexander Popov, and the IOC Head of Protocol, Willi Kaltschmitt Luján, the IOC President awarded the Olympic Order to a number of NYOGOC members and awarded the Olympic Cup to the people of Nanjing. A number of Olympic pins were also presented, as the IOC President noted: “The legendary Chinese combination of friendliness and efficiency has worked wonders. Together, these two qualities guaranteed the success of the Games. Together, we were able to see China confident of its place in the world and ready to host the world.”

President Bach surrounded by Nanjing 2014 young athletes. ©IOC/Ian Jones

During the YOG between 16 and 28 August, President Bach went to almost all of the competition venues each time accompanied by IOC Vice-President Yu Zaiqing and the IOC members in China, Yang Yang and Li Lingwei. The IOC President stayed for two nights at the Youth Olympic Village, and had the chance to meet some of the 3,800 young athletes competing, as well as many of the volunteers and spectators. He also visited the Sports Lab, where he met young athletes and officials from the sports of roller skating, skateboarding, climbing and wushu. “It is exciting to see how the Sports Lab is appreciated by the people of Nanjing. This was the idea that the people of the host city cannot just watch the Youth Olympic Games, they can also participate”, said President Bach. “For the four sports, it is a great opportunity to present themselves in an Olympic environment.”

Among his many activities, the IOC President met several Young Ambassadors, Young Reporters and Athletes Role Models of the Nanjing Games, including YOG Ambassador Chad Le Clos. He also took part in a “Chat with the Champions” discussion forum and a Youth Session as part of the YOG Culture and Education Programme.

President Bach and President Xi. ©IOC/Ian Jones

The IOC President’s programme also included a meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping, at which the two leaders addressed various subjects, including the organisation of the YOG and the Chinese government’s support for the Games, as well as how sport can be a fundamental part of his strategy to develop Chinese society. During this meeting, held on the day of the Opening Ceremony of the YOG, the Chinese President reaffirmed his promise to deliver free internet access for participants at all venues. IOC Vice-Presidents Nawal El Moutawakel, Craig Reedie, John Coates and Yu Zaiqing, and IOC members Yang Yang and Li Lingwei were also present.

On the day of the Closing Ceremony, President Bach met the Premier of China, Li Keqiang.

President Bach with the UN Secretary-General. ©IOC/Ian Jones

The IOC President also welcomed United Nations (UN) Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. During what have become ‘monthly’ meetings, President Bach said: “Your presence here is once again the proof of the strong and increasing cooperation between our two institutions.” The meeting came just a few weeks after the two men jointly inaugurated the new Sport for Hope Centre in Haiti.

During his stay in Nanjing, the IOC President met also a number of heads of state: Pierre Nkurunziza from Burundi, Epeli Nailatikau from Fiji, Abdulla Yameen from the Maldives, Filip Vujanovic from Montenegro and Tony Tan Keng Yam from Singapore. He also had meetings with several prime ministers, including Joe Natuman from Vanuatu, Gaston Browne from Antigua and Barbuda, Abdoulkader Kamil Mohamed from Djibouti and Roger Kolo from Madagascar, as well as with the Speaker of the National Assembly of Namibia, Theo-Ben Gurirab.

President Bach had several meetings with IOC members, addressing a whole number of issues including the Olympic Agenda 2020.

President Bach with Samsung Vice-Chairman Jay Y. Lee. ©IOC/Ian Jones

The IOC President signed a contract with the Vice-Chairman of Samsung, Jay Y. Lee, extending the IOC’s Worldwide TOP Partnership with Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd (Samsung) through to the end of 2020. On this occasion, he said: “We are delighted to be able to continue our partnership with Samsung. The funding generated by the TOP Programme directly supports the staging of every Olympic Games, as well as every one of the National Olympic Committees, enabling athletes from all over the world to prepare for and compete at each Games. Samsung also supports the operations of each Games by providing leading wireless telecommunications and technology equipment. In addition, Samsung’s technologies and global marketing reach will engage fans around the world with the Olympic values and the Olympic Movement.”

President Bach with the athletes honoured by the Nanjing Sports Institute. ©IOC/Ian Jones

At the Nanjing Sports Institute (NSI), President Bach attended a ceremony in honour of 13 Olympic champions who are NSI alumni. During this ceremony, the IOC President was made an Honorary Professor of the NSI. Many other athletes and world champions as well as the IOC Honorary President, the members of the IOC Executive Board, the Athletes’ Commission and the Commission for Culture and Olympic Education and the IOC members in China were present at the ceremony. During the YOG, the Institute hosted the badminton and tennis competitions.


The ceremony took place in the presence of the IOC President, the IOC Honorary President, Chinese Vice-Premier Liu Yangdong and numerous Nanjing city officials.


Summer IFs
The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) has launched a web app telling athletes what they need to know about all aspects of the IAAF’s anti-doping programme. The IAAF is the first international sports federation to launch a standalone app with detailed anti-doping information.

The International Cycling Union (UCI)’s Women’s Cycling Week, organised last month, was a programme of initiatives aimed at growing the profile of women’s cycling through a series of events. The week culminated in a thrilling finale to La Course by Le Tour de France on the Champs-Elysees in Paris, won by world and Olympic champion Marianne Vos. Fifteen national champions also took part in the event.

During the YOG in Nanjing, International Gymnastics Federation (FIG) President Bruno Grandi signed a contract awarding the 25th FIG Acrobatic Gymnastics World Championships in 2016 to the Chinese city of Putian. To this end, the FIG President and the Secretary General, Andre Gueisbuhler, held a meeting with the Vice-Mayor of Putian, Zhang Libing, and Chinese Gymnastics Association President Luo Chaoyi (CHN). The Championships will be held in March and April 2016.

The International Swimming Federation (FINA) and the Doha 2014 Organising Committee for the 12th FINA World Swimming Championships (25m) will organise the first Youth Training Programme from 3 to 7 December during the Championships. About 350 swimmers from 14 to 16 years old will take part in the programme. During the five-day course, the young swimmers will get advice from renowned coaches and learn about the latest training trends and techniques.

In addition, at the beginning of August, Kazan (Russian Federation) organised the first edition of the FINA High Diving World Cup, which saw 34 athletes from 16 countries taking part. For its part, the second edition of the World Women’s Youth Water Polo Championships is taking place in Madrid (Spain) from 25 to 31 August, with 16 teams from the five continents.

President Bach attending the signing ceremony between the
 President of the WTF (R) and of the ITF (L). ©IOC/Ian Jones

In Nanjing on 21 August, the President of the World Taekwondo Federation (WTF), Chungwon Choue, and the President of the International Taekwon-Do Federation (ITF) and IOC member, Ung Chang, signed a historic memorandum in the presence of President Bach. This agreement will open up dialogue and increase collaboration between the two organisations for the benefit of the sport worldwide. As part of the agreement, athletes currently registered with the WTF and ITF will be free to compete in each other’s competitions under the rules of each organisation, creating new exciting opportunities and ensuring that the world’s best taekwondo athletes can compete in the world’s best taekwondo tournaments. “This is a historic step for taekwondo – it is a kind of family reunion. With common roots and a common history, the two federations belong to the same family and it is great to see such an accord. It is in the best interests of the young athletes and lays a firm foundation for cooperation for the future”, President Bach declared.

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