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2014-10-17 10:07:00 IOC




IOC President Thomas Bach paid a first official visit to Armenia, then Georgia and finally Kazakhstan.

President Bach with Armenian NOC President, Gagik 
Tsarukyan and Patrick Joseph Hickey. ©IOC / Ian Jones

After receiving an invitation to the country from the local National Olympic Committee, President Bach met with the President of the Republic of Armenia, Serzh Sargsyan, at the Presidential Palace in the Armenian capital of Yerevan. President Bach emphasised the power of dialogue and the ability of sport to unite and build bridges between countries and people. The IOC President was meeting the Armenian President for the second time after the pair met during the Olympic Winter Games in Sochi. Accompanied by IOC Executive Board member and President of the European Olympic Committees (EOC) Patrick Joseph Hickey, the IOC President later attended a reception hosted by the Armenian NOC President, Gagik Tsarukyan, which included a number of Armenian Olympians and world champions. The IOC delegation visited the new headquarters of the Armenian NOC with its President and a new Olympic sports complex and also took part in the unveiling of a monument dedicated to the first Armenian Olympic champion, Hrant Shahinyan. President Bach was later awarded the title of honorary professor from the Armenian State Institute of Physical Culture.

President Bach with Georgian Olympic Solidarity
 scholarships holders. ©IOC / Ian Jones

From Erevan, the President flew to Tbilisi to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Georgian Olympic Committee. In the capital of Georgia, President Bach met with the President of the Republic of Georgia, Giorgi Margvelashvili, who during the meeting, underscored the importance of sport to the nation of Georgia and to peace-building. President Bach also met with the Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Gharibashvili. He attended the 25th Anniversary Celebration and Galahosted by the Georgian NOC. Guests included Georgian athletes and the Presidents and Secretary Generals of many of Europe's NOCs. At the Gala, President Bach told those in attendance: “The IOC remains ready to offer a platform to all the National Olympic Committees in the region to foster relations between the young athletes so that they can meet each other and get to know each other better.” Accompanying him was Patrick Joseph Hickey. Earlier in the day, the IOC delegation visited the headquarters of the Georgian NOC and met with Georgian NOC President Leri Khabelov and leaders of European NOCs. The President also met a number of Georgian Olympians as well as athletes who had received Olympic Solidarity scholarships during the inauguration of a sculpture exhibition entitled “Ode to Olympic Champions”. He took this opportunity to congratulate Georgia on its many successful athletes at the Olympic Games.

President Bach at the Medeo Alpine Ice Arena in Almaty. ©IOC / Ian Jones

After Armenia and Georgia, President Bach completed a tour of the region with a visit to Almaty on a long planned trip to the city and on the invitation of the NOC of Kazakhstan. The IOC President met with the NOC President Temirkhan Dosmukhambetov, the Minister of Culture and Sports of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Arystanbek Muhamediuly, as well as the Mayor of Almaty, Akhmetzhan Yessimov. He was able to discuss the country's sports plan and how sport has been integrated into the country's long term development plans. He also toured the winter sports facilities in the region which has already hosted the Asian Winter Games 2011 and a number of world championships and is planning to stage the Winter Universiade 2017. Many of the venues are part of Almaty’s bid to host the Olympic Winter Games in 2022. The IOC President also met Kazakh athletes and Olympians and congratulated them on their recent successes at London 2012, Sochi 2014, Nanjing 2014 Youth Olympic Games and the recent Asian Games in Incheon where Kazak athletes won 84 medals.


Before flying to Armenia, in Lausanne President Bach met world famous athlete and former marathon world record holder, Kenya’s Tegla Loroupe. She will receive the “Billie Jean King Contribution Award” during the 35th Annual Salute To Women in Sports Award to be held in New York (USA) on 15 October.

President Bach also met International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) Council member Helmut Digel in Lausanne.


(from R to L) Nawal El Moutawakel, David Wallechinsky, Edwin
 Moses and Gabriela Andersen-Schiess. ©IOC / Arnaud Meylan

IOC Vice-President Nawal El Moutawakel took part in a meeting at The Olympic Museum in Lausanne as part of the 30th anniversary of the Los Angeles Olympic Games in 1984, during which she became Olympic champion in the 400m hurdles. Joining her for this celebration were Edwin Moses, Olympic 400m hurdles champion; Gabriela Andersen-Schiess, winner of the first Olympic women’s marathon; and David Wallechinsky, a sports historian and specialist on this edition of the Games.

Craig Reedie (C, seated) with some of his IOC colleagues at the 
anniversary of the Tokyo 1964 Games. ©Tokyo 2020 / Shugo Takemi

IOC Vice-President Craig Reedie represented the IOC President in Tokyo (Japan) at the celebrations of the 50th anniversary of the Tokyo Olympic Games in 1964. Were also present during the event: IOC Vice-President, Yu Zaiqing; IOC Executive Board member, Gunilla Lindberg; IOC members Pál Schmitt, Alex Gilady, Toni Khoury, Irena Szewinska, Ser Miang Ng, Patrick Baumann, Dae Sung Moon and Habu Gumel as well as IOC honorary members, Támas Aján, Kipchoge Keino, Carlos Arthur Nuzman and Richard Kevan Gosper.


IOC Executive Board member Juan Antonio Samaranch (L in photo) represented the IOC this week at the SportelMonaco symposium. During the Golden Podiums 2014 evening, which honours the best sports images and slow-motion films of the year, he presented the IOC Grand Prize to “World Relay 2014 USA” by Ted Ayling from IAAF (R in photo).

IOC Executive Board member Sergey Bubka has been re-elected as President of the Ukrainian NOC for a third term. He took up this post in 2005.


©IOC / Ian Jones

On 8 and 9 October, the Evaluation Commission for the Winter Youth Olympic Games in 2020 (photo above), chaired by Yang Yang, met in Lausanne. President Bach was happy to welcome the Commission which has a majority of women members.

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