The Evaluation Commission for the Games of the XXX Olympiad in 2012, chaired by Nawal El Moutawakel, is continuing its visits to the Candidate Cities. This week, the members are in London (Great Britain) from 16 to 19 February.
Last weekend, IOC President Jacques Rogge attended the pre-Olympic biathlon test events in Cesana-San Sicario. Furthermore, he met the members of the International Biathlon Union Executive Board and inspected the bobsleigh and luge course for the 2006 Games in Turin.
The IOC President came to greet the members of the Executive Committee of the European Olympic Committees (EOC) who were meeting at the IOC headquarters in Lausanne on 18 February.
This week in Vidy, President Rogge received:
- Bob Costas, NBC Sports Commentator;
- Bruno Grandi, President of the International Gymnastics Federation;
- Anton Geesink and Guy Drut, IOC members.
IOC member Franco Carraro was re-elected as President of the Italian Football Federation at its General Assembly that took place on 14 February in Fiumicino near Rome (Italy).
This week, IOC member Alexander Popov confirmed his decision to retire from sport at the age of 33. The Russian swimmer has competed in a total of four consecutive editions of the Olympic Games, the last one being the Athens Games in 2004. Double gold medallist in 1992 in the 50 and 100 metres freestyle, he performed the same feat four years later in Atlanta. His Olympic record also boasts five silver medals (4 x 100m freestyle in 1992 and 1996; 4 x 100m medley in 1992 and 1996; and 100m freestyle in 2000). Six times world champion, he still holds the world record in the 50m freestyle (21¡±64), which he set in 2000.
INTERNATIONAL SPORTS FEDERATIONS
For the first time in its history, the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) has organised a joint meeting of three of its Commissions (Athletes¡¯, Coaches, and Medical and Anti-doping). Some 60 people met last weekend, led by IAAF President Lamine Diack, accompanied by Secretary General Istvan Gyulai and the Chairmen of the three Commissions in question, Alberto Juantorena (Athletes¡¯); Igor Ter-Ovanesian (Coaches) and Juan Manuel Alonso (Medical and Anti-doping). At the end of this meeting, the parties agreed to launch educational programmes on the fight against doping, nutrition and the use of food supplements.
Furthermore, the IAAF Member Federations put forward to the three Commissions 207 proposals for changes to IAAF technical rules. The Commissions¡¯ opinions will be taken into account by the IAAF Council at its meeting in Doha, Qatar, next April. All the proposals will then be submitted to the IAAF Congress in Helsinki (Finland) in August 2005.
The International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) has given the names of the three last countries qualified for the men¡¯s Olympic tournament that will take place next year in Turin. They are Switzerland, Latvia and Kazakhstan. Switzerland joins Canada, the Czech Republic, Finland, Germany and Italy in group A. Latvia and Kazakhstan will compete in group B against Sweden, Slovakia, the USA and the Russian Federation.
A press release from the International Swimming Federation (FINA) has announced that five cities/national federations have submitted formal bids to host the 13th World Championships in 2009. They are: Athens (Greece), Dubai (United Arab Emirates), Japan (city to be determined), Moscow (Russian Federation) and Rome. The FINA Bureau will makes its final choice on 16 July 2005 at its meeting to be held on the occasion of the 11th FINA World Championships in Montreal (Canada).
In its newsletter of 11 February, the International Softball Federation (ISF) recounted the meeting between its President, Don Porter, and the Greek Minister of Sport, George Orfanos. The discussion centred around the use of the 2004 Games baseball venue and the development of softball in Greek schools.
NATIONAL OLYMPIC COMMITTEES
We have just learnt that the Argentinean and Chinese NOCs signed a Cooperation Agreement at the end of January, permitting, among other things, the promotion of exchanges between athletes and coaches from the two countries in view of the 2008 Games. This agreement was reached during a visit by the Chinese delegation, composed of Zhijian Li, Vice-President of the NOC and the Organising Committee for the 2008 Games (BOCOG); Yaoming Gu, NOC Secretary General; Shuxian Chen, NOC member; and Lian Xue and Xiaohua Lin, NOC Directors. The delegation was received by the President of the Argentinean NOC and IOC member, Antonio Rodr¨ªguez, and the Vice-President of the Argentinean Republic, Daniel Scioli. Also on the programme were visits to the River Plate and Boca Juniors clubs, and to the high-level national training centre¡¯s facilities.
On 14 February, Minos Kyriakou was elected President of the Greek NOC. He succeeded Lambis V. Nikoloau, who is also a member of the IOC Executive Board.
Felipe Muñoz Kapamas was re-elected President of the Mexican NOC, for a second four-year mandate, at the NOC General Assembly on 14 February.
The Mongolian National Olympic Committee has selected B. Boldbaatar and L. Gundegmaa to attend the 45th International Olympic Academy Session for Young Participants at Olympia (Greece) from 27 July to 11 August 2005. B. Erdenechimeg will attend the 8th National Olympic Academy Session in Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia) from 21 to 25 March 2005. The three participants are teachers at physical education institutes in Ulaanbaatar.
Furthermore, on 14 February, three Mongolian promising young athletes successfully participated in the ¡°Dream Programme 2005¡±, organised in the Korean ski resort PyeongChang. As guests of the Korean NOC and the Gangwon Sports Committee, these young athletes also met the President of the Mongolian NOC, Demchigjav Zagdsuren.
Venezuela¡¯s Rafael Vidal, swimming bronze medallist at the 1984 Los Angeles Games, died on 12 February in a road accident in Caracas. He participated, aged 15, in the 100 and 200 metres butterfly at the Moscow Games in 1980. Four years later, in Los Angeles, he became the first Venezuelan Olympic swimming medallist. After retiring from sport in 1985, he became a TV and radio sports commentator.
On 12 February, the official coins of the XX Olympic Winter Games - Turin 2006 were presented at the World Money Fair in Basel (Switzerland). The numismatic programme of the 2006 Games includes the release, in four stages (the first being beginning of March 2005), of 11 commemorative coins in gold and silver, with a nominal value of five to 50 euros. The silver coins will show the official pictograms of some of the sports disciplines on the Games programme. Most of the gold coins will represent some of the most typical mouments of Turin and its region. Finally, the Torch Relay logo will appear on the final gold coins, worth 50 euros, which will be released in January 2006.
All the coins will be struck and marketed by the Italian Mint, further to an agreement reached with TOROC. The coins will be distributed in Italy, the Republic of San Marino, and Vatican City by the Italian Mint, which will use the normal channels (points of sale, State bookshop and website). For other countries and territories, the Samlerhuset Group B.V. will take care of sales.
The second phase of the ticket sales for the 2006 Games started this week. It will last until November 2005, then the remaining tickets will be sold in the third phase, which will last between December 2005 and February 2006, as well as on the day of the competition.
For people living in Italy, tickets can be bought on-line and in real time through the www.torino2006.org/tickets website or the call centre (848 88 2006); by calling one of the 3,000 subsidiaries of the Sanpaolo group; or by going to one of the 400 TicketOne network points of sale.
Within the European Economic Area, and in some other countries, tickets can be ordered on-line at www.torino2006.org/tickets or through Turin¡¯s international call centre (+39 039 838 250), as well as directly through the NOC. In other countries, tickets are available on-line as well as through the NOCs (a full list of countries where on-line purchase is possible is on the ticket website)
The Organising Committee for the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games in 2010 in Vancouver (VANOC) has taken part in a number of events to mark the five-year countdown to the opening of the Games on 12 February 2010.
On the programme of celebrations, a symposium entitled ¡°2005 Winter Opportunities Summit (WOS)¡± took place in Prince George, which is preparing to host the 2005 edition of the Canadian Cross-country Skiing Championships. On 12 February, VANOC CEO John Furlong; Mayor of Whistler Hugh O¡¯Reilly; Olympians Nancy Drolet (hockey) and Victor Kraatz (ice dancing); and Paralympic athlete Kelly Smith (wheelchair marathon) took part in the ¡°Countdown to 2010¡± activities organised at the Whistler Information Centre. And on 14 February, VANOC, the ¡°LegaciesNow 2010¡± programme and the Vancouver Board of Trade/Spirit of Vancouver organised a fundraising lunch for five of British Columbia¡¯s 2010 Olympic and Paralympic hopefuls.
In the framework of the 100 Years of Planet Football ¨C FIFA 1904-2004 exhibition, the Olympic Museum was taken over on 14 February by some 200 young footballers, who had come to have their photos taken with the FIFA World Cup and to attend a conference Football Experience organised for them. Cameroon¡¯s Roger Milla, the special guest, talked about his early days in his native Africa. Roger Milla found himself at age 38 in Cameroon¡¯s national team, which took part in the World Cup in 1990 in Italy. And the ¡°Indomitable Lion¡±, as he is now known, carried the team to the quarter-finals by scoring two unforgettable goals in extra time against Colombia. Today, Roger Milla is a travelling ambassador for his country and for Africa, notably in the fight against AIDS.