This week, IOC President Jacques Rogge has been in Madrid for the 40th anniversary of the creation of the Spanish Olympic Academy, an occasion attended also by the Prince of Asturias, Felipe de Borbón, and IOC members Lambis V. Nikolaou and Guy Drut. He took advantage of his time in Madrid to meet the Spanish NOC President and Secretary General, Alejandro Blanco and Victor Sánchez, and to visit the Olympic Broadcasting Services (OBS) office, accompanied by OBS CEO Manolo Romero and IOC honorary member Hein Verbruggen.
From Madrid, President Rogge travelled to Porto (Portugal), where he received an honorary doctorate on 26 November from Porto University’s Faculty of Science and Physical Education.
He then went to Lisbon on 27 November to address the General Assembly of the European Olympic Committees (EOC), whose President is IOC member Patrick Hickey. Before attending the Portuguese NOC’s centenary gala in the evening, the IOC President had a meeting with the Portuguese President, Anibal Cavaco Silva, and the Prime Minister, José Socrates, accompanied by the Minister of the Presidency, Pedro Silva Pereira, and the Secretary of State for Youth and Sport, Laurentino Dias.
Philip Craven has been re-elected as President of the International Paralympic Committee (IPC), at the IPC General Assembly held in Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia). See also under “Recognised Organisations”.
Carlos Arthur Nuzman has received the “Eagle Award” of the United States Sports Academy (USSA), in recognition of his leadership of the Brazilian NOC; his role in developing sport in Brazil and securing the 2016 Games for Rio; and the successful organisation of the Pan-American Games in 2007. He was presented with the award by Peter Tichansky, President and CEO of the Business Council for International Understanding, representing the USSA. More details on www.cob.org.br.
For the second time this year, the Coordination Commission for the 2012 Games in London, whose Chairman is Denis Oswald, has met in the British capital. During this fifth visit, on 25 and 26 November, the Commission was updated by the Organising Committee (LOCOG) and its local government partners on progress in areas including sport, the Olympic Villages, venues and infrastructures, city operations, marketing, NOC services, press operations, technology and the Paralympic Games. Full report on www.olympic.org.
INTERNATIONAL SPORTS FEDERATIONS
On 22 November, at the International Athletics Foundation (IAF) gala in Monaco, the top athletes of the year were honoured, in the presence of the IAF and International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) President, Lamine Diack, and IAF Honorary President Prince Albert II. For the second time in a row, Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt was named “Athlete of the Year”. Among the women, America’s Sanya Richards won her second title, after the first in 2006. See the names of all the winners and photos on www.iaaf.org.
The International Rowing Federation (FISA) has announced that the 2010 World Rowing Coaches Conference will be held from 21 to 24 January 2010 in Copenhagen (Denmark). Organised by the Danish Rowing Federation at the House of Sport, the theme of the Conference will be “Duration, Optimisation of Rowing Performance and Training”. The Conference will end with a gala dinner, at which the 2009 World Rowing Awards will be presented. More details on www.worldrowing.com.
In a press release, the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) has announced that, with the women’s World Championships less than a year away, the event web site has been launched. Find out more by visiting www.czechrepublic2010.fiba.com. These Championships will be held in the cities of Karlovy Vary, Ostrava and Brno between 23 September and 3 October 2010. The draw to decide in which of the four groups the 16 teams taking part will play was held this week. Details on www.fiba.com.
The International Tennis Federation (ITF) has launched its “Tennis…Play and Stay” campaign in India, to attract more of the 1.1 billion population to the sport. In collaboration with the All-India Tennis Association, the ITF has held Play Tennis courses to train coaches, tutors and volunteers on how to work with starter players. Seven of the top coaches in India also attended a specific training session to enable them to lead the Play Tennis coaches’ course themselves. Details on www.tennisplayandstay.com. The ITF has also announced the death of American Randy Snow, a legend in the world of wheelchair tennis. In 1984, he won a silver medal in what was then a demonstration event at the Paralympic Games in Los Angeles. Over the course of his career, he was world number one in 1992, and won singles and doubles gold medals at the Paralympic Games in Barcelona. Four years later, at the Paralympic Games in Atlanta, he was a member of the bronze medal-winning basketball team. More information on www.itftennis.com/wheelchair.
At its meeting in Rome (Italy) at the beginning of November, the International Archery Federation (FITA) Council took a number of important decisions. These included the election of the host cities for the World Archery Championships in 2011, 2012 and 2013; the Olympic and Paralympic qualification system; the calendar and rounds of the Archery World Cup from 2010 to 2012; the new rule book; the budget for 2010-2012 and financial policies; and the World Archery Indoor Challenge. More details can be found at www.archery.org.
NATIONAL OLYMPIC COMMITTEES
The Costa Rican NOC recently awarded the prizes in its first Olympic sports photography competition. The 90 photographs entered are displayed on the walls of the NOC headquarters. The winners are Alexander Otárola Rojas, in the professional category, and Walter Salazar Rojas in the amateur category. The ceremony was held in the presence of the NOC Executive Committee members, including NOC President Henry Núñez Nájera, the participants and the jury members. The competition was organised by the Costa Rican Olympic academies department, which is headed by Luis Cruz Meléndez.
On 18 November at the Lithuanian NOC headquarters, the NOC President, Arturas Poviliunas, was decorated with Lithuania’s Thousand Year Star by Foreign Affairs Minister Vygaudas Usackas, in recognition of his valuable services to Lithuanian sport over many years. He was also named Sports Ambassador for his successful establishment of solid cooperation with the political and governmental forces as well as international organisations. Numerous personalities from the worlds of sport, politics and the media were present on this occasion. Two days later, the Lithuanian Olympic Academy, whose President is Povilas Karoblis, celebrated its 20th anniversary and 15 years of its “Sports Science” journal. The personalities present included Lithuanian President Valdas Adamkus; the NOC President; the Director General of the State Department for Physical Education and Sports, Ritas Vaiginas; and the leaders of the Olympic academies of Belarus, Latvia and the Czech Republic.
On 21 November, the Singapore 2010 Organising Committee unveiled the mascots of the first Youth Olympic Games: Lyo and Merly. Lyo is short for “Lion of the Youth Olympics”. Merly gets her name from “mer” (French for “sea”) and “ly”, derived from the words “liveliness” and “youthfulness”. Between 14 August and 6 September this year, the public was asked to find names for these two mascots. Almost 375 suggestions were received from 20 countries. Sean Pang Yi Wei suggested the name Lyo, and Merly came from Tung Chi Jun, both from Singapore. More details on www.olympic.org/yog.
Held last week in Kuala Lumpur, the IPC General Assembly brought together more than 350 participants representing 100 National Paralympic Committees, five regions, four international disabled sports organisations and 22 sports. The decisions taken included to elect a new Governing Board, chaired by Philip Craven, and the reinclusion of athletes with an intellectual disability in competitions, including the Paralympic Games. The Paralympic Awards for 2009 were also presented to the winners in the categories of sport, the media and science. Read the full list on www.paralympic.org.
In last week’s issue, please note the following corrections in the “IOC Activities” section:
* In the first paragraph, the text should read: “3rd edition of the International Federations Forum, organised in Lausanne by SportAccord Convention” (rather than Sport Accord). The link should also be www.sportaccordconvention.com rather than www.agfisonline.com.
* In the list of the President’s meetings, please note that Amar Addadi is President of the International Mediterranean Games Committee (CIJM), not the Algerian NOC Vice-President.