Highlights of the week
On 22 July, IOC president Jacques Rogge chaired the meeting of the Executive Board (EB), which took a number of decisions, including the reallocation of the diploma awarded to Antonio Pettigrew (USA) in the 400m at the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games, and of the medals and diplomas awarded to the American team in the men?s 4x400m relay.
The EB also approved a request to allow marathon runner Guor Marial to compete in the London Games as an Independent Olympic Athlete (IOA) under the Olympic flag.
Finally, the EB heard the final report of the London 2012 Organising Committee (LOCOG), presented by its Chair, Sebastian Coe.
The next day, the EB and IOC Athletes? Commission members visited the Olympic Village. On this occasion, they participated in a ceremony during which the Olympic Truce Wall was unveiled and the ?Giving is Winning? campaign was launched. Read more at www.olympic.org (?News? section).
On the evening of 23 July, the 124th IOC Session was officially opened at the Royal Opera House, in the presence of the Princess Royal, an IOC member. President Rogge?s speech can be found at www.olympic.org. A few hours before, the IOC members had been received by Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace.
On 24 July, the first day of the IOC Session at Grosvenor House, the IOC President and the President of the International Paralympic Committee (IPC), Philip Craven, signed an extension to the agreement between their two institutions, under which the IOC will continue to support the IPC and the Paralympic Games until 2020.
During this 124th IOC Session, five new members were elected. They were: Aisha Garad Ali (Djibouti, linked to function within an NOC), Pierre-Olivier Beckers (Belgium, linked to function within an NOC), Tsunekazu Takeda (Japan, individual), Frank Fredericks (Namibia, individual) and Lingwei Li (People?s Republic of China, individual).
Concerning the EB, Nawal El Moutawakel and Craig Reedie were elected as IOC Vice-Presidents and Juan Antonio Samaranch, Sergey Bubka and Willy Kaltschmitt as members. Meanwhile, Ching Kuo Wu (ASOIF), Patrick Hickey (ANOC) and Claudia Bokel (Chair of the IOC Athletes? Commission) were also elected to the EB, along with Ren? Fasel (AIOWF), who was re-elected.
In a separate decision, the city of Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia) was chosen to host the 127th IOC Session in 2015.
This evening, Friday 27 July, at 21.00 (London time), the opening ceremony of the Games of the XXX Olympiad will take place at the Olympic Stadium, in the presence of Queen Elizabeth II.
Reports and photos of the Olympic meetings, various events and the Olympic Games opening ceremony can be found on www.olympic.org (?Media? section), Facebook and Twitter.
Zaiqing Yu, IOC 1st Vice-President, represented the IOC President at the opening of the 2012 Sport and Art exhibition at the Guildhall Art Gallery in London, in the presence of the Lord Mayor of London, David Wootton (see also under ?Commissions?).
IOC Vice-President Thomas Bach attended the World Olympians Association (WOA) gala on behalf of the IOC President, in the presence of the Princess Royal and under the patronage of Prince Albert II of Monaco, both IOC members.
As Chairman of the Coordination Commission for the 2012 Games, and a university law professor, Denis Oswald gave a lecture before the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom on the theme ?The Olympics and the Law?. This conference took place on the occasion of the official opening of an exhibition on legal aspects of the 1908 and 1948 London Games.
Juan Antonio Samaranch Jr. represented the IOC President at the 4th edition of the Beijing Olympic City Development Forum in London. This Forum focused on the theme of ?Sharing Olympic Legacies, Promoting City Development?.
Claudia Bokel has been elected as Chair of the IOC Athletes? Commission for a two-year term, replacing outgoing head Frank Fredericks. President Rogge officially appointed Bokel as Chair following a proposal by the Commission. Claudia Bokel, a former Olympic fencer, replaces Fredericks on the IOC Executive Board for the duration of her term.
As part of the fourth edition of the IOC Sport and Art contest, organised by the IOC Culture and Olympic Education Commission, which is chaired by IOC member Lambis V. Nikolaou, the works of the three medal-winning and five diploma-winning artists in each category are being exhibited at the Guildhall Art Gallery from 21 July to 15 August. More than 60 artists shared their vision of sport and the Olympic values of excellence, friendship and respect through their graphic works and sculptures. More details at www.olympic.org (?News? section).
From 24 July to 9 September, the “Olympex 2012: Collecting the Olympic Games? exhibition is being held at the British Library. Presented by the IOC, this summer exhibition explores the history, symbolism and personal stories of the Olympic Games. More than 2,500 stamps are featured, along with handwritten postcards and letters from athletes, spectators and public figures, recording with vivid immediacy the ways in which the Games touched their lives. This exhibition is part of the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad.
INTERNATIONAL SPORTS FEDERATIONS
The Union Internationale de Pentathlon Moderne (UIPM) has released its media guide for the London Games. This guide contains all the essential information about the modern pentathlon competition on 11 and 12 August. Details at www.pentathlon.org
Brett Gosper has been appointed Chief Executive Officer of the International Rugby Board (IRB) by the IRB Executive Committee. A former player, Gosper will start the role on 15 August. He will be responsible, among other things, for the day-to-day operations of the IRB, the implementation of development, investment and player welfare strategies, and rugby’s return to the Olympic Games in 2016. Details at www.irb.com
A few days before the start of the London Games, the International Tennis Federation (ITF) launched a mobile app for the competition to be held at the All England Club in Wimbledon from 28 July to 5 August. Details at www.itftennis.com/olympics
For the first time in the history of the International Triathlon Union (ITU), a coach education course (level 1) has been held in Beirut (Lebanon). Organised by the ITU and the Asian Triathlon Confederation (ASTC), this course was attended by a group of 23 coaches. Marisol Casado, ITU president and IOC member, visited Lebanon on last day of the course to show the ITU?s support for the development of Lebanese triathlon. Accompanied by Mahmoud Dib, President of the Lebanon Triathlon Federation, and Ahmed Nasser, ITU Executive Board member and Pan Arab Triathlon Confederation President, she also met the Lebanese NOC. More details at www.triathlon.org
Sweden?s four-time Olympic cross-country skiing champion Sixten Jernberg passed away last week in Mora (Sweden) at the age of 83. During his career, Jernberg won nine medals at the Olympic Winter Games and four at the World Championships, as well as the famous ?Vasaloppet? cross-country ski marathon between 1955 and 1960. At the 1956, 1960 and 1964 Games, he won four gold, three silver and two bronze medals. More details on the International Ski Federation (FIS) website, www.fis-ski.com
NATIONAL OLYMPIC COMMITEES
On 26 July 2012, Thomas Bach, President of the German NOC and IOC Vice-President, welcomed Zvi Varshaviak, President of the NOC of Israel as an honorary guest in the German Hospitality House in London. Both NOCs are closely working together in several areas, including elite sport, youth development and Olympic education.
Before leaving for London, the Spanish Olympic team, led by Alejandro Blanco, President of the Spanish NOC was granted an audience with King Juan Carlos, with Miguel Cardenal, President of the Spanish Sports Council, also in attendance. Meanwhile, basketball player Pau Gasol was chosen as the Olympic delegation?s flag bearer at the opening ceremony of the London Games. He replaced tennis player Rafael Nadal, who had to pull out of the Games because of injury. Details at www.coe.es
On 23 July, the British NOC (BOA) announced that four-time Olympic champion Chris Hoy (see photo) would be the flag bearer for the British delegation at the Games. Chris Hoy will be participating in his fourth Olympic Games and is the first cyclist ever chosen to carry the British flag at the Games. Details at www.olympics.org.uk
More than 10,000 sports fans gathered in Tokyo to cheer on the athletes representing Japan at the London Games. Crown Prince Naruhito and Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda headed a star-studded list of supporters that also included representatives from government, business and sport. This event was the culmination of the Japanese NOC?s ?125 million supporters? programme, an initiative to facilitate communication between the Japanese team and their fans and to build excitement ahead of the Games. Details at www.joc.or.jp
The US Virgin Islands NOC has announced that seven of its athletes (four men and three women) will compete in London. Tabarie Henry, who finished fourth in the 400m at the IAAF World Championships, will be the flag bearer. The delegation?s chef de mission is Lyn Reid. The NOC President, Hans Lawaetz, will parade with the team at the Games opening ceremony, celebrating his last Games as President of the governing body which he will leave after 40 years of service. Details at www.virginislandsolympics.com
ORGANISING COMMITTEES OF THE OLYMPIC GAMES
A team of over 100 volunteers from the Organising Committee of the 2014 Olympic and Paralympic Games in Sochi (Sochi 2014) will be in London for the Olympic Games, where they will help their British counterparts. They will gain valuable experience for the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games in Sochi. Aged between 18 and 70 and from 17 Russian cities, “The Golden Hundred” will work in six areas: transport, protocol, interaction with the NOCs and NPCs, event services, press operations and human resources. See press release at www.sochi2014.com
The Rio 2016? Organising Committee for the Olympic and Paralympic Games (Rio 2016?) has opened an exhibition of contemporary Brazilian art and design at Casa Brasil, home of the Brazilian NOC and Rio 2016? during London 2012. From 21 July until 8 September, this free exhibition, entitled ?From the Margin to the Edge: Brazilian Art and Design in the 21st Century?, features work by 33 artists and designers from all regions of Brazil. Details at www.rio2016.com
On 25 July, the IPC launched the first official websites for Cameroon and Panama?s National Paralympic Committees (www.camerounparalympique.org and www.comiteparalimpicopanana.org). These websites are part of the IPC’s digital strategy to develop a greater online presence for its members over the coming years. More details at www.paralympic.org
The ?Olympic Highlights? will not be published during the Games in London. Information will continue to be published on www.olympic.org, Twitter and Facebook, where the Games and the various related events will be covered in an Olympic Newsletter. Next edition: 17 August 2012.