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OLYMPIC - IOC News

OLYMPIC - IOC29 Jan 2023

IOC expresses deep sorrow over death of Phillip Walter Coles
Sports Desk ISLAMABAD: It is with profound sadness that the IOC has learnt of the death of Phillip Walter Coles, at the age of 91. Mr. Coles represented Australia in canoe sprint at three editions of the Olympic Games - Rome 1960, Tokyo 1964, where he captained the team, and Mexico City 1968. He devoted his entire life to the Olympic Movement in Australia and beyond. In 1973, he became a member of the Executive Board of the Australian Olympic Committee, and was one of the Foundation members of the Executive Board of the Oceania National Olympic Committees (ONOC) in 1981. Upon learning of his death, IOC President Thomas Bach said: “Phil Coles was a man who always cared about the athletes in all his different functions. Their interests were always in his mind and in his heart. He was key to getting an Australian Olympic Team to the Olympic Games Moscow 1980 against all requests for a boycott. It made him proud for the rest of his life to have led these athletes into the Olympic Stadium. His love for the Olympic Games was at the centre of his life. Personally, I have lost a wonderful friend with whom I shared so many moments of our Olympic lives. I will never forget this heartwarming friendliness and his sense of humour. My thoughts are with his beloved Patricia and all his family and many friends.” Elected as an IOC Member in 1982, Mr Coles contributed actively to a wide range of IOC commissions, including Radio and Television, Joint Mass Media, Olympic Solidarity, Study and Evaluation for the Preparation of the Winter Olympic Games, Sport for All, New Sources of Financing and Marketing, and the Working Group on the Olympic Programme and the Olympic Programme Commission. He had been an IOC Honorary Member since 2012. As a driving force behind the project to bring the Olympic Games to his native Australia, he served as Vice-President and Director of the Organising Committee for the Olympic Games Sydney 2000 between 1993 and 1999. His dedication to sport and promoting the Olympic values was recognised by a number of distinctions he received over the course of his life. In the 1983 Queen's Birthday Honours, he was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for his service to sport, and was inducted into the Sport Australia Hall of Fame in 2000. He received the Olympic Order for his distinguished contribution to the Olympic Movement in 2012. In the Olympic Museum in Lausanne, a number of items of Coles are kept for exhibitions. He has donated the Australian delegation tracksuit and uniform that he wore at the Olympic Games Tokyo 1964 as well as two replicas of the canoes with which he competed at the Games. The IOC expresses its deepest condolences to his family and friends. As a mark of respect, the Olympic flag will be flown at half-mast at Olympic House in Lausanne for three days.

OLYMPIC - IOC02 Dec 2022

IOC Coaches Lifetime Achievement Award 2022 presented to Myriam
Sports Desk ISLAMABAD: The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has awarded its Coaches Lifetime Achievement Award 2022 to Myriam Fox-Jerusalmi (France/Australia, canoe) and Malcolm Brown MBE (Great Britain, triathlon) for their outstanding support for and mentoring of Olympic athletes. Myriam Fox-Jerusalmi has been coaching for 25 years, leading her athletes to 12 world titles and four Olympic medals. Myriam helped to bring women’s canoe slalom to the Olympic programme and helped achieve gender equality in her sport. Malcolm Brown has coached athletes to five Olympic medals in triathlon and has dedicated his life to coaching and bettering the lives of others. IOC President Thomas Bach, a gold medallist in fencing at the Olympic Games Montreal 1976, said: “The IOC Coaches Lifetime Achievement Award is a celebration of the incredible dedication and contribution that the recipients have made to the athletes they have coached, both on the field of play and beyond sport. I know from my own experience how important coaches are in an athlete’s career. Myriam Fox-Jerusalmi and Malcolm Brown have left a major mark on their sports and have helped their athletes to become real champions in sport and in life.” Building a new pathway for female athletes and coaches Myriam Fox-Jerusalmi represented France at two Olympic Games in the canoe slalom K1 event – Barcelona 1992 and Atlanta 1996 – winning bronze at the latter. Since then, she has gone on to establish a successful coaching career in canoe slalom spanning over 25 years. “I was very surprised first, and very honoured, to have been recognised internationally for my career as a coach,” Fox said. “As a coach, I am passionate about our sport and wanting to help our athletes reach their potential. This award is very special as it acknowledges my contribution in high level sport as a female coach for so many years, but it also puts canoeing and Australia in the international Olympic spotlight.” An instrumental figure in GB triathlon Malcolm Brown has coached athletes to five Olympic medals in triathlon, including Alistair Brownlee, the only athlete to hold two Olympic titles in the triathlon event, as well as fellow Great Britain team-mates and Olympic medallists Jonathan Brownlee and Vicky Holland. A physical education teacher by trade, Malcolm has always showed his passion and dedication to improve athletes’ life. He initially coached in his spare time, mostly on a volunteer basis, and then coached professionally, first in athletics and then in triathlon. "It is a fantastic honour to receive the IOC Lifetime Achievement Coaches Award,” said Malcolm. “My sincere thanks go to the IOC for the Award, to Jonny Brownlee for the nomination, to my family for the many years of unswerving support, to numerous individuals and organisations who facilitated my coaching and finally, to all the athletes who entrusted me with their sporting careers.”  

OLYMPIC - IOC16 Nov 2022

Singapore to host the first Olympic Esports Week in June 2023
Sports News ISLAMABAD: The International Olympic Committee (IOC) on Wednesday confirmed that its inaugural Olympic Esports Week would be held in Singapore between from June 22 to 25 next year 2023. In partnership with the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth, Sport Singapore and the Singapore National Olympic Committee (SNOC), the Olympic Esports Week will showcase the best of virtual sports, hybrid physical and simulated sports, with the four-day festival, including exhibiting the latest technologies, panel discussions, education sessions and show matches. The highlight of the week will be the first in-person live finals of the Olympic Esports Series, a global virtual and simulated sports competition created in collaboration with the International Federations (IFs) which builds on the successes of last year’s Olympic Virtual Series. The 2021 series attracted over 250,000 participants from across 100 countries to take part in competitions in virtual and simulated sports including baseball, motorsport, cycling, rowing and sailing. IOC President Thomas Bach said: “The first Olympic Esports Week marks an important milestone in our ambition to support the growth of virtual sports within the Olympic Movement. We believe the exciting new format of our virtual sports competition, with live finals to be staged for the first time, is an opportunity to collaborate further with esports players and to create new opportunities for players and fans alike. It is a perfect opportunity to be partnering with Singapore, which has a history of supporting innovation in the Olympic Movement, hosting the inaugural Youth Olympic Games in 2010, so we are looking forward to working together closely.” IOC Vice-President Ng Ser Miang said: “The Singapore NOC shares the Olympic Movement’s ambitions of exploring the development of virtual sports. Singapore has a track record of successfully hosting some of the biggest events in the virtual sports and esports calendar – we are honoured to be collaborating with the IOC to bring this shared vision to life.”

OLYMPIC - IOC01 Sep 2022

Coordination Commission visit highlights optimizations
Sports Bulletin Report ISLAMABAD:-The Olympic and Paralympic Games Paris 2024 are “right on track” that was the message delivered by the International Olympic Committee (IOC)’s Coordination Commission this week following a visit to the French capital. Optimisations to Games delivery, meticulous budgetary planning and increasing engagement were highlighted as key to advancing Games preparations. Speaking about the visit, the IOC’s Coordination Commission Chair, Pierre-Olivier Beckers-Vieujant, said: “It’s very encouraging to see all the great work being done by the team in Paris. We are right on track, and excitement is continuing to grow, not only in France but also among thousands of athletes around the world who are competing to qualify for these Games. Now, having marked two years until the Olympic Games begin in July, we are fully in the operational delivery phase. This means readiness – bringing together years of preparation to ensure these Games will make sport, Paris and France shine in the spirit of Paris 2024’s new slogan, ‘Games wide open’.” Looking ahead, he continued: “Optimisation will remain an important focus for those involved in this project. Guided by the recommendations of Olympic Agenda 2020 and the New Norm, flexibility, creativity and close collaboration between all stakeholders will be crucial to identifying and implementing efficiencies. This will be key to achieving Paris 2024’s ambition and delivering a new era of Olympic and Paralympic Games.” Tony Estanguet, President of the Paris 2024 Organising Committee, added: “I want to thank Pierre-Olivier and the Coordination Commission members for their support, guidance and collaborative approach, which is helping us deliver on our vision of ‘Games wide open’. We are particularly grateful for the IOC’s flexibility in line with Olympic Agenda 2020, which allows us to optimise our project in response to the current economic climate.” He continued: “The encouragement from the Coordination Commission gives us the confidence we need to maintain the same level of ambition – to deliver the most ambitious Games in living memory. Games that are more open to the public, for example through a new venue concept and the Olympic Opening Ceremony being staged in the heart of the city; more engaging, thanks to innovations such as the Terre de Jeux 2024 label and Club Paris 2024, which has seen hundreds of thousands of people commit to the Games; and more socially responsible, by placing an emphasis on legacy and sustainability. With the latest polls showing 80 per cent of public support, we are very glad the French people are as enthusiastic as we are about this unique project.” During the meetings, the Coordination Commission received an insight into the growing sense of anticipation in France, boosted by the launch of Paris 2024’s slogan – “Games wide open”. Increasing interest in Paris 2024’s engagement programmes reflects this excitement. Club Paris 2024 now has over 800,000 members, while Terre de Jeux 2024  includes more than 3,200 community projects, reaching more than 33 million people across the country. While those programmes will make important contributions to Paris 2024’s legacy objectives, the Organising Committee highlighted its ongoing campaign to get school children to undertake 30 minutes of physical activity daily. This is already delivering a legacy for the Games, as shown by the fact that it has become a national policy in France. Since the campaign’s launch two years ago, one third of French schools are already part of the programme.

OLYMPIC - IOC15 Aug 2022

Death of IOC Honorary Member Patrick Chamunda
Sports Bulletin Report ISLAMABAD:-It is with great sorrow that the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has learnt of the death of IOC Honorary Member Patrick Chamunda, at the age of 77. Chamunda served the Olympic Movement as an IOC member between 2002 and 2015. He was subsequently elected as an IOC Honorary Member as of 2016. IOC President Thomas Bach said: “Patrick Chamunda's voice carried weight in African sport and beyond. He was an exemplary promoter of the values and the social responsibility of sport, developing a wide range of initiatives, particularly in his home country of Zambia.  Patrick's advice was always considered and therefore appreciated by me and so many IOC colleagues. For all his commitment, he always remained humble and, even in the time of his serious illness, always maintained his optimism and sense of humour.” Over a period of 28 years, Chamunda held various positions on the Board of the National Olympic Committee of Zambia, initially as Treasurer (1977-1981), then as Vice-President (1981-1992) and President (1992-2005). He was also appointed Chef de Mission for the Zambian delegation at the Olympic Games Los Angeles 1984 and Seoul 1988. He devoted 12 years to being a member of the Executive Committee of the Association of National Olympic Committees of Africa (ANOCA), from 1997 to 2009. During his IOC membership, Chamunda served as a member of the Sport for All Commission (2002-2015), the Finance Commission (2006-2014) and the Audit Committee (2013-2016). In 2012, he was honoured by the Zambian government with the Grand Order of Distinguished Service for his services to sport. In 2015, the IOC awarded him the Olympic Order for his contribution to sport and the Olympic Movement, and especially in recognition of his efforts in establishing the Olympic Youth Development Centre in Lusaka, Zambia. The IOC expresses its deepest sympathies to Patrick Chamunda’s family and friends. As a mark of respect, the Olympic flag will be flown at half-mast at Olympic House in Lausanne for three days.

OLYMPIC - IOC19 Jul 2022

Death of IOC Honorary Member Ottavio Cinquanta
Sports Bulletin Report ISLAMABAD:-With great sorrow, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has learnt of the death of IOC Honorary Member Ottavio Cinquanta, at the age of 83. He was elected as an IOC member in 1996. Two years before, in 1994, he was elected President of the International Skating Union (ISU), a position he held until 2016, when his IOC membership also ended. The same year, the IOC Session elected him as an IOC Honorary Member and the ISU Congress acclaimed him as ISU Honorary President. The IOC Session also recognised Mr Cinquanta’s outstanding services and distinguished contributions to the Olympic Movement by awarding him the Olympic Order, its highest distinction. IOC President Thomas Bach said: “Ottavio Cinquanta led the ISU with great dedication and deep knowledge about all aspects of all the disciplines of his Federation. This made him a highly respected leader, not only within the ISU but also among all the Winter Sports Federations. To me, he was an always reliable friend, whose advice was always honest. Sometimes, Ottavio was also thinking outside the box, which gave rise to interesting but always amicable discussions.” With 22 years at the helm of the ISU, Mr Cinquanta was the second-longest-serving ISU President, and was responsible for several innovations during his presidency. These included the introduction of short track into the Olympic programme, the creation of the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating in 1995 and the reform of the figure skating scoring system in 2004. A speed skater in his youth, when he practised ice hockey and athletics too, Mr Cinquanta was also a referee at international competitions, World Championships and Olympic Winter Games. A background in business administration led him to occupy management positions in the finance and chemical industries throughout his professional career. Additionally, he served in various official functions at the Italian Ice Sports Federation and the ISU, in the sections for Short Track and Speed Skating. Within the Italian Federation, he was Chairman of the Technical Committee (1973-1980) and then Vice-President (1984-1988). Upon becoming a member of the ISU in 1975, he also joined its Short Track Technical Committee, which he chaired from 1984 to 1992. In this position, he was instrumental in the development of the discipline and key to its inclusion in the Olympic programme. Short track speed skating featured as a demonstration sport at the Olympic Winter Games Calgary 1988, and was then included in the official programme at Albertville 1992. In 1992, he was elected as Vice-President of the ISU, and became its President two years later. During his IOC membership, Cinquanta served as a member of the IOC Executive Board as the representative of the Winter International Federations (2000-2008), and sat on several IOC Commissions: Olympic Movement (1994-1999); Olympic Solidarity (1994-2001); Coordination for the XIX Olympic Winter Games in 2002 in Salt Lake City (1996-2002); “IOC 2000” (Executive Committee, 1999); Marketing (2002-2022); TV Rights and New Media (2002-2015); “IOC 2000” Reform Follow-up (2002); Coordination for the XXI Olympic Winter Games in 2010 in Vancouver (2003-2010); Coordination for the XXII Olympic Winter Games in 2014 in Sochi (2007-2014); Coordination of the 1st  Winter Youth Olympic Games in 2012 in Innsbruck (2009-2012); and Coordination of the XXIII Olympic Winter Games in 2018 in PyeongChang (2011-2018). The IOC expresses its deepest sympathies to Ottavio Cinquanta’s family. As a mark of respect, the Olympic flag will be flown at half-mast at Olympic House in Lausanne for three days.

OLYMPIC - IOC05 Jul 2022

IOC President visits Ukraine and meets athletes
Sports Bulletin Report KYIV (Ukraine):-International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach on the invitation of National Olympic Committee of Ukraine,  visited Kyiv on Sunday. He was accompanied by IOC Member and President of the Ukraine National Olympic Committee Sergii Bubka and the Ukrainian Sports Minister, Vadym Guttsait. He met around 100 athletes from the Ukrainian team at the Olympic Training Centre, and listened to their first-hand accounts of their experiences of training and competing in extremely difficult conditions. President Bach said: “We want to show the solidarity of the Olympic Movement with our friends here in the Ukrainian Olympic Community because we know that you are living very difficult moments, and we want not only to tell you, we want to show you, we want to reassure you that you are never alone with the Olympic Community. We are with you with our hearts, with our thoughts every day, and we want to support you to make your Olympic dreams come true. Earlier, the President visited a badly damaged sports facility in Kyiv. He was able to see the destruction at the Avangard basketball hall, which was hit during a missile attack on the city. Later the President held hour-long talks with the Ukrainian President, Volodymyr Zelensky. President Zelensky told the IOC President, “I want to thank you personally for your support for our athletes and the Ukrainian Olympic Community. He also reiterated his strong support for the IOC’s position with regard to the war in Ukraine. President Bach told the Ukrainian President, “I want to thank you for holding such a meeting addressing sport at such a difficult time for your country.  This is further confirmation of your commitment to sport and the Olympic values.  We want to show solidarity in particular with the Ukrainian Olympic Community, and to demonstrate to the athletes and coaches that they are not alone and that we stand by their side. During a media conference, President Zelensky also welcomed the new strengthened initiatives from the International Olympic Committee that the IOC President had announced during the visit, which go beyond coordinating the support for more than 3,000 Ukrainian athletes both at home and abroad. President Bach committed to continuing and even strengthening the IOC’s support for Ukrainian athletes, with a special view to the Olympic Games Paris 2024 and the Olympic Winter Games Milano Cortina 2026, and their respective qualifying events. As a result, the aid fund for athletes will be tripled to USD 7.5 million.  And Sergii Bubka, as the coordinator of this fund, will continue to rally and coordinate the support of the entire Olympic Movement beyond this IOC fund. President Bach also committed to convening in Lausanne, together with the NOC and the Sports Minister of Ukraine, a Ukrainian Sport Recovery Conference of the Olympic Movement.

OLYMPIC - IOC17 Jun 2022

IOC announces Refugee Athlete Scholarship-holders aiming for Paris 2024
Sports Bulletin Report ISLAMABAD:-Ahead of World Refugee Day on 20 June 2022, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has released the initial list of 44 athletes who have been awarded Olympic Scholarships for Refugee Athletes to help them train towards the goal of being selected for the  IOC Refugee Olympic Team Paris 2024. The 44 athletes come from 12 countries, are hosted by 16 National Olympic Committees (NOCs) across all five continents, and are competing in 12 sports. Of this initial group, 23 are Olympians who competed as part of the IOC Refugee Olympic Team Rio 2016 and/or Tokyo 2020, and three are individual athletes who are new to the scholarship programme.   IOC President Thomas Bach said: "We welcome you to the Olympic community and wish you luck in qualification. I know what a difficult period it is to go through to qualify for the Olympic Games, and so we admire how you are meeting the challenge given all the difficulties you have overcome." The scholarships are fully funded by the IOC through its Olympic Solidarity programme dedicated to refugee athletes, and will provide the athletes with the support they need to train and compete in qualification tournaments in the build-up to the Olympic Games Paris 2024. Three of the athletes  – badminton player Aram Mahmoud, weightlifter Cyrille Tchatchet, and marathon runner Tesfay Felfele – are benefitting from transition scholarships, as they have become or are in the process of becoming citizens of their host countries. Coming from Afghanistan, Cameroon, Congo, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Iraq, the Islamic Republic of Iran, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria and Venezuela, the Refugee Athlete Scholarship-holders are competing in athletics, badminton, boxing, canoeing, cycling, judo, karate, shooting, swimming, taekwondo, weightlifting and wrestling. Their refugee status has been confirmed by the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR), and they are being supported by 16 host NOCs (Australia, Austria, Brazil, Canada, Germany, Great Britain, Israel, Jordan, Kenya, Portugal, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Switzerland, Turkey, United States of America, and Uruguay).

OLYMPIC - IOC26 May 2022

Asturias Foundation announces award for Olympic Refuge Foundation & IOC Refugee Olympic Team
Sports Bulletin Report ISLAMABAD:-The Princess of Asturias Foundation has announced that it has awarded its 2022 Award for Sports to the Olympic Refuge Foundation and the IOC Refugee Olympic Team. The award ceremony will take place on 28 October in Oviedo, the capital of the Principality of Asturias. The jury acknowledged that the IOC Refugee Olympic Team exemplifies the values of sport, which are integration, education, solidarity and humanity, and represents a message of hope for the world. “We are extremely honoured and grateful to the jury of the Princess of Asturias Foundation,” said the President of the International Olympic Committee and Chair of the Olympic Refuge Foundation, Thomas Bach . “This award is an encouragement to pursue our mission to support refugees and displaced people all around the world to find safety, relief and joy through sport. The Olympic Refuge Foundation is an expression of our long-term commitment to refugees. Unfortunately, with more than 100 million forcibly displaced people around the world, our mission remains of the utmost importance, and our commitment to stand with refugees is stronger than ever. Since the Olympic Games Rio 2016, the IOC Refugee Olympic Team has represented the millions of refugees around the world and drawn the world's attention to the issue of refugees, further advancing efforts to achieve world peace through the elimination of the wars and conflicts that cause people to flee their homeland.” From Rio 2016 to Paris 2024: a message of hope In October 2015, confronted with the global refugee crisis that had seen millions of people in the world displaced, the IOC President announced the creation of the first IOC Refugee Olympic Team at the General Assembly of the United Nations. History was made at the Olympic Games Rio 2016 with the participation of 10 refugee athletes, inspiring the world with the strength of their human spirit. The journey continued with the IOC Refugee Olympic Team at Tokyo 2020 and the participation of 29 athletes competing in 12 sports. Strengthening the support provided to refugees and populations affected by displacement continues to be a priority for the IOC and forms part of Recommendation 11 of Olympic Agenda 2020+5, the new strategic roadmap of the IOC and the Olympic Movement through to 2025. To achieve this, not only will there be an IOC Refugee Olympic Team at the Olympic Games Paris 2024 and the Youth Olympic Games Dakar 2026, but increased access to sport for displaced young people is being ensured 365 days a year through the work of the Olympic Refuge Foundation. A commitment to stand with refugees Launched by the IOC in 2017, the Olympic Refuge Foundation marks the latest chapter in a long-term commitment to supporting the protection and development of displaced young people through sport, and to helping them thrive. The Foundation believes in a society where everyone belongs, through sport. Its goal is to shape a movement which ensures that young people affected by displacement thrive through sport.  Working in cooperation with the Olympic Movement, the United Nations, international organisations, the private sector, non-governmental organisations and other foundations, the Foundation has supported 12 programmes in eight countries: Colombia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Jordan, Kenya, Mexico, Rwanda, Turkey and Uganda, and new programmes will be launched soon in Colombia and France. The Foundation aims to provide access to safe sport for one million young people affected by displacement by 2024. Currently, up to 200,000 young people already benefit from sports programmes designed to improve their well-being and social inclusion. A renowned distinction The Princess of Asturias Awards have been presented annually since 1981 by HM King Felipe of Spain and are considered to be amongst the most important in the global cultural agenda, especially in the Spanish-speaking world.

OLYMPIC - IOC22 Apr 2022

IOC President and Ukrainian Sports Minister visit Ukrainian athletes
Sports Bulletin Report ISLAMABAD:-President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), Thomas Bach, and the Ukrainian Minister for Youth and Sport, Vadym Guttsait, visited Ukrainian athletes who are currently living and training in Switzerland. President Bach and Minister Guttsait, both Olympic champions in fencing, were accompanied by Sergii Bubka, President of the National Olympic Committee (NOC) of Ukraine, IOC Member in Ukraine and Olympic pole vault champion. The Ukrainian athletes currently training abroad have not returned home following the invasion of Ukraine by the Russian army, supported by Belarus, on 24 February 2022. Since the start of the war, the IOC has led the solidarity efforts of the Olympic Movement to help the Olympic Community in Ukraine. The IOC has set up a Solidarity Fund and provided – together with Olympic Solidarity – USD 1 million. The European Olympic Committees (EOC) has provided funding of USD 0.5 million. With the donations received from Olympic Movement stakeholders, this fund now totals over USD 2 million and is currently being distributed. The efforts of the IOC and the Olympic Movement are being coordinated by a task force, which is being led by Sergii Bubka . The support aims at enabling Ukrainian athletes to continue taking part in international competitions. It takes the form not just of financial aid, but also logistical support, travel support, offering training facilities, accommodation, equipment and uniforms, amongst other things. Over Easter, Sergii Bubka and Minister Guttsait visited a number of training centres in Ukraine and met with athletes. This week they continued their visits to Ukrainian athletes abroad. On Thursday, IOC President Bach, Minister Guttsait and NOC President Bubka went to the UCI World Cycling Centre (WCC) in Aigle, Switzerland, where they were welcomed by the President of the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) and IOC Member in France, David Lappartient. They watched BMX and track cycling training sessions and met 30 BMX, track and mountain bike athletes. Three of them are currently training at the WCC, while 27 others have been evacuated by Swiss Cycling and are currently training and residing in the Swiss National Centre. It is not just Ukrainian athletes who are preparing for competitions in Aigle and using the World Cycling Centre as their base – cyclists from Afghanistan are also being hosted here. Samira Asghari, IOC Member in Afghanistan, joined the IOC President and the Ukrainian delegation during their visit to 23 road discipline athletes who have joined the WCC following the humanitarian crisis in their country and have been given the chance to build a new life in Switzerland. The support the IOC is extending to the Olympic Community in Ukraine is not unique, but similar to the support extended to other members of the global Olympic Community. It is based on solidarity, one of the fundamental values for which the Olympic Movement stands. “It was moving to meet and hear from the Ukrainian athletes who are affected by the terrible war in their country. There are dozens of cyclists and hundreds of Ukrainian athletes in other sports who can continue participating in international competitions through the help of the IOC and many stakeholders of the Olympic Movement like the UCI. I want to thank all of them,” said IOC President Thomas Bach. He continued: “It was particularly touching to see that Ukrainian and Afghan athletes are both benefiting from the solidarity of the Olympic Movement. This reflects the true Olympic spirit. We will continue supporting Ukrainian and Afghan athletes in the same way as we support other members of the global Olympic Community who are affected by war and aggression.” The Ukrainian Minister for Youth and Sport, Vadym Guttsait, said: “I would like to express my gratitude for the solidarity and the efforts of the IOC and the international sport community to support Ukrainian people and Ukrainian athletes. We welcome the rapid decisions taken by the IOC with regard to Russia and Belarus, which have sent a clear and strong signal to the entire sport community that the IOC stands with Ukraine in this difficult time. I also want to thank the Olympic Movement for the solidarity fund set up to support our community, and in particular the Ukrainian NOC President, Sergii Bubka, who helps with the coordination efforts and stands by our side every day.” Minister Guttsait informed the IOC President about the Ukrainian proposal to all stakeholders in the sporting sector that they become sponsors of the re-birth of sports clubs and sports infrastructure in Ukraine after the war is over. “This is a great initiative. The IOC is fully supportive of this project,” said the IOC President. “The IOC’s support for the Olympic Community in Ukraine will continue. We are offering to coordinate this initiative with the worldwide Olympic Community, and are very confident that the big wave of solidarity with Ukraine involving many stakeholders of the movement will not end. We will encourage them to go on and will lead by example.” Minister Guttsait thanked the IOC President for this offer: “This is a continuation of the strong and fruitful cooperation between the IOC and Ukraine over the years,” he said. Just last September, the IOC President visited the country to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the NOC of Ukraine. On this occasion, the IOC President also met Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and received the Order of Prince Yaroslav the Wise. President Bach, Minister Guttsait and NOC President Bubka also discussed the unfolding situation in Ukraine during a meeting at Olympic House in Lausanne. The IOC had – in consultation with Ukrainian NOC President Sergii Bubka –immediately condemned the war and the breach of the Olympic Truce when the Russian invasion of Ukraine started on 24 February 2022. At that time already, the IOC urged all International Sports Federations (IFs) not to allow Russian and Belarusian athletes and officials to take part in international competitions, to ensure the integrity and fairness of the global competition. It also recommended to the IFs to relocate all planned competitions from Russia and Belarus . In addition, a number of members of the Russian government, including the President of the Russian Federation, were sanctioned for breaching the Olympic Truce. The IOC also suspended the tender process for the media rights sales for the territories of Belarus and the Russian Federation for Milano Cortina 2026 and Los Angeles 2028. The Ukrainian Sports Minister welcomed this strong message from the IOC and the fact that the vast majority of IFs are following the IOC recommendations. President Bach and Minister Guttsait noted that the support for the Ukrainian Olympic Community is only possible because of the close cooperation between the NOC of Ukraine, under its President Sergii Bubka, and the Ukrainian Ministry for Youth and Sport. The IOC President emphasised that the IOC will continue to undertake every effort to support the right of Ukrainian athletes to train and participate in global competitions wherever practically possible. The IOC President, Minister Guttsait and Sergii Bubka also discussed calls for further sanctions in the sporting sector. The IOC President made it clear that the IOC supports sanctions against anybody in the Olympic Community who is in support of the war, and continues to monitor the situation as indicated in the “Give Peace a Chance” message of 11 March 2022. He also reaffirmed that, naturally, the Olympic Movement respects the measures being taken by respective governments.