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  • Tokyo Welcomes the Olympic World


    (ATR) A record-setting week is ahead in Tokyo for ANOC.

    When Secretary General Gunilla Lindberg calls roll at the General Assembly, those present will include 206 NOCs and 1,300 delegates – the most ever.

    Japanese IOC members Tsunekazu Takeda (left) and Morinari Watanabe (ATR)
    This GA also marks the return of the meeting to an Olympic host city, the first since 2008 ahead of Beijing.

    Tokyo is an eager host, ready to show the Olympic Family the work that’s been done to prepare for 2020.

    ANOC delegates will get to see firsthand how it’s going on a four-hour venue tour planned for Friday.

    Stops along the way include the new Olympic Stadium as well as the Olympic Village under construction. A total of 16 buses will be used, each with specific languages of English, French, Spanish and Russian. Advance registration is required.

    The Japanese Olympic Committee President Tsunekazu Takeda will welcome delegates with a reception Tuesday evening at the Pamir International Convention Center, the assembly’s venue.

    The Pamir center already is part of Olympic history. It’s where the 96th IOC Session in 1990 selected Atlanta to host the 1996 Centennial Games. Six years ago Tokyo launched its 2020 bid with a ceremony at the Pamir ICC.

    Tokyo 2020 is ready to deliver an extensive report on Games preparations during the opening day of the assembly Nov. 27. Along with presentations from the Tokyo team, questions from NOCs will be taken from the floor.

    IOC President Thomas Bach in Fukushima on Saturday (ATR)
    IOC President Thomas Bach will deliver his traditional report at the open of the meeting. He will give what amounts to a state of the IOC address, covering all aspects of the Olympic Movement. In particular, he is expected to push the NOCs to do their part to deliver clean sport, whether by combating doping or match manipulation.

    The first ANOC Beach Games are set for October 2019 in San Diego, California. Organizers of this first-ever multi-sport event of ANOC will deliver their latest progress report at the assembly. San Diego will host the 2019 ANOC General Assembly as well.

    The top athletes from 2018 will be honored Wednesday night in the fourth edition of the ANOC Awards. The ceremony will certainly feature some of the top performers from the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang – and probably a surprise or two.

    Beijing, the next Winter Olympic Host City, will report on its plans for 2022, now just over three years away.

    This ANOC meeting will be one of only two places where the IOC is permitting the two candidates cities for the 2026 Winter Games to make international presentations.

    Milan/Cortina and Stockholm will appear on Thursday, the second day of the assembly.

    The IOC is scheduled to vote on a 2026 host June 24 at the session in Lausanne. The other is at the meeting of the Association of International Olympic Winter Federations at the SportAccord Convention in Australia next April.

    ANOC elections had been set for opening day of the assembly with current president Sheikh Ahmad running unopposed for a third four-year term. That vote is now on hold until the status of Ahmad’s fitness to serve is cleared by the IOC Ethics Commission and the Swiss courts.

    ANOC is about to lose the involvement of two key members of the ANOC Executive. USOC President Larry Probst is stepping down at the end of the year, ending his IOC membership as well. Both his successor, Susanne Lyons, and Sarah Hirshland, the CEO and secretary general of the USOC, also will be in Tokyo.

    Julio Cesar Maglione, who wears many hats in the Olympic Movement, will hang up the one that says ANOC at this meeting. President of the Uruguay Olympic Committee since 1989, he has served ANOC in a variety of roles, but he will not seek re-election as a vice president for the Americas. Now 83, Maglione is still involved with other important duties, such as the president of FINA.

    Written and reported by Ed Hula in Tokyo

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