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  • #ICYMI: Xinhua Upgraded; IPC Strips Malaysia; IPC Gender Parity


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    IOC Bestows Agency Designation on Xinhua

    The IOC has added Xinhua to its list of international news agencies, granting the company a list of privileges when covering the Olympic Games.

    Bach visiting Xinhua Headquarters (IOC/Greg Martin)
    Thomas Bach visited Xinhua during his ongoing visit to China to bestow the designation. Anthony Edgar, head of IOC Media Operations, told Around the Rings the decision is a “first for over 30 years” for the IOC.

    Xinhua will join the Associated Press, Reuters and Agence France Presse as the recognized international agencies.

    The agency was started in 1931 and is considered the largest media company in China. Xinhua is a state-run agency, and its President is a member of the Chinese Communist Party central committee. 

    “The designation is a recognition of the global reach and distribution of each news agency's news and sports coverage,” Edgar explained. “The appointment is in line with fulfilling Olympic Charter Rule 48.1. ‘The IOC takes all necessary steps in order to ensure the fullest coverage by the different media and the widest possible audience in the world for the Olympic Games’.

    “There is no contract between the agencies and the IOC with the appointment. The agencies have complete freedom of reporting. The agencies cover every sport and disciple at each Olympic Games, guaranteeing that independent coverage of all sports and athletes at the Olympic Games is available to news organizations worldwide.”

    Click here to read the full story.

    Malaysia Stripped of 2019 Para Swimming World Championships

    The International Paralympic Committee must find a new host for its 2019 Para Swimming World Championships, after Malaysia was stripped of hosting rights.

    Malaysia at the 2018 Asian Games (Getty Images)
    Malaysia could not guarantee the entry of Israeli Para Swimming athletes to compete, which compelled the IPC Governing Board to take action. The swimmers’ visa situation was cast into doubt earlier this month after Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad said the athletes would be barred from entering the country.

    “The [local organizers] and National Paralympic Committee had been very committed to the event but was unable to get the assurances in time,” Craig Spence, IPC Director of Communications, said to Around the Rings.

    The championships were expected to take place from July 29 to August 4 in Kuching, Malaysia, and serve as a qualifier for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics. Withdrawing Malaysia’s right to host means the IPC must work to find a new host immediately. Glasgow, Scotland and Mexico City were the two previous hosts of the event.

    Click here to read the full story.

    Gender Parity in Beijing 2022 Medals

    Both men and women may be competing for the same number of medals at the Beijing 2022 Paralympics.

    The International Paralympic Committee said it approved 39 medal events for men at the 2022 Paralympics, and 39 for women. However, one of the women’s events is “pending a decision on the snowboard program,” according to a statement.

    Snowboard’s program for the 2022 Paralympics will be decided after the 2019 World Championships in Pyha, Finland in March.

    Beijing 2022 will have a maximum number of 748 Para athletes and as many as 82 medal events according to the IPC. Four of the medal events at Beijing 2022 will be for mixed competitions.

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