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  • Firsts at IOC Lausanne Session


    (ATR) It could be the fastest IOC Session on record. In a brisk eight-hour meeting Friday in Lausanne, the IOC delivered more firsts on the opening day of competition of the 2020 Winter Youth Olympic Games. The session was the first to be held during a Winter YOG.
    The IOC Session in Lausanne. (IOC)

    Members heard their first report on the digital activities of the IOC from Chris Carroll, hired last year as the director of digital engagement. He revealed a major shift in strategy with the launch in February of a new IOC website focused on the Tokyo Olympics. The single website will be collaboration with the organizing committee.

    A second IOC website will exist as a portal to the institutional information of the IOC.

    In May an IOC-developed app for Tokyo 2020 will be launched in seven languages.

    By 2026 Carroll said he’s planning for one integrated digital platform for the IOC and the Olympic Games. Simplification is at the heart of the strategy to deliver content he says that is engaging and entertaining. Fantasy, trivia and games will be used to engage users and keep them coming back, Carroll says.

    Digital engagement director Chris Carroll and OBS chief Yiannis Exarchos. (IOC)
    Carroll was joined at the podium by Olympic Broadcast Services chief Yiannis Exarchos who made clear that the content offerings of OBS are an essential part of the IOC’s digital reach.

    He said return visitors to the channel had increased by 730 percent in the past year. For the Lausanne 2020 Youth Olympic Games, he noted that a staff of 70 is in Lausanne and will produce five times the content of the 2016 Winter YOG in Lillehammer when the OC was in its infancy.

    Cycling federation president David Lappartient reported on his work on behalf of the Olympic sports exploring opportunities in the realm of esport. Announcing a new direction, the UCI chief said attention will be paid now to sports which already are producing esport games and how to improve those simulated versions of competition. That’s a marked shift from debate about the inclusion of esport as an Olympic event, a concept that seems to be languishing.

    Making his first appearance at this session was new WADA President Witold Banka. He succeeds Craig Reedie, IOC member in Great Britain who had held the post for six years.

    Three new members took the oath at the end of the Session. David Haggerty of the International Tennis Federation, FIFA President Gianni Infantino and Yasuhiro
    Bach congratulates new IOC member Gianni Infantino. (IOC)
    Yamishita, president of the Japanese Olympic Committee will take their seats as freshman IOC members at the IOC Session just ahead of the Tokyo Olympics.

    Farewells of retiring IOC members were marked with Olympic Order presentations. Ivan Dibos of Peru, Willi Kaltschmitt from Guatemala, Austin Sealy of Barbados, Samih Moudallal of Syria and Nigeria’s Habu Gumel all received the award from the IOC president. Franco Carraro, also leaving the IOC, apparently received the Olympic Order in 1981. Bach nonetheless had a wrapped present for the ex-chair of the IOC Program Commission. The package at least was not in the shape of a necktie.

    The 78 IOC members in Lausanne will stay to attend events of the 2020 Winter Youth Olympic Games which run through Jan. 23. The IOC members will also take part in meetings of most of the two dozen commissions that handle IOC business.

    Reported by Ed Hula. For general comments or questions, click here.
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