International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach today announced that the IOC will launch a free, online education service aimed specifically at Olympians, other elite athletes and their coaches.

The new service, called “The IOC Athlete Learning Gateway”, will go live on 28 May during the 7th IOC Athlete Career Programme Forum in Lima, Peru.

For over a year, more than 4,000 athletes and coaches from around the world have been helping the IOC test and develop the pilot version of the experimental “MOOC” (massive open online courses). Leading academics, sports institutes, sports leaders and Olympians have contributed content for the programme, including courses and live online seminars.

President Bach said: “The long-term interests of athletes are a priority for the IOC. Through Olympic Agenda 2020, the IOC has a unique opportunity to act as a bridge between busy athletes and the world’s best academics and learning tools. The IOC Athlete Learning Gateway will allow athletes to shape their futures while still pursuing their athletic careers.”

Recommendation 18 of Olympic Agenda 2020, the IOC’s strategic roadmap for the future of the Olympic Movement, calls for support to athletes to be strengthened. This includes the development of athlete career programmes with all the relevant stakeholders and increasing engagement with athletes on important topics related to their careers on and off the field of play.

“This is just one of many important new initiatives being driven by the Olympic Agenda 2020 reforms, which will strengthen and improve support for the athletes,” said IOC Athletes’ Commission Chair and Athens 2004 silver medallist Claudia Bokel. “This inspiring free electronic platform will give athletes, wherever they may be in the world and at whatever stage of their athletic career, access to educational material produced by leading academics and athletes. This is an important step forward for the welfare of athletes.”

IOC Entourage Commission Chair and Seoul 1988 gold medallist Sergey Bubka said: “The life of an athlete is extremely busy: they are constantly on the road; they spend a lot of time training. It is very difficult to find the time to study, to properly prepare for life after sport. But thanks to the many changes brought about by Olympic Agenda 2020, athletes will continue to be given more and more opportunities like the IOC Athlete Learning Gateway. This online tool gives athletes the means to successfully combine sport and education for brighter futures.”

The pilot programme for the IOC Athlete Learning Gateway was evaluated by the IOC’s Athletes’ Commission, Entourage Commission and a dedicated independent Academic Advisory Board. The IOC President agreed with their recommendation to establish the full service as part of Olympic Agenda 2020.

To view the pilot service, click here. A new link to The IOC Athlete Learning Gateway will be published on 28 May along with more information about the new service.


The International Olympic Committee is a not-for-profit independent international organisation made up of volunteers, which is committed to building a better world through sport. It redistributes more than 90 per cent of its income to the wider sporting movement, which means that every day the equivalent of USD 3.25 million goes to help athletes and sports organisations at all levels around the world.



It was mightily close but there was no upset.

Embarrassing technical glitches meant it needed a re-vote conducted the old-fashioned way; but the International Olympic Committee (IOC) today heeded their heads over their hearts and elected Beijing as host of the 2022 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games.

The Chinese capital is set duly to become the first city in history to host both a Summer and Winter Olympics.

It was always likely that members would adopt a cautious approach in what IOC President Thomas Bach described at the Session’s Opening Ceremony as “difficult times in sport”.

It is, nonetheless, worth pausing to reflect on the remarkable shift that has transformed the Chinese capital into a safe pair of hands for the guardians of the Olympic brand and values.

Fourteen years ago, at the IOC Session in Moscow where Beijing won the right to host the 2008 Summer Games against a field that included Toronto, Paris, Istanbul and Osaka, the decision was viewed widely as daring and risky for the Movement, on grounds that it would be portrayed as a case of putting money above principles.

Such criticisms are far more muted today.

That is not to say that the Chinese bid’s commercial appeal did not play a significant part in its success.

We were told this week that the bid was projecting to generate $660 million (£423 million/€604 million) from domestic sponsorship; I would be surprised if, in fact, the final total were not a great deal closer to the $1 billion-plus (£640 million/€910 million) notched up by the Sochi 2014 Winter Games.

The Chinese capital’s ‘safe pair of hands status’ also owes something to the list of casualties which fell by the wayside during the course of this less-than-compelling race.

Beijing and Almaty truly were the last two bids left standing.

How the IOC must be hoping - however well Almaty acquitted themselves in the final stages of this race - that some traditional old West European winter sports cities will present themselves when the time comes for the 2026 Winter Games contest.

In addition to its stellar sponsorship performance, Sochi’s legacy also includes the stonking general infrastructure spend that arguably did more than any other single factor to put European citizens off bidding and produce the change of thinking we now know as Olympic Agenda 2020.

The choice of Beijing sits less well with this new way of presenting the complex business of putting on the greatest pageant in world sport, since one senses a tension between China’s justifiable national pride in, say, its reputed Ұ800 billion (£82 million/$129 billion/€118 billion) a year budget for high-speed rail infrastructure and Agenda 2020’s ‘less is more’ attitude.

A safe pair of hands it may be, but the selected Beijing project is not without risk for the IOC - a factor that may well explain the unexpectedly close vote.

While everyone is confident China will get the job done, I sense no great love for this undertaking.

Should issues arise, as they nearly always do, be they over an overarching matter such as human rights, or something much more specific, such as lack of compactness, or indeed snow, the IOC may find that they quickly generate publicity unhelpful to its efforts to ginger up interest among as wide a range of cities as possible in hosting multi-sports events.

For now, however, attention will quickly switch back to the IOC’s much more sought-after flagship summer product - both Rio 2016, now the Next Big Thing, and an intriguing incipient race for 2024 set to unfold over the next two years.


Lausanne will host the 2020 Winter Youth Olympic Games after overcoming Romanian rival Brașov in a two-horse race, it has been announced today.

The Swiss city, home to the IOC headquarters since 1915 and considered the "Olympic Capital", duly becomes the third host of the event following an inaugural event in Innsbruck in 2012 and next year's edition scheduled for Lillehammer in Norway.

They won by a huge margin of 71 votes to 10.

Lausanne, which was praised in particular for its good use of existing, temporary and demountable venues, was the heavy favourite leading into the contest following a lacklustre performance by its Romanian rival.

It was helped by a strong and emotive presentation showcasing the sporting credentials of Switzerland and utilising home-grown sporting stars including tennis players Roger Federer and Stanislas Wawrinka.

“What a beautiful gift to celebrate the 100 years of Olympism in Lausanne!" said the city's Mayor Daniel Brélaz afterwards.

"Lausanne, Olympic city, a sport city, a young city: it is a perfect mix, and I am extremely proud that the IOC recognised it."

"Now, let’s get to work!”

The Games are set to be held between January 10 and 19 in 2020, with over 1,000 teenage athletes set to compete.

A review of sports, disciplines and events will take place after the February's Games in the Norwegian resort, with the overall list of events to be completed approximately three years beforehand.

“Sixty-seven years after the Winter Games in St. Moritz, it is a great honour to have contributed in bringing the Games back to Switzerland," added bid leader and International Olympic Committee member Patrick Baumann.

"This project has enormous potential for a country that has snow sports in its DNA.

"I am convinced that this is the start of a great journey.”


World Athletics Championship 400-metre hurdles victor Jehue Gordon is expressing confidence that he can repeat his winning performance witnessed two years ago in Moscow Russia.

Back in 2013 Gordon won gold in the men's 400 m hurdles in 47.69 to upset race favourite Michael Tinsley of the United States who ran 47.70. The 2015 edition of the meet hosted by the IAAF was scheduled to take place from August 22-30 in Beijing, China, at which Gordon intended to defend his title.

“You saw how I ran, so I guess you will see it again. They (people of T&T) know that I always give it my best. So it’s always about T&T at the end of the day: win, lose or draw. My main aim is to get back as fit and as healthy as possible and definitely give it my best shot at the World Championships,” he said.

Gordon–who was forced to pull out of the Pan American Games held in Toronto, Canada, a mere two weeks ago, when his training camp discovered an injury that could have worsened had he competed at the tournament–said training was good and the team was working and looking ahead to Beijing.

“Right now we are working on it. We are working together as a team. Nothing is ever guaranteed. Sport is very iffy. Anything could happen on the day. Nobody’s name is written on the medals as yet. Once I go out and give it my best performance!

Even as he kept his eyes on the prize, his pursuit of higher education had not waned. Come September, Gordon would graduate from the University of the West Indies with first class honours in sports management. Things have been a lot different since that victory, he said, in terms of the life shaping opportunities that came before him. But he kept his feet firmly on the ground, conscious there was a time and place for everything.

Gordon turned his attention to the work of the T&T Olympic Committee (TTOC) and lauded its president Brian Lewis who through established an Athlete Welfare Fund and was to rallying corporate T&T and the public at large to pledge financial support for the 10 or more goal medal by 2024.

“We see what sport does for a nation, especially with people like Njisane Phillip, George Bovell, Keshorn Walcott and Cleopatra Borel. We have a good crop of athletes coming up especially the young Machel Cedenio. It’s not to say that the future is dull for T&T, it’s just that we need to support our athletes more and show them the respect that they deserve, because at the end of the day, we make a lot of sacrifices to make sure that’s T&T is on the map. And, if we don’t do that, who is going to? he asked.

Gordon lamented the fact that basic amenities for elite athlete training were still not available in T&T, no because a lack of resources, but the poor mind sets. Many, he said, still haven’t grasped the concept of professionalism when meeting the needs of the nation’s athletes.

“When we go outside, we see what it takes and what it means to be a professional. In T&T, we are accustomed to this lack-lustre culture where it’s always a short term goal or short term thinking. We really don’t think outside the box as T&T nationals when it comes to stuff like that. We only see the end result. If they can come and live in the athletes shoes for a certain point in time, they would see the difficulties that we are faced with,” he said.


...Warren bags shot put silver

Khalifa St Forte won the Women’s 100m final at the Pan American Junior Games in Edmonton, Canada on Friday evening. The American-born athlete, who is coached by Ato Boldon, clocked 11.31 to edge American Aleiba Hobbs (11.50) and Teahna Daniels (11.54) into second and third respectively.

The 17-year-old had set a new national Under 18 record (11.19) two weeks ago when she won silver at the IAAF World Youth Championships in Colombia. Her achievement came on the eve of the 19th anniversary of her coach’s 200m bronze medal run at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics.

In other events, Portious Warren won the silver in the Women’s Shot Put after throwing a personal best of 15.57m in her second attempt. The gold was won by Raven Saunders of the USA, who smashed the old meet record (17.55m) with 18.27m on her second throw. She also bettered the mark on her third (17.63m) and sixth (17.60m) attempts.

Meanwhile, Jeminise Parris  was fourth in the Women’s 100m Hurdles  final, coming in at 13.98. American Dior Hall won the gold in 13.20 with Ecuador’s Maribel Caicedo (13.45) and Jamaican Daeshon Gordon (13.70) winning silver and bronze respectively.

Andwuelle Wright was fifth in the Men’s Long Jump with a 7.51m effort in his fourth attempt. His teammate Che Richards was 11th with 7.08m. Topping the field was Cuban Juan Miguel Echevarria with 7.76m, followed by Bahaman Laquan Nairn (7.65m) and American Keandre Bates (7.54m). Aaron Lewis just qualified for the Men’s 110m Hurdles final when he finished fourth in his heat in a time of 13.92. Ahead of him were Jamaica Seanie Selvin (13.71), American Marquis Morris (13.76) and Puerto Rican Richard Torres (13.83). The final was scheduled for last night.

Kayelle Clarke did not finish her Women’s 200m heat, which was won by Bajan Sada Williams in 23.46. The National Association of Athletics Administrations (NAAA) of T&T has extend its congratulations to both medallist winners St Fort and Warren.

Today's action will see Kenejah Williams in the Men's Shot Put and Omari Benoit in the Men's High Jump. The Women's 4x100m relay team of St Forte, Jendayi Noel, Kayelle Clarke and Jael Fergusson will enter the final while Joash Huggins, Corey Stewart, Francis Louis and Nathan Farinha will take part in the Men's 4x100m final.


Monetary bonuses are to be offered by the Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee (TTOC) to national athletes competing here at the Pan American Games as part of a plan to improve sporting performances, it has been announced.

Any athlete who receives a medal at an competition associated with the national team, beginning at Toronto 2015, which opened here last night, will be offered these incentives, with the highest award of $3,000 (£1,900/€2,700) being offered to a gold medal winner in an individual event.

Relay runners and those competing in team events will receive different levels of incentives.

The initiative follows the launch last December of the Caribbean country's #10Golds24 drive to improve sporting levels at Rio 2016 and beyond, an effort engineered by TTOC President Brian Lewis.

Offering bonuses is seen as a key way to encourage athletes into sport, and to take that step up to the top level.

Most of Trinidad and Tobago's medal hopes here will compete next week when athletics competition begins, with the biggest hope undoubtedly Olympic champion javelin thrower Keshorn Walcott, fresh from a mammoth a national record of 90.16 metres to win the DIamond League meeting in Lausanne last Thursday (July 9).

Sprinter Kelly-Ann Baptiste and up and coming 400m talent Machel Cedenio are other leading hopes, while Athens 2004 swimming Olympic bronze medalist George Bovell is probably the leading contender away from the track and the field.

“The introduction of medal bonuses is an essential component of the ten or more Olympic Gold medals athlete welfare and preparation programme," a statement from the TTOC said.

“In pursuit of its strategic goals and objectives, the TTOC acknowledges the support of its corporate partners: bpTT, Guardian Group, Scotiabank, adidas, Lisa Communications and NLCB.

“Its an exciting time for the TTOC."

The announcement follows the launch earlier this month of a landmark "Going for Gold" project introduced by the TTOC in conjunction with the National Lotteries Control Board in order to raise funds for potential Olympians.