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Hein Verbruggen Hein Verbruggen was awarded the Honorary Citizenship of the City of Beijing at a ceremony held on 13 July, exactly eight years after Beijing's election as host city of the 2008 Games. This is the high-est distinction awarded by the Beijing Municipal Government to a for-eigner. Hein Verbruggen was Chairman of the IOC Evaluation and Coordination Commissions for the 2008 Games. Pál Schmitt IOC member Pál Schmitt has been elect-ed Vice- President of the European Parliament. Schmitt has been a member of the Parliament since 2004. The 4th International Athletes' Forum once again underlined the role and place of the athlete within the Olympic and sports movement, both nationally and internationally. The Moroccan city of Marrakech was the site for its fourth edition, at the invitation of the Moroccan Olympic Committee, on the initiative of the Olympic champion Hicham El Guerrouj, a member of the IOC and its Athletes' Commission and Nawal El Moutawakel, IOC member and then Moroccan Minister of Youth and Sport. Almost 100 athletes from five continents, representatives of the IFs of Olympic sports and the five Continental Associations of the NOCs attended. After three days of discussions, a series of recommendations were adopted on the three themes of the Forum: relationship between the athletes, clubs, federations and NOCs; health protection in training and competition; and the social and professional life of athletes during and after elite competition. These recommendations will be presented at the Olympic Congress in Copenhagen in October. The Forum is held every two years by the Athletes' Commission, whose Chairman is four- time Olympic silver medallist and world champion, Frank Fredericks. The participants unanimously agreed that all the members of the sports movement - clubs, national and IFs and NOCs - have an important role and responsibilities vis- à- vis the athletes and vice- versa. The athletes thus have a central role to play in raising the profile of sport and recreation across communities and the sports organisations must ensure that all athletes can compete on a level playing field. The Forum also encouraged sports organisations to strengthen their athletes' commissions so that the athletes can make their views heard. With regards to athlete health during training and competition, the Forum called on the IOC to implement educational programmes on health protection and injury- prevention at the Olympic Games and Youth Olympic Games, and to encourage the NOCs and IFs to do the same. Decisions, in particular relating to competition schedules and rule changes, should be taken in consultation with the IFs' respective Athletes' and Medical Commission representatives. On the key issue of the social and professional life of athletes during and after elite competition, the participants agreed to remind the various Olympic Movement constituents of the need to understand the importance of combining education and sport (" dual career"), and to recognise and endorse the importance of life skills. To achieve this, they proposed the introduction of programmes to provide emotional support and management during the transition period and to create partnerships with sponsors to contribute to life projects, and not only sports performance. The IOC, under the auspices of the Women and Sport Commission Chairperson, Anita L. DeFrantz ( right), and in collaboration with the NOC of Guam, recently organised the 4th Continental Seminar on Women and Sport for the countries of Oceania in Guam. On 21 July, the Women and Sport Commission of the Oceania NOCs ( ONOC) met for the first time chaired by newly elected Helen Brownlee. A forum then brought together 30 delegates from the 17 NOCs of Oceania. The agenda included a presentation of the IOC Commission's 2008- 2012 action plan, and Olympic Solidarity and IOC programmes aimed at promoting women in sport. For the first time, young delegates took part in the Seminar, which aims to strengthen the participants' knowledge and competences in management so that they can access positions of responsibility within decision- making and administrative organs of the NOCs and other national sports organisations. ATHLETESATTHE HEARTOFSPORT WOMENANDSPORT SEMINARINGUAM IOC ANDATOS ORIGINEXTEND PARTNERSHIP CULTURAL ANDOLYMPIC EDUCATION INOCEANIA The IOC has extended its partnership with Atos Origin through to 2016, including the XXII Olympic Winter Games ( 2014) in Sochi, Russia, and the Games of the XXXI Olympiad ( 2016). Atos Origin has been a key technology provider for the Olympic Movement since becoming the Worldwide Information Technology Partner in 2001. IOC President Jacques Rogge said: " The Olympic Games would not happen without the use of Information Technology. We rely on Atos Origin's world- class expertise and experience, and I am absolutely delighted that the IOC will continue its partnership with Atos Origin for a further four years through to 2016." Thierry Breton, Chairman and CEO of Atos Origin, said: " We are particularly proud of our long- term partnership with the International Olympic Committee - a relationship based on enduring trust. We will continue to surpass ourselves from one Olympiad to the next, and will commit to deliver high level services as part of our mission for the Olympic Games." The IOC, through its Commission for Culture and Olympic Education, in cooperation with the NOC of Fiji, recently organised a continental seminar on the Olympic Values Education Programme ( OVEP) in Suva. Some 30 participants from 13 NOCs in Oceania learned about the OVEP and its manual " Teaching Olympic Values", and the best way to apply them. This toolkit has been developed in order to help educators, coaches and youth group leaders to teach the educational values of the Olympic Movement. Another topic which sparked a fruitful debate was the issue of young people living in " borderless" insular states and how sport contributes or can contribute to their education and sharing of knowledge. NEWS INBRIEF 14OLYMPIC REVIEW

The IOC has launched the latest component of " The Best of Us" promotional campaign, a multifaceted, global effort that aims to bring the Olympic values to life and engage young people around the world. The animated commercial, titled " All Together Now", was broadcast for the first time by the IOC's broadcast partner in the United States, NBC, during the 12th IAAF World Championships in Athletics, in Berlin, Germany, on 15 August. In the 30- second public service announcement, six larger- than- life Olympic athletes are depicted literally pulling countries together, symbolising the inspiration of the athletes and their superhuman abilities to unite the world in the spirit of Olympism. The objective of the promotional campaign is to communicate the key Olympic values of Excellence, Friendship and Respect to a global youth audience. " The Best of Us" is a simple, powerful idea that transcends cultures and borders, motivating young people around the world to participate in sport by proving that sport can bring out their best. The campaign was developed by the Voluntarily United Group of Creative Agencies ( United), part of the WPP Group. The creative development was led by Cole & Weber, based in Seattle, USA. The animated commercial was directed by the young French directing duo FX & Mat of Nexus Productions. The IOC is working with United on a multi- dimensional campaign approach consisting of TV, online, print and PR activities. The campaign will be rolled out in a phased approach in 2009 and beyond. LeftOne of the animated athletes featured in the new " Best of Us" campaign The IOC has launched the bid process for the XXIII Olympic Winter Games in 2018. NOCs have been invited to submit the name of a city within their jurisdiction as an applicant to host the Games in a little under nine years' time. Phase I - known as the candidature acceptance procedure, involves a thorough review by the IOC of each city's potential to organise the 2018 Olympic Winter Games. Cities will be asked to reply to a questionnaire. Their answers will be studied by the IOC in order to help the IOC Executive Board select the cities that will become Candidate Cities and therefore move on to Phase II. 15 October 2009: NOCs to inform the IOC of the name of an Applicant City 12- 28 February 2010: Cities participate in the Vancouver 2010 Observer Programme 15 March 2010: Submission of Application File and guarantee letters to the IOC March- June 2010: Examination of replies by the IOC End June 2010: IOC Executive Board acceptance of Candidate Cities Phase II - known as the candidature procedure, Candidate Cities will be requested to submit their Candidature File, that is to say an in- depth description of their Olympic project, and prepare for the visit of the IOC Evaluation Commission. The Evaluation Commission will make a detailed technical assessment of each candidature and publish a report one month before the election of the Host City for IOC members to review. 11 January 2011: Submission of Candidature File and guarantees to the IOC February - March 2011: Evaluation Commission visits One month before the election of the Host City: Report of the IOC Evaluation Commission for 2018 6 July 2011: Election of the Host City of the XXIII Olympic Winter Games during the 123rd IOC Session in Durban IOCLAUNCHESNEW ' BESTOFUS'CAMPAIGN 2018WINTERGAMES BROADCAST RIGHTS AGREEMENTS The IOC has announced an agreement with the Arab States Broadcast Union ( ASBU) for the broadcast rights in the Middle East for the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games and the Games of the XXXI Olympiad in 2016. The ASBU has acquired the rights across all broadcast platforms, including free- to- air television, subscription television, internet and mobile phone, in the following territories: Algeria, Bahrain, Djibouti, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, the United Arab Emirates and Yemen. The ASBU and its members have committed to a minimum of 200 hours' exposure for the Olympic Games in 2016 and to a daily 52- minute highlights programme at prime time for the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games on terrestrial, over- the- air television. IOC President Jacques Rogge said: " The ASBU has been the IOC's broadcast partner in the region since 1976 and has shown a great commitment to the Olympic Games and the Olympic Movement. We are delighted to be able to extend our partnership with the ASBU for a further four years." AboveThe IOC has signed a broadcast deal with the Arab States Broadcast Union ( ASBU) OLYMPIC REVIEW15