Durban, 11th July – the 123rd IOC Session came to a close last Saturday with a number of decisions of interest to Europe.


First and foremost, Gunilla Lindberg was elected back onto the EB to replace Gerhard Heiberg, who had reached the end of his term of office. This will be her second stint on the EB, having already served from 2000 to 2004. More recently, she chaired the Evaluation Commission for the 2018 Olympic Winter Games, awarded to PyeongChang on 6 July.

The Session also re-elected the chair of the International Paralympic Association, Sir Philip Craven (GBR), as an IOC member for a period of eight years. Three new IOC members were also elected: José Perurena López (Spain) from the International Canoe Federation, individual member Gerardo Werthein (Argentina) and active athlete Barbara Kendall (New Zealand).

Two Europeans, Arne Ljungqvist and Antun Vrdoljak, were among the six current members who end their terms of office at the end of 2011 and were granted Honorary Member status as of 1 January 2012, the others being: Phillip Walter Coles, Chiharu Igaya, Shun-ichiro Okano, and Lassana Palenfo.

Olympic Order

Portuguese Fernando Lima Bello was conferred the IOC Olympic Order for services rendered to the Olympic Movement, an honour shared with Kip Keino (Kenya).

Netherlands Antilles

As a consequence of the formal dissolution of the Netherlands Antilles on 10 October 2010 and the new institutional and constitutional structure within the Kingdom of the Netherlands, and in line with the Olympic Charter, the IOC Session on 8 July ratified the decision proposed by the IOC EB earlier this year.

It thus decided to withdraw IOC recognition from the NOC of the Netherlands Antilles and approve a number of accompanying measures aimed essentially at preserving as much as possible the interests of the athletes, particularly with regard to the London 2012 Olympic Games.

The athletes from the five islands that made up the former Netherlands Antilles who would be eligible for the London 2012 Olympic Games will have the possibility of qualifying for and taking part in the London 2012 Olympic Games as independent athletes under the Olympic flag. To achieve this, a temporary administrative structure (put in place by the former Netherlands Antilles NOC) will operate as a technical entity until the end of the London 2012 Olympic Games under the IOCs supervision and with the IOCs support.


The IOC Session also granted full IOC recognition to the International Floorball Federation (IFF) on 8 July. The IFF, which is based in Helsinki and was established in 1986, is composed of 52 national member associations on five continents, with a total 280,000 licensed players.

Lastly, the Session awarded the Olympic Cup to a much deserving South African NOC and the people of Durban.