117th IOC Session


117th IOC Session

The 117th International Olympic Committee Session was held for the first time in Singapore from 2 July to 9 July 2005. The meeting was particularly significant as two important decisions were made through voting during the session - namely the selection of the hosting city for the 2012 Summer Olympics, and a review of the 28 sports currently represented in the summer games.

The session was held at the Raffles City Convention Centre, which is on level 4 of the Raffles City complex. The opening ceremony on 5 July 2005 was held at the Esplanade - Theatres on the Bay.

Proceedings

1 July 2005

An exhibition was launched at the podium of the Raffles City Shopping Complex, and will go on till 10 July.

2 July 2005

The IOC Session commences.

3 July 2005

The session proper commenced with a meeting of the IOC's Executive Board.

4 July 2005

The Executive Board meetings resume with updates on the progress of preparations for the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin, 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing and 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver by their respective representatives. The board was informed that Beijing has decided to hold the equestrian events in Hong Kong, as the territory is a disease free zone.

5 July 2005

The opening ceremony was held at the Esplanade - Theatres on the Bay and the guest of honour was the Prime Minister of Singapore, Lee Hsien Loong who officially opened the session. A special type of hybrid orchid has been bred to commemorate the IOC Session in Singapore and is named Vanda IOC. A cultural performance of dance and songs was held with the theme of "One Voice, One Rhythm, One World".

6 July 2005

"See: 2012 Summer Olympics bids"Each of the five bid cities had 45 minutes to make a final presentation to the IOC members, after which voting commenced and the final results were announcenced at 1930 Singapore time with London emerging as the bid winner. Local sailor Griselda Khng handed an envelope to IOC president Jacques Rogge holding the result of the vote.

7 July 2005

The final evaluation report of the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens was presented and the Athens Games were finally closed.

8 July 2005

The existing 28 sports in the Summer Olympics programme came under scrutiny, three years after a similar attempt failed to gain support from IOC members during the 114th IOC Session in Mexico City. Prior to the votes, baseball, softball, modern pentathlon, taekwondo and fencing were considered as most likely to be dropped. Five other sports were vying to get in — golf, roller sports, squash, rugby sevens and karate. Jacques Rogge, president of the IOC, has been supportive of this move, while the Association of Summer Olympic International Federations (ASOIF) has been opposing it.

In the morning IOC members voted to remove baseball and softball from the games (voting was by simple majority), while modern pentathlon gained a surprise reprieve. Some nations expressed dismay with the result, in particular the United States where both sports originated from, and Japan, where both have a strong following.

In the afternoon, a secret vote by IOC members gave squash and karate over 51% of votes, but the addition of a sport requires an amendment to the Olympic Charter, and such an amendment requires a two-thirds majority. Since neither sport achieved that proportion of the votes, no new sports were added and the Olympic Games therefore now consists of 26 sports.

That night at The Oriental Singapore, when SNOC president and defence minister, Teo Chee Hean threw a banquet, Rogge gave Singapore full marks for the session organisation, a perfect 6.

9 July 2005

Singapore's IOC member, Ng Ser Miang was vying for a spot in the IOC Executive Board to replace Greek Lambis Nikolaou, whose term ended on this day. Ng Ser Miang was shortlisted together with Ivan Dibos from Peru. Ng Ser Miang was elected to the Board, and two vice presidents were also elected — Lambis Nikolaou and Chiharu Igaya, an IOC member from Japan.

World's Impression of Singapore

A Canadian television report said that the session had placed the country in the centre of the sporting universe and that the spotlight was on six cities — not just the five candidate cities.

The media amusingly said that most visitors' first taste of Singapore is an annoying "ding-dong" alert sound produced in a taxi when it exceeds the speed limit (Reuters). The speaking of the slang Singlish was highlighted, together with the country's chewing gum laws. The UK's "The Sunday Telegraph" said "So who is going to win? With so many possible permutations, predicting the result is about as futile as looking for a pack of chewing gum in Singapore." "The New York Times" suggested to the mayor, Michael Bloomberg "If the Mayor seeks a distraction from his Olympics defeat by looking for something new to ban, he could do worse than to follow the Singapore tradition by hounding gum-chewers as he did smokers."

The Americans were alerted to a US State Department advisory that told travellers to treat the nations rules on jaywalking and littering with respect. A New York tabloid published a whole list of the dos and do nots of the island. The case of Michael Fay also surfaced with the New York Times adding that "doesn't a tiny part of you wish the police could get really tough with those who defile the sidewalks with litter and spit? What do you think the odds are that the young Ohio man will ever vandalise the car again. "

References, grudging or not, were made to Singapore's lush greenery, the "tough" drug laws, the "rare" traffic jams and the tight security checks. The British daily, "The Guardian" wrote on the terrorism spectre that stalks the Games, noting that, "Even here in Singapore, during the meeting of the 116 members, security has at times been stifling. Access to the Swissôtel, where the members are staying , has been severely restricted and squadrons of Gurkhas armed with hand- and machine-guns patrol inside and outside the hotel."

Media Confusion

There was some kind of confusion by the foreign newspapers mixing up the high end Raffles Hotel with the Raffles City. Reuters wrote "It is a national monument, the jewel in Singapore's crown, and this week, Raffles Hotel will becoming a bubbling cauldron of lobbying and politics as it stages the most keenly-contested Olympic venue vote in the history of the Games. Its Colonial style salons and parlours will be overrun by bid officials and consultants, celebrities and spin-doctors." Later, it clarified that the vote was actually at the adjacent Raffles City Convention Centre and not the hotel.

British paper, "The Guardian", in a report on the London team isolating themselves on Sentosa wrote, "They have deliberately retreated from the hothouse atmosphere of the Raffles Hotel complex, the venue for the IOC congress, to perfect a final pitch they believe will be crucial in gathering the votes London requires to win."

The "Weekend Australian" reported, "First order of the business that day at Raffles Hotel will be determining whether any changes are to be made to the Olympic programme......" "The Bangkok Post" said, "Members of the International Olympic Committee from around the globe will meet July 6-9 at the historic Raffles Hotel to pick the hosts of the 2012 Games of the Olympiad."

Olympic Anthem criticism

The trio who sung the Olympic Anthem in Greek was criticised by both the media and the audience. They were Singaporean soprano Khor Ai Ming, Singaporean tenor William Lim and Japanese soprano Satsuki Nagatome. The trio sung with gusto just before the announcement of the 2012 Summer Olympics.

The feedback on their pre-recorded performance was not music to the ears. The Guardian reported on their operatic rendition "Two Singaporean sopranos and a tenor dressed like a maître d' subjected the Olympic anthem, a tune whose primary virtue is to be heard only once every four years, to a fearful mauling." [ [http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2005/jul/07/olympics2012.communities The Guardian - One sweet word: London] ] The Times of the UK described them as "three Orientals... one distinctly off key".Fact|date=March 2008 Khor said that feedback from the IOC was good.Fact|date=March 2008 The trio were picked by the show's producer and performed on the anthem the day before at Esplanade at the opening ceremony. A poll conducted in the nation said the rendition was embarrassing.Fact|date=March 2008

Impact

The Singapore government has made a profit of S$ 40 million from holding the session.

References

ee also

*List of IOC meetings

External links

* [http://www.singapore2005ioc.org.sg Official 117th IOC Session Homepage]
* [http://www.olympic.org IOC Homepage]


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