Olympic Newsdesk - Omega Extends Partnership; U.N. Chief to Address IOC
With Omega’s extended partnership with the IOC, the watch maker will have kept time at 29 Olympics. (Getty Images)
Omega and the IOC decided it was the right time to extend their partnership.
The IOC announced on Friday that Swiss watch manufacturer will continue to sponsor and keep official times through the 2020 Olympics. Omega's previous contract was set to end in 2012.
"If you take 10 years you can be sure that we're investing more than 1 billion (Swiss francs)," Nicolas Hayek, chairman of Swatch Group, which owns Omega told the Associated Press.
With the extension, Omega will have been part of 29 Olympics.
"Omega is proud to continue its long-standing association with the IOC and the world’s premium sporting event," said Omega President Stephen Urquhart in a statement. "Since 1932 the Olympic Games have provided us with a unique platform to convey our message of precision, quality and innovation in a prestigious and fitting environment.”
IOC President Jacques Rogge praised Omega's accuracy. Rogge said that the partnership with Omega is "a source of enormous confidence for the IOC."
Omega is not the only company to have a long-term deal with the IOC. Atos Origin, Panasonic and Samsung are partners though 2016 while Coca-Cola 2020. Ban Ki-Moon to Open Olympic Congress
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon will present the keynote address at the opening of the Olympic Congress in Copenhagen next week.
Ki-moon's presence is a sign of a growing partnership between the UN and the IOC, according to IOC President Jacques Rogge.
U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon will keynote the IOC Congress in Copenhagen. (Getty Images)
"It's a strong commitment to the recognition of the increasingly important role of sport in the implementation of internationally agreed development goals, such as the Millennium Development Goals," Rogge said. "In the global community of the 21st century, the Olympic Movement is more accountable to the whole of society than ever before, and it must be sure of its place in all regions of the world. This is why the participation of the United Nations in its Congress, placed under the main theme of ‘the Olympic Movement in Society’, is invaluable.”
The UN has sought to utilize the Olympic spirit to invoke Olympic Truces in which warring parties take a break from fighting during the Games. For example, in 2006, then Secretary General Kofi Annan called for an Olympic Truce during the Winter Games in Turin. Ki-moon called for an Olympic Truce last year for the 2008 Beijing Games.
Ki-moon's relationship with the Olympics has not always been picturesque. Last year, he missed the Beijing Opening Ceremonies after citing "scheduling conflicts."
The Olympic Congress opens on Saturday, Oct. 3 and will last through Oct. 5. The theme of Congress is "the Olympic Movement in Society." European Olympic Chief to become Legionnaire
European Olympic Committees president Patrick Hickey will receive the Légion d’Honneur
To receive the award, the recipient must have accomplished 20 years of public service or professional activities and have attained outstanding achievement in either case, according to the French Embassy.
Hickey, an Irishman, received the award for his contributions to the Olympic movement, which includes service as an IOC member, and president of the Olympic Council of Ireland.
Foreign nationals can receive the award for “consideration of their personality or the services.”
Hickey will receive the award at a date to be announced in December. Written by Ed Hula III and Sam Steinberg.
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