NOCs Celebrate Big Anniversaries -- NOCs News

(ATR) Ukraine and Hungary celebrate anniversaries; AOC sets benchmarks for Rio 2016; Ghana chef de mission …

(ATR) It was a week of celebration for National Olympic Committees around Europe as Hungary and Ukraine held anniversary events commemorating the foundation of their NOCs.

Although established nearly 100 years apart, both NOCs made significant contributions to the Olympic Movement.

As one of the first NOCs founded, the Hungarian Olympic Committee reflected on 120 years of Olympic history at its celebration on Dec. 14 following its general assembly. Hungary ranks eighth all-time in total medals won at the Games yet is the only founding country of the Olympics not to host the event.

The HOC is trying to change that with its current bid for the 2024 Summer Games. Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban says Hungary is ready to "seize the opportunity" to bring the 2024 Olympics to Budapest.

IOC president Thomas Bach attended the general assembly and anniversary celebration, describing the Budapest 2024 bid as a "very strong one in a very strong competition".

"We will see how they are getting out of the blocks and then the tough race can start," Bach said.

The celebration ended with a gala event at the Hungarian State Opera where more than 600 guests watched performances commemorating the country’s sporting history.

"After 120 years, we are proud to continue to bear the torch for the Olympic Movement," said HOC president Zsolt Borkai.

Bach did not stay for the gala event as he traveled to Ukraine for another celebration of Olympic history, albeit much shorter than that seen in Hungary.

The National Olympic Committee of Ukraine celebrated 25 years of sporting history with Bach as well as ANOC president Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah with a gala dinner hosted in the Ukrainian capital Kiev.

"It was a fantastic evening and a chance for the Olympic family to commemorate the great achievements of Ukrainian athletes and their NOC," said ANOC president Sheikh Ahmad.

In Bach’s address he congratulated NOCU president Sergey Bubka as well as the founding president of NOCU Valeriy Borzov for the many Ukrainian contributions in Olympic history.

"In addition to 25 years of sporting success, the NOC of Ukraine should also be celebrating the work that it is doing to spread the values of sport and the spirit of Olympism throughout the country," said Bach.

Australian NOC Raises Bar for Rio

The Australian Olympic Committee has raised the bar for its athletes headed to the Rio 2016 Olympics with benchmark quotas for its athletes.

The AOC is aiming for 37 medals at the Summer Games next August with 13 golds, only two more total medals than the country earned at the London 2012 Games but several more golds.

The AOC was not pleased with the country's results at the last Summer Games in London where athletes brought home the fewest medals since the 1992 Games in Barcelona.

The goals were published in the AOC’s annual benchmark study that takes into account the recent performances of Australian athletes at world championships.

The last benchmark study published before the Olympics in 2012 predicted the correct number of total medals for the country at 35 but over-projected Australia’s gold count.

"Overall we've had a better year, the gold medal tally is a tremendous improvement and the signs are good. We will need to move into the 40's in Rio to achieve our goals," said Australia's chef de mission Kitty Chiller.

Written by KevinNutley

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