FINA Communication Department

FINA, the Aquatic Family and the Olympic Family celebrated a 110 years of history in Lausanne (SUI) today and simultaneously inaugurated the new FINA Headquarters in the centre of the Olympic capital on July 19, 2018.

Around 300 people including representatives of 120 National Member Federations, athletes, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Executive Board Members, IOC representatives, international sports media as well as special guests and all FINA staff members attended the special celebration on 19 July.

The festivities were highlighted by speeches from FINA President Julio C. Maglione, IOC President Thomas Bach and ANOC President Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah which were followed by the official cut of the ribbon (photo above). ASOIF President Francesco Ricci Bitti also joined the other Presidents on stage to officially open the house, a building constructed in 1876. 

Read parts of Maglione's speech here

IOC President Thomas Bach complimented FINA President and all his predecessors for FINA’s success over the years:

“A 110 year of successful history is not God given. Therefore on this occasion I would like to recognise the great leadership under President Maglione and all the Presidents before him who have taken this Federation where it is today."

“We are celebrating a Federation that counts 209 National Federations, a great example for our other International Federations.”

“FINA is inaugurating his headquarters in Lausanne, where it has been established for many years now and is part of its roots and history.”

“FINA is ready today to embrace new developments through its various programmes and initiatives. You are helping and serving your National Federations. You are committed to the environment with your slogan Water is our World. You are acting for the communities with your programme Swimming for All – Swimming for Life and you are an activist in the gender equality fight by introducing mixed events into the Olympic programme.”

Underlining the importance of Aquatics within the Olympic Games programme, Bach added:

“FINA largely contributes to the success of the Olympic Games. Not only with your great athletes but also by your dedication to strengthening the role of Sport in society.”

“You can today celebrate FINA’s birthday and inaugurate your new Lausanne HQ, a true symbol of your commitment to the future. Congratulations on these two great occasions!”

Before handing the Sky is the Limit very special trophy to Maglione, Bach said:

“I would like to gift FINA with this special distinction with a very particular feeling, not only because of our friendship and my love for aquatic sports but also because I truly believe that the title of the trophy really fits with FINA’s philosophy.”

Following the two opening speeches, ANOC President and IOC Member Ahmed Al-Fahad Al-Ahmed Al-Sabah of Kuwait said:

“Even if it is very difficult for me to speak after those great men, I am very happy and honoured to be here today with the entire FINA Family. I am honoured to take part in this very special event which marks FINA’s 110th anniversary and the inauguration of FINA’s first headquarters. I would like to congratulate President Maglione for his leadership and for making this possible today.”

“FINA has the full support of the IOC and all the Executive Board Members present here today. Only your sport can either host finals in the morning at the Olympic Games or in the evening and still have the biggest audience.”

“Finally, congratulations for all your commitment, the reform of your constitution and your constant evolution. Your organisation is alive, and alive since 110 years!”

All guests were then invited to visit the Offices in which FINA moved in September 2016, after acquire the property in 2010.

All delegates were invited to a birthday dinner in the Olympic Museum in Lausanne following the day's activities. A birthday cake was presented on the occasion.  

Celebrate 110 Years of FINA!