Dear President, Dear Secretary General,
We would like to inform you that the IOC has just released initial guidelines for the issuance of Universality Places for the 2010 Youth Olympic Games. In principle, each NOC is guaranteed a minimum of four (4) universality places in the event that their athletes do not meet the earlier circulated IOC/IF YOG Qualification Criteria. Universality refers to participation of all 205 IOC member countries, divided equitably by sport and gender. Any/all qualifiers will be deducted from the guaranteed four (4) Universality Places for the Philippines. For example, if a shooter, a weightlifter and a swimmer achieve the Qualifying Standard of the IOC/IF, only one (1) Universality place for the Philippines will be left available. If all goes well, we should be able to qualify more than enough athletes so that there will be no need for any Universality Places (ex. 12 Filipino athletes qualify in the various sports through the regular qualification system). We have been informed by IOC that this month POC will be invited to submit four (8) nominations for Universality Places in the event that we don’t have any or enough qualifiers. To make this submission, the POC will have to accept nominations from all concerned NSA’s and closely study their level of competitiveness relative to their own IF’s standards, and rank them accordingly. Naturally, diversity of sport and gender guidelines set by IOC must be applied in POC’s selection and recommendation process. By March, this list will then pass through a Tripartite Commission beginning in March 2009 that will determine whom of the Philippine nominees may secure a slot for the 2010 YOG. We must keep in mind that the Tripartite Commission will rank athletes in accordance with IF standards, so it is not a simple matter of POC naming whomever it desires to represent the Philippines in the 2010 YOG. In light of this, we urge all NSA’s to begin identifying young talented athletes, and once we receive the invitation from IOC with instructions, the POC will prepare the list of nominees. In theory, the process for nominating athletes to the Tripartite Commission for a Universality Place is not much different than from the Olympics. At this point, what we have noticed as different is that for some sports, achievement of the IOC/IF qualifying standard does not mean automatic inclusion in the YOG, as there is another limit set by each IF pertaining to the maximum fixed number of athletes that can participate in the YOG (ex. swimming, regardless of number of time standard achievers will only have 400 competitors at the YOG so a special second elimination process will also be implemented by their IF). We cannot stress enough the importance that each NSA must have complete documentation of athlete qualification available for POC when required, as this forms part of the kits we will be sending the Tripartite Commission. Should you have any questions, please feel free to contact me or DSG Mark Joseph at anytime.
Warmest regards. Stephen C. Hontiveros Secretary General Philippine Olympic Committee