Thomas Bach met with Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaitė during a visit to Vilnius ©LTOK

International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach met with Lithuanian counterpart Dalia Grybauskaitė and athletes who represented the country at their first Summer Games appearance at Barcelona 1992 during a visit to Vilnius.

Bach delivered the opening remarks at the Advancing Women in Leadership Roles Forum for Europe in the city last week, hosted by the Lithuanian Olympic Committee (LTOK) in cooperation with the IOC.

The IOC President claimed Lithuania could be a good example for other nations as the heads of the country and the National Olympic Committee are women.

The LTOK say they have also initiated a wide range of projects dedicated to gender equality, women's leadership and empowering women to take up high-profile roles in sport.

Bach and Grybauskaitė discussed a range of topics during their meeting, including transparency, anti-doping and gender equality.

Lithuania's preparations for the upcoming Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang were also on the agenda, along with the achievements of the country's athletes and the engagement of more women in sport governance.

Bach also presented Lithuanian wrestler Mindaugas Mizgaitis with his upgraded Beijing 2008 silver medal during a ceremony at the Grand Dukes.

The Advancing Women in Leadership Roles Forum for Europe was described as a success ©LTOK
The Advancing Women in Leadership Roles Forum for Europe was described as a success ©LTOK

Mizgaitis had initially won bronze in the Chinese capital but was bumped up to silver by the IOC after Russian Khasan Baroev was disqualified for failing a retrospective doping test.

A special gala dinner took place during the forum, celebrating Lithuania's first participation at the Olympic Games, which came in 1992 after the country gained independence from the Soviet Union in 1990.

Bach congratulated Lithuanian athletes who won medals at the Games, including discus thrower Romas Ubartas, the country's first Olympic champion.

The LTOK described the forum as a success, with delegates at the meeting acknowledging the leading role the European Olympic Committees (EOC) are playing in advancing women in leadership roles.

As part of the forum's committment, delegates invited the EOC Executive Committee to "adopt, allocate appropriate resources and implement a strategy on gender equality with clear goals and indicators".

"This forum is to provide women with leadership skills and the idea that equality is not just important for those who are unequal but for everybody," LTOK President Daina Gudzinevičiūtė said in her opening address. 

"Because our strengh is in diversity. 

"We should work to support and encourage women to be more visible and participate more actively in decision-making in sport."