The International Olympic Committee (IOC) today opened its XIII Olympic Congress with a keynote address from UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon following IOC President Jacques Rogge’s opening remarks.
Said Ban Ki-moon: “Sport can be found anywhere in the world. I have travelled to countries mired in poverty. To communities struggling to survive. To war-ravaged places where all hope seems lost. Suddenly, a ball appears, made out of plastic bags or newspapers. And we see sport gives life to hopes and dreams.”
“If you asked me to jog around this conference room, I would probably run out of breath. But when it comes to fighting for our shared global goals – for a world that is cleaner, healthier, more peaceful, more sustainable and more prosperous - I will sprint like an Olympian. I will summon the energy and run and run and never stop until we reach the finish line. I am counting on all of you to join me. We must go for gold”, he concluded.
Under the overarching theme “The Olympic Movement and Society,” the three-day Congress will examine issues related to athletes, the Games, the structure of the Olympic Movement, Olympism and youth, and the digital revolution.
About 1,200 delegates from all over the world, including coaches, trainers, academics, medical specialists and representatives of the public, NGOs and the media will attend the three-day Congress. IPC Sir Philip Craven will also be amongst the attendees. The participants' recommendations will be forwarded to the decision-making bodies of the IOC and other relevant stakeholders.