Asia: IOC President praises ‘essential role’ of Asia during OCA General Assembly


The President of the International Olympic Committee, Thomas Bach, has praised Asia for the “essential role” it is playing in the global Olympic movement.

In a video address at the 43rd Olympic Council of Asia General Assembly in Bangkok on Saturday, Bach thanked the OCA, under the leadership of Acting President Raja Randhir Singh, for the important work the continent is doing in supporting Asian athletes.

The IOC President reflected on the success of the past two Olympic Winter Games – in PyeongChang, Korea in 2018 and Beijing, China in 2022 – and also on the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, which were delayed by one year, and looked forward to the new Olympic Qualifier Series due to take place in Shanghai, China, from May 16-19.

“From hosting an unprecedented cycle of three consecutive editions of Olympic Games in Asia, to the fantastic Asian Games Hangzhou 2022, to the Olympic Qualifier Series, these and many other examples demonstrate the essential role of OCA in the Olympic movement,” he said in a six-minute address.

“Already last year, the brilliant Asian Games in Hangzhou were a perfect launching pad for many athletes from your great and wonderful continent on their journey to Paris.

“This year we will have the Olympic Qualifier Series as a new and exciting pathway for athletes to qualify for Paris 2024.

“We are thrilled that this innovative festival of sport and culture will be coming to Asia as well. Already now I am looking forward to watching, together with you, the athletes qualify in breaking, BMX freestyle, skateboarding and sport climbing in Shanghai this May.”

The main item on the agenda of the OCA General Assembly is to approve reforms to the OCA constitution, building on the IOC roadmap Olympic Agenda 2020+5 in relation to “strengthening the credibility and integrity of sport”, Bach said.

“In this respect, your General Assembly is a perfect moment to set the course for the future of OCA and of sport in Asia. This is why I can only encourage you to use this opportunity for change and reform.

“The proposed governance reforms that are put before you at today’s General Assembly are an important milestone in the evolution of the OCA, and I trust that you will debate them in the spirit in which they are proposed to make the OCA a modern, transparent and efficient Asian sports organisation.

“The IOC will always be a partner by the side of the Asian National Olympic Committees on your journey of change and reform and to promote our shared Olympic values of peace and solidarity.”

The IOC President said he was looking forward to the Olympic and Paralympic Games Paris 2004 this summer because they would be “younger, more inclusive, more urban and more sustainable” – and with full gender parity for the first time in Olympic history.

“When the best athletes of the world come together in Paris, they will inspire us with their achievements. They will be fierce competitors in sport but, at the same time, they will live peacefully together under one roof in the Olympic Village,” he added.

“In this way, the Olympic athletes are sending an important message: yes, it is possible to compete with each other but, at the same time, to live together peacefully. This is the Olympic message to all humankind.

“It is only by joining hands that we can truly live our Olympic motto: faster, higher, stronger – together.”

by Asia Hockey


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