Date : 27 Nov 2018
Tokyo, Japan, November 27, 2018: The President of the Association of National Olympic Committees, HE Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah, feels the ANOC General Assembly has grown in significance to become the biggest gathering of the Olympic movement in the world.
Addressing some of the near 1,500 official delegates and guests at the Japanese Olympic Committee reception on Tuesday evening, Sheikh Ahmad said the gathering had grown to represent much more than the annual meeting of the world’s 206 National Olympic Committees.
“This is not only the ANOC General Assembly and the ANOC Gala Awards, this has become like a gathering for the Olympic family,” he said, referring to the attendance of IOC Members, International Federations, Olympic Games organising committees and other stakeholders.
“We are very satisfied and confident that the preparations you are doing for us now will be even better for 2020 when we gather for the Olympic Games.
“It will make us proud and make the world excited – I can guarantee that,” he added.
Sheikh Ahmad said Japan always lived up to their promises and encouraged the Olympic family assembled before him to “relax, smile and enjoy the Japan night” because “nothing will break our solidarity”.
He concluded: “We will lead the world of sport and we will show the world that the Olympic movement is a very solid movement.”
The President of the Japanese Olympic Committee, Tsunekazu Takeda, said that all 206 NOCs were attending the ANOC General Assembly, and that 1,201 delegates had been accredited along with 160 media.
“This is a tremendous honour for our nation and for our NOC, two years before the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games,” said Mr Takeda.
“I hope you will take advantage of visiting the Tokyo 2020 venues on the last day of the General Assembly and feel the atmosphere and the enjoyment. We are all here as one big Olympic family and let us work together for world peace through the Olympic movement.”
The IOC President, Thomas Bach, described the gathering as “a great demonstration of Olympic unity and cooperation” and that Japan was doing “a fantastic job - and I am sure this will continue”.
President Bach joked that he had good news for Japan but bad news for the rest of the world when he said that the Japanese team would be “extremely strong” by 2020 and appealed for generosity from the host nation.
“I can see the determination and the Japanese will to deliver on their promises every day. I cannot remember any city where, two years before the Olympic Games, the Olympic spirit is so much alive. You can see it and hear it and this is a great achievement. We enjoy this Olympic spirit together,” he concluded.
The 23rd ANOC General Assembly runs for two days, on Wednesday and Thursday, with the ANOC Awards on Wednesday evening rewarding the outstanding athletes from the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympics. The venue tour will be conducted on Friday.
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