Kuwaitis show their pride after the welcome ceremony
Kuwait flag flies high at Olympic Village
26 Jul 2012
London, England: The flag of Kuwait returned to the Olympic family on Thursday when the delegation from the Kuwait Olympic Committee was welcomed into the Olympic Village. After the IOC lifted its suspension of the Kuwait NOC on July 16, the athletes were able to watch their flag rise high into the bright blue skies of London and hear their national anthem on the Olympic stage once again.
“We are very happy and, at the same time, we would like to thank His Highness the Emir about raising the flag and for finishing our problem,” said Obaid Z. Al-Anzi, Secretary General of Kuwait Olympic Committee.
“The morale of the players would have been very bad if they had been participating as Independent Olympic Athletes because it would mean they did not belong to anybody, not to Kuwait.”
The Secretary General added that the KOC President, H.E. Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah, would like to have attended the team welcome ceremony on Thursday morning, but was busy with the 124th IOC Session at the Grosvenor House Hotel.
Asked for his opinion on the atmopshere at the Olympic Village, Olympic Park and London in general one day before the July 27 opening ceremony, Mr Al-Anzi replied: “It’s really beautiful. I like it and everyone is enjoying it. Everybody is friendly and everyone is smiling.”
The team welcome ceremony started at 11.30am and Kuwait shared the spotlight with the NOCs of Poland, Cote d’Ivoire, Denmark and France.
After the carnival-style atmosphere created by the National Youth Theatre of Great Britian, the Kuwaiti delegation was the centre of international media attention as athletes and officials proudly displayed their flag and KUW sign.
“I am too much happy to see my flag up there,” said Maryam Arzouqi, 25, who will compete in the shooting (air rifle) competition.
The IOC suspended Kuwait NOC in January 2010 due to government interference, which is against the Olympic Charter.