Speech at the Opening Ceremony of the 71st International Sports Press Association Congress
May 22, 2008, Beijing
Distinguished State Councilor Madam Liu Yandong,
Distinguished President Merlo,
Ladies and Gentlemen:
We are gathered here in Beijing at the opening of the 71st International Sports Press Association Congress. On behalf of the General Administration of Sport of China and the Chinese Olympic Committee, I would like to take this opportunity to offer my sincerest congratulations to the opening of this congress. Please also allow me to extend a warm welcome to all sports media members from around the world and representatives from international sports organizations.
The year of 2008 is a special and exciting one for athletes from around the world, as they will soon come together to enjoy the experience of competing and realising their dreams at the Beijing Olympic Games. I am confident that 2008 will be just as special for the AIPS because of this Congress. With less than 80 days to go to the opening of the Olympic Games, we are all here in the host city of Beijing in a spirit of exchange to discuss the forthcoming Games and forge new friendships.
Media play indispensable role in the development of world sport and the promotion of Olympic spirit and culture. And the AIPS, an exclusive organization for sports press, has been a driving force behind the development of the sports media industry and the Olympic Movement. It has also gained substantial influence in both the sport world and the international sports media world.
As a member of the Olympic family, the Chinese Olympic Committee has long been engaged in promoting the Olympic Movement and culture in China, and strengthening communication and collaboration in international sport. The Chinese Olympic Committee has also maintained strong cooperation with the media, whose support to the development of China’s sport has increased substantially over the years. This congress will be a valuable platform for strengthening friendship and communication between AIPS members, allowing for shared progress. Furthermore, it will help the international sports media to better understand the development of China’s sport. We sincerely hope that this congress will improve our collaboration with the AIPS, deepen our friendship with world sports media, and drive forward the development of sport in China and around the world.
The international community has shown great concern and support in response to the devastating earthquake which occurred recently in Sichuan Province of China. At this Congress, the AIPS has similarly made generous donations to the victims of the earthquake, and we would like to express our heartfelt gratitude to you all. The Chinese sports community and the whole nation will stand unwaveringly behind the people from affected areas and make sure the relief efforts a great success.
Finally, I wish the 71st AIPS Congress every success; and to all delegates and honored guests, I wish you have a pleasant stay here in Beijing, and look forward to seeing you all again at the Beijing Olympic Games this August.