IOC chief calls for fair Games, praises Vancouver

February 10th, 2010 - 2:41 pm ICT by IANS  

Vancouver, Feb 10 (DPA) International Olympic Committee (IOC) president Jacques Rogge called for athletes to uphold the Olympic values at a winter Games free of doping in Vancouver and Whistler.
At the start of the IOC’s 122nd Session three days before the opening ceremony of the Games, Rogge also praised the local organisers, saying the lessons learned in Vancouver were a blueprint for future Olympics.

IOC members will on either Poznan, Poland or Nanjing, China as host of the second summer Youth Olympic Games in 2014.

The youth Games, a Rogge brainchild, will be hosted in 2012 for the first time in August 2010 by Singapore, while Innsbruck, Austria, will host the first Youth Olympic Winter Games in 2012.

“The Games are a global celebration of sport. But we must never forget that the Games are not an end in themselves. They are a means to an end,” Rogge said.

“They exist to promote the Olympic values, especially among young people. Every Olympic athlete, including those who never get to the medal podium, can be a role model for all of us.

“The vast majority of athletes take that responsibility quite seriously. They know that there are no shortcuts to success. They inspire us with their dedication. They fill us with awe with their ability.

“We owe it to them to do everything we can to ensure that the competition is fair and free of doping. We will do our part.”

Rogge, who earlier in the day visited the athletes’ village in Vancouver, pointed out that 2,500 athletes from 82 countries were at the Games which will be watched by global television audience of about 3 billion people.

“Over the course of 16 days, we will see the world’s best athletes competing in some of the world’s finest venues,” he said.

Rogge began his speech by remembering the victims of the terrorist attacks on the Togolese football team in Angola before the Africa Cup of Nations and the deaths of many fans killed during a volleyball match in Pakistan.

The IOC Session meets until Friday when the Games begin and again on Feb 28, the last day of the Games.

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