President Thomas Bach was in San Marino on Monday and Tuesday for the Games of the Small States of Europe. He attended the opening ceremony, met with athletes and watched the first competitions.
At the opening ceremony he told the crowd:
"These Games demonstrate that, regardless of whether you come from a large or small country, what really counts is having a big heart and a great passion for sport. The shared values of friendship and respect for our fellow human beings are what bring us all together. This is Olympic ‘Unity in Diversity’ at its best."
In all, nine European states take part in the competition every two years, with the hosting of the Games rotating between: Andorra, Cyprus, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, Montenegro and San Marino.
On Tuesday, the IOC President was able to watch some of the early competitions, including volleyball, basketball and swimming.
Earlier in the visit, the President had an audience with the two Captain Regents, who are the heads of state of San Marino – one of the oldest constitutional republics in the world.
The next Games of the Small States of Europe will be held in Montenegro in May 2019.