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21 Aug 2014
Nanjing 2014 , YOG , IOC News

IOC President enjoys great sporting moments at Nanjing 2014 Sports Lab

International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach paid a visit to the Nanjing 2014 Sports Lab today, where he met young athletes and officials from the sports of roller skating, skateboarding, sports climbing and wushu.

The Sports Lab has welcomed large crowds every day since the start of the 2nd Summer Youth Olympic Games on 17 August, and the IOC President said he was impressed with what he saw.

“It is exciting to see how the Sports Lab is appreciated by the people of Nanjing. This was the idea that the people of the host city cannot only watch the Youth Olympic Games but that they can also participate”, said President Bach. “For the four sports, it is a great opportunity to present themselves in an Olympic environment”.

The Nanjing 2014 Sports Lab is a unique concept that allows the four IFs to showcase their sports during a series of two-hour sessions twice daily. Top athletes from each of the sports are given 30 minutes each to entertain onlookers with their world-class athletic abilities. Following each session, spectators are invited to try out the sports themselves while the athletes provide tips and advice.

“Each sport is fascinating”, said President Bach, talking to the press at the end of the visit. “Wushu is a great traditional Chinese martial art with a dynamism that you would have not necessarily expected and a great balance between body and mind. Climbing is displayed in a very exciting form and presents a high level of technical skills. Skateboarders are using the city as a field of play and it is just breath-taking to see what they are doing on the halfpipe. Each kid at some stage has practised roller sports but what we see here is close to perfection. Roller sports is really breath-taking”.

As part of Nanjing 2014’s legacy plans, the Sports Lab facility will remain in place after the Youth Olympic Games close on 28 August and will be made available for use by the local public.

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