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15 Jul 2011
IOC News

IOC President Rogge tackles challenges of sport on 100th anniversary of JOC

International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Jacques Rogge today delivered a speech on the values of sport and the challenges it faces, during a symposium in Tokyo to mark the 100th anniversary of the Japanese Olympic Committee (JOC).

President Rogge told the roughly 1,600 people in attendance that “(organised) sport is a great success but that this success is being challenged by many dangers.”

He cited the number of people participating in sport at the grassroots and elite levels, public appetite for sport, solid finances and strong government support around the world as the key pillars sustaining sport today.

But he warned there were many areas in which the sports movement needed to be vigilant, namely in the fights against doping, violence, racism and corruption. President Rogge also warned against the dangers of overtraining, sexual harassment and selfish athletes who fail to give back to sport.

President Rogge said he was pleased to see the participation of women in sport rising dramatically over the years (female to male participation at the 1980 Moscow Games was 18 per cent, compared to 48 per cent for Beijing 2008), but lamented the lack of women in leadership positions and called on all sports bodies to do more to rectify the situation.

“However, it is my strong belief that sport will remain successful despite facing these many challenges,” President Rogge said. “It will remain a success because we are facing these challenges. We are trying to find solutions. Because today we base sport on values (rather than on revenue alone).”

Later on Friday, President Rogge and other members of the IOC and sports officials from around Asia met with Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan. President Rogge and Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) President Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah are scheduled to meet their Imperial Majesties Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko on Saturday ahead of a ceremony commemorating 100 years of Japanese inclusion in the Olympic Movement.

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