IOC President Rogge welcomes athletes to Beijing
In today’s Olympic Village Newspaper, IOC President Jacques Rogge has welcomed the athletes of the world to Beijing. Rogge underlined in his article that everything possible has been undertaken to provide them with the very best conditions to compete.
Rogge reminded the athletes of Pierre de Coubertin’s words of wisdom: “At the Olympic Games, the important thing is not winning, but taking part. What counts in life is not the victory, but the struggle, the essential thing is not to conquer but to fight well.”
The IOC President appealed to the athletes to play their part as role models. “You represent the three values of the Olympic Movement, excellence, friendship and respect. Show the kids of the world who will follow you on TV, that winning is great, but that it is the taking part that counts. Excellence means sharing your passion with them freely and showing them how men and women of honour and courage behave.”
Long Olympic experience
Rogge, based on his long experience as an Olympian (1968,1972 and 1976), Chef de Mission for the Belgian NOC as well as IOC member and IOC President, reminded the athletes that the Games are a golden opportunity to meet athletes from other sports and disciplines. “I particularly encourage you also to discover China, this fascinating country, and its warm and hospitable people, who have been looking forward to these Games for years”, he wrote.
Respect, respect, respect
To sum up, the President emphasised that the Olympic Games depend on respect. “Respect for the rules. Respect for your competitors. Respect for referees. Respect means you don’t cheat through doping. Doping is a curse that taints the achievements of clean athletes and robs them of the respect they deserve.”