The IOC Session in Lima, Peru, kicked off Tuesday night with the opening ceremony in the Gran Teatro Nacional of the Peruvian capital.
The Members of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) were welcomed by IOC President Thomas Bach and President of Peru Pedro Pablo Kuczynski. President Bach thanked the Head of State for “remaining steadfast in their commitment to hosting the IOC Session”, despite the very difficult circumstances in the country following the floods earlier this year.
In his speech, Thomas Bach highlighted the importance of the IOC Session in Lima to “chart the course for the future of the Olympic Movement”. The Session will elect the host cities for the Games of the XXXIII Olympiad 2024 and the Games of the XXXIV Olympiad 2028. Paris is the candidate for 2024, Los Angeles for 2028.
The Session will also take stock at half time of the implementation of the Olympic Agenda 2020 reforms. President Bach emphasised that with the reform programme, the IOC is “showing a sceptical world that we are making the Olympic Movement stronger, that we are living up to our values and responsibilities.” One of the central features of Olympic Agenda 2020 is a strong focus on good governance. “The IOC has already implemented all good governance measures called for under Olympic Agenda 2020. We have reformed and we have changed,” added the IOC President.
President Kuczynski said: “The important thing about sport is its spirit. The spirit of the Olympics is what we need. Welcome to Peru.” He emphasised his political goal to strengthen sport in the nationwide school system in which eight million Peruvian school children are educated.
A special show was staged for the guests of the IOC Session’s opening ceremony. The show brought together 50 outstanding Peruvian artists: dancers, musicians, actors and acrobats. Vania Masías, a famous Peruvian dancer who promotes art in communities, directed the show, featuring the story of a girl wanting to achieve her biggest dream: to be an Olympic champion. The values of respect, diversity and integration were key themes of the artistic performances.
The Teatro Nacional houses the first stage of high technological level of Peru, especially designed to accommodate large national and international productions.
The IOC Session starts its work on Wednesday morning with the election of the host cities of the Olympic Games 2024 and 2028.