The IOC Session opened this morning with an address from the President of the Republic of Peru, H.E. Pedro Pablo Kuczynski.
President Kuczynski was instrumental in ensuring the seamless organisation of the IOC proceedings this week in Lima. In his introductory remarks, IOC President Thomas Bach mentioned the great friendship that has developed between the IOC and the country of Peru.“We will never forget your determination to host our Session despite the challenges that Peru had to overcome just a couple of months ago,” Bach said.
In his speech, President Kuczynski stressed the importance of fair play. “Sport teaches you that when you lose you shake hands with the winner. And when you win you shake hands with the loser,” he said. “A sporting person respects his opponents. This is a fundamental notion that sometimes gets lost, especially in the world of politics. There is way too much hate, there is way too much discrimination and not a sense of fair play. In that sense, the Olympics and the Pan-American Games, are terribly important,” he added.
President Kuczynski also reminded the audience of the importance of telling the truth. “In sport you are told, taught, to tell the truth. And if you don’t, in the end there are bad consequences and you become discredited. I think that fair play and telling the truth are two values that are immensely important. In sport, it is development and why sport is taught,” Kuczynski stressed.
Touching upon the role sport can play in addressing some environmental issues, the President of the Republic of Peru said: “Sport and the environment also go together. I think it is a good moment to remember that, and support the efforts that many countries are making, especially in Europe, to correct this bad trend.”I think that fair play and telling the truth are two values that are immensely important.H.E. Pedro Pablo Kuczynski President of the Republic of Peru
Finally, when asked about the message he wanted to convey to the athletes who will compete in PyeongChang in February next year, President Kuczynski said: “Enjoy it. It is going to be fantastic. The world will be watching you. Don’t worry about the politics.”