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13 Apr 2001
IOC News , Press Release


Thimphu, 13 April 2001 - The President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has completed his trip to Oceania and Asia with a visit to the Philippines, India and Bhutan.

In Manila in the Philippines, the President first met Mr Celso Dayrit, President of the National Olympic Committee (NOC); the NOC executive committee; Mr Francisco Elizalde, IOC member; Mr Carlos Tuason, President of the Philippine Sports Commission; as well as athletes, coaches and the local press.

The President was then received by Mrs Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, President of the Republic of the Philippines, who awarded him the Order of Sikatuna, the government’s highest national distinction.

After stopping off in New Delhi, where he was welcomed by Mr Kalmadi, President of the Indian NOC, Mr Singh, Secretary General of the NOC and the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) and Mr Kumar, IOC member, the IOC President left for Bhutan

There he was received by the Governor of Paro and Mr Dasho Dzongda, Secretary General of the Bhutan NOC, as well as by the officials of the federations affiliated to the NOC. In Paro, the IOC President visited the national museum, the seat of the regional government and its Buddhist monastery.

The next day, Friday 13 April, a working meeting with representatives of the NOC and of the national federations had been organised in Thimphu, the capital of the kingdom. The IOC President took the opportunity to comment on the development of sport in Bhutan during recent years, which had been made possible particularly thanks to the aid given by the IOC to the country’s NOC. The President also noted the important role of the OCA, and wished every success to the next Asian Games that will be held in Pusan in Korea.

The President and the delegation were then received by H.E. Lyonpo Yeshey Zimba, head of the government and president of the council of ministers, who reiterated the interest of his country in sport and Olympism in general. He also confirmed the excellent relations that exist between the country’s NOC and the government.

The President’s stay ended with a visit to the headquarters of the NOC and some sports facilities, where he met athletes and coaches.

After this journey, the IOC President will have visited 195 NOCs. In June he plans to travel to Eritrea, the Comoros, Burundi and Palestine to complete visits to all the NOCs currently recognised by the IOC before the end of his term of office.

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