Wednesday, June 28, 2017

World Transplant Games in Malaga

This Sunday, I had the privilege to participate, representing the International Olympic Committee, on the Opening Ceremony of the World Transplant Games, hosted in the stunning Plaza de Toros de Málaga, in Spain. Speaking on behalf of IOC President, Mr Thomas Bach, I was able to witness first hand the great atmosphere of this wonderful sporting event, in which transplanted athletes and some donors perform together.

During the whole week, more than 2,500 athletes from 52 counties will inspire every single one of us. It is a time for them to shine and excel in the sport they love so much, but most of all, these Games are a confirmation of the power of sport to unite us all. In sport, everyone is equal, no matter who you are or what your background is.

As we all know, sport can change lives and brings out the best in us. This is why, for all of us, the WTG is a celebration of humanity and a celebration of life. Every single athlete in attendance is an inspiration that anyone can lead full, energetic and healthy lives. They are the best ambassadors to show us all that illness can be overcome. Through sport, they have found resilience and strength to overcome any obstacle. Their athletic success demonstrates the enabling role that sport can play for people everywhere to lead active and fulfilling lives. And they remind us all that the true meaning of a champion is about so much more than winning.

Most of all, these athletes are proof that the joy of sport is truly universal. The joy of sport knows no boundaries. The joy of sport is all about the Olympic values of excellence, respect and solidarity.


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