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Meeting with participants in the ANOC General Assembly

April 16, 2012

Dmitry Medvedev met in the Kremlin with participants in the 18th General Assembly of the Association of National Olympic Committees (ANOC).

The 18th ANOC General Assembly, a joint IOC Executive Board-ANOC Council meeting, and the 2nd World Olympic Sports Forum are being held in Moscow on April 10–18, 2012.


President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev: Ladies and gentlemen,

First of all, I would like to sincerely welcome you to the Grand Kremlin Palace. This is a special place. Gathered here today are members of international organisations that represent 205 nations in the world, as well as sports ministers from over 170 states. And I am certain that we are united by the understanding of the great social and cultural significance that sports have in the modern world.

Before I continue my speech, please allow me to congratulate Sheikh Ahmad Al Fahad Al Sabah on being elected President of the Association of National Olympic Committees and wish him success in his work to promote the ideals of the Olympic games and strengthen international sports cooperation. Good luck to you in this large-scale, highly important work.

Ladies and gentlemen, friends,

Naturally, it is highly symbolic for us that you have gathered in Moscow, in Russia, to discuss these key issues of sports development. Our nation was truly involved in the Olympic movement from the very beginning. Among the members of the first International Olympic Committee was Pierre de Coubertin’s colleague, general Alexei Butovsky, and last year, we marked the 100th anniversary of the Russian Olympic Committee. We greatly value our wonderful Olympic history, our history of athletic victories: 1,724 of our compatriots have received Olympic medals, including 795 who won gold medals. It is a pleasure just to say those words.

Today, Russia is doing a great deal to improve training and preparation techniques for Olympic athletes, to develop sports infrastructure and encourage sports on a mass scale. In 2009, with support from the International Olympic Committee, the Russian International Olympic University was founded in Sochi. It should become a global research and education centre, training specialists in the field of sports administration at the highest level. Every year, our International Forum, Russia – Country of Sports, attracts more and more attention from specialists. It has already established itself as a prestigious expert platform in sports.

Very soon, the next Olympic Games will take place in London. They will bring together the best athletes and, of course, millions of fans from around the planet. And our nation will soon host several major international competitions. But naturally, our goal is not just to set records, not just to acquire medals or ratings. The goal of any nation is to capture the attentionof millions of children and teenagers through outstanding achievements, fair competition, and the beauty and aesthetics of sports, so that they will join in on this physical culture, this healthy lifestyle. That is what’s most important for the growing generation, for its harmonious development; it is the future of any nation.

This summer our nation will host the 5th Children of Asia International Sports Games in Yakutia, which will feature child participants from 20 countries. I would like to personally thank the President of the International Olympic Committee Jacques Rogge, as well as the newly elected President of ANOC Sheikh Ahmad Al Fahad Al Sabah, who is actively helping to hold this wonderful sporting celebration.

Friends, ladies and gentlemen,

I would like to wish all participants in these sports-related meetings in Moscow to have good discussion and a fruitful exchange of experience. I wish you success and I hope you leave with wonderful memories of the Russian capital.

Thank you for your attention.

President of The International Olympic Committee (IOC) JACQUES ROGGE: Mr President of the Russian Federation, Ministers, Mr President of the Russian National Olympic Committee, distinguished guests, dear friends,

First of all, I would like to express my gratitude to the President of the Russian Federation who has done us the great honour of welcoming us to this wonderfully prestigious palace. Mr President, your support for sport and its development throughout the country is well-established. The government’s great commitment to support for sport and its role in national development are clearly demonstrated. This is demonstrated through the excellent achievement of your athletes in the national sporting arena. Russian athletes have won more than a thousand medals at the Olympic Games. We wish your athletes the best for their upcoming challenges in London and Sochi.

We also are very glad about the presence of Russian leaders in international sports administration, at the level of international federations, the National Olympic Committee and also the International Olympic Committee, and I would like to thank in particular Mr Vitaly Smirnov, Mr Shamil Tarpishchev, and Mr Alexander Popov, my IOC colleagues.

Your reputation has been established through the organisation of many international sporting events, world championships in athletics, rugby sevens, aquatics, and football in the next six years. And there is, of course, the most anticipated event for the whole of Russia in the next two years: the Olympic Games in Sochi in 2014. The IOC is confident that Sochi 2014 will be outstanding and top-quality games. We are very grateful for the excellent collaboration between the International Olympic Committee, the organising committee, and the Government. All of this makes Russia one of the most recognised countries in international sport.

Mr President of the Russian Federation, thank you so much for your warm hospitality and kindness. Thank you so much for giving sport the role and position it deserves in Russian society. [In Russian] Thank you very much.

President of the Association of National Olympic Committees (ANOC) SHEIKH AHMAD AL FAHAD AL SABAH: Your Excellency President Medvedev, Your Excellency President Jacques Rogge, Ministers, representatives of the Government, members of the IOC, IF, and NOCs, dear colleagues, ladies and gentlemen,

On behalf of all the members of the General Assembly, we would like to show our gratitude for you, Mr President, for the Prime Minister, for the Sport Minister, for the President of the Russian NOC, and for all the organising committees, for all the preparation and the best environment they are creating for our meeting. More than one thousand guests are here in Moscow. Three important meetings, different cultural events, it was a very successful week. I think all of the members and guests will remember this occasion and these meetings in Moscow.

Mr President, this is not new. A lot of us have a lot of memories since many decades ago from a lot of successful events. And we are looking forward to the future events, to continue with the success of hosting those kinds of sports events.

Everybody was working from morning to afternoon, because of the solidarity and unity which you always show here in Moscow, and because of your generosity, and all our colleagues’ generosity, and the rich culture in the night, which also shows that Russia is very rich not only in sport, but also in culture.

There was a very historical resolution taken here in Moscow. For that, always in the future, members of the ANOC will remember the Moscow session.

Mr President, you have a great team who makes our lives easy here in Moscow. For that, thank you very much. I wish success for all the events that will be hosted in Moscow and I wish success for you, Mr President. Thank you. [In Russian] I wish you great success. Thank you.

Dmitry Medvedev: Friends, ladies and gentlemen,

I want to once again express my gratitude for your presence here with us today, for participating in the General Assembly of the Association of National Olympic Committees. And of course, I want to wish you a wonderful time here in Moscow, where we are finally experiencing warm weather.


April 16, 2012