IOC President Thomas Bach’s Speech to the G20 in Osaka
nternational Olympic Committee (IOC) President, Thomas Bach, had the opportunity to address the world's leaders at the G20 Summit in Osaka, Japan. He was invited by Shinzo Abe, Prime Minister of Japan, the host country of the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020.
The world’s leaders received the speech with a round of applause...
G20 Leaders’ Summit Osaka
29 June 2019
"Your Excellencies, Ladies and gentlemen,
Please allow me to thank first of all our gracious host, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, for the great honour to address you, the world leaders, on this important occasion. In a year from now, more than half of the world’s population will follow the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020.
The Olympic Games are the only event that brings the entire world together in peaceful competition.
At the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, the world will see athletes from all 206 National Olympic Committees and the IOC Refugee Olympic Team united. These 10,000 best athletes of the world are competitors in sport, but at the same time, they are living peacefully together under one roof in the Olympic Village.
At the Olympic Games, there is no discrimination, everyone respects the same rules, we are all equal. In this way, the Olympic athletes are sending an important message to the world: yes, it is possible to compete with each other, even for the highest prize, but to live together peacefully.
In our fragile world we are living in today, such symbols of the unity of humanity in all our diversity give us hope for a better future.
Our Japanese friends will interpret this mission at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 in an excellent way. They will present the first Olympic Games of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. In doing so, they will showcase universality, sustainability, technology and human-centred growth.
The Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 will be not only the greatest sporting event in the world, they will also be an inspiration for sustainable growth.
This approach is a perfect reflection of the IOC reforms to make sustainability central to all our activities. We walk the talk.
Our Olympic House, the new IOC headquarters, was rated only five days ago by the US Green Building Council as one of the most sustainable buildings in the world. In fact, sport helps to achieve sustainable growth and development in very concrete ways.
This important role has been recognised when sport was highlighted as “important enabler” to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals. This is why we are partnering with the UN and its agencies, especially in the areas of peace-building, health, education, gender equality and many more.
The power of the Olympic Games is their universality. The Olympic athletes are the best examples of this. Their performance creates the magic of the Olympic Games. Their amazing achievements, their effort, excellence, emotions, joy, tears – these are the Olympic Games.
We can only achieve this universality if we make it possible for everyone to participate. For this reason, we support athletes from all 206 National Olympic Committees and the IOC Refugee Olympic Team.
This of course includes also all of your athletes, who are such great ambassadors for your countries, bringing so much pride and joy to your nation. To make this possible, we need solidarity.
This is the reason why we reinvest 90 per cent of all our revenues in the athletes and in developing sport around the world. In hard figures, this means five billion US dollars in the four years of an Olympiad.
But please do not worry, not a single cent of tax payers’ money goes to the IOC budget. We generate our revenues exclusively through sponsorship and media rights.
But to be clear, for the IOC, money is not an end in itself. Money is just a means to achieve our mission.
We are a values-based organisation. This is what makes us different from for-profit sports businesses. I hope you will take this into consideration whenever you have to make decisions that affect sport.
Our mission is to bring the entire world together through sport.
We can accomplish this mission only if we stay out of any political dispute. This means, we have to be politically neutral. But this is not enough. We depend on your, the world leaders’, support for our mission and our neutrality.
I can tell you from my own experience as an Olympic champion, that the Olympic Games are the pinnacle of any athlete’s career. But at the same time, participating in the Olympic Games makes you humble because you become part of something bigger. You are part of an event that unites the world.
This is why I am so grateful that I can ask you personally today to support this precious and unique unifying role of the Olympic Games, making them this great symbol of unity in diversity of all humankind."
IOC President Thomas Bach
Article courtesy of Equestrian Australia