Bach said his high expectations of PNG as an Olympic country has risen further with what he has seen and been led to through his meetings and interactions during his stay.
PNG has always been of interest to Bach through his association with PNG Olympic Committee President, Sir John Dawanincura, and especially Secretary General, Auvita Rapilla, who is a Member of the IOC.
“PNG’s on the agenda of international sport because of Auvita Rapilla who is a Member of the International Olympic Committee, so I had high expectations before coming here but that has risen higher with what I’ve seen,” Bach said.
Bach left the country yesterday afternoon with the rest of the IOC delegation following an eventful day which included a live sports demonstration and tour of the Taurama Aquatic & Indoor Centre, official opening of the PNG Olympic Haus, meeting with the Prime Minister and witnessing the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the PNG Olympic Committee and the PNG Sports Foundation.
“Keep going strong, and show your determination and love for sport. Olympic qualification means to train hard.
“You have great role models, in PNG and the Pacific islands, I met many PNG athletes like Ryan Pini who participated in various Olympic Games and I could also see the determination in the younger generation so I keep my fingers crossed that more PNG athletes will rise to compete at the Olympic level…
“The people of PNG not only tolerate their diversity, they embrace that diversity, and in all this diversity they consider it to be an enrichment to society but they find unity in particular through sport.”
“I see the diversity of the country is united by sport and how much sport contributes towards society here in PNG. We can also see the enthusiasm with determination of Team PNG and many athletes so you can be proud of being a real Olympic country.”
He was also impressed with the sporting facilities in Port Moresby.
“It is a great legacy and to see that they are used so that the young generation, the kids, are playing sports and are enjoying sports because playing sports is also a great contribution to education.”