IOC President to begin tour of Pacific nations in Papua New Guinea

IOC President Thomas Bach will visit Papua New Guinea on Thursday. Picture: INSIDE THE GAMES

PORT MORESBY, 08 MAY 2019 (INSIDE THE GAMES) – International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach is set to begin a tour of three Pacific nations today when he travels to Papua New Guinea.

Bach will meet with Peter O’Neill, Papua New Guinea Prime Minister and Minister for Sport, following his arrival into the country.

The Papua New Guinea Olympic Committee (PNGOC) revealed Bach will speak with O’Neill on a range of topics, including Government support for sport.

Bach will be present for the official opening of PNGOC’s new headquarters, as well as the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the organisation and the Papua New Guinea Sports Foundation.

“We are looking forward to welcoming IOC President Thomas Bach,” Auvita Rapilla, PNGOC secretary general and IOC member, said.

“It is a privilege to have the head of one of the largest organisations in the world visit our country and we are working with our partners in the Government and corporate sector to ensure that he has a memorable visit.”

A series of events will mark Bach’s first visit to the country, including a live exhibition of sports.

Bach’s visit comes a decade after his predecessor Jacque Rogge visited Papua New Guinea.

The IOC President will be joined on the visit by Robin Mitchell, President of the Oceania National Olympic Committees (ONOC) and acting head of the Association of National Olympic Committees.

IOC deputy director Pere Miró and James MacLeod, IOC director of NOC relations and Olympic solidarity, will also be among the delegation.

Following a two-day visit to the country, the delegation will then travel to Palau and Guam.

His visit to Palau comes as the country’s National Olympic Committee celebrates its 20th anniversary.

Bach will be welcomed by Baklai Temengil, Palau’s IOC member and ONOC vice-president.

The German is then expected to visit the Guam National Olympic Committee headquarters on his visit to the nation.

He will also meet with members of Guam’s national teams and upcoming athletes, as well as the nation’s sporting facilities.

Guam National Olympic Committee GNOC President Ricardo Blas and ONOC secretary general has welcomed news of Bach’s visit.

“We are thrilled that IOC President Bach will be visiting us on Guam,” Blas told PostGuam.

“For someone of his stature in the Olympic realm to spend time with our athletes, is very inspiring.”

Bach will travel to the nations following his brief visit to SportAccord Summit, which is ongoing at the Goldcoast.

 

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