International Olympic Committee President praises Georgia's progress

Georgian Prime Minister with the Presidents of International Olympic Committee and European Olympic Committee today., 10 Oct 2014 - 23:40, Tbilisi,Georgia

"Every Georgian should be proud of the progress in the field of Olympics and of the Georgian sportsmen’s achievements," International Olympic Committee (IOC) president Thomas Bach said in Tbilisi today.

Bach attended a festive occasion dedicated to the 25th anniversary of the Georgian National Olympic Committee and held a press-conference afterwards.

"We saw a great show today. It was a good representation of the Olympic Movement, as well as the country’s culture and education. This is exactly what the Georgian National Olympic Committee has implemented since the day of its establishment,” he said.

The IOC president said he was astonished with the progress Georgia had made in terms of sports development.

"I would like to thank everyone who took part in the development of the Georgian National Olympic Committee. Today every Georgian can be proud of what has been done in the Olympics field and be proud of their athletes’ achievements,” Bach said.

"I was in Georgia 17 years ago and after these years I am astonished with the progress I have seen. I spent a wonderful time here and thank you for this,” he said.

Bach also commented on the plan of building new luge track in honour of late Georgian luger Nodar Kumaritashvili in his hometown Bakuriani. Kumaritashvili died in a tragic accident at the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Games.

"Discussions are being held with all interested parties in this regard. I hope that this project will be carried out and we will honour Nodar and his memory,” he said.

Bach also remembered the 2014 Sochi Olympic Games and said Georgia has made a right decision by taking part in the Olympic Games.

"I think that the Winter Olympic Games were successful. A big thank you for participating in it. This is an example of how sports and Olympic Games can be unifying. This is the merit of the Georgian Government and Olympic Committee and I want to thank the Georgian Prime Minister, Olympic Committee and Georgian President for this. This good decision of Georgian Government perfectly demonstrates the Olympic spirit,” he said.

The event was also attended by the President of the European Olympic Committee Patrick Hickey, Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili, President of Georgian National Olympic Committee Leri Khabelov and representatives of Olympic Committees from 25 countries.

The European Olympic Committee president commented after Bach’s speech and stressed how honourable it was for him to be in Georgia.

"I agree with Mr. Bach in everything. This really was an incredibly beautiful show. I have been to many events but this was really special. It is a great honor for me to be here and thank you for this,” Hickey said.

From the Georgian side, National Olympic Committee president Khabelov said the people who had participated in the initial formation of the National Committee followed the correct path and a positive result was logical.

"These people have led our Olympic direction on the right path and I thank everyone who participated in the development of the National Olympic Committee for this,” he said.