International Olympic Committee president commends Saudi Arabia’s sporting transformation


Arabian Weekly report

RIYADH — Dr. Thomas Bach, president of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), expressed a strong alignment with the transformative developments taking place in Saudi Arabia, saying: “In our Olympic agenda, we’re trying to drive the same transformation.”

Amidst the concluding moments of the Saudi Games, the largest national sporting event, Dr. Bach embarked on an official visit to the Kingdom.

There, he engaged with key figures, including Prince Abdulaziz Bin Turki Al Faisal, President of the Saudi Olympic & Paralympic Committee (SOPC), and the broader leadership team of the Saudi Olympic movement.

Reflecting on the evolution of sports in Saudi Arabia, Dr. Bach remarked on the extraordinary progress witnessed in a remarkably short span.

He highlighted the burgeoning participation of people and the development of elite sports, including the notable inclusion of more women in sports and leadership roles within the sporting movement.

Dr. Bach emphasized the shared vision, stating, “That’s why we are feeling close to home because, in our Olympic agenda, we are trying to drive the same transformation.”

In Riyadh, Prince Abdulaziz extended a warm welcome to Dr. Bach, with notable personalities such as Prince Fahad Bin Jalawi, vice president of the SOPC, Prince Dilayl Bint Nahar, deputy director of the Saudi Games, and Abdulaziz Baashen, CEO and secretary-general of the SOPC, in attendance.

Discussions between Prince Abdulaziz and Dr. Bach delved into the significant role that the Kingdom plays on the global sports stage, propelled by Vision 2030 and its ambitious goals.

The future hosts of major sporting events, including the Asian Games for Indoor and Martial Arts in 2025, the Asian Winter Games in Trojena in 2029, and the Asian Games in Riyadh in 2034, underscored Saudi Arabia’s commitment to the sports landscape.

Post-meeting, Prince Abdulaziz and Dr. Bach immersed themselves in the Saudi Games 2023, attending events such as the thrilling finals of beach volleyball and tennis.

Their tour extended to the “Fan Zone” within the Prince Faisal Bin Fahd Olympic Complex in Riyadh, encapsulating the vibrancy and enthusiasm of the sporting community.

Noteworthy is Dr. Bach’s third visit to the Kingdom since assuming the presidency in 2013, a testament to the depth and strength of the relationship between the International Olympic Committee and the SOPC.

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