Wednesday, March 10, 2021 - 16:53
HellenicOlympic President and IOC Member Spyros Capralos opens the remote 137th IOC Session from the Panathenaic Stadium in Athens, home of the first modern Olympic Games in 1896.
The statement of Mr. Capralos was:
It is with great joy and emotion Ι welcome you today from the Panathenaic Stadium. The stadium where the first Modern Olympic Games took place in 1896 and a landmark of the city of Athens.
Under different conditions, the 137th IOC Session would start right here. But the pandemic that struck the world did not allow us to personally welcome you in Athens and to show you firsthand the Greek hospitality.
However, I would like to personally thank President Thomas Bach and the IOC Executive Board for the decision to open the Session online from here A highly symbolic and honorable move that connects the country where the Olympic Games were born, with the Olympic movement of today.
So, we may not be together today, but I welcome the proposal of the IOC Executive Board for the organization of the 2025 IOC Session in Athens. We hope that with the consent of all of you, we will be able to welcome all IOC members to the Greek capital in 2025.
The Session which starts today is extremely important, as it takes place just a few months prior to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Summer Games. At the same time we will celebrate the election of the President of the International Olympic Committee with the current President Thomas Bach being the sole candidate
Dear Mr President,
I want to thank you for everything you have done for sports and the Olympic movement, always highlighting the important role that our country has in Olympism. Your re-election will help the most, so that we continue the course towards the future, even stronger, even more united, and perfectly adapted to the demands and needs of modern society.
In closing, I would like to wish good luck in the works of the 137th IOC Session. I am sure that with joint efforts, with innovative ideas and with solidarity in our great, global Olympic Family, will come out stronger from the health crisis that may have affected us, but did not defeat us!
In tribute to the 137th IOC Session, and with the IOC permission, we have the honour to raise today the Olympic flag at the Panathenaic Stadium.