POSTED: June 3rd 2011

SASCOC celebrates countdown to welcome the IOC in Durban

Durban skyline at night / South African Tourism
Durban skyline at night / South African Tourism

LAURA WALDEN / Sports Features Communications  

TAMPA/DURBAN, Jun 3: The South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC) held a press briefing to commemorate the countdown until the Olympic Family arrives in town for the 123rd International Olympic Committee (IOC) session.

Leading the press briefing were Sam Ramsamy, IOC executive board member, together with SASCOC President Gideon Sam and the Mayor Designate, James Nxumal.

Ramsamy said, “Heads of State, Royalty, Ministers and former Ministers, International Sports Administrators, Heads of International Corporate Companies and Sports Stars make up the illustrious membership of the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

"This is the first time that such a group is assembling in South Africa. This provides us with abounding opportunities to showcase our economy, our tourism, our culture and our people. We are extremely grateful that the IOC has given us the honour to host this prestigious event.

“Having been born in Durban, this is indeed a great delight and honour that we can host such a high profile event in this city. Having waited for 117 years to host this event in our country and knowing how cities and countries vie to host the IOC Session, Durban is certainly fortunate. This gives me an opportunity to personally welcome my colleagues to the city where I was born,” he added.

The 123rd IOC session will be especially important as it will be the location of the final vote for the 2018 winter Olympic host city. Three bid cities Annecy, Munich and PyeongChang are vying for the final vote to win the Games.  

Gideon Sam emphasized the importance of South Africa hosting the Olympic family for the IOC session.

Sam said, “This is not the first time it’s coming to Durban, not the first time it’s coming to South Africa but the first time that it is coming to the African continent since the very first Session in Paris, France back in 1894. That’s how big a deal it is.

“The Session will be taking place at a time when we as a country must realise that such major events are few and far between and many countries would give their eye teeth to have such a Session in their own cities. Durban, indeed South Africa is honoured to play host to such a great event and for the sports fraternity it cannot be more opportune as we set our sights on continuing to bring bigger and better events to the continent of Africa.”

Following the government’s negative answer to be behind an Olympic bid for the 2020 summer Games last week, SASCOC has come forth with a new plan to go after the 2022 Commonwealth Games instead.

Keywords · Durban 2011 · IOC · Olympic bidding · 2018 Games

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