POSTED: February 21st 2017
NewsUpdate

Olympic Council of Asia is praised by LA 2024 for NOC inclusion at 2017 Asian Winter Games

Australia and New Zealand are participating in the largest Asian Winter Games ever © Getty Images
Australia and New Zealand are participating in the largest Asian Winter Games ever © Getty Images

USOC Chaiman Larry Probst (left) stands with OCA President Sheikh Ahmad Al-Sabah at the opening of the Games © Getty Images
USOC Chaiman Larry Probst (left) stands with OCA President Sheikh Ahmad Al-Sabah at the opening of the Games © Getty Images

MARISSA FLANDERS (USA) / Sports Features Communications

(SFC) The Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) is receiving praise from Los Angeles (LA) 2024 Chairman, Casey Wasserman and United States Olympic Committee (USOC), Larry Probst for the innovative way the council is increasing National Olympic Committees (NOCs) participation for the 2017 Asian Winter Games.

The Asian Winter Games began February 19 and will run until February 26. This year will mark the first time that guest athletes from New Zealand and Australia will compete alongside 29 Asian NOCs in individual sport competitions.

"The Opening Ceremony yesterday was fantastic - it is always great to see so many athletes from such a diverse range of nations come together to celebrate sport. But it was very special to see athletes from Asia and Oceania walking out together in solidarity. This is precisely the type of inclusion and unity that we celebrate in Los Angeles and Southern California and that we will promote should LA have the honor of hosting the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games," expressed Chairman Wasserman.

With the participation of Oceania National Olympic Committees member association athletes, the growth of winter sports in both Asia and Oceania will continue to be strengthened through combined efforts. It will also provide a greater feeling of solidarity and unity for the Olympic Movement. This decision to expand the scope of the Asian Winter Games will become a stepping stone for preparing team officials, athletes, and coaches ahead of PyeongChang 2018.

Chairman Wasserman added, "The Organizing Committee have clearly done an excellent job in preparing for these Games and I would like to congratulate them. It looks set to be an exciting week of winter sports action and I wish everyone involved the very best of luck."

Moreover, the two Chairmen had a special interest in the OCA initiative as LA 2024 is focused on delivering a Games where more nations win medals than any other Games ever held. LA 2024 is committed to growing on the progress made during the Rio 2016 Olympics where 87 different countries won medals and a record 205 NOCs took part. Also during the Rio 2016 Games, two new NOCs participated; Fiji, Kosovo, and Jordan each won medals for the first time, and 10 delegations won their first Olympic gold medal.

In support of this effort, a budgeted stipend was provided to NOCs by LA 2024 to assist them in both their "Road to Tokyo 2020" and "Road to LA 2024" preparations. The plan is to aid NOCs, NPC, and their athletes with training opportunities at various sports training facilities in the western United States and Southern California.

** MARISSA FLANDERS is a graduate of Saint Leo University with a Bachelor's Degree in Sport Business. She has over four years of writing experience and has a real passion for ice hockey following the Pittsburgh Penguins on her blog www.thepenshockeyshow.com.


Keywords · OCA · Asian · PyeongChang 2018 · Winter Olympics · LA · LA 2024 · Olympic bidding · NOC · NPC


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