Closing Address

Dear participants and friends, with the conclusion of the works of the 10th Joint International Session for Presidents or Directors of National Olympic Academies and Officials of National Olympic Committees, I would like to express my gratitude for your presence in the International Olympic Academy and my conviction regarding our future cooperation for the propagation of the Olympic Education and the management of crisis and challenges in the sports world and the Olympic Movement.

The National Olympic Academies and the National Olympic Committees constitute the two pillars for the cultivation and the dissemination of the Olympic Ideal in cooperation with the International Olympic Academy and the International Olympic Committee. As Henry Tandau aptly mentioned in this room, you are “the key players in the development and spread of Olympic Education,” and we must have a common perception and try to reinforce the communication for the realization of Olympic Educational and Training Programs all around the world.

We all have to realize that, in order to achieve this goal, the broader Olympic Family has to be constantly prepared. The role of the National Olympic Committees is significant for the work of the National Olympic Academies. The differences in their structures and operations should not affect, but, on the contrary, they should strengthen the common goals mentioned before.

Dear friends, I believe that the sacredness of Ancient Olympia where we are and the humanistic ideas of the Olympic Movement are the elements that will reinforce the coherence for the future course of the National Olympic Academies and the National Olympic Committees. In an era dominated by individualism and cruel economic and social competition, one could say that the topics that we discussed in this Session could probably be considered by some as utopian.

However, your presence here, the interest you all showed through your presentations, and the conclusions of the discussion groups prove the opposite. Due to my necessary absence, I didn’t have the opportunity to attend the presentations of the 26 National Olympic Academies. Nevertheless, my colleagues inform me that there is a constant and unceasing effort of continuous activities by the Olympic Academies that prove that there is will, intention, and vision.

The contemporary societies desperately need ideas and people with vision. Let us keep a vivid memory of the beauty of the landscape and of the ideas of Ancient Olympia, and let’s join our forces for the achievement of the common goals. Where there is no track, let’s trace it together as we walk. Because otherwise, “it is not only for what we do that we are held responsible, but also for what we do not do,” according to the famous words of the French dramatist, Moliere.

Dear friends, I would like to thank you all personally, both the exceptional lecturers as well as the participants, for your contributions to this session. I wish you all a safe trip back home, and I reassure you that, as IOA President, I will always unconditionally support your work.

### The Olympic Anthem

Immortal spirit of antiquity, Father of the true, beautiful, and good,
Descend, appear, shed over us they light, upon this ground and under this sky
Which has first witnessed thy unperishable fame.
Give life and animation to those noble games!
Throw wreaths of fadeless flowers to the victors in the race and in the strife!
Create in our breasts, hearts of steel!
In thy light, plains, mountains, and seas, shine in a roseate hue and form a vast temple
To which all nations throng to adore thee, oh, immortal spirit of antiquity!

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