ANOC celebrates record NOC participation at a Winter Games
10 February 2018; PyeongChang: ANOC today hailed the record-breaking NOC participation for an Olympic Winter Games at PyeongChang 2018 as yet further evidence of the excellent work of NOCs around the world in developing sport and promoting the Olympic Values.
Approximately 3,000 athletes from a record 91 National Olympic Committees (NOCs) and the Olympic Athlete from Russia delegation will compete at PyeongChang 2018 in 102 medal events. The NOCs were welcomed to PyeongChang last night during a spectacular Opening Ceremony in the state-of-the-art PyeongChang Olympic Stadium. Athletes from Ecuador, Eritrea, Kosovo, Malaysia, Nigeria and Singapore will all be competing at the Winter Games for the first time in their NOCs’ histories reflecting the continued development of winter sports around the world.
The Opening Ceremony also saw athletes from the Republic of Korea and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) march together behind one flag, in a demonstration of the unrivalled power of the Olympic Games to unite nations and promote peace.
Speaking after the opening ceremony, ANOC President Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah said:
“We are delighted to see a record-number of NOCs competing at the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Winter Games. This is what the Olympic Games is all about; bringing athletes together from countries around the world to share and spread the Olympic Values. PyeongChang 2018 promised New Horizons for the Olympic Movement and the world of winter sports and with many NOCs competing here at a Winter Games for the very first time, I have no doubt they will deliver that.
“Last night’s Opening Ceremony was a wonderful celebration of sport and its capacity to promote peace and understanding. The United Korean Olympic Team marching together behind one flag was a historic moment not just for the two countries but for the Olympic Movement and it sent out a positive message of hope to the world. With the Games officially open, now is the time to focus on supporting our clean athletes and enjoying their spectacular performances over the next 17 days.”
ANOC Secretary General Gunilla Lindberg added:
“As ANOC Secretary General and Chair of the PyeongChang 2018 Coordination Commission and, this is a very special moment for me personally as well as for the whole ANOC family. Over the last seven years I have visited PyeongChang 39 times. During that time we have worked hard to ensure that the voice of the NOCs and their athletes was heard throughout the preparations.
“PyeongChang 2018 has done a fantastic job in preparing for the Games and I have no doubt that they will host an excellent event which will provide athletes with the perfect environment to compete at their very best. But our job is not over. We will continue to meet with the Organising Committee every day to make sure we maintain the highest possible standards for the NOCs and their teams from the first day to the last.”
After the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Winter Games, ANOC will facilitate a comprehensive debrief among all participating NOCs. The purpose of the debrief will be for ANOC to gather feedback from the NOCs to then distil down into a series of recommendations on the experience for NOCs and their athletes can be improved at future Games.