ANOC President End of Year Message

As 2022 draws to a close, we can reflect on a year that has brought us moments of great joy and achievement as well as some significant challenges.

Perhaps above all, it has been a year that has reinforced the importance of unity.

At a time when we have seen division and unrest around the world, the need for unity within the Olympic Movement has been stronger than ever. At the XXVI ANOC General Assembly in Seoul, South Korea, the NOC family and all Olympic stakeholders came together behind this message of solidarity and unity.

Our global NOC family is made up of so many different cultures and backgrounds but as we have seen time and time again, we are stronger together.

We continue to stand in solidarity with the Olympic communities in countries and regions around the world facing great suffering through conflict and natural disasters.

As IOC President Thomas Bach observed in his landmark address at our General Assembly, unity and peace are the very foundations of the Olympic Movement and the heart of our mission. As NOCs, it has therefore been crucial to find strength in our diversity and adopt a unified response.

In difficult times, sport may not be the priority, but we must always remember its unique power to break down barriers and promote tolerance and understanding.

Throughout this year, we have seen countless examples of the many ways in which sport unites and encourages us to be the best versions of ourselves.

These qualities were especially in evidence during the Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022, which showcased the very best of sport and humanity with many incredible athletic performances and displays of sportsmanship. The Games united and inspired the world and reached new heights with a record 2.01 billion viewers on the linear and digital platforms of the Media Rights Holders. None of this would have been possible without the dedication of you, the NOCs, to your athletes. We were privileged to be able to relive some of these fantastic moments from the Games during our ANOC Awards 2022 and honour the best athletes and NOCs from Beijing 2022.

This year has also seen the continued implementation of our strategic plan which sets out a roadmap to increase ANOC’s impact in supporting NOCs. Working closely with the Continental Associations and in partnership with you, we have made good progress across a number of key areas.

The ANOC Digital Accelerator Programme continues to go from strength to strength, providing NOCs with a vital platform to share and also learn on how to improve their social media performance. Our partnership with The Toolbox is underway and honours our commitment to ensuring that as well as fulfilling our Sustainability Pledge we also equip NOCs with the tools to create and implement their own sustainability programmes in line with international standards. These are just two examples of many. We will continue to implement this strategy next year and identify programmes which deliver the most value to you where you need it most.

I am honoured to be able to serve you as President for the next four years and was humbled by the trust you placed in me during October’s election. My commitment is to lead through collaboration, working with our new ANOC Senior Vice President HE Sheikh Joaan Bin Hamad Al-Thani, ANOC Executive Board and ANOC Secretary General Gunilla Lindberg and Lausanne office to do all we can to serve the NOCs over the next four years.

We have so much to look forward to in 2023. Not least the ANOC Beach Games Bali 2023, which rightly is a source of great anticipation with more than 100 NOCs expected to qualify athletes. The next eight months will see intense preparations and many qualification events as more and more NOCs aim to book their places in Bali.

ANOC enjoys an excellent working relationship with our local colleagues and stakeholders in Indonesia as well as the participating International Federations. I have no doubt that through this collaboration, the event will live up to the highest of our expectations, building on the great success of the inaugural edition in Qatar. And once again allow NOCs to engage new athletes, new sports and a new generation of fans.

It will be a busy year of events with all five Continents hosting Continental Games. We wish the Continental Associations the best of luck in their final preparations and the NOCs great success at these Games. And of course, next year will also be crucial as NOCs step up their preparations for the Olympic Games Paris 2024.

We will face challenges. But as we showed during the COVID-19 pandemic, we can overcome these challenges when we stand shoulder to shoulder, united behind the Olympic values.

The Olympic Summit Declaration earlier this month clearly demonstrated that the Olympic family is committed to working together. Sport will always continue to build bridges and send out messages of hope when it is needed most. And ANOC will continue to play a vital role in the Olympic Movement’s mission to unify the entire world in peaceful competition.

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