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Speech by CE at Welcome Home Reception for Hong Kong, China Delegation to Nanjing 2014 Youth Olympic Games (English only) (with photos/video)

     Following is the speech by the Chief Executive, Mr C Y Leung, at the Welcome Home Reception for the Hong Kong, China Delegation to the Nanjing 2014 Youth Olympic Games this afternoon (September 3):

Mr Timothy Fok, coaches, athletes, ladies and gentlemen,

     Welcome to Government House. On behalf of Hong Kong and the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government, I would like to welcome the Hong Kong delegation back from the second Summer Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing, and to applaud them for their commendable performance in a sporting event that attracted many of the world's elite young athletes. Your determination, pursuit of excellence and can-do spirit have made Hong Kong proud.

     The 18 Hong Kong athletes competing in this second Summer Youth Olympic Games took part in eight sports events. I'm pleased to say that they came home with two gold medals, four silver and one bronze, a remarkable increase over our performance at the inaugural Youth Olympics four years ago.

     Indeed, this year Hong Kong picked up its first gold medals at the youth games. In a welcome display of international co-operation, some of our athletes even partnered with those from other countries to win medals.

     There were other rewards, and they are equally worth applauding. The long periods of strenuous training, and the extraordinary sacrifices that entailed, taught our young athletes much about the value, and the satisfaction, that discipline and hard work can offer. Whether or not they won a medal, each of our young athletes came home with the quiet confidence, and inspiring character, that competition at the highest levels brings.

     The Government's goal is to promote sports in the community, to support elite sports and maintain Hong Kong as a centre for major international sports events. We will continue to enhance relevant sports facilities and provide more favourable conditions for the development of sports in Hong Kong.

     Along with our athletes, and their family members, we must also acknowledge the dedicated team of coaches and officials that work with them, supporting and encouraging them to fulfil their sporting dreams.

     My thanks to the Sports Federation & Olympic Committee of Hong Kong, China for its continuing efforts in promoting our sports development.

     In closing, my thanks, and best wishes, to all of our athletes. And may the flag of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region fly high again at the 2014 Incheon Asian Games, which opens later this month.

     Thank you very much.

Ends/Wednesday, September 3, 2014
Issued at HKT 18:48


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