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Speech by CE at Flag Presentation Ceremony for Hong Kong, China Delegation to Rio 2016 Olympic Games (English only) (with photos/video)

     Following is the speech by the Chief Executive, Mr C Y Leung, at the Flag Presentation Ceremony for the Hong Kong, China Delegation to the Rio 2016 Olympic Games today (July 11):

Timothy (the President of the Sports Federation & Olympic Committee of Hong Kong, China (SF&OC), Mr Timothy Fok), Kenneth (the Chef de Mission of the Hong Kong, China Delegation to the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, Mr Kenneth Fok), Ronnie (the Honorary Secretary General of the SF&OC, Mr Ronnie Wong), Olympic athletes, government colleagues, ladies and gentlemen,

     Good afternoon and welcome to Government House. I am very pleased to be here for today's Flag Presentation Ceremony. Here to honour the gifted, dedicated young men and women participating in the Rio 2016 Olympic Games on behalf of Hong Kong.

     I know qualifications are continuing in a few cases but, as of today, 37 Hong Kong athletes will be competing in eight sports at the Rio Olympic Games.

     Some are already in Rio for final preparation. The rest of you will be on your way soon enough, there to join more than 10 000 other athletes from around the world for the very first Olympic Games to be held in South America.

     Winning at the Olympic Games is perhaps the great dream - the biggest dream - of most athletes. But on that point, let me say that, competing in the Olympic Games is a tremendous achievement in its own. Whatever the result, Hong Kong is proud of you. Each and every one of you. In the words of Nobel Peace Prize winner Nelson Mandela, here I quote: "I never lose. I either win or learn." Unquote.

     Our athletes will do the same, and more. They will inspire the youth of Hong Kong as to the value of passion, commitment and hard work. The joy of competition and the true spirit of sportsmanship.

     I am, indeed, very pleased to see an increasing interest in sports in Hong Kong over the years. And the Government is making every effort to better support our athletes. The recently redeveloped Hong Kong Sports Institute provides state-of-the-art training facilities, sports science and other kinds of support. We also help our athletes to undergo training overseas and participate in international competitions.

     And we are pressing ahead with building Hong Kong's largest multi-purpose sports complex in Kai Tak - this Sports Park has a footprint almost 50 per cent larger than that of Victoria Park. There, we will see a wide variety of sports facilities, satisfying the different needs of the community - from casual joggers to elite athletes, from family enjoyment to school sports events. I look forward to building a Hong Kong that is healthy, energetic and athletic.

     My thanks to the Sports Federation & Olympic Committee of Hong Kong for organising the delegation to the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. We are, of course, aware of concerns over the health conditions in Brazil. On this, my colleagues in the Home Affairs Bureau and the Department of Health have been working closely with the Committee. Our goal is to ensure that Hong Kong's Olympic athletes and coaches are provided with the best advice and support around.

     I wish the delegation a successful and enjoyable Games. And rest assured that all of Hong Kong looks forward to watching, and cheering on, our athletes as they participate in the greatest sports show on earth.

     Thank you.

Ends/Monday, July 11, 2016
Issued at HKT 17:40


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