HISTORIC VISIT BY CHINESE PRESIDENT XI JINPING TO IOC
Lausanne, January 19, 2017
IOC President Thomas Bach welcomed Chinese President Xi Jinping to The Olympic Museum today, in what is the first visit by a Chinese Head of State to the IOC. That is to say the powerful leaders from the most populated country and the smallest world organisation.
The Chinese President arrived in Lausanne on Tuesday, following his address at the World Economic Forum in Davos and meetings with the Swiss Federal Government. After arriving in Lausanne, President Xi and President Bach held talks over dinner.
In a bilateral meeting, the two leaders highlighted the close cooperation between the IOC and China with regard to the organisation of the Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022. President Xi expressed his personal commitment to make these Games a success.
They also discussed how the already strong ties can be strengthened in the future and how to promote the role of sport in society. Sitting at the original desk belonging to the founder of the Olympic Movement, Pierre de Coubertin, President Xi signed the IOC’s visitors’ book to commemorate his historic visit to the Olympic Capital.
IOC Honorary President Jacques Rogge, IOC Vice-President Yu Zaiqing, IOC Members from China Li Lingwei and Yang Yang, as well as IOC Member and ANOC President Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah joined President Bach to welcome the Chinese Head of State.
“China and the IOC enjoy excellent relations and strong cooperation on many different levels. The historic visit of President Xi Jinping to the IOC is another expression of this great cooperation and our friendship with the Chinese people,” said President Bach. “This is an excellent foundation to write history once more, with Beijing set to become the first city in the world to host both the summer and winter editions of the Olympic Games.”
In his remarks, President Xi highlighted the important role of sport in China, saying that sport is an integral part of the country’s national development plan: “Over the years, the IOC and President Bach have made important contributions to support the healthy development not only of the Olympic Movement but also the development of sport in China. I would like to express my appreciation for what you have done.” He went on to say: “We have many dreams, the Chinese dream of turning China into a society of prosperity; the dream of promoting the Olympic Movement; and also the dream of fostering a community of shared destiny for the whole of humanity. All the dreams are interconnected and integrated with one another. In this respect, I believe the IOC has a huge role to play to help the fulfilment of all these dreams.”
President Bach and President Xi toured the exhibitions of The Olympic Museum, which featured a display of special moments in Chinese Olympic history.
After visiting the IOC, President Xi continued to the United Nations Office in Geneva.