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  • OCA urges all NOCs to embrace winter sports


    OCA urges all NOCs to embrace winter sports

    Sapporo, Japan, April 25, 2016: The Olympic Council of Asia has urged all its 45 National Olympic Committees to take part in the 8th Asian Winter Games in Sapporo, Japan, in February 2017 – even those without winter sports athletes.

    Speaking at the opening ceremony of the Chefs de Mission Seminar in Sapporo on Monday, the OCA’s Honorary Life Vice President, Mr Wei Jizhong, said winter sports were growing and developing around the continent.

    Even countries with no snow, such as Malaysia, Singapore, Kuwait and Qatar, now played ice sports, said Mr Wei, and he asked other NOCs to join the Asian Winter Games next year.

    “The OCA encourages all NOCs to try your best to send your athletes to the Sapporo Asian Winter Games,” said Mr Wei.

    “The importance is not getting medals; the importance is participation, as is the motto of the International Olympic Committee.

    “Even NOCs with no winter sports athletes are very welcome to the Asian Winter Games in order to prepare your athletes for future Winter Games.”

    Mr Wei said the Sapporo organising committee had made excellent preparations for the Games, which will take place from February 19-26, 2017, with five sports, 11 disciplines and 64 events and around 1,500 athletes and team officials from around 30 NOCs.

    “We have checked three times here and we did not meet any problems, so we are convinced the Games will be a big success in Asia - and its influence will be worldwide.”

    The Mayor of Sapporo and President of SAWGOC, Mr Katsuhiro Akimoto, welcomed 46 delegates from 31 NOCs to the seminar, and said Sapporo had a proven track record in hosting major international sports events since organising the Winter Olympics in 1972.

    “Since our winter sports have great significance in the Asia region, we expect the largest athlete turnout,” he said.

    The seminar opened on April 25 – exactly 300 days before the Games opening ceremony at Sapporo Dome on February 19.

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    These press releases appear as sent to Around the Rings and are not edited for spelling, grammar or punctuation. 

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