Thomas Bach made this statement soon after his arrival in Port Moresby.
President Bach arrived late in the afternoon of May 8th at the Jackson’s International Airport VIP Terminal.
There he was met by a delegation comprising of Vice Sports Minister Wesley Raminai, PNG Sports Foundation CEO, Peter Tsiamalili Jnr, PNG Olympic Committee president Sir John Dawanincura and his general-secretary, Auvita Rapilla.
At his welcome reception at APEC Haus, Bach commended PNG for practicing the Olympic values of friendship, equality and respect, among others.
“First of all, you’re living the Olympic value of not only tolerating and respecting diversity but by embracing diversity,” he said.
“How you’re honouring and valuing all the cultures and in particular, the indigenous cultures here in Papua New Guinea and how you bring them to blossoming (sic) and show your appreciation and demonstrate that diversity is an enrichment to every culture.”
Bach outlined the Olympic motto of ‘unity in diversity’, explaining that in sports, everyone is equal.
“And sport is the only area of our society, of our worldwide community, where we are all coming together and in the Olympic games, where we are coming together with athletes from all the 206 national Olympic committees, competing with each other, and living under the same roof. This is the unifying power of sport.”
Today was the final day of Bach’s trip, where he toured sporting facilities at the Taurama Aquatic Indoor Complex, as well as mingled with athletes and students at the sports demonstrations.
He also opened the PNG Olympic Haus at Lahara Avenue, Boroko, as well as met with Prime Minister Peter O’Neill in a closed session at the Parliament.
Bach is a German Olympian and gold medallist in the sport of fencing. His visit is also to promote Olympism and bring more awareness on the Olympic Movement and the important role it plays in contributing to good order, positive sustainable development and world peace using sports.
(NCD Governor Powes Parkop presenting International Olympic Committee president, Thomas Bach, with a souvenir)