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Bach praises Slovenia as great sporting nation

Ljubljana, 21 September - Slovenia is a small country but a true giant in sports, International Olympic Committee (IOC) president Thomas Bach said as he met Slovenian athletes aspiring to attend the Tokyo Olympics in the town of Tacen on the outskirts of Ljubljana on Monday.

Ljubljana
International Olympic Committee (IOC) president Thomas Bach (centre) visiting the Tacen Kayak Canoe Centre to meet Slovenian athletes aspiring to go to the Tokyo Olympics.
Photo: Nebojša Tejić/STA

Ljubljana
International Olympic Committee (IOC) president Thomas Bach (centre) visiting the Tacen Kayak Canoe Centre to meet Slovenian athletes aspiring to go to the Tokyo Olympics.
Photo: Nebojša Tejić/STA

Ljubljana
International Olympic Committee (IOC) president Thomas Bach visiting the Tacen Kayak Canoe Centre to meet Slovenian athletes aspiring to go to the Tokyo Olympics.
Photo: Nebojša Tejić/STA

Ljubljana
International Olympic Committee (IOC) president Thomas Bach visiting the Tacen Kayak Canoe Centre to meet Slovenian athletes aspiring to go to the Tokyo Olympics.
Photo: Nebojša Tejić/STA

Ljubljana
International Olympic Committee (IOC) president Thomas Bach visiting the Tacen Kayak Canoe Centre to meet Slovenian athletes aspiring to go to the Tokyo Olympics.
Photo: Nebojša Tejić/STA

Ljubljana
International Olympic Committee (IOC) president Thomas Bach visiting the Tacen Kayak Canoe Centre to meet Slovenian athletes aspiring to go to the Tokyo Olympics.
Photo: Nebojša Tejić/STA

Ljubljana
International Olympic Committee (IOC) president Thomas Bach visiting the Tacen Kayak Canoe Centre to meet Slovenian athletes aspiring to go to the Tokyo Olympics.
Photo: Nebojša Tejić/STA

Ljubljana
International Olympic Committee (IOC) president Thomas Bach visiting the Tacen Kayak Canoe Centre to meet Slovenian athletes aspiring to go to the Tokyo Olympics.
Photo: Nebojša Tejić/STA

"Slovenia is a small country in terms of size and population, but it is nevertheless a true giant in international sport competition, a phenomena in winter and summer sports, in individual and team sports," Bach said as he met almost 50 of Slovenia's 116 candidates for the Olympics at the Tacen Kayak Canoe Centre.

He reiterated that the IOC would do all in its power for the Tokyo Olympic Games, rescheduled due to the coronavirus pandemic from 2020 to 2021, to be held next year.

The OIC president said that an Olympic village and venues for competition would be ready.

He said that together with the organising committee and the Japanese government, the IOC was working on various scenarios in terms of the presence of spectators, the conditions for preparations before and during the Games as well as competitions.

Earlier in the day Bach met Prime Minister Janez Janša, saying the talks were successful. He was also scheduled to meet President Borut Pahor, but the meeting was cancelled due to Pahor's working visit to Paris.

Bach arrived in Slovenia to meet the athletes and sports officials, attend a fund raiser and visit the grave of recently deceased sports official Janez Kocijančič, who served as the Slovenian Olympic Committee president in 1991-2014 and headed the European Olympic Committees from 2017 until his death on 1 June.

eho/mab
© STA, 2020