Monday, April 20, 2015

anuatu Sport and VASANOC will be honored to host the President of International Olympic Committee (IOC) Dr Thomas Bach and his Entourage from Sunday 3 to Monday 4 May 2015 in Port Vila.

Dr Bach is the second IOC President to visit Vanuatu after Mr Juan Antonio Samaranch visited 28 years ago to help us establish the Vanuatu NOC and obtain IOC membership in 1987.

VASANOC President, Antoine Boudier said, “It is not a coincident that the only two IOC President's to visit Vanuatu will have done so immediately after two of the country’s worst cyclones hit us. Samarach after Uma and now Bach is visiting in the wake of Pam. The first was to build Vanuatu’s path to membership of the IOC and International Sporting Community and the second to re-build Vanuatu through sport. To visit us in difficult times of need like this, shows the humanitarian heart and true spirit of Olympism in action through the IOC leadership to keep placing sport in the services of Vanuatu communities”. 

Dr Bach’s is travelling with his wife Claudia and his Entourage includes IOC VIPs, many of whom, will be visiting the country for the first time. They are:

  • Mr John Coates and his fiancée Ms Orieta Pires
  • Dr. Robin Mitchell and Dr Rosemary Mitchell
  • Christophe de Kepper - IOC Director General
  • Pere Miro – Deputy Director General & Director of Olympic Solidarity
  • Mark Adams – Director of Communications
  • Jochen Farber - Head Executive Office of the President
  • Marina Baramia – Head of Protocol & Relations with IOC Members
  • Gregory Martin – Official Cameraman
  • Ian Jones - Official Photographer

 Mr John Coates has been IOC member since 2001, is Vice-President of IOC, President of Australian Olympic Committee, President of the Court of Arbitration of Sport, and former President of Oceania Rowing Federation.

 Dr Robin Mitchell has been IOC member since 1994, is current President of ONOC, Chairman of ORADO, Chairman of ANOC Medical Commission, President of the Fiji Hockey Federation and former President of FASANOC.

The Delegation will attend the ONOC AGM in Fiji and arrive and be welcomed at the Bauerfield International Airport by the Minister of Sport, Hon. Don Ken and VASANOC Officials at 10:40am on Sunday 3 May.

The main activity scheduled for the IOC President's visit especially in the wake of TC Pam are Sport Venue Visits scheduled for Sunday 3 May from 2pm to 4pm.

VASANOC CEO, Henry Tavoa said, “The damages to sports venues caused by TC Pam is already having an immediate negative effect on Vanuatu sport. Most Athletes have no venue to prepare properly for the upcoming PNG2015 Pacific Games, but overall, the longer it takes to rebuild and repair the venues, the longer it will take for Athletes to prepare for future competitions too and with the priority of rebuilding focused on non-sporting infrastructure, this may take longer than expected. Remember, we host Van2017 and have Rio2016, GoldCoast2018, Tonga2019 and also sport-specific regional and international competitions to prepare for”.

VASANOC will also be organizing, a Function for him, Courtesy Calls to HE Fr Baldwin Lonsdale and Hon. Prime Minister, Meeting with Athletes and Members of Sports Commissions and giving him the honor to Open the country’s first Sport & Olympic Museum at VASANOC.

Dr Bach and his Entourage depart Port Vila at 12pm on Monday 4 May.