Today, 23 June 2009, the St Vincent and the Grenadines National Olympic Committee (SVGNOC) joins the rest of the Olympic Movement across the world in observing International Olympic Day. It was on this day in 1894 that the International Olympic Committee (IOC) was formed following a meeting of representatives of athletics organisations held at the Sorbonne, Paris, France, and the first president of the IOC, Demetrius Vikelas, of Greece, was installed.
The International Olympic Movement has remained for the most part steadfast in its mandate to place sport at the service of humanity through the quadrennial celebration of the Olympic Games. Of course, we have progressed to the establishment of the quadrennial Winter Olympics, in addition to the Summer Olympics and, effective 2010, we would witness the establishment of the quadrennial Youth Summer Olympics. 2012 will see the inaugural Youth Winter Olympics.
Through the continued success of the Olympic Games the IOC has been able to provide development assistance to all members of the International Olympic Family through Olympic Solidarity. This support has facilitated the training of athletes, coaches, administrators and support staff for National Olympic Committees across the world.
St Vincent and the Grenadines continues to receive support from the IOC as it strives to spread the myriad positive values that are captured in the noble concept of Olympism – a way of life.
Today, we congratulate all those who have chosen sport as a way of life and who have worked with the SVGNOC in the quest for the development of a culture of sport in our country. We have a long way to go in this process but we are on our way, fully committed to its realisation.
We honour our sporting heroes, past and present, and pay homage to all those coaches and administrators of sport in our country. Yours is a thankless undertaking. Your reward lies in knowing that in the midst of a rapidly changing society you have given of yourself in service to others, a service that will impact even those who are as yet unborn.