Selected Comments Samdech Techo Hun Sen at the Conferment of the International Olympic President’s Trophy

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  • Ser Miang, Executive Member of International Olympic Committee;
  • Samdech, Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen, Sportsmen and Sportswomen!

Today, my wife and I as well as our family are very delighted for receiving the honor of “International Olympic Committee President’s Trophy” at this moment. This award will be the key foundation for supporting the development process of Cambodian sport sector to be more prosperous at the present and in the future.

I would like to thank Mr. Ser Miang, the Executive Member of International Olympic Committee and the representative of Dr. Thomas Bach, the President of International Olympic Committee for bringing this highest award of Olympic movement to me. This is the new pride for me, my wife, my family, Cambodian International Olympic Committee, Sportsmen and Sportswomen, as well as the nation. Taking this opportunity, on behalf of the Royal Government and Cambodian people, I would like to express my pleasure and pride as my effort and associates’ as well as the contribution of all sportsmen and sportswomen in promoting Cambodian sport sector to be re-emerged, and amazed the world with the talent and ability of Cambodian Sportsmen and Sportswomen today.

In fact, Cambodian sport sector used to be superior in the region and Asia during the 60’s and 70’s century.  However, after the war in 1970 and 3 years, 8 months and 20 days of Pol Pot Genocidal Regime, the sport and other sectors were destroyed, and sports officials, coaches, sportsmen and sportswomen, and the experts, who had won many medals, were killed. Overall, Cambodia had gone through the tragedy, suffering, separation, and the whole society was destroyed under this Pol Pot Genocidal Regime.  It is still in our memory that after the 7th January, when our people did not have sufficient sports equipment, we used coconut husk as the ball, and some youths used rubber band or rubber latex as the football and basketball, and cow rope as the basketball net, which was the beginning of our sport.

With that, we have also tried to gather our survived sportsmen and sportswomen to form the group and the sport infrastructure, and successively rehabilitate our various stadiums.  Based on the basis of sport development and the continuous progress, it made Cambodia be able to join ASEAN sport competition again in 1994, SEA Games in 1995 and Olympic Game in 1996 as well as other international competitions, with lots of medals back home over many kinds of sports.  Recently, we have also strived to build new stadium that equip with additional sport infrastructure in both training ground​, local and international pitch toward hosting the excellent SEA Game competition in the upcoming 2023.

  • Samdech, Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen!

For the time being, Cambodia has been maintaining peace, stability and security, which are a key prerequisite for Cambodia’s socio-economic development and more integration into the region and the globe. Based on fundamental foundation, all Cambodian citizens including me have had the chance to play sports.  To me, not only do I play sports, I also encourage my children and grandchildren to play sports as well; I wish to have a family football team and intend at least a grandchild to participate in Sea Game competition in 2023, the year that Cambodia host the game. I and my wife have often given sponsors, supports and encouragement to our national athletes. We have also spent large amount of our own money in order to reassure the efforts of athletes to compete for the honor of the country and encourage them to strengthen their quality, capacity, and talent.

Meanwhile, on behalf of the Royal Government, I always encourage for appropriate bonuses to the winner of international sport competition as well as encourage additional incentives by throwing out banquet dinner within national sport family before Khmer New Year every year and to reward to the winner of international competition with national awards and promotions.

Overall, I have recently decided to foster the sport sector development speed and Olympics movement on three main basics, which are (1) The decision set 2023 for Cambodia to be the host in the event of the 32th SEA Games Sport Competition; (2) The offers of the headquarter building for the Cambodian Olympic National Committee; (3) The establishment of the Techo Heritage of the National Olympic Stadium includes one large sport hall, outdoor soccer pitch, one large swimming center, and accommodation for national sportsmen approximately 300 persons, which will be built and ready in the near future.

With this high spirit, it has made Cambodian citizens be more interested in playing sports, doing exercise and leading to the establishment of many small sport fields where served soccer, volleyball, basketball, table tennis, badminton, and many other sport clubs which are blooming across the country.

At this time, my decision has not only become the government policy to promote the healthy citizens but also to motivate the skilled sport sector and related institutions to further pay attention to strengthening the efficiency of the sport careers to reach the success of the 32th SEA Games Competition Organization in 2023 as well. In this sense, I am of the view that the success of the sport sector and the Olympic movement in Cambodia shall depend on the collaboration between governments and the national and international Olympic movements as well as relevant institutions in order to reach the sustainable development of the sport sector as it is the inter-connection sectors which related to all sectors. Sports is not about winning and losing, so that it is related to social security and safety, which is called as sports bring social harmony and socio-economic development.  Meanwhile, the development of sport sector will lead to the development of infrastructures and human resources, filled with the capacity and the contribution to upkeep and protect social environment via Clean and Green Sport, so that sports play an important role in educations namely, physical education, intellectual education, spiritual education, grow wills, struggle in order for youths to receive the quality of life.

Once again, my wife, I myself, and my families, National Cambodian Olympic Committee, Sportsmen-Sportswomen and all Cambodian citizens would like to express my sincere thanks to Dr. Thomas Bach, President of the International Olympic Committee, who has historically offered this Prestigious Award to me; and I would like to thank Mr. Ser Miang for having brought this award.

Finally, I would like to wish Samdech, Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen, and all Sportsmen-Sportswomen the Four Gems of Buddhist blessing: Longevity, Nobility, Healthiness, and Strength.

Thank you!