IOC President speaks highly of sports development in Cyprus

International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Jacques Rogge said here Tuesday that sport in Cyprus is developing extremely well.

Rogge is visiting Cyprus at the head of a IOC delegation and will inaugurate here tonight the Olympic Palace together with Cypriot President Tassos Papadopoulos, whom he met this morning in Nicosia.

Speaking after the meeting, he said they had a very good discussion with the President on the career of tennis player Marcos Baghdatis and other Cypriot athletes and Cyprus sport in general.

Baghdatis has recently won his first professional title in his career in the China Open.

"We had a very good discussion with the President. The President loves sport, he knows sport very well. We discussed the development of sport in your country and I expressed the view that the sport in Cyprus is developing extremely well", he said.

Referring to the inauguration, the IOC President said "the new house will be another step in the new progress".

Kikis Lazarides, President of the Cyprus Olympic Committee (COC) and Member of IOC said he toured the Olympic Palace with Rogge and he was very pleased with the whole project, which will host the headquarters of the COC and provide shelter for local sport federations.

Greek Olympic Committee President Lambis Nikolaou said he was very impressed with the building, which he described as an avant garde construction.

IOC Member Patrick Hickey said he was very proud to be here for the opening of this "magnificent house", noting that "sport in Cyprus must be very proud of the magnificent job that Kikis Lazarides has done".

IOC member Richard Carrion said "this fantastic and magnificent house will contribute to the development of sports in this country".

IOC member He Zhenliang said "the President of the Republic of Cyprus has stressed the excellent relation between Cyprus and China and looks forward for his official visit to China".

"I stressed he is most welcomed as a highly respected guest of the Chinese people and I hope that his next visit to China will be a very - very successful one", he said.

The President is expected to visit China before the end of this year.

On sport he congratulated his colleagues of Cyprus Olympic committee "for the big efforts to promote Olympic spirit and values ".

"Cyprus has done a lot in this sphere", he concluded.

Source: Xinhua

People's Daily Online ---