Former Olympic champion Deng Yaping gives speech at Olympic Congress

11:10, October 04, 2009      

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Four-time Olympic table tennis champion Deng Yaping addressed here on Saturday at the 13th Olympic Congress with a topic of relationships between the athletes, the clubs, federations and the NOCs.

The Olympic Congress, which opened on Saturday and will run through Monday, is aimed to analyze the strengths and weaknesses of the Olympic Movement, and evaluating the opportunities and the risks it faces.

Deng, 36, said that as a retired athlete who played table tennis for almost 20 years, she deeply felt that athletes, clubs, federations and NOCs were closely related and should be mutually supportive to each other.

"On the one hand, athletes need to rely on organizations including clubs, federations and NOCs. With the support of those organizations, they can have more access to better training facilities and techniques to develop their professional sports skills as well as more opportunities to participate in different events, and its' easier for them to achieve their goals," she said.

"On the other hand, the development of organizations like clubs, federations and NOCs also relies on athletes who are also very important parts of the whole Olympic family. Active participation of athletes in organized entities will only bring in new momentum of development for those organizations and for the Olympic Movement," she added.

Deng believed that the Chinese government has made great efforts in creating good conditions for athletes, such as offeringathletes, especially those with outstanding performance to study at universities after retirement.

Deng obtained a bachelor degree in English Language in Tsinghua University, one of the most prestigious universities in China, after quitting competitive table tennis. She then continued her studies, earning a master's degree from the University of Nottingham and a PhD. in Land Economy at the University of Cambridge.

Deng played a key role in the organization of the 2008 Beijing Olympics, serving as the vice director of the Athletes Village.

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