"The Beijing Olympic Games will be a complete success and will be the beginning of a new Olympic era," announced Slama Abdelhamid, president of the National Olympic Committee of Tunisia (NOCT) (see photo above) in a recent interview with reporters from People's Daily and the Xinhua News Agency.
The headquarters of the National Olympic Committee of Tunisia (NOCT) is located in the Youth Sports and Culture Center, which was built with China's aid. In Abdelhamid's office hangs a poster "greeting the Beijing Olympic Games." As the Beijing Olympics approach, Abdelhamid told reporters that he felt honored to lead the Tunisian delegation to Beijing to participate in the 2008 Olympic Games. He said that China is a great country with a long history and splendid civilization. Right now China is rapidly rising with social stability and economic prosperity.
Abdelhamid expressed his satisfaction with and appreciation for China's preparation for the upcoming Beijing Olympic Games. He said that not long ago, the Secretary-General of the Tunisian Olympic Committee went to have a look at the Beijing Olympics stadiums and other facilities in person. He himself went to the IOC headquarters in Lausanne to visit IOC president Jacques Rogge and learn more about preparations for the Beijing Games. The Chinese government and people, through hard work and after overcoming difficulties and disasters, are prepared for the Olympic Games in 2008. People throughout the whole world are looking forward to this major sports event, said Abdelhamid.
Abdelhamid spoke highly of the Beijing Olympic Games sports venues and facilities. He said that Beijing's Olympic venues do more than represent traditional engineering and design concepts. They are not only majestic, magnificent and beautiful; but also full of charm and artist beauty, reflecting this high-tech era and creating a new chapter in the history of sports.
Abdelhamid clarified that Tunisia is opposed to the practice of linking the Olympic Games with any political motives.
He also stressed that China, its sovereignty and policies in Tibet, should be respected. "I can not help wondering where the people who once shouted ‘freedom and human rights' went after the earthquake hit Sichuan and the Chinese government and people became dedicated to earthquake relief," said Abdelhamid. "Those using the Olympic Games as an opportunity to attack others and achieve their sinister purposes are enemies of people who believe in unity and solidarity in the world."
In terms of Tunisia's preparation for the Gmes, Abdelhamid said that Tunisian President Ben Ali followed the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games closely and personally asked for updates on the Games. He disclosed that Tunisia will send a 50-member sports delegation to the Beijing Olympics, including 27 athletes. The Tunisian delegation will participate in 10 events including swimming, judo, and athletics. The team is expected to win medals in swimming, athletics and taekwondo. At present, the delegation is busily preparing for the games.
Abdelhamid told reporters that he will come to Beijing with the Tunisian sports delegation on August 3 and believes that Beijing will give them the surprise of a lifetime.
By People's Daily Onine