While wrapping up his tour of Central America and the Caribbean, International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach thrilled the athletes and citizens of Aruba by opening the new headquarters of the Aruban Olympic Committee (COA).
The visit to the Dutch territory was the final stop of his seven-country visit that earlier in March. Bach was welcomed by IOC Vice-President Nicole Hoevertsz, an Olympic synchronized swimmer at Los Angeles 1984, and Aruba’s National Olympic Committee President Wanda Broeksema.
Bach met with Aruba’s Governor J.A. Boekhoudt, the country’s Prime Minister Evelyn Wever-Croes and other government officials. Together they discussed the important role sport can play in society in instill values with regards to education, health and sustainable development. All of those are key parts of the IOC’s Olympic Agenda 2020+5.
While Bach certainly enjoyed the sunshine and warmer temperatures compared to Lausanne this time of year, there was work to be done. Joined by hundreds of young athletes representing 16 different sports, Bach officially opening the new Aruban National Olympic Committee headquarters.
Although Aruba has yet to win an Olympic medal, they have competed in every Summer Games since Seoul 1988. Previously, they competed as part of the Netherlands Antilles, which consisted of several island territories in the Caribbean Sea.
Broeksema feels confident an Olympic medal is the next logical milestone for Aruba.
“At the South American Games in Asuncion, our athletes won three gold and three silver medals,” she said in a statement.
“During the first edition of the Caribbean Games, where COA participated with a small delegation, consisting of only two female athletes, the results were outstanding. Participating in a total of four events, our athletes were able to win a medal in each one of the events in which they participated,” she enthused.
“We remain optimistic and believe there are great opportunities ahead for COA and the federations. We will maintain the Olympic Values as our guiding principle as we continue to support sports in Aruba.”