(ATR) Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah and Gunilla Lindberg have praised PyeongChang 2018 organisers and national Olympic committees.
A record 91 NOCs and the Olympic Athlete from Russia (OAR) delegation took part in the Games which ended Sunday. Six NOCs –Ecuador, Eritrea, Kosovo, Malaysia, Nigeria and Singapore – made their Olympic Winter debuts. A total of 28 countries won medals at the Olympics.
ANOC president Ahmad called them "outstanding Games", while secretary general Lindberg, who headed the IOC’s coordination commission, said the Winter Olympics were "a thrilling 17-day celebration of sport and humanity".
"Once again, the Olympic Games has demonstrated the power of sport to unite nations and inspire people around the world through Olympism," Ahmad said in a statement, noting the spectacular performances on snow and ice.
"However, the Olympic Games is about so much more than winning medals. Through sport, the Unified Korean Olympic team sent out a message of hope to the world at a time when it is needed most," he said.
"The majority of NOCs do not leave PyeongChang with medals, but all NOCs leave PyeongChang having inspired the people of their countries and beyond."
Lindberg said Games organizers had delivered on their promise of ‘New Horizons’ under the leadership of POCOG president Hee-beom Lee.
"From the beginning, we have worked hard with the organising committee to ensure that the interests of the athletes were at the very heart of PyeongChang 2018," she said.
"I have been very pleased with the positive feedback we have received not just from athletes and their NOCs but also from international federations, broadcasters, sponsors and other Olympic stakeholders," she added, also paying tribute to the volunteers and people of Korea who contributed to the Games.
At Sunday's closing ceremony, IOC president Thomas Bach praised the delivery of an Olympics "rooted in tradition" while "showing the way to the future". He also applauded the two NOCs from the Korean peninsular for their efforts in joining together to promote harmony and reconciliation during the Games.
Bach highlighted how PyeongChang 2018 had embraced new sports events and helped enhance the global appeal of the Winter Games. "These Olympic Winter Games have introduced new events that appeal to new generations. Digital technology has enabled more people in more countries to see winter sports in more ways. I can truly say: the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018 are the Games of New Horizons."
Reported by Mark Bisson
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