Message from Acting ANOC President Robin Mitchell

As we ready ourselves for the Closing Ceremony of the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, we can look back fondly on what has been a wonderful two weeks of thrilling sport and unforgettable moments of solidarity and respect.

None of this would have been possible without the dedication and resolve of Tokyo 2020, the IOC and of course our gracious Japanese hosts. On behalf of our athletes, and the NOC family, we will be forever grateful to the people of Japan for staging such a safe and successful Games.

While we have one last day to enjoy, we have already been spoilt by the quality of competition on display here in Tokyo.

At the time of writing, 65 NOCs have won at least one Olympic gold medal in Tokyo. That includes Qatar Philippines and Bermuda who all won their first ever Olympic gold medals. We have also seen a record-breaking 93 NOCs win medals, including first time winners Turkmenistan, Burkina Faso and San Marino – the smallest ever country by population to win an Olympic medal.

There have been new sports and new disciplines and a greater focus on gender equality and youth than ever before. We have been treated to hundreds of world record and Olympic record-breaking displays and so many last second finishes and unexpected twists and turns which have kept us on the edge of our seats until the very end.

But of course, this Olympic Games, as all Olympic Games, is about so much more than finishing on the podium. It is about celebrating humanity and bringing the world together through our shared values. For all the records broken, there have been countless moments of friendship and sportsmanship from our inspiring athletes. Without fans, it was athletes who spurred each other on and showed great comradery, even in competition.

As ever, they have led the way and served as role models for us to follow. At a time of such difficulty and uncertainty in the world, the role our Olympians have played in bringing joy and hope to communities around the globe cannot be underestimated.

You, the NOCs, as always have done everything possible to support your teams and give them the very best opportunity to succeed. The atmosphere in the Olympic Village was fantastic and together you all sent a message of peace and unity.

As we prepare for the curtain to come down on Tokyo 2020 and the uncertainty which at times surrounded the Games, we can say with certainty it has embodied our new Olympic motto; that we really are Faster, Higher, Stronger – Together.

As a service to our readers, Around the Rings will provide verbatim texts of selected press releases issued by Olympic-related organizations, federations, businesses and sponsors.

These press releases appear as sent to Around the Rings and are not edited for spelling, grammar or punctuation.