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Olympic team sworn in: “Come back safe and sound”

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11.07.2024 13:41

The Austrian Olympic team for the Summer Games in Paris from July 26 to August 11 was sworn in and adopted by the head of state and government on Thursday. The majority of the 81 nominated athletes had come to the Hofburg in Vienna after the two official dressing days; only those athletes who were at competitions and training camps were unable to attend.

Federal President Alexander Van der Bellen, also patron of the Austrian Olympic Committee (ÖOC), emphasized that the past Summer Games had shown the dynamic that could develop and how the enthusiasm could spread to the whole country. "You have already come a long way, showing perseverance, will and team spirit," the head of state addressed the athletes. "We are delighted with every success you achieve. Come back safe and sound."

The ÖOC team for Paris 2024 was ceremoniously sworn in and bid farewell. (Bild: GEPA pictures)
The ÖOC team for Paris 2024 was ceremoniously sworn in and bid farewell.
Alexander Van der Bellen (Bild: GEPA pictures)
Alexander Van der Bellen

Interior Minister Gerhard Karner and Defense Minister Klaudia Tanner (both ÖVP) also emphasized the latter aspect, as well as the participation of five police and 49th Army athletes. "Good luck," Karner wished the crowd, which included many trainers, other coaches and officials. "Your wishes should come true," said Tanner. Vice-Chancellor and Sports Minister Werner Kogler (Greens) described the qualification for the Olympics as "a done deal. Now the freestyle can come."

Werner Kogler (Bild: GEPA pictures)
Werner Kogler

Peace, tolerance and mutual respect
ÖOC President Karl Stoss opened the ceremonial event with particularly fitting words. "It is a celebration of peace, tolerance and mutual respect. You represent these values, you demonstrate them every day in your competitions - that is what sets you apart, that is what makes you great. We have set ourselves great goals. We want to achieve as many sporting successes as possible for the Republic of Austria and hopefully also win many medals. I am convinced it will be a great Games." Stoss is hoping for five to ten medals for ÖOC athletes.

Before the individual pledge of the largest ÖOC team at a Summer Games since Sydney 2000, rower Magdalena Lobnig and sport climber Jakob Schubert spoke the pledge on behalf of all athletes, coaches and support staff, promising to respect the rules and uphold the values of fair play, inclusion and equality. Saman Soltani, an Iranian flat water canoeist from the IOC refugee team who lives in Austria, was also part of the ceremony and dressed in leather.

This article has been automatically translated,
read the original article here.

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