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Jeddah - Yasmine El Tohamy - With the Saudi Games set to conclude, the International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach paid an official visit to the Kingdom, where he met Prince Abdulaziz bin Turki Al-Faisal, president of the Saudi Olympic and Paralympic Committee, as well as leadership staff of the Saudi Olympic movement.
“The development of sport in Saudi Arabia is extremely impressive,” Bach said on Saturday during his two-day visit. “I don’t think I’ve seen such a transformation of sport in such a short period of time in any country.”
Bach praised the inclusion of more women in sports and also leading positions within the sporting movement.
“That’s why we are feeling close to home because, in our Olympic agenda, we are trying to drive the same transformation,” he said.
Prince Fahad bin Jalawi, vice president of the SOPC; Princess Dilayl bint Nahar, deputy director of the Saudi Games; and Abdulaziz Baashen, CEO and secretary-general of the SOPC, also attended the meetings.
During the meeting and tour visit, Prince Abdulaziz and Bach discussed the significant role that the Kingdom plays on the global sports stage, thanks to Vision 2030, and its plans to host major sporting events, such as the Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games in 2025, the Asian Winter Games in 2029, and the Asian Games in 2034.
Following the meeting, Bach attended several Saudi Games events, including the finals of beach volleyball and tennis, and also toured the “Fan Zone” area within the Prince Faisal bin Fahd Olympic Complex in Riyadh.
Bach’s visit to the Kingdom is his third since assuming the presidency of the IOC in 2013.
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