IOC President and Ukrainian Sports Minister visit Ukrainian athletes
IOC President Bach, Minister Guttsait and NOC President Bubka went to the UCI World Cycling Centre (WCC) in Aigle, Switzerland, where they were welcomed by the President of the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) and IOC Member in France, David Lappartient. They watched BMX and track cycling training sessions and met 30 BMX, track and mountain bike athletes. Three of them are currently training at the WCC, while 27 others have been evacuated by Swiss Cycling and are currently training and residing in the Swiss National Centre.
It is not just Ukrainian athletes who are preparing for competitions in Aigle and using the World Cycling Centre as their base – cyclists from Afghanistan are also being hosted here. Samira Asghari, IOC Member in Afghanistan, joined the IOC President and the Ukrainian delegation during their visit to 23 road discipline athletes who have joined the WCC following the humanitarian crisis in their country and have been given the chance to build a new life in Switzerland.
The support the IOC is extending to the Olympic Community in Ukraine is not unique, but similar to the support extended to other members of the global Olympic Community. It is based on solidarity, one of the fundamental values for which the Olympic Movement stands.
“It was moving to meet and hear from the Ukrainian athletes who are affected by the terrible war in their country. There are dozens of cyclists and hundreds of Ukrainian athletes in other sports who can continue participating in international competitions through the help of the IOC and many stakeholders of the Olympic Movement like the UCI. I want to thank all of them,” said IOC President Thomas Bach.