17 September 2018
As one of the Olympic movement world leaders and the International Olympic Committee Executive Board Member Bubka who won his Olympic gold 30 years ago in Korea on behalf of the International Olympic Committee and its President, Thomas Bach, whom he had the privilege of representing, welcomed the participants of celebration.
“During my whole sporting career, I achieved many great results and I am very proud of them. But the Olympic Games are different kind of experience. They are something unique, and for an athlete, no other experience can compare to competing the Olympic Games. And for me the Olympic Games in Seoul were very special” - said Sergey Bubka.
He added “It was my last chance to win an Olympic medal, the only thing missing from my collection. It was the toughest moment of my sports career, as I had missed the previous Games in Los Angeles because of the Soviet Union boycott. I had never felt like this before. Perhaps I needed a miracle. But in the end, it was the most exciting moment of my life. I became an Olympic champion. It was a dream come true. It was the achievement of the ultimate long-standing goal”.
Sport has the unique power to bring people together in the Olympic spirit of respect, friendship and solidarity. The most recent example of the power of sport, which everyone here will surely remember, was the joint march of the athletes from the NOCs of North and South Korea at the Opening Ceremony of the Olympic Winter Games in PyeongChang last February. It sent a strong and powerful message to the world that, despite all our differences, it is possible for humankind to live together in peace, respect and harmony. The two teams entered the Olympic stadium as one, united behind one flag, the Korean Unification flag. The unified Korean women’s ice-hockey team was another inspiring symbol of the unifying power of sport to always bring people together in peaceful competition. This moment of course did not happen by chance. It was the result of a long process of negotiations and high-level government engagement by the International Olympic Committee and its President Thomas Bach that began back in 2014.
Sergey Bubka stressed out that the legacy of the Games also lives on in all who were inspired or moved by the events of that magical time 30 years ago. “I am among those who will forever remember the Olympic Games Seoul 1988. More than ever, this Olympic City has a special place in my heart. Let us continue to promote the Olympic spirit together for a brighter future” – called Sergey Bubka.