Taiwanese Olympic presidential plans focus on education

Staff writer, with CNA

Fri, Jul 05, 2013 - Page 20

Taiwan’s contender for the International Olympic Committee (IOC) presidency, Wu Ching-kuo, said yesterday that he would elaborate on the importance of education at an IOC meeting later in the day.

All Olympic committee presidential candidates are scheduled to present their programs in camera to all the committee members at an extraordinary session in the Swiss city of Lausanne, after a vote to select the host city for the 2018 Summer Youth Olympic Games, according to the world’s top sports organization.

IOC president Jacques Rogge of Belgium will finish his 12-year term this year and an election for his replacement is scheduled to be held at an IOC session in early September in Buenos Aires.

Olympism includes sports, culture and education, said Wu, 66, adding that he would like to put more emphasis on education if he is elected.

“In this fast-moving society, I fear that we are losing control over educating the younger generations to fight against growing problems in sports such as doping, gambling, match-fixing, violence and so on,” he said.

“In addition, the environment, poverty, domestic violence, global politics and religious conflicts are all issues that we need to address beyond sports and Olympism as part of our responsibilities,” he added.

Education is one of the best ways to take the IOC beyond what it has achieved so far, he said, adding that the three core Olympic values — excellence, friendship and respect — should also be taught in schools.

In addition, Wu said, he will also lead reforms if elected, including expanding the total number of committee members from 115 to 130, raising members’ retirement age to 75 from 70 and allowing members to visit cities that bid for hosting Olympic events.

“The Olympic movement and the IOC will carry on beyond our lifetimes,” Wu said, expressing hope that his manifesto and involvement will make the committee even better. “Running for election takes only about three months, but friendship lasts forever.”

Six candidates have thrown their hats into the ring, including IOC vice presidents Thomas Bach of Germany and Ng Ser Miang of Singapore.