World Games interview with German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder
28 Apr 2005 13:13
The 2005 World Games will be held in Duisburg, Germany, from 14-24 July this year, with more than 3500 athletes competing in 40 sports. The World Games is held every four years and includes those sports who are not on the Olympic programme.
Indoor hockey will be played at the World Games for the first time as a demonstration sport. A four-team men’s and women’s competition will be contested between 22-24 July. The men’s competition will contain Canada, Czech Republilc, Germany and Switzerland, while the women’s field will comprise Belarus, Czech Republic, Germany and Lithuania.
In an exclusive interview with the 2005 Duisburg Press Office, the Patron of the next edition of The World Games, Federal Chancellor Gerhard Schröder, thanks the organizers and the many volunteers for their commitment to make the games an unprecedented success.
Q: How would you assess the importance of The World Games as a multi-sport event?
Schröder: The World Games are held regularly during the year following the Games of the Olympiad and offer a full range of different sports as part of their program: dance sport, parachuting, sports acrobatics and canoe polo among them. In the past, these games served as the platform to launch some of the sports on their successful quest to be included in the Olympic Program. That in itself makes The World Games very important to us. We in Germany are looking forward to welcome the sportsmen and women as well as the many international guests.
Q: The organizers make an ambitious claim - 'Germany can do it! Duisburg proves it!' - as part of their promotional efforts for The World Games 2005 in Germany. Does this slogan meet your approval?
Schröder: The World Games 2005 will be an outstanding sporting event in and for the entire region of North Rhine-Westphalia. After 1989 Karlsruhe, Germany was once again entrusted with staging The World Games. I am convinced that these games will be perfectly organized by the four cities in the Ruhr area. I thank the hosts, the organizers and the numerous volunteers for their efforts. And I extend my thanks to the sponsors for their support as well.
Q: 2005 is the International Year of Sport and Physical Education. Many important sporting events are scheduled to be held in Germany. Where do The World Games rank in this context?
Schrödr: Approximately 500,000 spectators, all of them true sports enthusiasts, are expected at the turnstiles. More than 3,000 athletes from 100 nations have already confirmed their participation in the competitions. These numbers clearly indicate: The World Games are an eminent event in international sports.
Q: As the Federal Chancellor and Patron of The World Games, what would be your personal message to the organizers, to the athletes, and to the many spectators and guests from all over Germany and from abroad?
Schröder: Above all, I wish that the mass media will put more emphasis than ever on drawing the public's attention to The World Games. This event deserves getting exposed to the broadest of audiences. To the athletes: I hope they will attain the sporting objectives which they have set for themselves. Success is not always a matter of winning medals. I believe that a good showing and the participation in The World Games are great rewards by themselves. To the spectators: enjoy the great and fascinating competitions! I look forward to all of us celebrating an outstanding sports festival, one that bridges all gaps between nations and people, in July of this year.
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