Det talte ord gælder
Your Majesty, Royal Highnesses, honoured guests, dear delegates
This autumn is really something special in Denmark.
We are proud to host two important international events that will place our small country in the spotlight.
Today, I am proud to stand here as we open the International Olympic Committee’s Session & Congress.
And, in December, we will be hosting the United Nations Conference on Climate Change.
International sport and the environment are of course two different things. Yet they both cross borders, they both underline the need for international cooperation – and they both require determination to reach the goals we strive for.
These two events also provide us with the opportunity to share a bit of Denmark with you.
Denmark is a modern welfare state with a high quality of life.
And in Denmark you will find the happiest people on earth. If the surveys are to be trusted. Not a bad reputation, I think.
Sport has a lot to do with it. Sport is important to our society.
In Denmark we have a huge and thriving sport environment. We have successfully combined international athletes and a strong sport-for-all movement based on voluntary work.
Culturally, socially, health wise and as a source of inspiration sport remains an important factor in any society.
Culturally, sport contains a number of values, norms and rules that we all can benefit from. Fair play is a universal component in all good sport.
Socially, sport can integrate people in spite of differences in social status, ethnic background, religious beliefs and political points of views. In the heat of the game differences between people vanish – and we get a glimpse of who we really are; people, with the same needs, emotions and goals.
Our modern lifestyle is a challenge to many societies. Sport is part of the cure mitigating the dangers of this lifestyle.
Last but not least, sport is a fascinating and endless source of inspiration. Watching the top athletes compete at The Olympic Games, striving for faster, higher and stronger. They show us that challenges are there to be met and to be overcome.
The Olympic Games play an important role – not only internationally, but also nationally and locally. They are the cornerstone of dreams, hopes and achievements.
I hope that you will use this congress to update and secure The Olympic Games for the future. So that the Olympic Games can continue to excite and inspire coming generations.
Finally, I hope that you will enjoy your stay in Copenhagen. I assure you that Copenhagen can be a source of inspiration as well.
I wish you a successful congress! Thank you.