President Dr. Mulatu Teshome Tuesday bade farewell to the Ethiopian squad for the 31st Rio-Olympic Games in Brazil.At the farewell ceremony held at the National Palace, the President advised the squad to work hard to repeat the victories of the forerunners athletes since the Melbourne Olympic in 1956.
Mentioning the Ethiopian Olympic squad has been taking part at different Olympics games except the Los Angels and Seoul Olympics in 1976 and 1980 respectively, the President said beginning from the time of the historical and unforgettable brave Ethiopian Abebe Bikila who has astonished the world running barefoot over 42 kms had shown the light of victory to all Africans.
The President added Olympic has a closer historical attachment to Ethiopia and Ethiopian athletes have registered colorful results in all Olympic games until now. He added : “Olympic tournaments have enabled Ethiopia to raise its flag high than other countries in showing national pride and respect since the first gold medal was won by Abebe.”
Dr. Mulatu also said that the government of Ethiopia has given special attention to sports infrastructural development, expert training and other related issues.
Youth and Sports Minister Redwan Hussien said that the government has exerted utmost effort to supporting the Olympic team’s preparation in collaboration with federations and actors with a view to becoming victorious.
Minister Redwan added the Olympic preparation was based on filling gaps in nation ‘s achievements at the London Olympics.
He said 77 delegates comprising 41 athletes, 27 officials, four distinguished guests and five journalists will travel to Brazil.
The Minister encouraged the team to maintain the culture of victorious athletes to hoist the national flag at Rio-Olympics in Brazil.
Ethiopian Olympic Committee President Birhane Kidanemariam said on his part that much is expected from the well prepared squad as everybody will be eagerly following the tournament.
Recognizing all stakeholders who have contributed to the preparation of the squad, Birhane hoped that the winning team spirit would continue until the end of the games.
This year’s Olympic is so different from others as the nation is represented by four different sports in the games including water sport, cycling and paralympics and athletics.
The colorful farewell ceremony was attended by senior government officials and invited guests.
“Olympic tournaments have enabled Ethiopia to raise its flag high than other countries in showing national pride and respect since the first gold medal was won by Abebe.”