IOC president appointed honorary professor of Chinese university
en.hangzhou.com.cn   2024-05-23 11:00   Source: Global Times

International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach was appointed honorary professor of the Shanghai University of Sport (SUS) during his stay in Shanghai for the Olympic Qualifier Series (OQS).

"It is a great privilege to receive this honorary professorship from a university that has played such an important role in shaping the great sporting history of China," Bach said in a keynote speech during the conferring ceremony at SUS on Sunday.

"It is therefore with much gratitude that I humbly accept this distinction from your prestigious university, which enjoys such great renown in China, Asia and the entire world," Bach added.

In his speech, Bach mentioned SUS' close ties with the Olympics, including the many athletes and Olympic champions who graduated from the university and its contribution to sports-related education and the transmission of Olympic values.

"You are bringing the Olympic Values of excellence, respect, peace and solidarity to the next generation of athletes, coaches, educators and professionals," Bach said to the SUS faculty and students. 

"You're promoting these ideas of sport in society and bringing them to life.

"The many students of our university that are volunteering in the OQS in Shanghai are another wonderful demonstration of our close connections," he added. 

"It was heart-warming experience with their enthusiasm and dedication."

Bach praised the first-ever OQS in Shanghai, which just ended on Sunday, as extraordinarily organized.

"Ten out of 10. There can be no doubt about it," he said during a group interview for the OQS on Sunday evening.

"China and Shanghai have once more set the benchmark for the organization of Olympic events and peak sports events," he noted.

At SUS, Bach also visited the China Table Tennis College's training hall, and the Institute of Olympic Studies and Research. He watched some young athletes train with robots, and tried playing table tennis with the robots himself.

At the research institute, Bach attended an Olympic values education session, and talked to some students at the institute. 

He asked what the new Olympic motto is, and received an instant and warm response from postgraduate student Zeng Xue, "Faster, Higher, Stronger - Together."

Zeng said it was the first time she met Bach face-to-face. 

"I'm so honored that Bach was appointed as honorary professor of our university," she told the Global Times on Monday. 

"I feel that I'm closer to the Olympics."

Zeng has participated in many top sports events as a technical officer, commentator or volunteer, such as the Asian Games in Hangzhou, East China's Zhejiang Province and the European Games in ­Krakow and Malopolska in Poland in 2023.

Having studied at the International Olympic Academy in Greece for months, Zeng said she has had an Olympic dream since she was a child, and looks forward to contributing to more, larger-scale Olympic events. 

"The Olympic spirit accompanied me while growing up," she said.

Author: Huang Lanlan  Editor: Ye Lijiao