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L. Paul Bremer
Coalition Provisional Authority
Olympic Logo Unveiling
April 2, 2004

Sport can transcend everything.

The score board does not know democrats from monarchists, Christians from Muslims or Kurds from Arabs. The score board knows only one thing-- accomplishment.

When the games begin the only things that count are what is represented by the Olympic motto: “Higher, Faster, Stronger.”

Now that liberation has ended Uday’s repression and perversion of sport, all Iraq has embraced the Olympic movement. From Dohuk to Safwan over 100 elections were held to name Iraq’s new National Olympic Committee, members of which are seated with us today.

No doubt no Iraqi television stand dark as Iraq’s flag joins that of more than 200 nations in Athens this August at the opening of the Olympics. I am sure all Iraqis wish success for Tae Kwon Do competitor Raad Abbas Rasheed and sprinter Al’aa Hikmet, both of whom are with us today, as we move toward the Olympics.

But sport does more than serve as a rallying point for the nation. Children participating in sports learn discipline and dedication, competition without rancor and they get the health-building value of vigorous physical activity.

The United States is proud of our contribution to the rebuilding of sport in Iraq. We are contributing $10 million to the Iraqi National Olympic Committee and I am very pleased to announce here today that we are contributing additional $3 million to the refurbishment of Al Sha’ab Olympic stadium.

I look forward to the day that Iraq and the United States, when the athletes of our two nations allied in the cause of freedom, meet as friendly competitors across the spectrum of sport.

Mabruk al Iraq al Jadeed.
Aash al-Iraq!


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