10:14. Lima, Sep. 13.
Peruvian President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski said sports are key to youth and the society at large, thus providing a means to promote peace across the country.
Kuczynski's remarks were made on Tuesday during the opening ceremony of the International Olympic Committee
(IOC) Session at the Gran Teatro Nacional del Peru in Lima.
In his speech, the statesman said his Government stood firm on its decision to hold the Pan and Parapan American Games, in spite of the natural disasters caused by Coastal El Niño weather phenomenon.
"We have moved ahead despite the criticism because we think sports are key to youth and society, also they demonstrate we can fight in peace," he stated.
The Head of State announced Peru's Education Ministry is working to implement a program on civics and sports education, whose objective is to promote the said activity among underprivileged kids of tender years.
He went on to say the election of the host cities for the 2024 and 2028 Olympic games in Lima will set an example to the world, as Olympics represent peace and understanding between countries despite their different ideologies, government systems, races, and religions.
"The Olympics is the torch everybody is looking at," he was quoted as saying.
The Members of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) were welcomed by IOC President Thomas Bach and the Peruvian leader.
"The important thing about sport is its spirit. The spirit of the Olympics is what we need. Welcome to Peru," Mr. Kuczynski said.
Bach, on the other hand, thanked Peru for remaining steadfast in its pledge to host the IOC Session
, despite the occurrence of natural disasters earlier this year.
A special show was staged for the guests of the IOC Session's opening ceremony. The show brought together 50 outstanding Peruvian artists: dancers, musicians, actors, and acrobats.
From September 13 to 16, the IOC session in Lima will elect the host cities for the Games of the XXXIII Olympiad 2024 and the Games of the XXXIV Olympiad 2028. Paris is the candidate for 2024, Los Angeles for 2028.