SINGAPORE – The International Olympic Committee (IOC) is exploring the possibility of hosting the first Olympic Virtual Sports Festival in 2023.
This was revealed by IOC president Thomas Bach during a flying visit to Singapore on Thursday (April 28).
In remarks during a lunch with the Singapore sports fraternity at the Skai Suites at Swissotel on Thursday, he said: “We would be very pleased to have the inaugural Olympic Virtual Sports Festival here in Singapore.”
Referring to how the Lion City was the stage for the first Youth Olympic Games (YOG) in 2010, he added: “You were a trailblazer with the YOG and maybe you can be a trailblazer again with the Virtual Sports Festival in 2023.”
At the luncheon, the German former fencer, an Olympic champion from 1976, mingled with guests from the Singapore sports fraternity, which included officials from local national sports associations and Olympians.
He praised the Republic’s ability to organise world-class sporting events, noting “there can be no doubt and the entire world knows about it”.
He even suggested the country could one day host the Olympics, saying: “We are very open in the IOC, we have revolutionised the candidature procedure.
“We have also revolutionised the organisation of the Games, making them much more sustainable and feasible and being much more flexible than we have been in the past.
“So the door is open but you can only organise any event, including the Olympic Games, if you are interested and show an interest.”
Bach’s day-long trip – his first visit to the Republic since he was elected IOC president in September 2013 – is a busy one. He arrived on Thursday morning and will leave on Friday morning.Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Edwin Tong and Singapore National Olympic Council (SNOC) president Tan Chuan-Jin – whom Bach presented with the IOC President’s Trophy – were among those who graced the luncheon.
The IOC President’s trophy is a prestigious award for international contributors to the Olympic movement.