BEIJING: This is the text of the toast by Chinese President Hu Jintao at the welcoming luncheon of the Beijing Olympic Games.
“Your Excellency Jacques Rogge, President of the International Olympic Committee, Your Excellency Juan Antonio Samaranch, Honorary President of the International Olympic Committee, Distinguished Heads of State and government and representatives of royal families, distinguished members of the International Olympic Committee, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, dear friends, the grand opening of the Beijing Olympic Games will be held this evening. The historic moment we have all been waiting for will soon arrive. On behalf of the Chinese government and people, I wish to extend a warm welcome to all the distinguished guests who have come to Beijing for the Games.
“In the course of bidding and preparing for the Olympic Games, the Chinese government and people received sincere help from governments and people of various countries and strong support from the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the Olympic family. I would like to express heartfelt thanks to you and, through you, to all those who have contributed to the Beijing Olympic Games.
“I also wish to take this opportunity to sincerely thank the international community for the warm support and valuable assistance given to China in our rescue and relief efforts after the devastating Wenchuan earthquake. The Chinese people will remember forever the profound friendship of people throughout the world. “Ladies and gentlemen, dear friends, The Olympic movement, which started over 2,800 years ago in the sacred Olympia, is a valuable spiritual and cultural asset offered to humanity by the people of ancient Greece. The modern Olympic movement, born in 1896, has built on the ancient Olympic heritage and grown into a cultural and sporting event with the broadest participation and greatest impact in today’s world. At successive Olympic Games over the years, athletes from across the world, committed to the motto of “Citius - Altius - Fortius”, have made their utmost efforts in quest of sporting excellence and set one record after another, leading to the rapid development of athletic sports. “The Olympic Games is a great sporting event and it also offers a platform for cultural exchanges. By bringing together people of different countries, ethnic groups and cultural backgrounds, the Olympic movement has helped enhance mutual understanding and friendship among all peoples and made significant contribution to the noble cause of peace and development.
“Today, the international community faces both development opportunities and grave challenges unprecedented in history. There has never been a greater need for us to understand, accommodate and cooperate with each other. The Olympic Games is an opportunity not only for China but also for the whole world. By participating in the Games, we should carry forward the Olympic spirit of solidarity, friendship and peace, facilitate sincere exchanges among people from all countries, deepen mutual understanding, enhance friendship and rise above differences, and promote the building of a harmonious world of enduring peace and common prosperity.
“Ladies and gentlemen, dear friends, to host the Olympic Games is a century-old dream of the Chinese nation and the shared aspiration of all the Chinese people. Since Beijing won the bid in 2001, the Chinese government and people have been working earnestly to honour the solemn commitment we have made to the international community. Guided by the concept of “green Olympics, high-tech Olympics and people’s Olympics”, we have done our utmost in the preparations for the Games. I am confident that, with the support of the IOC and the Olympic family, and together with you, we will deliver a high-standard Olympic Games with distinctive features.
“I now propose a toast, to the strong growth of the Olympic movement, to greater solidarity and friendship among people from all over the world, and to the health of all the distinguished guests and your families. Cheers!” — Xinhua