Dear athletes, dear distinguished guests, sponsors, supporters, team officials and fans of orienteering following the IOF World Cup Final.
On behalf of the International Orienteering Federation it is my great pleasure to welcome you to this historic, first Orienteering World Cup event in China.
Chinese Orienteering has been part of the IOF Family for 27 years and as in all countries the development of our sport can take different route choices.
China has continued along its own route choice leading to this important point, its first Orienteering World Cup event.
I congratulate Chinese orienteering on this achievement.
It is also no surprise that this first major event in China is being held here in the Guangdong Province.
Over the past 3 years the Guangdong Historical Road Orienteering Championships has visited the villages, towns and cities of Guangdong Province.
But more than that, the Historical Road events have also celebrated the culture of the local societies and integrated orienteering into that culture.
The Guangdong Historical Road Orienteering Championships is a good example of a project that supports the IOF values and I would like to thank the Guangdong Provincial government for their leadership in this project.
Organising the World Cup here in Asia and China has opened participation in the World Cup to more athletes, and I am happy to report that 37 countries and regions are present here in Foshan, the most ever for a stand-alone World Cup event.
The IOF and the organisers of the World Cup in Guangdong Province have worked extensively to provide fair competitions for all athletes.
We expect that all athletes, teams and organisers will participate with the highest ethical standards and in a spirit of friendship.
My hope for the Orienteering World Cup in China is that it will be remembered for supporting the IOF values of a Sustainable, Inclusive and Ethical sport.
I would like to thank the People’s Government of Guangdong Province,the Aero Sports, Radio Sports & Marine Model Administrative Center of General Administration of Sport of China,Guangdong Provincial Sports Administration and The People’s Government of Foshan City,all sponsors and supporters for their strong support to the organisation of the Orienteering World Cup.
I know that you have worked hard to create a very special experience for us all.
Finally, I wish the athlete`s success in the final World Cup competitions of 2019.
I hope that you achieve your individual goals for the competitions, and that you enjoy this very special experience in Chinese terrains and culture.