Laos confident of SEA Games success

Posted by samakomlao Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Even though Laos has never before hosted the major biennial regional sports competition, the country is confident it will serve up a highly successful 25th SEA Games.

The flags of participating nations and welcoming banners along Vientiane 's streets show Laos is well prepared for the SEA Games. –Photo Sisay
To give everyone confidence, Mr Somsavat has confirmed that Laos is well prepared to host the games, and is more than ready to be off and running.

A meeting of SEA Games Council Members held in December 2003 in Hanoi, Vietnam, nominated Laos to host the 25th SEA Games this year because the country had never been given the honour before.

Laos is also counting down to celebrate the 450th anniversary of Vientiane as the capital of Laos in 2010.

The Lao government accepted the nomination and gave the National Sports Committee responsibility for planning and preparations. This included preparing sports venues, building athletes' accommodation and providing other services for use during the games.

After more than five years spent preparing infrastructure through several projects, everything is now finished and Laos is more than ready for the event to get underway.

Mr Somsavat said “It is Lao government policy that sports are part of human resource development. The SEA Games are very important in showing the development of Laos over the last 34 years.”

“In the sporting world, only in the Olympic Games are leaders from participating nations invited to attend the opening ceremony. This has never happened before at the SEA Games. But Laos will do something very special this year because participating nations' leaders have expressed an interest and willingness to attend the opening ceremony in Vientiane . So we have sent them invitations,” Mr Somsavat said.

Laos can confirm that the prime ministers of Cambodia , Timor Leste and Thailand will attend, while Vietnam is still deciding which of its leaders will come to Laos .

Mr Somsavat said the organising committee had also invited representatives of Lao families living overseas to attend the event, including groups in France , United States of America , Australia and Japan .

Laos has not only worked hard to prepare the necessary infrastructure for the games, but also to make sure referees and athletes are ready for the starting gun.

This time, Laos is setting its sights on winning more gold medals than at previous SEA Games, as the country's athletes will be competing on home soil.

Because it is the 25th edition of the SEA Games this year, Laos decided to organise just 25 sports, less than at the previous games held in Thailand in 2007.

This makes it easy to remember the event by the number 25, with the slogan ‘25 sports at the 25th SEA Games in Laos ' to become symbolic of the Vientiane Games.

This year's SEA Games is not just about winning, but also promotes ‘Generosity, Amity, and Healthy Lifestyle'.

While this is a simple expression, it is profound in meaning, Mr Somsavat said, and refers to Laos and the rest of the world. The official opening ceremony of the 25th SEA Games is scheduled for December 9, but the football matches will kick off on Wednesday, which coincides with the 34th anniversary of National Day on December 2.


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