Serbia confident of successful Beijing Winter Olympics, says official

BELGRADE, Nov. 13 (Xinhua) -- Due to China's experience in organizing major sports competitions and in epidemic prevention and control, the Serbian Olympic team is confident that the 2022 Winter Olympic Games in Beijing will be a complete success, Djordje Visacki, secretary general of the Olympic Committee of Serbia told Xinhua in a recent interview.

"Having in mind all experiences that we have with China, as the organizer of great sports events, we have no doubt that these games will be organized to the highest possible level," said Visacki, a former Olympic rower, who represented Serbia in Sydney 2000 and Athens 2004 Olympic Games and won the fifth place in men's coxless pair.

Regarding the organization of the Olympics amid the pandemic, Visacki said he is confident due to China's success in the epidemic control during this whole pandemic period.

"Regarding the measures brought by China in order to prevent virus spreading during the Olympic Games, we fully support that, because, although the Olympic Games are very important to us, it is also important that they don't generate further virus spread. Based on the information that we have, China is doing that at a very high level," Visacki pointed out.

Visacki highlighted the importance of the Olympics both for athletes and sports fans across the world and praised China's efforts to provide safe conditions for Winter Olympics.

He also agreed that the Winter Olympics will be an opportunity to deepen friendship between athletes and sports officials of China and Serbia.

"It's a fact that measures are restrictive and that in these circumstances fewer people from the other side of the sport, such as sports organizations, to meet. Surely, there will be an opportunity for this to some extent, and we and the Chinese side will make use of it, having in mind that we so far have had very good cooperation with the Chinese Olympic Committee, and the Chinese sport overall," Visacki told Xinhua.

Noting how in recent years lots of Serbian coaches made a success by working with Chinese athletes and team, Visacki mentioned Serbian tennis coach Bogdan Obradovic, coach of women's basketball team Marina Maljkovic as well as "numerous football coaches."

"Surely, we are honored when such a great sports country sees Serbia as a partner and sees experts from Serbia as people who could help the further development of sports in China... That's a great honor, but also an opportunity to further expand this friendship".

Asked to comment on the announcement of some people that they will boycott the Olympic Games due to their political attitudes and human rights allegations, Visacki reminded that sport should be outside politics.

"This is truly a political topic and it should absolutely be separate from the representation of sportsmen at the Olympic Games. The public often forgets that ever since antiquity the Olympic Games were held quadrennially and that all political tensions and even wars would stop during Olympic Games."

"Our mind was set on something more valuable and higher than general life. This is something I wish for all the kids in the world to have, regardless of what is actually going on around them politically or in any other way. In that sense, sport is the purest thing we can do today.

"There are a lot of challenges, like doping, cheating and many other negative things like any other field in life, but then the basic values of sport are well defined," he said. Enditem

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