Prime Minister of Ireland (1997-2008)
Co-chair of the InterAction Council
In 776 B.C., a cook named Coroebus of Elis became the first Olympic champion in ancient Greece when he won the foot race known as the stadion. Since that time, sports have been one of the most exciting, enjoyable, and health promoting aspects of life.
In Ireland, the entire country cheered when we won six medals at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. We take tremendous pride as a sporting nation, with football, rugby, hurling, and racing among our favorite pastimes.
To see young women and men train hard, train long, and overcome significant challenges to achieve excellence is an inspiration to us all. The Olympic motto of “Faster, Higher, Stronger -- Together” highlights another important aspect of the games: It is not just about athletes competing at the highest level; it is an opportunity for the global community to celebrate our shared humanity.
The InterAction Council applauds all the athletes on their journey to the Beijing 2022 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. As the Olympic creed reminds us, “The important thing in life is not the triumph, but the fight.” Best wishes in your pursuit of victory!