The upcoming 19th Asian Games in Hangzhou, China, will help enhance mutual understanding for people in Asia through vivid cultural exchanges, a member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) from Thailand has said.
“For athletes and delegations from each country, the Asian Games provides an excellent platform for them to bring their cultures and deepen mutual understanding and communication through the bond of sports,” Khunying Patama Leeswadtrakul told Xinhua.
Leeswadtrakul, also vice president of the National Olympic Committee of Thailand, mentioned that the previous two Asian Games hosted by China — the 1990 Beijing Asian Games and the 2010 Guangzhou Asian Games — achieved tremendous successes by delivering exciting competitions featuring a grand atmosphere and efficient management.
As the chair of the IOC’s Culture and Olympic Heritage Commission, Leeswadtrakul said she has long been eager to promote the Olympic Games through the fusion of cultures and sports.
“Hangzhou, with its rich history and beautiful scenery, will perfectly showcase the beauty and uniqueness of the Chinese culture during this Asian Games, allowing audiences from all countries to appreciate China’s cultural heritage,” she said.
As one of Asia’s sports powerhouses, Thailand has high hopes for the upcoming Asian Games. Thai athletes have undergone rigorous training, with the aim of maximizing their potential and winning as many medals as possible, said Leeswadtrakul.
Leeswadtrakul, also deputy president of the Badminton World Federation and president of the Badminton Association of Thailand, spoke highly of the longstanding friendship and cultural exchanges between Thailand and China, highlighting extensive bilateral cooperation in various fields.
In 2022, the Thai Badminton Association and the Chinese Badminton Association signed a memorandum of understanding to strengthen cooperation and exchanges in badminton, further promoting exchanges among athletes, coaches, and referees.
“This is also a significant manifestation of deepening friendly relations and connections between the two countries through sports,” she added.
“As the Olympic motto says, faster, higher, stronger — together, I hope that besides competitions, athletes from all countries can build strong friendships,” she said.