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Minister Kustec attends the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games in Tokyo

Minister of Education, Science and Sport Simona Kustec attended the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games in Tokyo as Slovenia's representative and the chair of the EU Sport Council.

Minister Kustec said: "The Olympic Games are a symbol of integration and unity in the noblest sense of the word. I am convinced that, at this year's Olympic Games held under the motto "United by emotion", we will witness many unforgettable sporting stories. We are proud that the heart of the Games and the Olympic movement is coloured by the fundamental European values and sporting principles, such as openness, cooperation, solidarity and fairness. I know that, despite the challenging circumstances under which the Olympic Games are being held in Tokyo this year, it is the athletes who will provide additional and much-needed inspiration and set an example to the whole world. The power of sport is limitless, symbolically showing the importance of being the best and the most determined, which is what we need to win our daily victories."

Before the official opening ceremony of the Olympic Games, Minister Kustec as the chair of the EU Sport Council attended the meeting of sports ministers from around the world and addressed them on the topic of the European Sports Model and the positive message that sport and athletes are conveying to the world in the fight against the pandemic.

She touched on the European Sports Model and the priorities of Slovenian Presidency during bilateral meetings with the Japanese minister, the Turkish minister, and Deputy Director General of the International Olympic Committee Pere Miro. She stressed the importance of making sport accessible and available to everyone, from those who participate in sport as a lifelong physical activity, children and young people, the elderly, and vulnerable groups to professional and top athletes.

»The purpose of sport should range from caring for one's own health and quality of life to greater social inclusion and professional goals, while respecting fundamental principles and values such as solidarity, open competitions, fair play, respect and integrity,« stated dr. Simona Kustec, Minister of Education, Science and Sport

The European Sports Model makes sport more accessible for all

The European Sports Model aims to make sport accessible and available for everyone and is promoted as a model for the organisation of sport based on European values such as solidarity, open competitions, fair play, respect and integrity. By defining and adopting the European Sport Model, we would open up sports systems that would be accessible to everyone, from recreational to professional athletes. The model also aims to increase the participation of children and young people in clubs for a healthier and better-quality life and strengthen the social role of sport. The European Sports Model is based on the key features of the organisation of sport in Europe, a pyramidal structure with clearly defined roles for international sports federations and volunteers in sport, sports clubs and associations, national competitions, and access to sport for all.

Ministry for Education, Science and Sport wishes all Olympic athletes an unforgettable experience, excellent results and a competition based on the principles of the European Sports Model: respect, solidarity, fair play and integrity.