The first lap of Thomas Bach’s tour was in Cape Verde, where he touched down on Monday, 11 November 2019. Accompanied by Filomena Fortes, new IOC member in Cape Verde and President of the local NOC, and Mustapha Berraf, another IOC member and President of ANOCA, Thomas Bach was, during his stay, received in audience by the country’s highest authorities, especially the President of the Republic of Cape Verde, Jorge Carlos Fonseca. During that audience, the two officials discussed the major role of sport in society, especially in terms of health and education. The Head of State and his guest also discussed Cape Verde’s preparations for the upcoming 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.
With Prime Minister José Ulisses Correia e Silva, Thomas Bach discussed the various sports programmes and measures implemented by the government. «It was also an opportunity to acknowledge and be thankful for this visit, which testifies to Cape Verde’s credibility and the confidence placed in sport in Cape Verde,» said the Prime Minister. He also spoke of a «clear sign» from his country that is «aligned» with what the sustainable development goals and the role of sport in this context, particularly in terms of health, physical activity and the welfare of all. During his stay, the IOC President also met with the Minister of Sport and the Mayor of Praia, Oscar Santos. During his discussions with the council executive, he promised IOC support for the construction of a new NOC headquarters in Cape Verde.
In communion with sportsmen and women
The delegation led by the IOC President was also welcomed by more than 3,000 young people during an event organised at the Várzea Stadium in Praia as part of the ‘Sports for Life’ programme, which is run in cooperation with UNICEF. The officials of the Olympic Movement also visited the high performance centre, CARD.
Thomas Bach rounded off his stay in Cape Verde by chairing a ceremony for the award of the Olympic Values Trophy and a certificate of recognition to the NOC by the IOC.