IFMA’s presence at this year’s SportAccord Convention proved to be the most successful yet. This year’s edition of the SportAccord Convention was one of the most important to date, as it was held in London just one year before the 2012 London Olympic Games. So that’s why the IFMA international office worked tirelessly to ensure that the bar was raised yet again this year, to create and design the biggest and most attractive booth since IFMA’s first entry into SportAccord in 2006.
This was most definitely achieved, as the IFMA booth made a striking impact and received much popularity and interest from all delegates.
Other exhibitors included the Australian International Sporting Events Secretariat (AISES), Dubai Sports Council, Eurovision, Eurosport, Events Scotland, Federation Internationale du Sport Universitaire (FISU), Generations for Peace, IEC in Sports, Macau Sports Development Board, Peace and Sport, the Qatar Olympic Committee, Singapore Sports Council, World Games 2013, WADA, Total Sports Asia and the Commonwealth Games Federation just to name a few. The exhibition also included a myriad of bidding cities, International Sports Federations and Event and logistics specialists.
The booth was lively throughout the 3-day exhibition, with delegates which included IOC members and dignitaries who were drawn to the booth’s displays and activities and showed a keen interest in muaythai and all the various aspects of this culturally rich martial art.
Visitors to the booth from host city representatives to IOC members and VIPs were also given the chance to don the traditional mongkol, fighter robe, gloves and even a championship belt for a photo op in front of a spectacular stadium backdrop! This proved to be a delightful activity for all!
The SportAccord Convention organisers once again delivered a first-class opening ceremony hosted at the world-renowned O2 Arena at which talents the likes of Elton John to Led Zeppelin to Andrea Bocelli have performed.
As always, the opening address was made by IOC President Jacques Rogge, followed by a welcoming speech from SportAccord President Hein Verbruggen.
The very charismatic and humorous Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, had SportAccord delegates roaring with laughter as he delivered his welcome speech announcing that because they are almost done all the venues, he feels it is important to call a “snap Olympics.” So guess what? The 2012 games could actually be happening in a few weeks! After asserting that he was just kidding, Mayor Johnson went on to suggest that if we couldn’t do a snap Olympics, there should be a politics Olympics. He thought Dick Cheney would be a star in the shooting events and Colonel Gaddafi should try the “high jump.” Needless to say, Mayor Johnson brought the house down with tears of laughter as he went on to have a dig at Sepp Blatter and the FIFA president’s claim that that China invented football!! A most memorable welcome from an unforgettable Mayor of London!
Delegates were then treated to exhilarating performances by the talented cast members from London’s West End who delivered a melange of numbers from popular West End musicals such as Chicago, Mama Mia and We Will Rock You.