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CE announces measures to boost HK elite sports

By Chen Zimo | | Updated: 2021-08-10 14:57
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The Hong Kong government announced Tuesday a set of new measures to support sports development, including the provision of new facilities and funding for more than a thousand of Hong Kong's elite athletes in hopes of continuing their excellence at the 2024 Paris Olympics.

Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor announced the measures at a regular press briefing, after congratulating the 46-member Hong Kong Olympics delegation on winning a historic six medals at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Lam announced the decision against a special stage backdrop themed "Hong Kong Athletes, Our Pride" at the conference.

Lam said that the government would soon apply for HK$990 million from the Legislative Council for the construction of a new facilities building for the Hong Kong Sports Institute, which was expected to be completed by June 2024. It would be the largest sports facility in the city since the Hong Kong Velodrome, which was opened in 2014 at a cost of over HK$1.13 billion.

The Hong Kong Sports Institute currently has about 1,300 elite athletes, including about 460 full-time athletes.

The government would also join hands with the Jockey Club to set up a HK$300 million "booster fund" to strengthen sports scientific research, medical research, and advanced equipment to prepare local athletes in major sports events in the next three years, said Lam. She called on local universities to use their research capabilities to help athletes become more competitive.

For the about 170 active athletes studying at different local universities, Lam hoped that these universities would provide more flexible study arrangements, allowing the athletes to balance their studies and training.

Ahead of the 2024 Games in Paris, the athletes competing in the national and Asian competitions would also win attention and support, said Lam. The events included the 14th National Games held in Shaanxi province next month, which Lam said she hoped to attend; the 2022 Winter Olympics held in Beijing in February; and the 2022 Asian Games held in Hangzhou in September next year.

In response to the news of some Western politicians calling for a so-called boycott of the Beijing Winter Olympics in the name of "supporting Hong Kong", Lam expressed opposition to the idea of using a "political boycott" in a venue that was supposed to promote excellence and solidarity among athletes. She hoped that no country or region would heed that call.

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