PRESIDENT THABO MBEKI
The International Olympic Committee and the peoples of the world, who, in opposing apartheid joined in a movement for
the defence of human dignity, unprecedented in its global outreach, were the midwives of today's democratic South Africa,
which, therefore stands firm as a new and permanent monument to human solidarity.
This common victory of all humanity bestowed it's true meaning to the name - "The Cape of Good Hope"
At the same time, that historic success over a crime against humanity, created the possibility for us, as South Africans,
ourselves to offer something to the nations, by contributing to the building of the humane world which, we believe, constitutes
the very essence of the Olympic spirit.
If the IOC made it possible for us to host the Olympic Games in the year 2016, it would afford us the opportunity to make
such a contribution.
If we were asked to summarise in one word what that contribution would be, the word we would choose would be - "hope
!" - that "glow of joyful hope" at the beginning of the 21st Century of which Baron Pierre de Coubertin spoke
when he raised his glass to the Olympic idea at the close of the Paris International Athletic Congress of 1894, and referred
to "the threshold of the 20th century".
Thus would it be that the Olympic Games of 2016 could also be titled - "The Games of Hope" - joyful hope, realisable
hope, life-affirming hope.
We speak of the hope for a better tomorrow, or even a mere tomorrow, the prayer to the future, which inspires the athlete
to outdo yesterday by striving to be better tomorrow, the prisoner of conscience to serve their time without losing faith
and the liberation fighter to lay down his or her life today, so that the people can achieve their freedom tomorrow.
We speak of the historic possibility for the Olympic movement to bless Africa and her children by giving her the motive
power of hope, inspired by the assured success of our pursuit of an Olympic and African world of peace, friendship and prosperity.
Thus would the Olympic torch, by casting it's glow of peace, human solidarity and human fulfilment over the Cape of Good
Hope "Games of Hope", ignite the flame of joy in the African heart - joy that would derive from the demonstrated
knowledge that all humanity shares with us our hope for Africa's better tomorrow.
Our Government, the city of Cape Town and all our people, nay, the peoples of our continent, are committed to meeting
the material, infrastructure and other objectives which the International Olympic Committee correctly sets to ensure that
the Olympic Games are successful, to ensure that the athletes of the world have the possibility to outdo their yesterdays.
We would have to and would meet these goals because, fundamentally, their accomplishment is an integral part of the realisation
of the hope of our people for a new society of non-racialism, peace and prosperity, inseparable from the struggle for the
promotion of the dignity of all the peoples of our continent and for the assumption of Africa's rightful place among the continents
of our Universe, an inalienable part of our ongoing striving for the achievement of the African renaissance, to which the
Cape of Good Hope Olympic Games would make such an enormous contribution.
It is our prayer to the future that you, distinguished members of the IOC, who are today's representatives of international
athletics, will allow that the Olympic idea once more sheds a glow of joyful hope among us all, without exception, as we all
commence the exciting journey into the 21st Century.
Shall we, once again, walk together !