Tegla Lorupe: refugees team is grateful to Turkmen leader for the opportunity to participate in Asian Games

Photo: Yuri SHKURIN

Media Centre of the Olympic village held press conference with participation of refugees team. They shared their impressions from the stay in Turkmen capital and organizations of the competitions. The adoption of the Declaration on encouragement of valuable contribution of the refugees Olympic teams to consolidation of peace and human rights by the UN Council for Human Rights by the initiative of Turkmenistan was specially mentioned. This is what the captain of refugees team, legendary marathon runner Tegla Lorupe said:

We highly appreciate the decision on our participation in the Asian Games and initiative of President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov on adoption of the Declaration on encouragement of the contribution of refugees sportsmen in consolidation of peace.

We express the gratitude to the Asian Olympic council and the UN High Commissioner’s Office for refugees’ affairs, which supports our team in participation of V Asian Games. We were training for several months to the games not far from the capital of Kenia. There are many outstanding sportsmen among the refugees who unfortunately are not able to realize themselves and use their right for participation in international competitions. In this regards, I think that the initiative of Turkmen leader will give new impulse to solution of the problems of refugees and stateless persons.

The Olympic village built under initiative and personal patronage of President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov brought special admiration. Sports complex is unique by its architecture and conditions made for the sportsmen and members of the delegations. Living quarters, training gyms and sport arenas, food court and rehabilitation and health-improving centre, all of these is comfortably and compactly arranged.

We met new friends at Ashgabat 2017 Games and while communicating we learned a lot of interesting about the life in other countries. Turkmenistan, its hospitable and cordial people were a big discovery for us. Official opening ceremony of the Games spoke in bright colours about rich history of Turkmen people, its culture, traditions and large achievements.

Our team hails and highly appreciates the adoption of the special declaration by the Un Council for Human Rights, which is aimed at support of the refugees Olympic teams. As is known it was elaborated by the initiative of Turkmenistan, we are glad that this decision was taken during Asian Games we can express our huge gratitude for the support of our team, for the atmosphere of friendship, respect, trust and equality at the Games to the President and the Government of Turkmenistan directly.

This is true – the sports and the peace are inseparable. That is why, I, as an ambassador of the UN Project “Sport and Peace”, summon everyone to have active life style. It will help to develop physically and spiritually. I wish to Turkmen people that peace and concordance will reign on this hospitable land forever and wish prosperity to independent neutral Turkmenistan.