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Transcripts from the Prime Ministers of Australia

Transcript 7324

SPEECH FOR THE PRIME MINISTER'S OLYMPIC DINNER II MELBOURNE - 20 MAY 1988

Photo of Hawke, Robert

Hawke, Robert

Period of Service: 11/03/1983 to 20/12/1991

More information about Hawke, Robert on The National Archive website.

Release Date: 20/05/1988

Release Type: Speech

Transcript ID: 7324

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SPEECH FOR THE
PRIME MINISTER'S OLYMPIC DINNER 11
MELBOURNE 20 MAY 1988
Kevan Gosper,
Don Trescowthick,
Olympic Champions of the Past and
Competitors of the Future,
Ladies and Gentlemen.
Hazel and I are very pleased to welcome you to the Prime
Minister's Olympic Dinner.
I suppose this is the closest most of us wi-ll ever get to
appearing on centre court at the National Tennis Centre
even if we are wielding knives and forks rather than tennis
racquets. I congratulate the organisers for creating such a successful
dinner. This is the biggest fundraising event in Australia's
sporting history.
Your presence here tonight has raised more than one million
dollars towards the cost of sending Australia's team to the
Olympics this year.
That's on top of the two million dollars which the Federal
Government is contributing.
That provides a tremendous springboard for the effort of
raising ten million dollars to cover the costs of sending
our team to Calgary for the winter Olympics and to Seoul for
the Summer Olympics in September.
Australia's got a tremendous record of achievement in the
Olympic Games and a proud record of support for the
Olympic cause.
We're one of only three nations to have participated at
every Olympic Games. 582

in 1956 we hosted one of the friendliest and most successful
Games ever held.
And a: look * aro~ nd' Che'tablts at -the Olympic medal winneris
. Who. are h. ret6ni ght shows that we have produced a great
crop of Olympic champions and it is our belief that we can
continue to add to the ranks of those champions.
This year we're sending to Seoul our largest Olympic team
ever a team of 290 sportsmen and sportswomen supported by
officials for a total contingent of about 370 people.
Among them are the champions of the future -men and women
capable of bringing home gold to Australia.
All of them, drawn from the cream of Australian sports,
represent the finest exponents of the Olympic spirit:
friendly competition in pursuit of excellence.
Damon Runyon said, " it may be that the race is not always to
the swift, nor the battle to the strong but tha( E-is the
way to bet.' Runyon's words, cynical though they.~ Iay sound,
indicate the increasingly tough and competitive world our
Olympic sportsmen and women face. But we have thrown up
champions against the odds before and I am sure we will do'
so again.
our team is already hard at work, preparing themselves
mentally and physically for what will probably be the
greatest sporting event of their careers.
It's up to the rest of us to help them with that work to
lend our support to the fundraising effort to ensure a
successful mission to Seoul.
For ultimately, sending a team of this size and calibre to
an Olympics is not something governments can, or should, do
alone. The effort should be a co-operative one.
It should involve private companies, community organisations
and individuals.
Tonight's success can give us confidence that we will get
that involvement and that together we will send to Seoul the
best prepared and best equipped team Australia has ever sent
to any Olympics.
So it gives me great pleasure now to launch the 1988
Olympathon. 0 0 6~ 5 8 3

Ladies and Gentlemen,
I referred a few minutes ago to the 1956 Games, held in this
city, and we have just seen Debbie Flintoff light the torch
which burned throughout those games.
As you all know, a number of Australian cities, including
Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane, have expressed some interest
in hosting the 1996 Games.
I'm not in a position now I don't think anyone i s to
express support for the bid by any of these cities. It's
still a very long way down the track.
But at this stage we can at least agree that it is very
pleasing to see the interest and enthusiasm being generated
throughout Australia about the possibility of hosting
another Olympic Games, whether it be in 1996 or at a later
time. In the day to day grind of our lives it is often easier to
focus on those things that divide us as a commuility."
But events such as the Olympics whether hosting them or
participating in them remind us of the far more important
qualities we share how very much we all have in common.
At its best, the Olympic spirit offers the world a unique
and compelling alternative, a reminder of how ifisignificant
are our differences and how overwhelmingly logical it is to
promote where possible constructive and friendly
co-operation throughout the world.
It's fitting that, as the Patron in Chief of the National
Appeal Committee of the Australian Confederation of sport
for the Disabled, I recall at this dinner the fact that in
Seoul, Australia will also be represented by about 200
disabled athletes who will be competing in the Summer
Paralympics. I'm sure I speak for you all in wishing them
well both in their fundraising effort and in their athletic
performances at the Paralympics.
So in every way, the Olympics represent the best in
Australian sporting prowess our commitment to excellence
at the highest level.
Our athletes go to Seoul to compete with pride and they take
with them the hopes of their fellow Australians, the best
wishes of the whole Australian community, and through this
Olympathon the total community support they need and
deserve. 6 58 4

Transcript 7324