The FINA Family gathered today in Lausanne (SUI) for the celebration of FINA’s 110th anniversary and the official inauguration of the new FINA Headquarters. Many IOC members and other distinguished sport dignitaries were also present in the ceremony, where a symbolic ribbon was cut by FINA President Dr. Julio C. Maglione, IOC President Thomas Bach, ANOC President Sheikh Ahmed Al-Fahad Al-Sabah and ASOIF President Francesco Ricci Bitti.
Addressing all the guests present in Lausanne, Dr. Maglione was naturally a happy man: “Our 110-year history is made of many achievements and sport Stars. It was built on unforgettable competitions and exciting moments. It was dictated by the challenges of our world and the opportunities it may offer. It was shaped with the essential support of our members. FINA was founded by eight national members in 1908. 110 years later, our International Federation has 209 partners in the five continents. We have a solid past behind us, brilliantly conducted by many generations of great leaders”.
On the new Headquarters in Lausanne, the FINA President declared: “For the first time, FINA owns its Headquarters. This inauguration in the Olympic Capital is also a testimony of our growth and sustainability. We are a leading International Federation in a very competitive sport environment and we surely constitute one of the pillars of the Olympic Movement”.
In his speech, IOC President Thomas Bach congratulated FINA for this double celebration: “It is definitively a great day for Aquatics, but also for the entire Olympic Movement. You have a 110-year-history of success. You had great and outstanding athletes, strengthening the role of Sport in society. This house is simultaneously a symbol of tradition and a commitment to the future”.
After concluding his tribute to FINA, Mr. Bach presented to the FINA President a special IOC President Trophy. “The title of this piece is ‘The sky is the limit’. I believe it fits FINA quite well”, considered the IOC President.
Sheikh Al-Sabah was the third speaker at the ceremony. “Without offending any other International Federation, I can say that FINA has an unparalleled level of popularity. You may start your program at the Olympics at any time – morning, afternoon or evening – and your levels of audience are always outstanding!” considered the ANOC President. “FINA’s work on Development issues is also outstanding. You are truly helping athletes all over the world”.
A second ceremony took place a couple of hours later, gathering specifically the FINA National Federations that wanted to be associated with this celebration.
“You are doing a superb work in each of your countries. Your devotion and commitment to Aquatics has produced great stars, and is constantly inspiring the youth to our disciplines. There are more nations winning medals at the highest level, there are more athletes from more countries getting their selection to the Olympic Games. Our Sport keeps growing in a more harmonious way”, stated FINA President Dr. Maglione.
A second cut-of-the-ribbon was then performed by Dr. Maglione, FINA First Vice-President Husain Al Musallam and FINA Second Vice-President Sam Ramsamy.