mccy-lion-headA Singapore Government Agency Website
  • whatsapp

Shared values in the pursuit of sporting excellence

Remarks by Mr Edwin Tong, Minister for Culture, Community and Youth & Second Minister at the Sports Reception for Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games

  1. A very good evening to all.
  2. I would like to first start on behalf of the Singapore delegation to thank Ambassador for her warm reception and for her kind hospitality. Thank you very much for hosting all of us.

    Paris Olympics and Paralympics Milestones

  3. In just a few months, the world will turn its gaze to the vibrant city of Paris. Like Ambassador, I will also delve a little bit into the history – earlier she spoke about a 100 years since the last edition of the Olympics in 1924 in Paris. 
  4. There is another history as well that Paris will make – which for the first time, the Paralympics will be held in France. And I think that is a further mark of France’s inclusivity and ensuring that we embrace all in sports.

    Team Singapore at Paris 2024

  5. Singapore is indeed very proud to be represented by our Team Singapore athletes at the coming Games, to be able to match and pit themselves against some of the best in the world. 
    •  And this is made possible by the strong commitment of our athletes, and the village that exists behind every athlete. We remain invested in making sure that our high-performance sport system is well supported, and 
    • our National Sports Associations’ are working hand-in-hand with the government, our athletes and all stakeholders to make sure that we give the best possible platform to aspiring athletes.

    Shared Values of Sports

  6. The journey towards Paris 2024, in some cases is still ongoing and there is still a lot of places open for qualification. Many of our athletes are still jostling and hustling, trying their best to be present in Paris.
  7. But it is already an honour to witness the passion and determination, fighting hard, and making sure that they give their best, both for themselves and for the country in the pursuit of sporting excellence. 
  8. Our athletes have been an embodiment of dedication and resilience, and inspiring us all. Their journey is a testament to the universal language of sport that Ambassador spoke about – it can transcend borders, build, and foster camaraderie. 
  9. I commend all the athletes for their unwavering commitment to represent their countries in their respective sports and I hope that we can embrace the opportunity to not only engage in high-quality, high-level sporting competition but also use the occasion to strengthen human bonds, foster social cohesion across divides, and across different countries. 
  10. May the shared pursuit of sporting excellence continue to unite us and not divide us, fostering friendships and creating lasting memories. And that I think is one abiding memory of the Olympics that we can really treasure.

    Sports and Cultural Exchanges

  11. When I visited Paris for the 42nd UNESCO General Conference in November last year, I took the opportunity to visit two sporting places of note – I went to Clairefontaine to learn a little bit about how the French do their football. And I came back with many lessons of which we are in the process of learning.
  12. I also went to visit the then-uncompleted Athlete’s Village for the Olympics. The Ambassador earlier stressed that this was low carbon footprint and high sustainability – I can assure all the athletes and officials who are going to be at the Athlete’s Village that it is among the highest quality and indeed very sustainable.
  13. I would like to also say that France has also been a longstanding partner in our cultural cooperation. Both of us share the view that like sport, culture is also that unique tool that allows us to build bridges across different divides and foster a strong sense of camaraderie. 
  14. In 2019, we renewed our commitment through the refreshed Agreement on Enhancing Cultural Cooperation, signed between MCCY and the French Ministry of Culture.
    • This commitment includes collaboration on a wider range of areas, including visual, performing, and literary arts, and knowledge sharing between museums. We can indeed learn so much from one another.
  15. Further, we have recently signed a MOU in 2022 between the National Arts Council and the French Embassy, to establish the bilateral Artist-in-Residency Programme. 
  16. We are very excited every year to attend the many rich cultural events organised and championed by the French Embassy, which includes the vOilah! France Singapore Festival and as well as the French Film Festival. These amongst others are one of the many highlights of our small city-state’s cultural calendar. 
    • They enliven our city and provide many opportunities for intercultural learning for the arts and culture practitioners, and a great way of exchanging friendships amongst our people. 
  17. These endeavours ultimately strengthen the bonds between our nations and vastly helps our cultural landscapes. 
    • Both through sports and through the arts and culture, we celebrate, and we honour the lasting friendship between Singapore and France.


  18. Thank you once again, Ambassador, for the kind hospitality you and your team has given, for generously hosting us, and for giving us such a warm reception this evening. We are all looking forward to an unforgettable and exhilarating Games come July 2024. 
  19. My best wishes to both our French and Singapore contingents at the Olympic and Paralympic Games in Paris.  
  20. Let us seize that moment ahead, to embody the Olympic spirit, and make Paris Olympics and Paralympics a celebration of shared achievements, diversity, and the unique power of unity that sports can give. 
  21. Three cheers to the athletes, officials, partners, and the incredible journey that lies ahead. Merci beaucoup!
Last updated on 15 March 2024