Olympic Committee President to Bring "Eyes of the Sporting World" to Qatar

Oct 19, 2005, 01:00 ET from ASPIRE

    DOHA, Qatar, Oct. 19 /PRNewswire/ --
     - Jacques Rogge, President of the International Olympic Committee, Will
 Join Ed Moses, Hicham El Guerrouj and Said Aouita at November Inauguration
     One of the most influential figures in international sport, Jacques Rogge,
 President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), will be an honoured
 guest at November's "Spread Your Wings" event at ASPIRE, the Academy for
 Sports Excellence in Qatar, it was confirmed today.
     Jacques Rogge joins a growing list of respected sports personalities and
 athletic authorities due to attend the event, which is being held to
 inaugurate the opening of the world's largest indoor sports dome on ASPIRE's
     Football legends Pele and Diego Maradona and "champion of champions"
 Hicham El Guerrouj have been named as participants in the event, which aims to
 showcase some of the world's leading sporting role models to student athletes.
     In addition, Olympic Gold medallist and hurdling champion Ed Moses, and
 world-renowned athletics coach and middle distance Gold medallist Said Aouita
 will speak at the event.
     Collectively, the "sporting legends" gathered for the ASPIRE "Spread Your
 Wings" event represent one of the strongest collections of sporting talent
 ever assembled in the Middle East. The organisers hope that their shared
 experience will provide a unique insight into what "makes" a champion for the
 student athletes, sports authorities and professional athletes attending the
     The ASPIRE Dome will provide superlative training facilities for student
 athletes from across the region; it will also offer one of the most advanced
 sports venues for competitions and tournaments. As a result, the grand opening
 is drawing international attention from major sporting bodies, representatives
 of which are planning to attend the event.
     Dr. Thomas Flock, Director General at ASPIRE, said, "Pierre de Coubertin,
 the genius behind the modern Olympic Games, coined the phrase 'All sports for
 all people' and our philosophy at ASPIRE is based upon the same key
 principles, aiming to extend access to our facilities to groups around the
     "It is fitting that so many figures from the world of sport should be here
 for the grand opening of the ASPIRE dome and we are honoured that Jacques
 Rogge, as President of the IOC, has agreed to attend the event."
     Many observers have suggested that events like the ASPIRE Sports Dome
 Opening and the Doha Asian Games in 2006 will draw an unprecedented wave of
 international attention to Qatar and place the country firmly on the world's
 sporting map.
     During the course of his sports career, Jacques Rogge competed in yachting
 competitions at the 1968 Games of the Olympiad in Mexico, in Munich in 1972
 and in Montreal in 1976. He was elected president of the Committee in 2001 and
 is the eighth person to hold the position.
     The 'Spread Your Wings' event will run from November 17 - November 19,
 2005, at the ASPIRE Academy for Sports Excellence, Qatar.
     About ASPIRE
     ASPIRE, the Academy for Sports Excellence, is a world-class organisation
 that aims to identify, educate and train world-class athletes to compete in
 professional sports at the highest levels. ASPIRE provides exceptional
 facilities, including full educational and recreational facilities, advanced
 dormitories, an amphitheatre, lecture halls, seven outdoor football training
 fields, and state-of-the-art weight rooms and physiotherapy. The Academy is
 distinguished by a philosophy which aims to develop the whole student,
 providing them with full academic and sports development so that they have the
 widest possible range of opportunities in adult life. Aspire today, inspire