HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO CONI. The President of the Republic Giorgio Napolitano and the CIO Head Thomas Bach celebrate a hundred years of history. Giovanni Malagò: the Olympic future of Italy

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Best wishes, CONI. A century of history living in an infinite embrace. A hundred years of emotions to enjoy in innumerable flashbacks of glory, in the passionate look of almost 130 Olympic and Paraolympic champions honoring the event and in the heart of those who have answered "present" because they have embraced sport as lifestyle. President Giovanni Malagò is the host: the ceremony in the Sala delle Armi, before the highest CIO representatives, 18 members lead by the President Thomas Bach, is the exaltation of the Italian sport excellence. Celebrated by the highest State authority, the President of the Republic Giorgio Napolitano, always a proud standard-bearer of the movement. "I am here because in CONI our athletes and champions, those of recent and past times for whom the gratitude is still there, mirror themselves, and in addition CONI belongs to all Italians," stated with a sense of pride between the appluase of those attending. "CONI was born before our Republic, before Italy would experience the First World War and well before the post-war period that would lead to an authoritarian regime. We must urge politicians to bring the best of care to the sport world, because of its energies and its extraordinary sensations."

The afternoon has been opened by Malagò's speech, which has exalted the athletes' central position, as "they are gold", stressing the concept with the bestowal of the 2014 Onesti Award to Alberto Tomba and Sara Simeoni, as athletes which are a symbol of a century of history, remembering the importance of the international scope of CONI. "Bach is a friend of Italy and of CONI, not because of this he is due something to us but he has respect and consideration, which are the consequences of the credibility we have gained over the time. Italy's future must connect to the 5 circles. CONI and the Olympic flag were both of them born in 1914. I take this coincidence as a sign of the fate that history can give us if we will be able to work as a team." An amplified concept of Bach's speech, full of warmth, which has been applauded. "Together we will celebrate today 100 glorious years of hospitality, passion and excellence. Maybe we will be able to see here in Rome another chapter to write about the Olympic history of this formidable organization. I always enjoy when I am in Italy to meet CONI's friends. Italy is the only country where I have been twice since I was elected. I congratulate myself with CONI for its Centenary and I pay CONI my homage for the effort that Italian sport has made in the last 100 years for all the Olympic movement: CONI unique history is a basis of comparison for CIO and for a lot of Olympic committees throughout the world."

A lot of authorities were attending willing to take part in the day of Italian sport celebration: Senate President Pietro Grasso, Undersecretary to the Prime Minister office with authority on sport, Graziano Delrio, Environment Minister Gianluca Galletti, Agricolture, Food and Forest Policies Minister Maurizio Martina, Defence Minister Roberta Pinotti, Interior Minister Angelino Alfano, European Commission Vicepresident Antonio Tajani, six undersecretaries, seven ambassadors and 61 representatives of Olympic Committees from throughout the world, as well as Rome Mayor Ignazio Marino and Latium Region President Nicola Zingaretti.

The fly-past of the "Frecce tricolori" of the Italian Air Force, greeted by a sincere acclamation, has given the event that healthy, proud sense of belonging that has framed with color the celebration. Happy Birthday, CONI.​


Giovanni Malago's speech

IOC President Thomas Bach's speech

Go to photogallery "Happy Birthday CONI!"

Go to photogallery "Gala dinner Stadio dei Marmi"