Olympians Reunion Centre by EY Declared Open at Special Gala in Rio

5 | 8 | 2016

The Olympians Reunion Centre by EY (ORC) has been officially opened at a special celebration in Rio de Janeiro on the eve of the Olympic Games. The gala event was attended by prominent and influential Olympians and other high-ranking guests from across the Olympic Movement including World Olympians Association (WOA) Patron HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco and International Olympic Committee (IOC) Vice-President and Olympic champion Nawal El Moutawakel. 

The Olympians Reunion Centre is the meeting place for Olympians of all ages, sports and nationalities at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. This year the WOA has teamed up with EY, an Official Supporter and the exclusive professional services provider to Rio 2016, to host the venue, which is situated at Rio’s iconic Clube de Regatas do Flamengo on the shores of Lagoa Rodrigo de Freitas.

The evening’s formal proceedings commenced with a welcome from EY Global Chairman and CEO Mark Weinberger who reiterated the organisation’s support for the Olympic Movement and the athletes at the heart of that Movement:

“We are very proud to partner with the World Olympians Association to host this Olympians Reunion Centre. As others have noted, this is a place where Olympians from all generations will be able to reunite with old teammates. They’ll be able to recall old rivalries and form new friendships. Together, they’ll provide a link between these Olympics and all those Games that came before. In that way, this building is a manifestation—and celebration—of legacy.“

This was followed by remarks from WOA President and four-time Olympian Joël Bouzou, who praised the positive impact of Olympism and the achievements of Olympians worldwide.

“Olympians have a special capacity to use the power and neutrality of sport for the good of society, employing its unique potential to foster social cohesion wherever it is needed. Olympians also personify the values of excellence, teamwork and discipline – they can serve as role models to help bring communities together, across all ethnic, religious and social divides. Over the coming days, while we marvel at the spectacular performances produced by the athletes across this city, we will attempt to bring this Olympian philosophy to life here at the Olympians Reunion Centre.”

Speaking on behalf of the International Olympic Committee and as an Olympian, IOC Vice-President Nawal El Moutawakel, expressed her affection for the special bond Olympians share and spoke of the close ties between the IOC and the WOA.

“Our work is more and more intertwined. This is a good thing for both of our organisations and for the athletes whom we serve. It also means that support to Olympians is, more than ever, a core part of what we undertake. Let me assure you that this will be the case for a long time to come.”

Finally, WOA Patron and five-time Olympian, HSH Prince Albert II, brought the formalities to a close with a heartfelt toast to his fellow Olympians, before officially declaring the venue open.

“Olympians have the capacity to touch communities and share the values of respect, fair play, tolerance, teamwork, dedication, the core ideals set out by Pierre de Coubertin a century ago. For Olympians to carry out this duty, they need to be supported and empowered so they can harness the power of sport to change the world in positive ways. That is why the work of the WOA and EY here at the Olympians Reunion Centre is so important. “

The Olympians Reunion Centre will be open throughout the Olympic Games and is expected to welcome hundreds Olympians from around the world to the exclusive venue.

Image credit: IOC