NOC Tunisia (CNOT) is celebrating its 60th anniversary this November 2017 with one week of intense activities dubbed “sixtieth anniversary week.” The kick-off to the celebrations was given on 24 November, during an event chaired by the President of the Republic, Beji Caid Essebsi himself, at the El Menzah Cultural, Youth and Sport Centre, and which brought together various generations of sport and Olympism in Tunisia, who actually relived the history of the national Olympism promotion institution founded in in 1957. On this occasion, CNOT organised a photo exhibition that highlighted Tunisian sport history in various editions of the Olympics, and paid tribute to several figures of sport and Olympism.
Speaking on the occasion, the Head of State insisted that “Sport and the Olympic Movement have played a pioneering role in building an independent Tunisia and have over the past sixty years risen to the challenge of women’s emancipation by fostering sport practice by women in schools and associations.” He hailed CNOT “for its efforts to disseminate Olympic values, preserve the national sport memory and its constant concern to uphold sporting ideals so that the culture of life, healthy competition, solidarity and peace can prevail.”
On his part, CNOT President, Mehrez Bousayene called it a “historic day” with the President of the Republic himself chairing festivities marking the creation of the National Olympic Committee. “Tunisian athletes performed well at the last Olympic Games in Rio despite the limited resources, as three athletes mounted the podiums in disciplines in which we won medals for the very first time,” he went on. He equally paid a glowing tribute to Paralympic athletes who “pulled off remarkable feats, which provides strong motivation for them forge ahead with greater resolve and enthusiasm.”
The Head of State recognised the following eight sportsmen and women on the occasion: Mustapha Theraya, founder of CNOT (posthumously), Mohamed Ben Abdelkader, first CNOT President (posthumously), boxer Habib Galhia (posthumously) the athlete Mohamed Gammoudi, swimmer Oussama Mellouli, the athlete Habiba Ghribi, fencer Ines Boubakri and wrestler Maroua Amri. Elated with the recognition, Olympic swimming champion, Oussama Mellouli, declared that “the presence of the President of the Republic at the 60th anniversary of CNOT and his tribute to sports medallists are a good initiative that proves that Tunisia capable, despite its limited resources, to perform well. It also affords a wonderful opportunity to reunite with sportsmen and women who distinguished themselves since the Tokyo OGs and a morale booster to all athletes to repeat such performances in future.”
The “sixtieth anniversary week” of CNOT also features a good number of other activities.
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