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'The country is great because of you:' president to Asian Games stars

2018/09/04 13:23:08

Taipei, Sept. 4 (CNA) President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) promised Tuesday to provide greater backing to athletes who compete for national honor and increase the nation's visibility on the world stage.

"Thank you all for the glory you brought to Taiwan. The country is great because of you," Tsai told the national team which won 17 gold, 19 silver and 31 bronze medals at the Asian Games in Jakarta, and those who provided logistical support for the team.

Taiwan finished in seventh place on the medals table with 67 medals in total and the second highest number of gold medals ever won by Taiwan at the Asian Games.

The nation's athletes and logistical support groups, including coaches, team chefs, physicians, dietitians and trainers received a guard of honor as guests of the Presidential Office where Tsai hosted a ceremony to welcome home "Taiwan heroes."



In her address, Tsai said that the dispatch of two F-16 jets to escort the last athletes home Monday night was a fulfillment of her promise to the athletes and a testament to how much the government cares about Taiwan's sportsmen and women.

Tsai said that many of the gold medals Taiwanese athletes won were the country's first ever in those events, outperforming countries with far larger populations. "Taiwan is one of the great sporting nations. There is no doubt about that."

"Going all-out for the win and teamwork are the spirit we have shown the world," Tsai said.

The president also expressed her gratitude to the Sports Administration and other agencies for coordinating logistical support for the athletes, including, among other things, having the team live in apartments next to the main stadium for the Games.

The logistical support for the athletes at Jakarta has set a benchmark for the future, Tsai said, instructing the Sports Administration to begin preparations for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

"Whatever athletes need has to be provided. That is a presidential order," Tsai said.



(By Shih Hsiu-chuan)
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