Hein Verbruggen, President of SportAccord


Delegates at the Opening Ceremony of 2012 SportAccord Convention began their evening with cocktails and a lavish assortment of delicious Quebecois specialty meats, cheeses, and tables towering with desserts.


As conversation and wine flowed, musicians dressed as chefs wound their way through the crowds, encouraging everyone to follow their melodious meandering to the end of the convention hall, where an enormous wall, in actuality a thick black curtain, suddenly rose up into the ceiling, to reveal a large room where a stage stood waiting…


Regis Labeaume, Mayor of Quebec City
Jean Charest, Premier of Quebec

The opening kicked off with speeches by many notables, including Denis Lebel, Minister of Transport, and the representative of Prime Minister Stephan Harper at the opening ceremony, the Quebec Premier Jean Charest, and the Mayor of Quebec City Regis Labeaume, all of whom heartily welcomed the delegates on behalf of Quebec and Canada. Notable from the sporting world, including the President of the IOC, Jaques Rogge, and the President of SportAccord, Hein Verbruggen also made warm welcoming speeches to all the delegates.


Jacques Rogge, President of the IOC


Then the lights dimmed, and it was time for the show to begin…a troupe of long-legged creatures (performers on stilts), hurried onto the stage to begin what would be a night of breathtaking acrobatic and gymnastic feats. Highlights included a man who seemed able to run on air, and a quartet of acrobats who sprang, leapt, and ran effortlessly up and down a high vertical wall. The musical score was at turns beautiful and energizing and the audience was awed. The entertainment drew to a close with the appearance of an enormous purple birthday cake, emblazoned with the number ten, out of which sprang an athlete and his bicycle, with which he proceeded to perform feats of strength and skill. To celebrate the SportAccord Convention’s 10th birthday, the audience was then treated to cake and champagne as humorously costumed musicians played everyone out.


Marcel Aubut, President of the Canadian Olympic Committee
Mark Tewksbury, Chef de Mission of the 2012 Canadian Summer Olympic team
Bal Gosal, Canada’s Minister of State for Sport