International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach having a phone conversation with President Tommy Remengesau, the Palau International Airport VIP lounge before departing on May 10.

International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach told Island Times that he had “fruitful talks” with the Palau National Olympic Committee (PNOC) about several cooperation for the development of the country’s sports industry during his visit here last week.

Bach, who came to Palau on May 9-10, said that IOC is now supporting seven Palauan athletes through Olympic scholarships and other sports programs.

IOC also want to move its support a step further by sending coaches here to train high level athletes, according to Bach, adding that they will also look into the possibility of bringing local athletes to America and Europe to give them opportunities to participate in more high level sports events.

“We have heard about the hardworking and enthusiastic national Olympic committee and I must say, the visit is beyond my expectations – which were already very high – because you can see, feel, and hear that here in Palau, the Olympic spirit is alive,” Bach said.

Bach said that he was impressed in meeting the local athletes especially after seeing their enthusiasm for the Olympic games.

“I would like to thank them very much for the wonderful hospitality and for all their friendliness. They should continue to live the Olympic spirit,” Bach expressed. (By Rhealyn C. Pojas)