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Wednesday, 11 August 2004
Page: 2067


Mr LATHAM (Leader of the Opposition) (2:04 PM) —On indulgence, I join with the Prime Minister in wishing our Olympic team well and in welcoming to the parliament our greatest golden girl, Betty Cuthbert. I also support the Prime Minister's comments concerning MS and thank him for his support of the MS campaign that was launched earlier in the day.

Every Olympics is special, especially for a sports-loving nation like Australia. But there is something inspiring about the prospect of an Olympic Games in Greece. It is the home of the ancient games and Athens hosted the first of the modern games in 1896. Australia was there at the beginning, 108 years ago. We had a successful competitor, Edwin Flack. We are one of just three nations—the other two being Britain and France—that have competed at every games of the modern Olympiad. I know that all members of the House will be wishing our athletes and officials every success on the sporting field but also the safety of a secure Olympic Games in their travels and movements around Greece.

They will be there doing their best to live up to the Olympic motto, `Swifter, higher, stronger.' But we all know that the Olympic movement has other values apart from the importance of winning. The Olympics are a tremendous celebration of good sportsmanship, of friendship between nations and of the international brotherhood and sisterhood of the globe. The festival begins this weekend and I know every member of the House will be keenly watching our sportspeople and the other champion athletes of the world over the next fortnight. We wish for them a successful and safe Olympic Games.