With reference to a newspaper reported today (5 March 2014) that the paper about the OWG issued by Home Affairs Bureau (HAB) in response to the queries from Legislative Council Members, the Sports Federation & Olympic Committee of Hong Kong, China (Federation) would like to state that the newspaper mistakenly reported the incident. To acquaint the fact to the public, the Federation would like to make the following clarification:
The coverage pointed that “In the paper of HAB responding to the queries of the Hon. CHAN Ka Lok, Legislative Council Member mentioned that in the original funding of $650,000 allocated to the Federation, had advised the Federation to include a medical official in the Delegation.”, and quoted from the comments of a Skating coach that “It was because of that, the Federation did not follow the advice to bring a medical official”. Upon verification, the Federation affirmed that the above coverage was incorrect.
1. Format of Hong Kong Delegation
A. The number of athletes was below expectation
Based on the estimated number of athlete (more than one athlete) from each National Sports Associations (NSAs), the Federation estimated the quota to be granted by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) for the athletes and team officials, to submit the application for funding support from HAB in September 2013. At that moment, the estimated delegation size would reach 13 persons, including one medical official. However, until January 2014, the Federation was finally informed that only one Skating athlete was qualified to the OWG, so that the official quota was reduced to 5 (including 1 Attaché quota).
In fact, all delegation of National/Regional Olympic Committees (NOCs) with sizeable scale would arrange medical officials according to the team officials quota based on the number of athletes to the Games. Apart from team doctor, NOC could consider this post to arrange physiotherapists, sports psychologists and even nutritionists to accompany the delegation for the Games. The medical team official plays different roles and functions, NOC would consider the situation and the actual needs to make such decision on the formation of a delegation.
B. The participating athlete passed the physical examination and the participating NSA did not submit any written application on requesting of a team doctor accompanying the athlete
The Federation received a physical check-up report of the participating Skating athlete from the NSA, which indicated that a doctor of Hong Kong Sports Institute had certified the physical condition of that skater being passed the medical examination and approved the athlete fit and sound to participate in the OWG. At the same time, considering the Sochi OWG Organizing Committee committed to provide a full coverage of medical services, including emergency medical teams in each Olympic venue.
The Federation considered the past experience, the needs of local administration work and coaching work, and the that participating NSA did not officially apply for a medical official, also the quota of one athlete being given, hence no medical official was taken on board in the delegation.
Taking reference of other 17 NOC delegations represented by only one athlete, their format and size of the delegation was similar to that of Hong Kong.
2. Finance of the Hong Kong, China Delegation for the OWG
A. Reimbursement based on actual expenditure spent
The budget of the Hong Kong, China Delegation for the Sochi 2014 OWG was based initially on the estimated delegation size to apply for funding support from the government. The expenditure included items such as air tickets, accommodation and meals, local transportation, insurance, athlete’s pre-competition medical check-ups, etc. The government approved the 90% of the budget to be granted to the Federation on the basis of actual expenditure spent, the rest of 10% would be borne by the Federation. The funding support for the participating NSA on pre-competition training of the athlete was directly granted by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department.
B. Unused fund would be returned to the government according to the procedures
The Federation would follow the usual procedures of the government to return all the unused fund to the respective department of the HKSAR Government.
The Federation, taking up the responsibility of arranging Hong Kong athletes to participate in International Multi-sports Games, provides all kinds of possible assistance and treats the benefits of the athletes as our top priority by providing appropriate support to Hong Kong athletes whenever possible. However, the Federation would not accept any coverage deviated from the truth.
Should the media have any enquiries, please contact Miss YU of the Federation at telephone 2504 8562.
Issued by: The Sports Federation & Olympic Committee of Hong Kong, China
Date: 5 March 2014