At the ceremony in Belgrade, Johannes Hahn, European Commissioner for European Neighborhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations, was proclaimed as Ambassador of Youth Sports Games.
Thu, 28. March 2019.
At the Metropol Hotel in Belgrade, Mr. Hahn joined the family of the Ambassadors of Youth Sports Games in front of distinguished personalities from the sport, culture, politics and public life of the region and Europe. The longest ambassador of the Games, the legendary football player Predrag Mijatović, delivered him his solemn plaque.
Mr. Hahn emphasized in his speech: ‘’This event is the largest amateur sports event, not in Europe, but in the world. I want to tell all the sponsors, this is your best investment because you help in developing young people. This is far more than just investing. I think that this initiative, this project, more precisely its organizer, is the best possible candidate for the Nobel Prize! I will do my best to support this manifestation in any way’’.
The President of the Republic of Serbia, Aleksandar Vučić, received a special acknowledgment for support and an extraordinary contribution to the development of the Games. Together with Mr. Hahn, Zdravko Marić and young ambassadors from the region, he lit up the Flames of Friendship of Youth Sports Games.
Mr. Vučić emphasized that the original creator of YSG, Zdravko Marić, deserves awards for everything he does: Maybe I did not meet anyone with such energy as Zdravko Marić. Along with the power and the marvelous energy that he grabs wherever he appears, he has a trait, rare to all of us, which I will never be able to praise with, and that is to love all people. He never makes any difference. Zdravko does not mind who’s child will win, but I still love it coming from Serbia. Children, fight for victory and always congratulate your opponent when you lose. Learn to lose, because defeat is not the end of the world, because being successful does not mean how many times you have won, but how many times you have managed to get up after your fall’’.
Zdravko Marić addressed the media at the end of the ceremony: ‘’ I have said already everything to mr. Hahn, he really bought all of us with his sincerity and right from the start he ensured us that he believes that the Games are a great project. I'm really sure that, as he said, with his support the impact of the Games will grow even more. Also, I want to thank, once again, the President of Serbia, it is true that the late V. Rakić, who first supported the Games, called him and after that he had made all the resources available from the first day and without his support the Games in Serbia, would not be on this level at which they are today. All the children who participated in the Games and who were lucky to win at the national finals, and then travel to the finals in Split and be there for seven days have memories that tell most what the Games brought’’.
Mr. Hahn received a warm welcome to the YSG family by videolink aslo from 2 ''old'' Ambassadors: Luka Modrić and Nemanja Matić, top athletes and supporters of the Games.