BP named official partner to Georgia’s 2012 Olympic teams
By Etuna Tsotniashvili
Tuesday, March 6
On March 3, international oil and gas corporation BP signed an agreement with the Georgian National Olympic Committee (NOC) and the National Paralympic Committee (NPC) to support the country’s athletes in the run up to the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Under the agreement, BP Georgia becomes the official partner for the teams at the London Games.
Speaking at the official launch event for BP’s partnership with the NOC and NPC, Neil Dunn, General Manager for BP in Georgia, said that BP is proud of its partnership with Georgia.
“We feel proud of BP’s partnership with Georgia’s national teams through the London 2012 Games. It is a symbol of our excellent partnership with Georgia, as well as our long term commitment to the nation’s success and success of the teams,” Dunn stated, adding that this is an exciting time for both the company and the athletes.
“BP remains committed to be with Georgia long-term, as the country develops towards a strategic role at the crossroads of the East-West energy corridor, and with a strong, sustainable economy and prosperous nation. Today’s event is a part of this commitment,” he remarked.
Gia Natsvlishvili, President of the National Olympic Committee, expressed his gratitude on behalf of the NOC, and hoped that Georgian athletes will be successful at the upcoming Games.
“It is a great honour for us. When one of the leaders of the world economy cooperates with us, we are very proud of that. BP's support for the Georgian Olympic team will help our overall success at the Games and strengthen our links internationally, by raising the country’s profile. We will do our best to meet BP’s expectations,” Natsvlishvili said.
He noted that despite Georgia’s small size, its athletes are famous worldwide for their achievements. During the Games, the NOC aims to better familiarize the world with Georgia by establishing a Georgian House in London, where comprehensive cultural programs will be on offer.
President of the Georgian National Paralympic Committee Levan Odisharia remarked, “We believe our partnership with BP will help the Paralympic Committee and our athletes to perform at their best at London 2012. BP’s support will also help us raise the profile of Paralympic sports, and promote an inclusive lifestyle that drives success and deserves greater attention”.
Judith Gough, UK Ambassador to Georgia also attended the ceremony. She spoke about London and its role in Olympic life, highlighting that it is an “Olympic city for the modern era”.
Gough explained that this will be the third time the UK has hosted the Olympic Games, noting that the Paralympic Games started in UK in 1948. “We are very pleased that it is coming home,” she said. “The Paralympic Games started because after the Second World War, sport was thought of as a very good way to rehabilitate soldiers who had been injured in the war”.
BP has named five Georgian athletes, with the intention of adding a sixth, whom it will support as “ambassadors” at the Games. The two Olympic and three Paralympic athlete ambassadors are David Marsagishvili (freestyle wrestling), Luba Golovina (trampoline), Iago Gorgodze (power lifting), Shota Omarashvili (power lifting), and Nikoloz Tvauri (swimming).
Gough gave the athlete ambassadors tips on representing their country. “Being an ambassador is a great privilege and a great responsibility as well. The advice from this ambassador is go represent your country, be successful and enjoy it, and bring back to Georgia a lot of medals,” she affirmed.
BP, one of the world's largest energy companies, came to Georgia in 1996. It is the official Oil and Gas Partner for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.