Prime Minister Hun Sen commended the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport and the National Olympic Committee of Cambodia (NOCC) as well as the National Sports Federation and other stakeholders for jointly organising the 3rd National Games and first Paralympic Games.
The premier said the games went smoothly and successfully with a positive atmosphere and that the athletes worked hard and competed to the best of their ability and talents.
"I am very proud of the organisers of this great event and its competitions, which attracted over 40,000 supporters at the stadium and millions more on social media. I would like to commend the organising committee, especially the athletes and soldiers of the Bodyguard Command, for their training efforts and talented performances, which showed good cooperation in the spirit of solidarity," he said.
Hun Sen reminded the athletes that winning and losing in sports is always a lesson and either way the experience should be used to improve their abilities and professional skills, and those who feel frustrated or discouraged by a loss must not give up in their efforts but use the experience to grow stronger in the future.
"I am optimistic and congratulate all the athletes from the ministries and capital-provincial administrations who won the top rankings and the most medals. Please continue to pay attention to strengthening your sport skills and inspire our national sports movement to grow even more," he said.
Hun Sen also revealed that he will be more involved in the future than his usual role of audience member and presiding over the ceremonial aspects of the games.
"In 2024, I will participate as a chess player. Please register now, whether you win or lose, at least you can come and support this veteran," Hun Sen said of himself.
The premier also urged the organising committee, sports federations and athletes to increase the pace and intensity of their preparation for the 2023 Southeast Asian (SEA) Games as they are fast approaching. He also made a call for increased donations to cover the games expenses.
"I call on the private sector, companies, enterprises and philanthropists to support the SEA Games and ASEAN Para Games fund by contributing financially to the success of this international sporting event," he said.
The premier also called on all people to adhere to the spirit of "one people, one host” in order to be ready to host the 2023 SEA Games and ASEAN Para Games.
He reminded the public to keep the city clean and take good care of the environment while also doing what they can to decorate the capital in their neighbourhoods to improve the image of Cambodia and attract the attention of the sporting delegations and international guests who will be in the Kingdom to participate in the SEA Games in 2023.