Good wishes are pouring in as the Rio Olympics-bound Cambodian contingent of six athletes – including taekwondo qualifier Sorn Seavmey – four coaches, six officials and support staff prepare to fly out to Brazil on Thursday.
Aside from martial arts medal hope Seavmey, the Kingdom’s other athletes heading to Rio de Janeiro are Neko Hiroshi in the men’s marathon, Nary Ly in the women’s marathon, swimmers Pou Sovijja in the men’s 100m freestyle and Hemthon Vitiny in the women’s 50m freestyle, and female wrestler Chov Sotheara.
Before Team Cambodia’s scheduled departure from Phnom Penh for the Brazilian odyssey, Prime Minister Hun Sen will host a farewell reception at the Peace Palace on Wednesday.
The sport-loving premier has in the past shown appreciation with enthusiastic sendoffs for major events like the SEA Games and Asian Games, but this is the first time he has invited a Cambodian Olympic team to his office.
“We are looking forward to meeting the prime minister. His generosity and support for sport in recent times have inspired our athletes and officials to excel,” secretary-general of the National Olympic Committee Vath Chamroeun said yesterday.
The Post has reliably learned that the prime minister will present each member of the contingent a token cash gift.
Meanwhile, Education Minister Dr Hang Choun Naron hosted a reception for the Olympic team at the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports yesterday morning.
Telco giant Cellcard has also invited Team Cambodia to be present at a press conference today to announce their official sponsorship, which includes gift packages for the 16-member squad.
At a draw organised by Cellcard on July 1, Chhen Loemheang and Hang Amrin were picked as the lucky winners to travel to Rio to support Team Cambodia.
According to Cellcard procurement officer Ms Siekly: “[With] Sorn Seavmey being brand ambassador, the company encouraged [the] NOCC to take two fans along to cheer [on] the taekwondo star and her teammates.”
On the day of departure, hundreds of fans and the families of squad members are expected to gather at Phnom Penh airport to bid the team a safe trip to Rio and a successful campaign.
Cambodia’s Olympic bid is also being supported by Coca-Cola, NagaWorld and Aeon Mall.