WUHAN, Oct. 18 (Xinhua) -- Herve Piccirillo, the president of the International Military Sports Council (CISM), said here on Thursday that the 2019 Military World Games are poised to usher in a new era for military sport.
"This is a historic first in military sport because over 9,000 participants are gathering for 10 days in Wuhan to exchange and share common values," said Piccirillo, who spoke highly of the "organization and popular mobilization" work of Chinese authorities.
"With this event in China we will take a step forward because today there are 109 countries out of 140 CISM members that are present," he noted.
The 52-year-old Frenchman, who was elected CISM president in April this year, believes Wuhan will deliver not only an exceptional games but that the input of China will help attract even more countries to join the military games "family".
"The CISM motto is 'friendship through sport'. Obviously we would like to welcome countries that are not part of CISM, such as Australia and Britain, or other countries in Asia or Africa. But I think what is important is to create a platform for exchange so the dialogue is permanent," he said.
Aiming to ensure CISM sport program offer increasing opportunities for para-athletes, the 10-day competition in Wuhan, the first Games under Piccirillo's presidency, has dozens of para-athletes competing in events.
"In this uncertain world, there are more and more physical and psychological injuries. It was important to integrate sport as a tool to rebuilding and rehabilitation of military wounded," he said.
"We know nothing is impossible," Piccirillo said. "I'm confident the Games will be a huge success."