WESTERN CAPE MINISTER OF CULTURAL AFFAIRS AND SPORT, ANROUX MARAIS
LAUNCH OF THE POWER OF THE DREAM EXHIBITION
19 SEPTEMBER 2017
Good morning, molweni nonke, goeiemôre
Terry Pratchet once said, “People think that stories are shaped by people. In fact, it’s the other way around”. Today, we launch the Power of the Dream exhibition to show instead how people are shaped by stories, especially untold stories.
For a very long time the doors to the Olympic Games were shut to South African athletes due to our unjust past. It is documented that South Africa only officially competed for the very first time at the 1908 Olympics in London. However, there is a little known fact that three athletes from South Africa competed unofficially and ran as individuals in the USA in 1904 when the Games were held as part of the World Trade Fair.
The Power of the Dream is the story of our nation and highlights South Africa’s relationship with the Olympic Games. It reveals the stories of successful champions but also of exclusions, it is the story of alternate sport, of South Africa’s expulsion from world sport and finally of freedom and South Africa’s return to the Games and the realisation of dreams coming true.
I am sure the name of this exhibition was inspired by the 1996 Olympic song sung by Celine Dion at the opening ceremony of the Japan Summer Games. I leave with you the opening lyrics which personifies not only the power the dream but the profound ability sport has to bring about real change. “Deep within each heart. There lies a magic spark. That lights the fire of our imagination. And since the dawn of man. The strength of just "I can". Has brought together people of all nations”.
I trust this very significant exhibition inspires hope and endurance in our communities as it captures where we have come from, to where we are and to what is to come through sporting excellence.
I thank you.