Aug. 08, 2008, 1:39 p.m. (ET)

Text of International Olympic Committee President Jacques Rogge's remarks at the opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympics on Friday night:

"Mr. President of the People's Republic of China, Mr. Liu Qi, members of the Organizing Committee, dear Chinese friends, dear athletes: For a long time, China has dreamed of opening its doors and inviting the world's athletes to Beijing for the Olympic Games. Tonight that dream comes true. Congratulations, Beijing! You have chosen as the theme of these games 'One World, One Dream.' That is what we are tonight. As one world, we grieved with you over the tragic earthquake in Sichuan Province. We were moved by the great courage and solidarity of the Chinese people. As one dream, may these Olympic Games bring you joy, hope and pride. Athletes, the Games were created for you by our founder, Pierre de Coubertin. These games belong to you. Let them be the athletes' games. Remember that they are about much more than performance alone. They are about the peaceful gathering of 204 national Olympic committees, regardless of ethnic origin, gender, religions or political system. Please compete in the spirit of Olympic values: excellence, friendship and respect. Dear athletes, remember that you are role models for the youth of the world. Reject doping and cheating. Make us proud of your achievements and your conduct. As we bring the Olympic dream to life, our warm thanks go to the Beijing Organizing Committee for their tireless work. Our special thanks also go to the thousands of gracious volunteers, without whom none of this would be possible. Beijing, you are a host to the present and a gateway to the future. Thank you! I now have the honor of asking the president of the People's Republic of China to open the Games of the XXIX Olympiad of the modern era."

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