CALGARY, Canada — In a speech Monday night to open the 93rd session of the International Olympic Committee, IOC President Juan Antonio Samaranch deviated from his prepared text and eliminated specific references to three countries that have announced they will boycott the Summer Olympics in Seoul, South Korea.
" . . . Athletes from (North Korea), Cuba and Ethiopia amongst others will be missing from the great universal festival of sporting youth, which will start in Seoul in exactly 225 days time," read Samaranch's prepared text, which was released to the media earlier Monday.
"It is regrettable that young people who have spent many years of preparation in the hope of being worthy representatives of their countries should be thus deprived of any opportunity to compete with fellow athletes from all over the world."
In the speech he delivered, Samaranch referred to athletes who will not be in Seoul but did not specify their countries. Officials from Cuba and Ethiopia have said they will not send teams to South Korea because of their support for North Korea, which has demanded to play a role in hosting the Games.