47th European Bridge Team Championships Page 6 Bulletin 14 - Saturday Evening, 3 July  2004

EBL President’s Farewell


Mr President of the World Bridge Federation, José Damiani, Mr Mayor, Kjell-Arne Landgren, Mr President of the Swedish Bridge Federation, Mats Qviberg, Authorities, dear colleagues, dear friends,

The curtain falls on the 47th European Championships. Two weeks have passed since the start of this event and these were two weeks that saw you as protagonists of these competitions, conducted with loyalty in an atmosphere of extraordinary fairplay and friendship. These are, as you know, the real characteristics of sport, of our sport, bridge.

Success in a championship is very important and represents the objective of all competitors, but results can have high and low points, like in any other area of life. What is really important is friendship, serenity, the pleasure of being together, and enjoying ourselves all together. In my Opening speech I promised that we would demonstrate our values and we did this. We showed the world that sport and bridge values are stronger than any destabilizing action and can defeat any attempt at division or discrimination.

This year at these Championships we introduced new technology in transmitting results and I believe that this is a great development and that we are heading in the right direction. Of course this was the first time and we had to face some problems, which I am sure will be resolved next time. Furthermore, thanks to our friends from Swan, Bridge On-line and e-bridge, we were able to transmit five different matches of every round, which were followed on-line by thousands and thousands of people all over the world. I believe that this is another important goal in developing bridge and its image.

I hope you had a pleasant stay in this lovely city even though the weather wasn’t always kind to us. This magnificent venue, Malmö Mässan, has been perfect for all our needs, both as players and staff. I wish to thank the Swedish Federation, the Organising Committee, our sponsor friends who allowed us to run this Championship machine successfully, and the City of Malmö, which welcomed us with great warmth and friendship. I am pleased to award the Mayor of Malmö, Mr Kjell-Arne Landgren, with the EBL plaque.

If the greater part of the success of this event goes to you the players, we have to give credit also to the truly amazing work of the staff, whose enthusiasm, dedication and professionalism deserve your applause. It is my pleasure now to introduce to you some extraordinary people, asking them to stand up to receive your applause.

My dear friend and colleague, Championship Chairman, Micke Melander; Lars Persson, the On-site Organiser; Katarina Singman, the Venue Facilities Manager; Ton Kooijman, the indefatigable Manager of the European Championships; Ghigo Ferrari, the Championship Director; the Appeal Committee chaired by Jens Auken, Bill Pencharz and Jean-Claude Beineix; the Tournament Directors led by Antonio Riccardi and Max Bavin; the IT Services Managers, Gianni Baldi and Tomas Brenning with Laila Leonhardt; the staff of Technological and VuGraph Services led by Gianni Bertotto and Chicco Battistone; the Line-Up staff led by Jan Louwerse; Grattan Endicott, the Manager of the Convention Cards Desk and his assistant, Daniel Auby; Silvia Valentini, Marijke Blanken-Burgers, Åsa Andersson, Björn Gustafsson and the staff of the Information and Hospitality desks; the Anti-doping and Medical officers, Yves Aubry and Paolo Gabriele; Fulvio Colizzi and his colleagues in the Main Office; Jan Swann and his assistants in the Press Room; Jean-Paul Meyer, Mark Horton and all the journalists and technicians of the Daily Bulletin; Panos Gerontopoulos and the operators of the EBL Internet Services; the VuGraph Commentators, Barry Rigal, Guido Ferraro, Jan van Cleeff, Hans Werge and also the great Paul Chemla; Monica Gorreri and the Duplication staff; the EBL Secretariat with Christina, Micaela, Livia and Andrea; the Treasury staff, Marc De Pauw, Federica Zorzoli and Dirk De Clercq; the Scorers´and Caddies´Services led by Roger Olsson, and the General Services led by Leif Geremyr; the Lavazza team, who with kindness and charm offered us about one hundred thousands coffees and teas over the past two weeks, thanks to our great friend, the Lavazza Company. Last but not least, Patrick Jourdain and the IBPA Officers and journalists, our precious companions on our journey in developing bridge.

I am sure I have forgotten someone…… ah, of course, let me reintroduce our superb Master of Ceremonies, Anna Maria Torlontano, and her partner in crime, Christer Cedergren.

Dear friends, dear players, tonight we will celebrate the victory of all of you. In events like this one here in Malmö there are no losers. Congratulations to all of you players, the true protagonists of this event. This evening is for you. And we are here to thank and honour you. I hope you enjoyed the Championship, will have a very pleasant evening tonight and once home will have happy memories of this event.

Now the next great meeting is in Istanbul for the Olympiad and I hope to see you, all of you, there, showing once again our firm and resolute response to all the negative events taking place in the world.

Thank you for your attention. I wish you a safe journey home and ‘un abbraccio’ to you all.

Gianarrigo Rona
EBL President

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