President Cristina Fernandez told the Argentine Olympics delegation there is no need to interfere with the sports spirit in London to show Malvinas belongs to Argentina and called on competitors not to fall prey of provocations while in English soil.
“There is no need for actions contrary to the practice of sports to show Argentina’s rights over the Malvinas Islands”, said Cristina Fernandez during the ceremony at Government House where she fare-welled the delegation that will be competing in the London Olympic Games.
“Our (Falklands/Malvinas) rights we defend in the right forums. We are going to the Olympics to compete in sports, where we represent our flag and we don’t do any kind of silly things. You have to represent in English soil with great care and great pride, our homeland. And with more care than ever, if somebody tries to annoy you, just keep going and give the example”, said the Argentine president.
Last month the Falklands’ government and later the UK clashed with Argentina over an advert filmed in the Islands and featuring Argentina’s men's field hockey captain Fernando Zylberberg training for the London Games by running through Stanley with the back ground of local icons and ends with the phrase: “To compete on English soil, we train on Argentine soil”.
The Falklands government said it was profoundly disappointed with Argentina’s attitude and particularly shocked at the fact the Argentine athlete is filmed clambering in a national monument to the sailors killed in the First World War.
The controversy became world headlines, and the Argentine government had the ad on the air for some time even after the dispute. Finally the World Olympic Committee and the Argentine branch intervened and tempers calmed.
At the time President Cristina Fernandez described the ad as a tribute to Argentine creativity.
At the ceremony Cristina Fernandez presented the Argentine flag for the opening parade of the 2012 Olympic Games in London to Luciana Aymar, considered the best woman filed hockey player of the world.
“We are here to see our athletes off to the Olympics where they will be representing our country with the flag flying high”
The president said she knew of Aymar’s “great dream” of being the standard bearer for the Argentine delegation in London and “if there is somebody who deserves it, it is precisely Aymar, the best woman hockey player in the world, a matter of pride for all Argentines”.
Aymar was elected to carry the flag last June 13 during a vote at Argentina’s Olympic Committee in Buenos Aires.
The competitor who has been honoured seven times by the International Jockey Federation as the best player in her discipline received ten votes; tennis star Juan Martin del Potro, 5; Beijing Olympics’ cyclist Walter Perez, 3 and NBA basketball player Luis Scola, one.
Originally from the city of Rosario, Aymar is the sixth woman in Argentine Olympics history to be named standard bearer at the opening ceremony of the Games.
Others include Isabel Avellán, Melbourne'56; Cristina Hardekopf, Rome ‘60; Jeannette Campbell, Tokyo'64; Gabriela Sabatini, en Seoul '88 and Carolina Mariani, in Atlanta'96.