Governor Gary Locke’s Remarks
World Basketball Invitational Tournament for Chinese--Closing Ceremonies
November 30, 2003

Good evening.

On behalf of the people of Washington state, welcome. Welcome to Seattle, to our state, and to our country. We are honored that so many of you have traveled so far to visit us. And we hope your stay here in Washington has been a pleasant one.

I wish to thank the Chinese Athletic Association of NW America for hosting this event, and the many sponsors and supporters who have made this remarkable week possible.

This tournament symbolizes so many great qualities. It brings us all together, across geographic borders and political boundaries. There are teams here from China, Taiwan, Singapore, Jakarta, Brazil, Philippines, Hong Kong, Canada, The Netherlands, Australia, Thailand and the United States.

But this week, we’ve crossed all borders and boundaries to join together in friendship within the simple lines of a basketball court. This week and tonight, we are truly “one world.”

We are from all over the world. We speak different languages, know different lifestyles, wear different clothes, and observe different customs. But we are one.

We are united. United by our pride in our Chinese heritage. United by our dedication to sport, sportsmanship and the Olympic spirit. United by our love of diversity and humanity. United by our faith that the world is a much better place when we come together, share and get to know one another.

Tonight, I salute and thank every one of you. You are terrific goodwill ambassadors. You are believers in building a better world. One friendship, one conversation, and one person at a time. There is a lesson we can teach the world with this tournament. The lesson is that when you are reaching out the hand of friendship, it is impossible to make a fist.

This week we have come together for the 19th consecutive year to light the candle of friendship. That candle burns very brightly here tonight.

Let us take this light and continue together to make the world a brighter and more peaceful place.

Thank you.

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