|The White House
President George W. Bush
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For Immediate Release
April 20, 2004
Iraqis Prepare for Athens Olympics
Iraqi athletes are preparing to compete in the upcoming Olympics in Athens. For nearly 20 years, Saddam Hussein's son Uday controlled Iraq's Olympic teams. Iraqi athletes feared Uday because they knew if they lost an event - and sometimes just didn't perform their best - they might be tortured. Now, Iraqi athletes compete without fear in preparation for Olympic trials in boxing, soccer, and other sports. Two Iraqis have already qualified to represent their country in track and field and tae kwon do. To acknowledge these new freedoms, President Bush met with officials from the National Olympic Committee of Iraq.
Source: Coalition Provisional Authority, Baghdad