Nauru’s weightlifting President unable to attend Olympics because of state visit to Taiwan.
Three-times Olympic weightlifter and President of Nauru, *Marcus Stephen* has agreed to abandon plans to attend the Beijing Olympics in order to make a state visit to Taiwan next week. Marcus Stephen is the only triple Olympian President of State in the world.
He said while he was extremely disappointed he would not be at the Olympics as president of the Oceania Weightlifting Federation, he believed it was important to further progress Nauru’s interests with Taiwan as a major donor country.
"We have a number of projects on the board involving Taiwan, and I see the state visit as a very good opportunity to move them further towards reality.
"I think it is important that the new Taiwanese head of state, President Ma, is fully briefed on certain projects involving Nauru’s economic future, which were commenced with his predecessor and the state visit will enable me to explain their importance to Nauru face to face.
"Naturally, I am extremely disappointed that the state visit coincides with the Olympics, but I believe it is a matter of getting our priorities right. "President Stephen said as an Olympics veteran, he would have enjoyed the opportunity to be in Beijing, but he believed it would have been an act of selfishness on his part if he declined Taiwan’s invitation in order to attend the Olympics.
"The State Visit was supposed to have taken place earlier this year, but the political instability and a looming general election prevented that from happening at that time. This visit will be a first for the Presidents of both countries. Nauru will be the first country to be hosted by the new President," he said.