IOC president Bach visits cyclone-hit facilities on Vanuatu

PORT VILA, Vanuatu (AP) International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach visited cyclone-damaged sporting facilities on Vanuatu and discussed with officials how some of the $500,000 aid money pledged by the IOC might be spent to repair the venues.

Bach also met with Vanuatu President Joe Natuman and sports leaders before departing the South Pacific island nation on Monday.

Cyclone Pam swept through Vanuatu in March, killing 16 people. The country is located about 1,750 kilometers (1,100 miles) northeast of Australia.

Bach says ''what surprises me the most is the confidence and optimism level Vanuatu people have, and that is the true Olympic spirit ... we hope that our contribution will give hope to the whole population.''

Bach's trip to the South Pacific also included Australia, where he met with Australian Olympic Committee officials, and Fiji.

SI Apps
We've Got Apps Too
Get expert analysis, unrivaled access, and the award-winning storytelling only SI can provide—from Peter King, Tom Verducci, Lee Jenkins, Andy Staples, Grant Wahl, and more—delivered straight to you, along with up-to-the-minute news and live scores.