The former British Prime Minister Tony Blair will today open the "What Makes a Champion?" forum in Beijing in the lead-up to the opening of the Olympic Games on Saturday. Prime Minister Kevin Rudd will deliver a video message.
In a two-day event, and three facilitated panels of conversations, some of the world's most prominent individuals will discuss how champions reach such states of excellence.
In his opening video message to the conference, Mr Rudd says, "Champions come in all shapes and sizes and in every field of human endeavour," and that the forum will "discuss how culture and the society in which we live shape our approach to championship."
Mr Blair will be joined by Henry Kissinger, Jackie Chan, Ian Thorpe, Kevan Gosper and various champions from business, arts, sport and academia. The Beijing conference is the second of its kind following the inaugural forum at the Sydney Olympics in 2000, which was opened by Nelson Mandela.
The event is the brainchild of Professor Allan Snyder, who is director of the University's Centre for the Mind, whose vision is to foster a culture of ideas and inquiry into the exciting and unexpected areas that lie between and across the traditional disciplines.
Professor Snyder says, "Championship is a complex range of qualities: brains, energy, commitment and passion. Whether it's sport business, or the arts, there are essential elements to championship."