Olympians to Play Crucial Role in 8th Peace and Sport International Forum
25 | 11 | 2015
Olympians will be out in force at this year’s Peace and Sport International Forum in Monaco as influential members of the Olympic family and the wider sporting community come together to discuss how the power of sport can help to tackle divisions and promote enduring peace.
Under the theme of ‘Endangered Peace: how can sport help?’ a number of Olympians have been invited to share their experiences on how being a role model and a Champion for Peace allows them to serve society and unite communities and help create a more harmonious world.
Among those offered a platform to speak are IAAF President and double Olympic gold medallist Sebastian Coe, Kenyan long-distance runner Tegla Loroupe, who competed at three Olympic Games from 1992-2000, South African silver medal winning runner and Elana Meyer, Togolese canoe slalom bronze medallist Benjamin Boukpeti and tennis player Tatiana Golovin, who was named in the Beijing 2008 Russian Olympic team.
Other high-profile Olympians attending include three-time Olympian, IOC Member and Chair of the IOC Athletes’ Commission Claudia Bokel of Germany, Namibian IOC member and four-time Olympic silver medallist Frank Fredericks, Ukraine’s Olympic gold medal winning pole vaulter Sergey Bubka, marathon world record holder and four-time British Olympian Paula Radcliffe, double Olympic gold medal winning skier Pernilla Wiberg from Sweden and newly elected WOA Executive Board member, three-time Russian Olympian and long-jump champion Tatiana Lebedeva.
Now in its 8th year, the annual Peace and Sport Forum offers an ambitious agenda which will seek answers to questions such as how sport can ease community tension, sport as a change maker and preserving peace in a world in motion. While workshop sessions will provide practical advice to ensure Olympians, who wish to become more involved in community projects and wider societal initiatives, have the knowledge and tools to do so.
The event will open with the Peace and Sport annual Peace Walk through the streets of Monaco. WOA Patron and five-time Olympian HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco, along with Peace and Sport President and Founder and WOA President Joël Bouzou, will lead a symbolic procession of Olympians, Champions for Peace, IOC members, political leaders and state representatives from around the world to show commitment to the ideal of peace through sport.
Speaking ahead of the event, HRH Prince Albert II of Monaco said:
“Thanks to its intrinsic values, sport has the unique and extraordinary capacity to unite communities around the world that face extreme tension and dramatic conflicts. Each year, we see sport helping to build bridges between nations where traditional diplomacy has failed and where political pressure has proved ineffective.
“In the face of ever growing global tensions we must do what we can to ensure that sport stays true to these values and maintains its vital role in society. We look forward to taking part in this week’s debate and coming out of the other side with some concrete actions and initiatives that can help those who are most vulnerable.”
Peace and Sport President and Founder and WOA President, Joël Bouzou, said:
“There is a pressing need to address the major difficulties faced by our world today and sport, because of its neutrality, has a unique power to bring people together and offer a sense of escapism during times of extreme hardship.
“This week, the annual Peace and Sport Forum will discuss and debate how sport can be harnessed as a tool to serve society and promote cohesion around the world. I’m also delighted to welcome a number of Olympians to this year’s event. Olympians are the greatest ambassadors of the Olympic values and it’s important that we work together to ensure these values are reflected in society and passed on to young people worldwide.”
Other Olympians attending the Forum include:
Ivorian judoka Isaac Angbo, Czech Olympic tennis silver medallist Helena Sukova, three-time French skiing bronze medallist Florence Masnada, French Olympic track and field star Stéphane Diagana, three-time gold medal winning Polish sprinter Irena Szewinska, Moroccan IOC Member and gold medal winning hurdler Nawal El Moutawkel and Hungarian Olympic champion fencer and former President of Hungary Pal Schmitt.
For more information on the Peace and Sport International Forum and Peace Walk please visit http://www.peace-sport.org/en/