Former United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon joined a ceremony at Dankook University in Seoul, on Friday, where IOC President Thomas Bach was awarded an honorary degree in political science.
Speaking at the ceremony, Mr Ban said he was confident that President Bach’s actions “had greatly contributed to the reconciliation process”. He went on: “I am sure we can use this small window of opportunity to lead to a deeper and more constructive dialogue process between North and South Korea and thereby create a much more constructive process on the Korean peninsula.” He added: “President Bach is now a ‘bridge-builder’, in recognition of his incredible work at the Games.”
The citation for the honorary degree also noted that the Olympic Winter Games “greatly contributed to the easing of tension on the Korean peninsula”, and praised the Games for “spreading the Olympic spirit of peace to the world”.
The Olympic Games showed the world how to compete peacefully. They showed us that despite all our differences, it is possible for humankind to live together in peace, respect and harmony.Thomas Bach IOC President
Accepting the award on behalf of the Olympic Movement, President Bach said: “The Olympic Games showed the world how to compete peacefully. They showed us that despite all our differences, it is possible for humankind to live together in peace, respect and harmony.” The IOC President singled out for praise a number of former students in the audience who had recently competed in the Olympic Winter Games in PyeongChang. “You were the best ambassadors for your country and for Dankook University,” he said.
This evening, the President will attend the Opening Ceremony of the Paralympic Winter Games in PyeongChang.