IOC President Thomas Bach has been awarded the prestigious Cem - Papandreou Peace Award. The ceremony took place in Athens today. The international award is given to individuals and groups who have made "an outstanding contribution to peace".
In his opening remarks, the Greek Foreign Minister, George Katrougalos, described President Bach as a “champion of peace”.
Presenting the award, former Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou highlighted the IOC President's efforts in modernising the ancient concept of the Olympic Truce; the Refugee Olympic Team initiative; and his work of promoting the idea of “peace education”. He also highlighted the IOC President’s contribution towards peace through the joint Korean team at the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018.
"Through sport and the Olympic Games, you have demonstrated that we can create a global culture based on mutual respect and understanding," he said.
The Olympic Games show us that despite all our differences it is possible for humankind to live together in peace and harmonyThomas Bach IOC President
Accepting the award “on behalf of the Olympic Movement and all the members of the International Olympic Committee”, President Bach said: "The Olympic Games show us that despite all our differences it is possible for humankind to live together in peace and harmony. The Olympic Games cannot prevent wars and conflict," he added, "but they show us what the world could look like if we were all guided by the Olympic values."
"In a world drifting apart in so many ways, the Olympic Games today stand out as the only event that brings the whole world together in peaceful competition," he added.
President Bach was accompanied at the ceremony by the President of the Hellenic Olympic Committee, Spyros Kapralos, and the President of the Turkish NOC and IOC Vice-President, Professor Uğur Erdener.
After receiving the award, President Bach was a guest of the Greek President, Prokopis Pavlopoulos, at his official residence.