Kick off to 26th Olympic Week
The 26th Olympic Week got off to a great start with the weather being decidedly kind to this event, which is open to 9-15 year olds during their school holidays. Forty-two sporting and other activities are on the programme, with some new ones such as golf, fencing and tchoukball (a mix of Basque pelota, handball and volleyball which forbids all forms of physical aggression between opponents). Before the festivities began, some 3,200 youngsters had already signed up, and on Sunday, 773 new accreditations were distributed - a new record!
Three visiting athletes
This year, three athletes met with the budding young sportspeople. They took part in their activities, answered questions and signed autographs. These were: Switzerland’s Gilles Jaquet, a snowboarder in the parallel giant slalom event, winner of the parallel giant slalom World Cup in 2001 and 2002 and world champion in 2001. At the Turin Olympic Games in February 2006, he came fifth. Then Charles Rusterholz, a triathlon enthusiast. A member of the Swiss Triathlon High Potential Team and the Swiss under 23s triathlon team, Charles is one of Switzerland’s best hopes for this sport. Finally, Stéphane Diagana, a hurdles specialist, who was several times the French record-holder, 1997 world champion and 2002 European champion in the 400m hurdles, and 2005 world champion in the 4x400m relay. Great examples of sportsmanship and role models for these young people.
Fair play at stake workshop
Organised as part of the Angel or Demon, the Choice of Fair Play exhibition, an original workshop was also one of the new attractions. This was a race in which the participants chose whether to engage in fair play or not. They had to keep alight an Olympic flame, providing it with the necessary fuel and deciding on the behaviour that they would adopt to keep the flame alight. Below-the-belt blows, cheating and scheming seemed at first to make the demons prevail over the angels. But finally, it was obvious that morals won through, as it was a case of the “biter bit”.