- 30 Nov 2020
The IOC’s Believe in Sport campaign aims to raise awareness of the threat of competition manipulation among athletes, their entourages and officials. In order to reach out to athletes in the most efficient way, the IOC has started to create a network of athlete ambassadors and encourages NOCs and IFs to appoint ambassadors in their respective countries or sports.
A training session for eight new ambassadors took place on 31 August and also included some NOC representatives as observers. During the session, Nchimunya Abishai Mweetwa, a professional football player from Zambia, shared his difficult experience of how he got caught up in competition manipulation. In 2011, he received a suspended jail sentence for his part in a match-fixing scandal and got banned from football for two years. He is now sharing his story to warn athletes and encourage them to take the right decisions. Through this real-life story, participants realised the dreadful impact such incidents can have on the mental health and careers of athletes.
Jenny Dahlgren, a four-time Olympian and experienced Believe in Sport Ambassador from Argentina, shared her insights and described how she had informed younger athletes about these issues during the Youth Olympic Games 2018 in Buenos Aires and other major events like the Pan-Am Games 2019 in Lima.
The eight new ambassadors are: Moses Jones Casey (Botswana, karate), Jian Ying Koh (Singapore, water polo), Ilona Korstin (Russia, basketball), Isabelle Li (Singapore, table tennis), Fernando Pimenta (Portugal, canoeing), Pita Taufatofua (Tonga, taekwondo) and Yang Yang (China, speed skating).
One of the new ambassadors, Jian Ying Koh from Singapore, said: "The webinar was very informative and insightful. In particular, the experiences shared by Nchimunya Abishai Mweetwa motivated me to see how I can contribute to the Believe in Sport campaign."
Are you an NOC or IF that knows a current or former athlete who would be suitable to support the cause as an ambassador? Please contact email@example.com. The IOC is keen to keep growing this important ambassador network!