Walking for the Olympic Truce
If you could do one thing to show your support for the Olympic Truce, what would it be? One man, Lord Michael Bates, is walking from Olympia in Greece to London – a journey of over 3,000 miles. Through his Walk for Truce initiative, Lord Bates hopes to encourage others to do something to show their commitment to the London 2012 Olympic Truce resolution.
Lord Bates was in Lausanne on Tuesday and he met IOC President Jacques Rogge to update him on his journey.
What could you do?
“There is no doubt that people take the concept of the Truce more seriously when you are able to say, ‘Look what I am doing for the Truce. I’m walking 3,000 miles for over a year and I’m not an athlete or even the fittest of people’” Lord Bates said. “By doing this little thing, it allows me to ask, ‘What could you do?’”
Despite having already walked over 2,000 miles and recently been hospitalised after having a nasty fall, Lord Bates remained upbeat about his condition. “I was feeling very well until I came across the Alps and slipped into a ravine and fractured my arm and dislocated my shoulder. It’s a bit more difficult now but people tell me it’s all downhill between Switzerland and London!”
A fine example
Commenting on Lord Bates’s journey, President Rogge said: “The Olympic Truce is an extension of the Olympic values, and, through his initiative, Lord Bates is setting a fine example of what it means to live by the Olympic values every day. We wish him all the best on the rest of his journey and congratulate him on his achievement so far.”
The London 2012 Olympic Truce Resolution
The London 2012 Olympic Truce resolution, entitled “Building a better world through sport and the Olympic ideal,” urges nations to support the International Olympic Committee “in its efforts to promote peace and human understanding through sport.” The United Nations General Assembly has approved a similar resolution before every edition of the Games since 1993. The latest resolution was submitted by Sebastian Coe, Chairman of the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG), on behalf of the United Kingdom, and was co-sponsored by all 193 UN member states. The modern Olympic Truce was inspired by similar agreements that allowed competitors and spectators to travel safely to the ancient Olympic Games in Greece.
London was elected as the host city for the Games of the XXX Olympiad on 6 July 2005 at the 117th IOC Session in Singapore. London eventually succeeded in the fourth round of voting, taking 54 votes from a possible 104. London faced stiff opposition during the vote from the four other candidate cities: Paris, New York, Moscow and Madrid. Around 10,500 athletes will compete in 26 sports at London 2012.