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Olympism Made Visible is a long-term international photography project newly initiated by the Olympic Foundation for Culture and Heritage (OFCH) to showcase the Olympic values and their impact when sport is placed at the service of humankind through community-based activities around the world. 

How does the practice of sport make a difference in people’s lives, from young girls and women in the favelas of Rio de Janeiro, to refugees at a camp in Rwanda, to ordinary citizens in urban centres across the globe? Olympism Made Visible proposes to explore these questions through the creative vision of acclaimed international photographers who work at the intersection of fine art and social documentary.


The Olympic Foundation for Culture and Heritage commissioned five artists over the summer of 2018 to work across five different continents on topics relevant to Olympism in Action’s priority areas, from sport for all, to gender equity, to conflict resolution through sport. The photographers’ challenge was to showcase the Olympic values from their distinctive creative perspective and to illuminate Olympism’s definition of sport as the right of all people to practise it, for the joy, excellence, respect and friendship that it creates and fosters. Their work was presented for the first time at the Olympism in Action Forum in Buenos Aires in October 2018.

In 2018, Olympism Made Visible chose five projects in five different regions around the world.


Kigeme, Mugombwa, and Mahama Refugee Camps, Rwanda - Photography by Nico Krijno

In 2017, the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and the IOC launched the Sport for Protection project to enhance the protection of refugee children and youth residing in the six refugee camps in Rwanda through various sports activities. The project aims to ensure their safety and security where they play and interact, avoid negative coping mechanisms, develop their resilience and help them acquire valuable life skills for their present and future.

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Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - Photography by Alex Majoli

During his stay in Rio de Janeiro, Alex Majoli visited two organisations and programmes operating in the favelas. Fight for Peace and One Win Leads to Another: Coping with crime and violence, resolving conflict peacefully and promoting gender equality through sport.

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Phnom Penh, Cambodia - Photography by Lorenzo Vitturi

Cambodia remains one of the poorest countries in Asia, and over half of the population is under 25 years old. Issues facing children and youth in Cambodia include limited access to quality education and fair employment, crime, violence and discrimination, especially towards girls and youth living with disabilities.

Skateistan first began running programmes in Phnom Penh in 2011 at a previous skate school in the city. One of Skateistan’s programmes is Skate and Create, which offers weekly skateboarding instruction alongside an educational arts-based curriculum.


Liverpool, UK - Photography by Vanessa Winship

The Active Well-being Initiative (AWI) is a non-governmental organisation that helps cities and organisations to improve the lives of their citizens through the promotion of physical activity, sport and well-being for all.

The Liverpool Active City programme was launched in 2005 to boost low levels of activity and to mobilise partners from diverse professional and economic sectors and civil society to set out towards a different future together.

For more than 10 years now, Liverpool city council has pioneered a progressive physical activity and sports strategy. It has also pursued innovative, outside-the-box ideas, like putting public gyms in fire stations and in a football stadium. Liverpool is one of the world’s first cities to be awarded Global Active City status.


Ngerulmud, Palau - Photography by Max Pinckers

Judy Otto, Former president of the Palau Swimming Association (PSA) and a member of the Women and Sports Commission received the IOC Continental Trophy for 2017 for Oceania. Ms Otto has encouraged more of the country’s women to take up the sport, while also enhancing their commitment to health and active living. Her commitment focuses especially on the areas of sport for all; health and well-being; and promoting gender equality in sport.

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