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9 World-Famous Athletes Sign Up for Peace!


9 World-Famous Athletes Sign Up for Peace!

Nine new "Champions for Peace" have been anounced to promote world reconciliation and dialogue. There are now a total of 66 elite atheletes who champion sport as a tool to promote peace and reconciliation.

Launched in 2009 at the initiative of the international organization Peace and Sport, "Champions for Peace”, a group of famous athletes committed to serve world peace through sport is boosted by the arrival of nine new stars of the podium:

  • cyclist Philippe Gilbert (Belgium) who has just been awarded the prize for the best professional cyclist of the year by the International Cycling Union
  • American multi-record-winning swimming legend Donna De Varona(USA)
  • Baseball legend Edgar Renteria (Colombia)
  • Latin American champion in gymnastics Hugo Giraldo Lopez (Colombia)
  • former European champion and three-time runner up World Champion in figure skating Surya Bonaly (France)
  • former ju-jitsu World Champion , Gregory Vallarino (Colombia)
  • Olympic medallist alpine skier Florence Masnada (France)
  • multiple world champion in sambo, Fedor Emelianenko (Russia)
  • World Champion in sprint paracanoe Patrick Viriamu (French Polynesia)

With these 9 new recruits, the "Champions for Peace" club now counts 66 elite athletes from 33 different nationalities, including world-famous names such as Novak Djokovic, Paula Radcliffe, Blanka Vlasic, Sergey Bubka, and Sebastien Loeb. What makes this group so unique is the diversity of countries and sports represented. From football to sambo, from kite surfing to chess, the 34 Olympic and non-Olympic sports represented within the club highlights the powerful universal message conveyed by the Champions.

Champions for Peace
Each in their own way, Champions for Peace act to ensure that the values of sport contribute to dialogue and reconciliation in communities that are divided or disadvantaged. "I am delighted to see Champions for Peace club gain new recruits" said Joel Bouzou, President and Founder of Peace and Sport. "It demonstrates that more and more top-level athletes share the same vision of the essential role of champions in promoting peace, a vision that has always inspired me personally, and led to the creation of this movement.”

"Having had the chance myself to be an Olympian and World Champion, I've always been aware of the ability of sport to inspire young people around the world, to change attitudes and promote a real culture of peace. But this power can only be expressed within a framework that enables each champion to be at the heart of initiatives and get involved in tangible and specific projects that they themselves choose. That's why I wanted Peace and Sport to be a laboratory for innovative projects that allow athletes to become actors for change, to be operational, and become involved in a very hands-on way.”

Champions in control
Peace and Sport is proud to announce that Wilson Kipketer, triple world champion in 800m, and Kaveh Mehrabi, Olympian and professional badminton player, will now head up actions by Champions for Peace.

Both deeply involved in Peace and Sport’s projects, they will mentor and encourage the commitment of other Champions for Peace, and beyond their role as spokespeople, will define specific programs for peace through sport and actively contribute to their success.

These announcements took place during the Opening Ceremony of the 5th Peace and Sport International Forum, which kicked off today in Monaco in the presence of H.S.H. Prince Albert II and more than 500 high-ranking decision-makers from sport, politics and the private sector from 90 countries.


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Valérie Amant


Sunday, October 30, 2011 - 23:00

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