Beyond the Games

Junho Hong | CONF 340
October 14, 2019

Sports can be used as powerful tool to promote peace. Sports bring people together despite differences and boundaries. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has put tremendous effort to promote peace through sports. As shown in the Olympic Truce, the IOC and the Olympic ideals seek to serve peace, friendship, and understanding in the world, through cooperation with organizations, development of educational and research programs, and communications campaigns.

The Olympic Games showed the world how to compete peacefully. They showed us that, despite all our differences, it is possible for humankind to live together in peace, respect, and harmony.

– IOC President Thomas Bach

The impact of sport in peace development was demonstrated in the latest Winter Olympic Games held in PyeongChang, as North and South Korean teams marched as one in the opening ceremony of the event. Together with the joint women’s ice hockey team, the two nations marching under one flag was the most dramatic gesture of reconciliation.

Peace Education and Social Development Through Sports

Sport is a vital part of peace education especially in young ages. Sports draw people of all gender, race, and age, and can be used to promote respect and harmony. Gender is one of the primary aspects sports can contribute to promoting equality as sports can empower women in all ages, advancing gender equality. Sports can also draw children from all parts of the world to cooperate. It teaches acceptance of others, compassion, cooperation, and equality. Sports induce friendship and instill mutual respect.

The International Olympic Committee has also worked towards social development by creating the Olympic Refugee Foundation to support refugees and displaced people through developing safe, basic, and accessible sports facilities.

Highlighting their efforts to build bridges and promote reconciliation, the IOC has announced April 6th to be the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace. Through the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace, the IOC boosts the acknowledgement of peace building and education through sports, promoting that sports can help unite people and encourage a culture of peace and social development.

Founded upon the belief that sports can bring people together and build bridges regardless of background, age, race, or language, the IOC empowers sport to be a factor in peace building education.

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