Sport is a formidable rallying instrument that stirs up all kinds of emotions and passions. These are normal human feelings that must remain so in all purity inherited from nature. Sport involves the whole body of an individual, whatever his race, size, sex, build, looks, appetite, tastes, pleasures etc.
Sport very much transcends negative values, and extinguishes all the dark shades of evil. Sport only spreads positive vibes. This power emanates from its very essence.
This is the very first thing to understand and to retain universally before seeking to explain all the norms that have entangled Sport due to the action of men like us.
This action has become more serene and credible since Pierre De Coubertin’s visionary legacy bequeathed to posterity an Olympic Movement which we now have the heavy responsibility of perfecting.
Getting closer to Perfection? Yes, why not? We have the means through the power of sport to come closer to perfection. On this exceptional day of 23 June 2022, as we celebrate Olympism, it suffices for us to understand that Sport for Peace must be our common cause.
Dialogue is an intrinsic part of Sport and therefore it must be promoted to establish and maintain peace.
Many crises divide people and sadden nations. We need to bring more people together to make our planet a haven of peace, and Sport is an excellent vehicle to this end.
All crises must be resolved through dialogue, hand in glove, in consensus and fair play, just like in a sports competition where there is healthy competition for true and sustainable development.
In Africa, the Association of National Olympic Committees of Africa, ANOCA, has always cherished the Olympic values of solidarity, love, sharing and fair play, all to achieve peace.
We have in the past contributed our share to sport and still participate in all major sports events. We were at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, then at the Beijing 2022 Winter Games, and we will go to Paris for the 2024 Olympics. The most important thing will be not only to participate, but to hoist the white flag of PEACE next to the Olympic flame.
In this concert of nations, Africa desires to sprint at the same pace as all the continents in the permanent quest for peace through all the sports disciplines that exist and are the pride of the Olympic movement.
The moments of competition are the right occasions to silence all that pulls us down; for instance, with Sport, we resisted and countered the pernicious Covid-19 pandemic.
The International Olympic Committee and President Thomas BACH have shown the way forward.
It is the way of resilience and concerted efforts to stave off all adversity. This has been possible thanks to Sport and will continue to be because the Power of Sport is the Power of Peace.
Member of the IOC
President of ANOCA
Association of National Olympic Committees of Africa (ANOCA)