Oviri Kelvin, Sports Editor, Abuja
The International Olympic Committee (ICO) has advised global political leaders to emulate the characters of athletes in the promotion and sustainability of peace.
The President of IOC, Thomas Bach, in the closing event of the Winter Olympic Games in Beijing, China, informed the participants of the events that the bond created through the unifying power of the games is greater than forces that promote division.
Bach said, “This unifying power of the Olympic Games is stronger than the forces that want to divide us.”
Referring to the rising tensions between Russia and Ukraine, the IOC President called on the world leaders to give peace a chance while being inspired by the athletes’ “example of solidarity and peace”.
Addressing the athletes, he noted that every athlete in the event put in their best while being cheered by their supporters but in doing that, the athletes embraced each other despite their countries’ differences.
He said, “Each and every one of you strived to achieve your personal best. We were deeply touched how you were wishing and cheering for your competitors to achieve their best as well,” he said.
“You not only respected each other: you embraced each other, even if your countries are divided by conflict,” he added.
The IOC President, who also spoke about Covid-19 vaccination, urged countries to continue to sustain the fight against the virus if the pandemic must be defeated completely.
However, Bach used this means to call on the international community to be fair and equitable in the distribution of covid-19 vaccine noting that in the spirit of Olympic solidarity, it is important to grant everyone equal access to it.
He said, “If we want to finally overcome this pandemic, we must be faster.
“We must aim higher, we must be stronger, we must stand together. Vaccination means caring for each other.
“In this Olympic spirit of solidarity, we call on the international community to give equal access to vaccines for everybody around the world,” he added.
Meanwhile, on Sunday, the Beijing Winter Olympics came to an end after about two weeks of actively hosting 109 events across 15 disciplines where about 3000 athletes participated.
With the extinguishing of the Olympic flames to herald the end of the year’s Winter Olympics in Beijing, the next is slated to take place in Milan-Cortina, Italy in 2026.
More so, the Winter Paralympics begins next month, March 4th, in Beijing, China.