Tokyo Games: IOC President Thomas Bach Visits Hiroshima As Olympic Truce Comes Into Force
The United Nations Truce Resolution for the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020 came into force from Friday and on this occasion, President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), Thomas Bach, visited Hiroshima, the city of peace. During his speech, he recalled the role of sport and the Olympic Games to build bridges, bring people together and shape peace. Addressing the audience gathered at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial, President Bach said: “This resolution was adopted by consensus by all UN Members States. It calls for a cessation of hostilities and urges the UN Member States to ensure the peaceful organisation of the Olympic Games. This call for an Olympic Truce is in fact a 3,000-year-old tradition, already put in place for the ancient Olympic Games, thereby highlighting their contribution to peace.”
He went on saying: “Peace was also central to the thinking of the founder of the International Olympic Committee, Pierre de Coubertin. When he revived the Olympic Games over 125 years ago, he saw them as a way to promote peace among nations and people. This peace mission continues to be at the heart of the Olympic Games.”
“Today, I am here to remember all the people who are commemorated at this very place. Today I am here to pay respect to Hiroshima, as a city of peace and to all the people of Hiroshima. Today I am here to reaffirm to all of them our peace mission in the Olympic Movement. In seven days from now, the Olympic athletes from 205 National Olympic Committees and the IOC Refugee Olympic Team will send a resounding message from Tokyo and Japan to the world: we need more solidarity. More solidarity within societies and more solidarity among societies. Without solidarity, there is no peace. In this way, the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020 will be a beacon of hope for a better and more peaceful future.”
Before delivering his speech at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial, the IOC President laid a wreath.
After visiting the museum and touring the permanent exhibition, President Bach met a survivor, Kajiya Fumiaki. The IOC President was very moved by a private conversation with the 82-year-old about his experiences. President Bach was inspired by his testimony and by his commitment to peace and his great support for the Olympic Games and their peace mission. In fact, the former teacher had expressed his support as a torchbearer for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020.
Thomas Bach was accompanied by IOC Member in Japan Watanabe Morinari, and by Hashimoto Seiko, the President of the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee.
At the same time, John Coates, Chair of the IOC Coordination Commission for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, visited Nagasaki. He was joined by IOC Member in Japan Yamashita Yasuhiro, and by Endo Toshiaki, the Vice-President of the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee.
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