Olympic Truce Wall Opened in London 2012 Olympic Village

By Community | July 24, 2012

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Jacques Rogge has formally opened the Olympic Truce Wall in the Olympic Village.

The Wall, which has been a fixture in the Olympic Villages since Sydney 2000, forms the backdrop for the Team Welcome Ceremonies and provides a place of reflection and inspiration of peace through sport. The wall features images and statements from St John’s Roman Catholic Comprehensive school in Gravesend, Kent, which reflects what the idea of the Olympic Truce meant to them.

Continuing the tradition from past Games, athletes and officials were yesterday invited to sign the Wall as a symbol of their support. Approximately 10,500 athletes from 204 National Olympic Committees (NOCs) are in London to compete. Following the Games, the British Olympic Association will display the Wall at the British Olympic Museum in the Olympic Park.

At yesterday’s Ceremony President Rogge said “Sport is not immune from, and cannot cure all the ills of the world. But sport can help bridge differences and bring people together. We can see proof of that at these Games.”

At yesterday’s unveiling, tribute was also paid to the victims of the attacks during the 1972 Munich Games. President Rogge said “The 11 victims of the Munich tragedy … came to Munich in the spirit of peace and solidarity. We owe it to them to keep that spirit alive and to remember them”.

Mayor of London Boris Johnson said: “In ancient Greece the Olympic truce would see arms laid aside across the lands to ensure safe passage for athletes and spectators. Now in 2012, the Truce Wall here in London’s Olympic Park allows us to record for posterity a shared commitment to the ideals excellence, respect and friendship. I hope the gathering of the many nations who have travelled to the Olympic Village this summer and the manner they will conduct themselves, will act as a beacon to inspire people around the globe to follow this ancient tradition of harmony during Games-time and beyond. I’d also like to thank Jacques Rogge and the IOC for the appropriate, heartfelt observation of remembrance held today in memory of victims of the tragic events that unfolded in Munich 40 years ago and which should never be forgotten.

Seb Coe, LOCOG Chair, said “As an athlete and as Chair of LOCOG, I have seen firsthand how sport can bring people together. Through our Truce Inspire programme, we have recognised local and neighbourhood projects across the UK which use sport or culture to address local conflict, to bring different neighbourhoods together and to raise awareness of the Olympic Truce. The UK Government has supported this vision too, working with NGOs in the UK and their embassies and High Commissions around the world.”

To commemorate the Olympic Truce, traditionally the Host Country presents a resolution to the United Nations (UN) calling for a truce during the Olympic Games. For the first time, all 193 UN member states unite to co-sponsor the Olympic Truce Resolution for the 2012 Games.

At yesterday’s Ceremony, athletes also made their first donations to the Giving Is Winning programme.  This is a worldwide campaign led by the International Olympic Committee in partnership with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and LOCOG.  Athletes and officials are encouraged to donate sports and casual clothing which will then be distributed by the UNHCR to various refugee camps around the globe and to people affected by violence, famine, and other catastrophes.