Rio 2016 signs letter of peace during congress in Olympic host city

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The archbishop of Rio de Janeiro, cardinal Dom Orani João Tempesta, and the president of the Rio 2016 Organising Committee, Carlos Nuzman, opened the ‘100 Days of peace: sport for human development’ congress at Museum of Tomorrow on Thursday (23 June). At the event there was a debate about the social legacy of the Olympic Games and the sport’s capacity to promote peace.


The archbishop of Rio de Janeiro, cardinal Dom Orani João Tempesta, and the president of the Rio 2016 Organising Committee, Carlos Nuzman, opened the ‘100 Days of peace: sport for human development’ congress at Museum of Tomorrow on Thursday (23 June). At the event there was a debate about the social legacy of the Olympic Games and the sport’s capacity to promote peace.

“One hundred days of peace is an Ancient Greek tradition to make people want to live in peace and with mutual understanding,” said Dom Orani. “If political enemies from different countries stand side by side in the same cafeteria and on the same field of play, we can also long for and feel the will to work for peace. It sounds like a utopia but we have to chase it,” said the archbishop in front of an audience of about 300 representatives of church organisations and social projects at the museum’s auditorium at Praça Maúa.

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Dom Orani displays the letter along with the presidents of the Brazilian Paralympic Committee and Rio 2016, and the mayor of Rio (Photo: Beth Santos)

As a result of the meeting, a letter of intentions, which highlights peace and the human side of the Rio 2016 Games as main themes, was signed by Dom Orani, Nuzman, Brazilian Paralympic Committee (CPB) president Andrew Parsons and the mayor of Rio de Janeiro, Eduardo Paes.

“The Rio 2016 Games are different from previous Games and that opens the door for humanity to gather behind the Olympic ideals and to gather behind what sports represent for boys and girls from all over the world when it comes to opportunities in sport, as well as in their contribution to society and their professional and religious activities,” said Nuzman.

Father Leandro Lenin, the coordinator of the inter-religious centre at the Olympic Village and of the ‘100 Days of peace’ conference, said the letter would be shared with the International Olympic Committee (IOC). “Starting in 2020 there will be organisational changes in the Olympic Games and those changes will take these guidelines into account,” he said while highlighting the five values followed in the debates: fair play, peace, sustainability, excellence and hope.

Human legacy

The conference is part of the Rio de Janeiro archdiocese’s campaign “Rio se Move,” (Rio Moves) whose goal is to promote social inclusion programmes. “We want to highlight the need for a human legacy. We want to value people and not infrastructures. The human being has to be the main focus,” said Father Lenin, who is also one of the Olympic torchbearers.

“To bring this legacy of diversity and world peace, that is one of the IOC’s and the Olympic Truce commission’s traditions, one of peace celebration during the Olympic Games”, said Nuzman.

Greek tradition

The name of the event, ‘100 Days of Peace’, is a reference to the Olympic truce that took place in ancient Greece and follows the tradition of stopping all conflicts for the Olympic Games, starting seven days before the event and continuing until seven days afterwards.

Later, that period of time was extended to a 50-day truce before and after the competitions, that added up to 100 days. Originally, the idea was to allow athletes, artists and families to travel safely so they could take part in the Games.

 

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