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Reaffirming the olympic ideal
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Saturday, 23 February 2002
As we mark the start of the 2002 Olympic games in Salt Lake City, the shadow of September 11 and recent biosecurity attacks against the United States contributes to the complexity of this historical moment, highlighted by the need for an unprecedented security force of 15,000 federal, state, local and military personnel, a ratio of approximately six for every athlete. Despite these challenges, it is important to remember the significance of the Olympic Ideal and the pursuit of excellence as it relates to the continual progress of humanity.

Athletes dedicated to success in international and Olympic competition, become participants in a humanitarian objective to utilize their talents, opportunities and achievements as a vehicle for positive change. This theme is reflected in the following excerpt from a resolution adopted by the United Nations General Assembly, 25 November 1997: 52/21: Building a peaceful and better world through sport and the Olympic ideal:
Reaffirming that the Olympic ideal promotes international understanding,
particularly among the youth of the world, through sport and culture in
order to advance the harmonious development of humankind,
Noting with satisfaction the increasing number of joint endeavours of the International Olympic Committee and the United Nations system, for example in the fields of development, humanitarian assistance, protection of the environment, health promotion and education, in which the United Nations Development Programme, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, the United Nations Environment Programme, the World Health Organization and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization have participated.

The International Olympic Committee’s involvement in assistance projects for human development is aimed at improving, through sport and physical activity, the quality of life and well-being of people who live in the most disadvantaged regions of the world. It is a matter of using sport as a means for positive change. Although these projects are specific and merely symbolic, the Olympic Movement’s contribution is intended to complement the efforts of governments and inter- and non-governmental organisations to meet the challenges of our society. The IOC’s commitment in this area is based on the need to place sport, which has become a real social force within society, at the service of human development. - Missions: Human Development Assistance: Objective of the International Olympic Committee.

Source Humanitarian Resource Institute
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