Jonah Lomu, Marie-Jo Prec, Sebastien Loeb and Hicham El Guerrouj: sporting legends committed to peace
Monaco, 1 December 2010 - Four stars of the podium today joined the "Champions for Peace” club, a group of famous athletes committed to serve the world peace through sport. Created in 2009 “Champions for Peace” is an initiative from the international organization Peace and Sport.
The new Champions are:
* Double world champion and triple Olympic champion Marie-Jose PEREC ( France )
* Living rugby legend JONAH LOMU ( New Zealand )
* Seven-time car rally world champion SEBASTIEN LOEB (France)
* Double Olympic champion and four-time world champion in middle-distance running, HICHAM EL GUERROUJ ( Morocco ).
The announcement was made during the Opening Ceremony of the 4th Peace and Sport International Forum, which starts today in Monaco , in the presence of HSH Prince Albert II and more than 500 top decision-makers from 90 countries involved in sport, politics and the private sector. Peace and Sport is presided by Joel Bouzou, himself an Olympian and World Champion in Modern Pentathlon.
An exceptional track record in serving peace
With these new recruits, the "Champions for Peace" club now boasts 52 elite athletes of 29 different nationalities. They represent 27 Olympic and non-Olympic sports disciplines with a total of 67 World Champion titles, 27 Olympic champion titles and more than 150 national and regional titles! (The complete list of champions is available on www.peace-sport.org )
Each in their own way, Champions for Peace take action to ensure that the values of sport contribute to dialogue, rapprochement and reconciliation between communities that have been divided by armed conflict, extreme poverty or lack of social cohesion.
Concrete commitments for 2011
Since the club was launched a year ago, fifteen "Champions for Peace" have been involved in operations for peace-building and peace-promotion, visiting some of the world’s most vulnerable areas such as Haiti , Colombia , the Great Lakes Region of Africa, Israel-Palestine and East Timor .
In 2011, the presence of Champions in vulnerable areas is set to increase.
Sebastien Chabal, the charismatic French rugby player, has announced he will sponsor the program “Je cire, j'étudie, je joue au Rugby » (I shine shoes, I study, I play Rugby) in Cote d’Ivoire run by the International Rugby Board (IRB) and Peace and Sport, which aims to educate and socially integrate street children in Abidjan, Bouake and Daloa who are forced to work for a living.
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