New Delhi, Oct 26 (IANS) International Olympic Committee (IOC) president Thomas Bach on Monday received the prestigious Seoul Peace Prize, the IOC said in a statement.
Bach joined the ceremony virtually from Lausanne, with the award being collected on his behalf by the former UN Secretary-General, His Excellency Ban Ki-moon.
The Seoul Peace Prize comes with a USD200,000 prize, which Bach will donate to the Olympic Refuge Foundation and three other social charities.
“This prize belongs to the entire IOC and all of the Olympic Movement. Without their tireless work and all the support of so many from all around the world, these achievements for peace through sport could never have been accomplished,” Bach said.
Congratulating Bach, the Prime Minister of the Republic of Korea, Chung Sye-kyun, said: “President Bach played a fundamental role in transforming the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018 into the Peace Olympics, putting them beyond all political tensions as a symbol of hope.”
Ki-moon, who collected the award on behalf of Bach, highlighted the creation of the first Refugee Olympic Team at the Olympic Games Rio 2016. “It was an unprecedented and monumental event in modern Olympic history. I still vividly remember the cheers as the Refugee Team entered the stadium. It was a truly inspiring moment,” he said.
On the IOC Refugee Olympic Team and the Olympic Refuge Foundation, Bach said: “The refugee athletes demonstrated to a global audience that we are all part of the same humanity. Their participation in the Olympic Games was a clear signal that refugees are our fellow human beings – that they are an enrichment to society just as they are an enrichment to our Olympic community.”