Responding to an appeal launched by the IOC President, Jacques Rogge, many Olympic medallists have already signed the Olympic Truce declaration. In some cases before they step up to the podium at the Medals Plaza in Turin, the athletes soon to be crowned with Olympic gold, silver or bronze come to sign the appeal for the Truce. In the “green room”, some add just their signature, while others write a few words.
Peace, respect and humanity
The words used the most often in the dedications by the medallists are: peace, respect and humanity. Cindy Klassen (Canada, bronze, 3000m speed skating) says that she “believes in celebrating humanity and peace for all mankind”; While Seth Westcott (USA, gold, snowboard cross) writes “I believe that there is a way to respect all human beings and live together”; and Anouk Leblanc-Boucher (Canada, bronze, 500m short-track speed skating) adds how “…a world without violence can exist”. Sven Kramer (Netherlands, silver, 5000m speed skating) wrote these simple words: “Sven supports la Tregua Olimpica, Sport is important”. Finally, Martins Rubenis (Latvia, bronze, individual luge) and Florence Baverel-Robert (France, gold, 7.5km sprint, biathlon), simply wrote the words peace and sport.
Other Olympic Medallist Signatories
Other signatories include Chad Hedrick (USA, gold, speed skating 5000m), Shaun White (USA, gold, half pipe, snowboard), Jennifer Heil (Canada, gold, freestyle skiing, moguls), Ireen Wust (Netherlands, gold, speed skating 3000m), Enrico Fabris (Italy, bronze, speed skating 5,000m), Albert Demtschenko (Russian Federation, silver, individual luge), Ahn Hyun-Soo (Korea, gold, short-track speed skating 1500m), LI JiaJun (People’s Republic of China, bronze, short-track speed skating 1500m), Sven Fischer (Germany, gold, biathlon, 10km sprint) and Halvard Hanevold (Norway, silver, biathlon, 10km sprint).
Three Villages, Three Walls
During the Games, athletes, and officials can lend their support to the Olympic Truce by adding their signature to one of the three walls located in the three Olympic Games Villages, in Turin, Sestriere and Bardonecchia. Since, as the IOC President recalled during the inauguration of the wall at the Turin Village, “the Olympic Games are a unique occasion to let humanity triumph and to show the whole world how we can peacefully co-exist, just like the athletes at the Olympic Village”. Signing this wall is a symbolic gesture through which the signatories commit themselves to acting as “Truce ambassadors”, promoting peace and understanding through sport in their countries of origin.