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Daily CSR

Daily CSR
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Sports bringing people and communities closer


The world can be made a better place through sports.

Sports bringing people and communities closer
The theme of this year's Smart Cities and Sport Summit, held in Lausanne, the Olympic Capital, was "sportification of cities," or how cities around the world can become playgrounds to bring people closer to sport.

On Tuesday, International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach welcomed Seoul Mayor Oh Se-hoon, Lausanne Mayor Grégoire Junod, and Lillehammer Mayor Ingunn Trosholmen to the Summit. President Bach shared the Olympic Movement's vision for how city initiatives can bring sport closer to the people, which is critical in building a healthier society.

“The world of sport is at the forefront of how the global pandemic has changed habits,” said Oh Se-hoon in his keynote address to the Summit. “It is, however, where an opportunity lies for the Olympic Movement. The IOC is built on the belief that we can make the world a better place through sport. In the face of the confluence of crises, our mission to put sport at the service of humankind has never been more relevant or urgent.”

He went on to add, “By sportifying our cities, we are bringing the power of sport right into the heart of our communities. In these difficult and uncertain times, we need this power of sport as a force for good in our communities more than ever.”

This is consistent with the goal of the Olympic Agenda 2020+5, the Olympic Movement's strategic roadmap for the future, which seeks to strengthen sport's role as an important enabler of the UN Sustainable Development Goals, and thus provide access to sport for people all over the world.

“Our overriding mission is to make the world a better place through sport – and one of the best ways to demonstrate this mission in action is to ensure that people and communities benefit for generations to come from hosting the Olympic Games,” said President Bach.

There are numerous examples of such advantages. The Winter Youth Olympic Games Lausanne 2020 are notable for their human and sportification legacies, as 640,000 spectators cheered on and followed the young athletes, and got involved by participating in sports or cultural activities. For the first time, 80,000 schoolchildren attended an Olympic event and were able to experience Olympism through the many activities organized.

With less than two years until the Games, Paris 2024 has demonstrated how encouraging physical activity and promoting the benefits of sport can occur prior to the Games. In order to accomplish this, the French capital and the French Ministry of Education have implemented a daily 30-minute exercise program in primary schools throughout the country. Since its inception, one-third of French schools have participated in the program, demonstrating that the legacy for Paris 2024 is already being built before the Games.

“All of these activities have one overriding goal: encouraging regular physical activity for people,” said President Bach. “It is vital for cities to create sports facilities and urban centers within the neighborhoods so young people are directly confronted with sports from an early age.”

Since 2014, the World Union of Olympic Cities' Smart Cities and Sport Summit has brought together former and future Olympic Games hosts, as well as representatives from cities and regions around the world, to develop smart strategies that connect sport and cities.