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Olympic Truce: A Challenge for Sport an Opportunity for Peace Marco Braghero
The Olympic Games of Athens 2004 and Turin 2006, the European Youth Olympic Festival of Lignano 2005, the Mediterranean Games of Pescara 2009, the Winter Universiade hosted by Turin in 2007: through those international events the Mediterranean become the centre of the worldwide sport for a period of 5 years. History provides an important occasion to re-discover sport and the Games directly in the area where they were born.
The Olympic Truce, that dates back to the tradition of Olympism in the ancient Greece (Ekecheiria: «rising the hands»), is the right instrument to make real the re-discovery and to add value to this opportunity. Nowadays, this Truce will not only mean the interruption of all the ongoing conflicts during the period of the Games, but it will be an occasion for peace-building and promoting human rights and equal opportunities following an intercultural approach.
Furthermore the Olympic Truce is the occasion to make equal the Olympic and Paralympic Games, with the extension of the Olympic Truce at the paralympic period and the unification of able and disable athletes within the Olympic Family. The city that hosts the Games bears the responsibility not only for the merely material organisation of the event, but also, and above all, for the message of peace it launches to the entire world. The author proposes that the host cities should undertake specific pledges in a «social plan» signed by local authorities, schools, universities, civil society, with the purpose to promote the diffusion of the «best practices» in sports and in the civic life.
This document, going beyond the mere organisational efficiency, would be annexed to the technical dossier that the cities have to present in order to host the Games. By this way the concretisation of the Olympic Truce in «glocal» action would become one of the formal requirements for a correct organisation of the Olympic Games and, at the same time, an opportunity for human development.