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UN Special Adviser praises Olympic and Paralympic movement during a difficult period

11 March 2014
IPC President Sir Phillip Craven and UN Special Adviser Mr Wilfried Lemke as Torhbearers for the Paralympics in Sochi. © IPC

UNOSDP (Sochi) – UN Special Adviser on Sport for Development and Peace, Mr Wilfried Lemke, commends all the good work being acheived in Sochi over the last month.

Throughout his missions to the Olympic and Paralympic venues, the Special Adviser witnessed the hospitality and hard work that has made the 2014 Sochi Winter Games a great success for participants and spectators.

Returning from his recent trips to the Olympic and the Paralympics, where he was also one of the Paralympic torchbearers, the UN Special Adviser was delighted to see so many athletes and dignitaries  come to support the sport movement. As one of the most politically charged sport events of 2014, Mr Lemke was eager to secure a safe environment for all spectators and participants to enjoy these action packed sport events.

“We must remember why we have come to Sochi, we are here to support the athletes and their teams throughout this period. We are here to raise awareness of sports' and the Olympic values and to create a safe environment for both national and international athletes and spectators.”

As part of the United Nations Secretary-General’s delegation, Mr Lemke had a key role in maintaining and developing the ongoing cooperation with the International Olympic Committee and the International Paralympic Committee. Mr Lemke emphasized that the Games should not be used as a political stage and that the spot light should remain focused on the athletes throughout the Olympic and Paralympic period.

Speaking at the unveiling of the Paralympic Wall in Sochi, Mr Lemke highlighted the importance for all countries to continue to observe the Olympic Truce until the end of the Paralympics.

“All athletes and spectators deserve the right to safe passage, this includes the Paralympians, we must continue to observe the Olympic Truce until the Games have come to a complete closure.”

“We must then celebrate the achievements of our athletes, both Olympic and Paralympic on their safe arrival home.”

Echoing the sentiments of the President International Paralympic Committee, Sir Phillip Craven, Mr Lemke stated that:

“Sport must be the winner” and that we have to continue to focus on the powerful influence sport can have promoting positive social change on the national and international stage.

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