Week 107 (17 - 23 October 2015)
Olympians are a special group of people. Their talent and commitment has provided them with the most exclusive sporting experience in the world: an invitation to compete in the Olympic Games.
This privilege in turn hands them another unique opportunity, and responsibility: as an ambassador of the Olympic spirit. This week has seen Olympians engage in a celebration of this responsibility through the inaugural World Olympians Forum (WOF), held in Moscow.
The WOF, which was established by the World Olympians Association (WOA) in partnership with the Russian Olympic Committee, brought together nearly 200 Olympians. Their number included Prince Albert II of Monaco, who competed in bobsleigh at five consecutive Winter Games between Calgary 1988 and Salt Lake City 2002.
The Forum was also attended by Russian Federation President Vladimir Putin, IOC President Thomas Bach and other notable names from within the Olympic Movement including ANOC President Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah and EOC President Patrick Hickey.
Prince Albert, who is an IOC Member, is patron of the WOA and the WOF's development has benefited significantly from his dedicated support and visionary leadership. In his address to fellow Olympians at the WOF, Prince Albert emphasised their important role in spreading the Olympic values and urged Olympians to use the power of sport to help create more harmonious communities throughout the world.
"As ambassadors of the Olympic spirit, we as Olympians have a key role to play in promoting sport and ensuring that its positive effects resonate throughout our communities so that future generations can reap the same benefits," he declared.
There is no doubt that sport forms a unique aspect of society, connecting and engaging people around the world regardless of age, gender, nationality or religion. Olympians are in a privileged position to help leverage this and unite different communities. Under Prince Albert's patronage, the WOF has raised awareness of this role and responsibility and has created an outlet where best practice amongst National Olympian Associations can be shared.
Prince Albert added: "The World Olympians Forum has provided a fantastic platform for us to learn from each other, to explore ways to develop our NOAs further and, above all, to find concrete solutions that will enhance the lives of our Olympian members and the communities in which they live."
One of the main events of the Forum was the Signing of the Declaration of Support for the Olympic Charter on behalf of all Olympians by representatives from the five Olympic continents, as well as WOA President Joël Bouzou and WOA Patron Prince Albert. And the pledges which constitute this Declaration have brought valuable exposure to Olympians' ambassadorial role and a renewed commitment to uphold and spread the Olympic spirit and the values of Olympism around the world.