Olympics highlights education

By Lei Lei
Updated: 2006-10-23 06:44

The roles education and culture have played in the Olympic Movement were highlighted by senior officials from the International Olympic Committee (IOC) yesterday in Beijing at the opening ceremony of the Fifth World Forum on Sport, Education and Culture.

Entitled "Sport and a World of Harmony: the Role of Olympic Education and Culture," this year's forum, which runs from yesterday to Tuesday, is organized by the IOC and the Beijing Organizing Committee for the Games of the XXIX Olympiad (BOCOG) in partnership with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

More than 650 experts, academics, government officials and related personalities from over 150 countries and regions were attracted by the forum, gathering to exchange views and hold discussions on the development of world sports, education and culture in the new century.

"As you all know, education and culture are the roots of the Olympic Movement," said Jacques Rogge, president of IOC, at the opening ceremony. "The Olympic Charter states clearly that the goal of the Olympic Movement is to contribute to building a peaceful and better world by educating youth through sport practised in accordance with Olympism and its values."

He also acknowledged the efforts of the IOC Commission for Culture and Olympic Education, which is under the direction of Chinese IOC member He Zhenliang.

"I was particularly pleased to see that this effort is being continued right now in China and millions of young Chinese, both children and teenagers, are being introduced to the strength and power of the Olympic values such as friendship, excellence and respect," said Rogge.

"In conjunction with BOCOG, the IOC intends to make the Beijing Olympics a celebration of harmony and peace, education and culture and above all sporting perfection."

In the preparatory work for the 2008 Olympic Games, Beijing organizers have attached great importance to spreading the spirit of the movement to the youth of the world's most populous country.

To date, China has named a total of 556 elementary and secondary schools across the country as "Olympic Education Model Schools" to promote Olympic education among its 400 million youngsters.

"Through the staging of the Olympic Games, we are willing to further reinforce the exchange with international friends and accelerate the development of China and Beijing to leave a precious legacy to China and world sports," said BOCOG President Liu Qi.

"The implementation of the three concepts of the Beijing Games 'Green Olympics, High-tech Olympics and People's Olympics' is to promote social and world harmony."

Following the forum, the seventh plenary session of the IOC Co-ordination Commission will be held in Beijing from Tuesday to Thursday. The commission will hear presentations from BOCOG departments on the preparatory progress and discuss with BOCOG a wide rage of subjects, including media operation, the Olympic village, the Paralympic Games and the competition schedule.