The IOA was present at the 32nd annual Session of the National Olympic Academy of Cyprus, which was held in Nicosia at 10 and 11 December, represented by the IOA President, Isidoros Kouvelos, the IOA Dean, Konstantinos Georgiadis, the IOA member, Konstantinos Filis and the responsible for the NOAs worldwide, Ms Alexandra Karaiskou.

Officials from a wide spectrum of sport and educational institutions as well as educators, athletes and students had the opportunity to discuss around the main topic, namely “Contemporary social challenges and the future of Olympism”,  and explore issues, through working groups, on the implementation of Olympic Education programmes, the dual career of the athletes, the enhancement of the promotion of the Olympic Values to the society of Cyprus and the significance of the athlete as a role model for adopting Olympism as a state of mind by transmitting the Olympic Values and Principles to the youth.

During Mr Kouvelos’ presentation on “The role of the International Olympic Academy in the Olympic Movement and the challenges in the pandemic world”, the IOA President, who was the key lecturer, referred to the integration of the Olympic Values during the pandemic and how the Values of Fair Play, Equality, Solidarity, Respect for Diversity and Excellence teach us lessons on how to confront this crisis. However, posing a very critical question on if, eventually, humanity has achieved it, when vaccination standards are not equal in all the parts of the world, resulting in this endless circle of the crisis, he stated:

“We, the people of the Olympic Movement and guardians of the Olympic Values, ought to unite our voice, with as much strength as we have, urging the leaders to apply the Olympic Values of Respect, Solidarity, Fair Play, in equal terms with no discriminations and egocentricity. Cooperation and solidarity within the societies and among the nations in handling the crisis will bring only positive outcomes. On the contrary, isolation does neither create prosperity nor Values. It alters human nature and halts change, inspiration, power and creativity. Our ancestors have taught us ‘Strength in unity’, and only through this, we can achieve it!”

The importance of Olympic Truce in the contemporary era and the new forms of conflicts has also been put forward during the lecture by Dr Constantinos Filis followed by a panel discussion, coordinated by Prof. Konstantinos Georgiadis.

The President of the Cyprus Olympic Committee and Olympic Academy, George Chrysostomou and the Dean of the Cyprus Olympic Academy, Dr Clea Chatzistefanou-Papaellina, who had the overall planning and coordination of the Session, awarded the IOA President on the occasion of the IOA 60th anniversary and expressed the NOA’s wish to hold their next Session in Ancient Olympia.