Peace and Sport Image of the YearDuring the 21st Georges Bertellotti Golden Podium Awards Monaco 2010, Peace and Sport L’Organisation pour la Paix par le Sport unveiled the winner of this year’s prestigious Peace and Sport Image of the Year Award in an ‘avant-première’ announcement.
For three years, this distinction presented in partnership with SPORTELMonaco and Getty Images, has rewarded the best image of fraternity through sport or a symbolic moment showing the ability of sport to advance peace in the world and to encourage reconciliation among peoples.
- “Stop War, Start Tennis": when an Indian and a Pakistani join forces
The Peace and Sport Image of the Year Award will be given to the Indian Rohan BOPANNA and Pakistani-UL-HAQ AISAM QURESHI, two tennis players who managed to bring the political authorities in their respective countries closer, through their own history of personal friendship and commitment.
Rohan (Hindu) and Aisam (Muslim) have played in a doubles team for three years and are building their careers together, despite historical hostilities that divide India and Pakistan. Motivated by their friendship, they decided to actively campaign for peace between their two nations.
During several events on the ATP World Tour 2010, they wore warm-up gear displaying the slogan “Stop War, Start Tennis”, thus affirming their belief that friendship between India and Pakistan is possible.
- Young pentathletes bridge the gap between the USA and Cuba
Cuban Leydi Laura Moya Lopez and American Nathan Schrimsher competed together as a team in the mixed relay event of the modern pentathlon competition at these first-ever Youth Olympic Games in Singapore.
The 18-year-old teenagers who were picked by chance to form the team and could hardly communicate in English or Spanish, successfully represented the two nations which have gone through 50 years of political tensions and demonstrated that sport promotes dialogue.
Although Cuba and the USA have competed against each other in sports competitions, this was the first time in decades that Cubans and Americans paired up in a professional event in such a friendly atmosphere.
- Nelson Mandela, hero of the anti-apartheid fight and symbol of the 2010 World Cup
At 92 years old, Nelson Mandela was present in person at the closing ceremony to greet fans of the World Cup in Johannesburg City Stadium. A symbol of democratic South Africa, Nelson Mandela was one of the key figures to orchestrate the FIFA World Cup being played on African soil for the first time in 2010.
85,000 fans took this occasion to show him their affection and support. Indeed, his appearance stirred deep emotions amongst the crowd as the legendary figure who struggled for the emancipation of blacks and abolition of apartheid arrived.
It was another major sports event, the Rugby World Cup in 1995, where Mandela made one of the greatest gestures for peace among his people by wearing a Springbok jersey just one year after the end of apartheid.
- Iran and the USA forget their differences on a basketball pitch
While diplomatic relations between Iran and the United States have been severed for the last thirty years, the two nations met on 1 September 2010 during a World Championship basketball game in Turkey. Although the U.S. victory was expected, the evident goodwill between the players of both teams was less so.
This rapprochement between the two countries during sporting events is not a first. Already in 1998, a Football World Cup match made its mark when players posed arm in arm for the pre-game photo.
Once again, sport has demonstrated its ability to bring these two nations together.