Event attended by child refugees and IOC president Thomas Bach highlights role of sport in bringing people together.
The week began with a poignant moment at the Olympic Village, as the Rio 2016 Truce Mural was inaugurated. The mural has been a powerful symbol of union amongst the peoples of the world since its first appearance at the Sydney 2000 Games, and allows athletes to share their messages of peace and friendship by writing on the wall.
Steely determination and 'iron will' propel team of refugees at Rio 2016
President Thomas Bach also took part, along with Rio 2106 president Carlos Nuzman, and the mayor of the Olympic Village, Janeth Arcain.
Welcome to Brazil: dancers put on a show to greet athletes at Olympic Village
During his speech, Mr Bach said that the Olympic Village is the heart of the Games and is a place where people of all races and creeds live side-by-side in harmony.
“This is a place in which to share the excitement of the Games, to make friends and to share emotions. The Olympic Village is the best example that it is possible for the world to be united, which is the true Olympic spirit,” he said.
“The mural is there for athletes to share their messages of peace with the world. Today, we join with the United Nations in calling for solidarity amongst peoples,” added Bach.
Nuzman was also moved by the occasion, saying: “This mural is a symbol showing that the truce can be real, and not only in our dreams. I am very happy that this is happening here in Rio.”
Inspired by a tradition dating back to the Ancient Olympic Games, when hostilities amongst warring factions were suspended to allow athletes to journey to the Greek city of Olympia, the truce today forms part of the agenda of the United Nations’ General Assembly, which calls for peace through sport ahead of every edition of the world’s greatest sporting event.