April 6: IOC/UN International Day of Sport and Peace

PARK CITY, Utah — Each year, on April 6, The International Day of Sport for Development and Peace (IDSDP) is recognized by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) from Switzerland, the United Nations (UN) from New York, and the Peace and Sport Organization from the country of Monaco.

Designed around the mission and the message of the Olympics, however, designed to occur when there is no Olympics occurring, the IDSDP is a global day to be broadly focused on the impact and influence of sport on sustainable development and peace.

Included are thousands of athletes in sports, from the able-bodied, first-world, adult, Formula 1 auto racing; to disabled, third-world, child soccer players in a garbage dump with rolled up, discarded newspapers as balls, and everyone in between.

“Sport can open the door to peace in ways that exclusion and division do not,” said IOC President Thomas Bach in a statement. “At the Olympic Games, the athletes set aside all the differences that divide the world. “They compete fiercely against each other while living peacefully together under one roof in the Olympic Village. This makes the Olympic Games such a powerful symbol of peace.”

Among actionable items are an IOC Young Leader alpine skier representing Greece who recently began a nonprofit in an effort to span borders and join like-minded, peace-seeking athletes from her neighboring Turkey.

The 17 United Nations Sustainability Goals within which the IDSDP strives. Image courtesy of the UN.

Prince Albert II of Monaco, a leader in the Peace and Sport Movement, cites his “Experience within the Olympic Village, a place of gathering and intercultural exchanges,” as one of his reasons for involvement. He spent extended time on Main Street, Park City, during the Salt Lake 2002 Olympics as a bobsled competitor.

Youth Sports Alliance’s (YSA) Park City Nation sent 50 Olympians and Paralympians to the Beijing 2022 Games.

The Olympic Truce is often invoked on April 6, whereby no attacks shall be perpetrated on any nation during Olympic Games. 

It’s a day when athletes like FIFA World Cup star Lionel Messi hold up a white card and post photos on social media and utilize #WhiteCard, in solidarity.

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