The tradition of Olympic Truce, also referred to as Ekecheria, is a tradition that dates back to 776 BCE in Ancient Greece. It can be loosely translated to mean “holding of hands,” as used by the ancient Greeks. It was meant to provide total safety to athletes, their families, spectators, ordinary pilgrims, and artisans during the Olympic Games. The truce strived to ensure the people attended the Olympic Games safely and also returned back to their respective countries safely. Furthermore, it ensured the interests of the participating athletes were safeguarded. The Olympic Truce logo has three elements: the dove to symbolize peace, the Olympic flame in the background to symbolize the war-prone world, and the Olympic rings which symbolizes the unity that the people from different races should strive for.
History of the Olympic Truce
As indicted earlier, the Olympic Truce traces its origin from Ancient Greece. It dates back to 8th century BC. A truce was announced before and during the Olympic Games to ensure the host city, Elis, was safe from attacks. A truce was announced usually before and during all the Olympic Games. Everybody was expected to strictly follow the rules of truce. During the Olympic Games, wars were called off or suspended, legal disputes or anything that could lead to death was forbidden, and the soldiers were prohibited from entering Elis or from threatening athletes and participants. People who broke the rules of truce after it was announced were either fined heavily or banned from ever taking part in Olympic Games.
Revival of the Olympic Truce
In 1998, The International Olympic Committee (IOC) revived the practice of Ekecheria. IOC encouraged all the participating nations to uphold the values of Truce in the modern games. The revival of Truce by the United Nations took place on October 25, 1993, by the United Nations Millennium Declaration. The Athens Bid committee strived to revive the truce traditions in 1996 by promoting it through the Olympic Flame Relay. The United Nations supports and encourages people to adhere to the traditions of Truce. The international Truce Foundation and the International Olympic Truce Center were formed in co-operation with Greece to uphold the values of ancient truce practices. The visions of these organizations were to embrace the spirit of Truce and to ensure the host cities were peaceful and safe for the athletes and spectators.
The Purpose of Olympic Truce
The Olympic Truce movements focus on achieving goals that would ensure all the Olympic Games are secure. The Truce movements mobilize the youth and encourage them to uphold the spirit and traditions of truce. Truce movements also focus on how it will use sporting activities to resolve conflicts in communities. The movements are also involved in philanthropic and humanitarian activities. They aim at helping countries at war to resolve their differences by encouraging them to create opportunities for dialogue. The Olympic Truce is seen as a platform of peace and harmony because it comes up with ways of embracing cohesion and togetherness. It brings people together regardless of their backgrounds by encouraging athletes and spectators to uphold its values.
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