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President: Sport can reform society

October 28th, 2007 by Louise Mousten Vestergaard · 6 Comments

præsident2Even if we often highlight corruption and doping in sport, we must never forget the hope sport also contains. That the sport can be an improvement for society, democracy and interconnection. That was the message from Ólafur Ragnar Grimsson, president of the Republic of Iceland, as he spoke at the opening ceremoni.

“We can´t isolate sport from the rest of society, and the struggle against corruption is really a struggle for good governance in our society. When we speak of corruption in sport, the fundamental problem is not about sport, but about us. About who we are, and how we are looked upon,” said Ólafur Ragnar Grimsson.

In his point of view sport must be seen as an instrument to change and reform society. And the influence of sport can´t be underestimated regardless what kind of problems we talk about. Even climate changes is in his opinion related to sport. As he said:

“If China doesn´t clean the air in Beijing, there is a risk the contestants may leave the games.

From his own country, he gave another example. Studies have proved that if children complies with tree rules; don’t drink alcohol until they are 18, spend one hour with their family every day and participate in sport, only one percent of them will suffer from drug abuse later on.
“We can´t prevent young people from taking drugs by more police in the streets or harder punishments. The only prevention we have is not to tempt the children to buy drugs. And sport is one of the three most important elements against it,” Ólafur Ragnar Grimsson said.

Tags: Conference News

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