London 2012: Athletes sign Olympic Truce Wall

Athletes and officials have signed the Olympic Truce Wall in the Athletes’ Village, and tributes have been paid to the victims of the attacks during the 1972 Munich Games.

The wall, which has been a fixture in Olympic villages since the Sydney Games in 2000, will be the backdrop for the Team Welcome Ceremonies.

It was officially unveiled by Jacques Rogge, president of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), on Monday, when people including Mayor of London Boris Johnson; Seb Coe, chairman of the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG); and Olympian Jonathan Edwards signed it.

Yesterday athletes and officials were invited to sign the wall.

Also at Monday’s unveiling, tribute was paid to the victims of the attacks at the 1972 Munich Games.

Mr Rogge said: “The 11 victims of the Munich tragedy ... came to Munich in the spirit of peace and solidarity. We owe it to them to keep that spirit alive and to remember them”.

To commemorate the Olympic Truce, traditionally the Host Country presents a resolution to the United Nations (UN) calling for a truce during the Olympic Games.

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For the first time, all 193 UN member states unite to co-sponsor the Olympic Truce Resolution for the 2012 Games.

Mayor of London Boris Johnson said: “In ancient Greece the Olympic truce would see arms laid aside across the lands to ensure safe passage for athletes and spectators.

“Now in 2012, the Truce Wall here in London’s Olympic Park allows us to record for posterity a shared commitment to the ideals excellence, respect and friendship.

“I hope the gathering of the many nations who have travelled to the Olympic Village this summer and the manner they will conduct themselves, will act as a beacon to inspire people around the globe to follow this ancient tradition of harmony during Games-time and beyond.”

Athletes have also made their first donations to the Giving Is Winning programme, a worldwide campaign led by the IOC in partnership with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and LOCOG.

Athletes and officials are encouraged to donate sports and casual clothing which will then be distributed by the UNHCR to various refugee camps around the globe and to people affected by violence, famine, and other catastrophes.