Peace through sports? Yes, it’s possible to use the means of sports for cultural exchange and to build bridges even where it seems impossible at first as the recent unified Korean women’s ice hockey team has shown. Today on the 6th April we celebrate again the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace.
One year ago on this day we historically brought the women’s national teams from the two Koreas together for a White Card photo to illustrate the willingness of building peace and harmony. After their game at the 2017 IIHF Ice Hockey Women’s World Championship Division II Group A at the Gangneung Hockey Centre, a test event for this year’s Olympics, the teams from host Republic of Korea and from the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea joined together for the photo.
We were lucky enough that this continued with the unified Korean women’s ice hockey team at the 2018 Olympic Winter Games followed by continuously improving political relations between North and South Korea over the last few weeks. Find more background information looking back on the team here
This International Day, which concerns us all, was established by the United Nations General Assembly and the International Olympic Committee in 2013. This decision represented a historic step in recognizing the transformative power of sport and its great potential in driving positive social change.
We are committed to honour the role that sport in general, and ice hockey in particular, plays in society. That is why we the IIHF and many of its member national associations mobilize, join forces and bring to light projects and events related to peace and development through sport.
The organization Peace and Sport (www.peace-sport.org), under the High Patronage of H.S.H. Prince Albert II of Monaco, was recognized by the United Nations and the International Olympic Committee among the leaders for the awareness raising campaign over this important day and motivated many organizations all over the world to promote the sport’s unique power to unite people, create dialogue and foster social development and peace around the world by organizing a peace event and by taking a #whitecard picture. Many more can be found on the platform www.april6.org.
Find some #whitecard pictures from ice hockey below: North and South together Part II: The unified Korean women’s ice hockey team holds the white cards during the 2018 Olympic Winter Games. Photo: Andrea Cardin / HHOF-IIHF Images North and South together Part I: On the 2017 edition of the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace the women’s teams from the two Koreas joined together after playing each other on the ice in Gangneung. Photo: Young-Chul Song One year after the above picture, the DPR Korea women’s team plays in Maribor and joined for a #WhiteCard picture with host nation Slovenia. Photo: Sara Ros The Turkmenistan Ice Hockey Federation joined in for the #WhiteCard with the teams Galkan and Oguzhan coming together after a league game. Photo: TIHF The national team staff from the French Ice Hockey Federation joined in with the #WhiteCard on this day. Photo: FFHGThe Kuwaiti women's national team shows the white cards.A game between the Bulgarian men's national team and oltimers was organized on the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace.