The idea of an Olympic truce traces its origins back to the 8th century BC when a literal ‘laying down of arms’ was observed to allow athletes and spectators to travel safely to and from the Games in ancient Greece. Over recent years that ideal has been revived in order to promote peace and greater international cooperation in our contemporary world.
For the London 2012 Olympic Games, Christian Churches in the UK have also picked up the theme of 100 days of peace around this major sporting event, encouraging communities to come up with new ways of promoting peace in homes and schools, parishes and dioceses, in the hopes of leaving a lasting legacy for the nation, long after the Olympic torch has moved on.
100 days of peace will be launched at an all night prayer vigil in London’s central Trafalgar Square on Friday June 8th by Church leaders including Archbishop Vincent Nichols of Westminster and the Anglican Bishop of London Richard Chartres. Among the projects designed to support this push for peace is a publication entitled ‘Your Journey to Peace’, produced by Redemptorist Publications, in partnership with ‘Missio’ and the faith based ‘More Than Gold’ Olympic organisation.
Recent 100+ Comments
Join the Rosary for Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI
People from all around the world
Are praying the Holy Rosary
For the intentions of
Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI
Writings of the Fathers
Follow us on Twitter!Tweets by CatholicismPure
Join 2,054 other subscribers
- Thousands Visit Sister Wilhelmina’s Incorrupt Body in Missouri May 29, 2023
- Every Truth is from the Holy Spirit May 29, 2023
- Sunday Mass Readings May 27, 2023
- St Philip Neri, Confessor May 26, 2023
- The Condemnations of Paris and the Christian origins of modern science May 26, 2023
- Bede’s Death Song May 25, 2023
- Iraqi Christians Struggle to Survive and Thrive 20 Years After ‘Operation Iraqi Freedom’ May 25, 2023
- Do Not Waste Your Suffering May 24, 2023
- A Record-breaking Number of Participants Planning to go on the 2023 Paris to Chartres Pilgrimage May 23, 2023
- Love Letters to the Latin Mass 5: Incense and Bells May 22, 2023
- Sunday Mass Readings May 21, 2023
- Moral theologian: Benedict XVI called gender ideology ‘the ultimate rebellion against God’ May 19, 2023
- Feast of the Ascension May 18, 2023
- Celibacy and the Priesthood May 15, 2023
- King Charles’ Coronation – Sign of England’s Return to the Faith | St. Dominic Savio’s Vision of UK May 15, 2023
- Sunday Mass Readings May 13, 2023
- Pope Francis belittles devotion to the Latin Mass as a ‘nostalgic disease’ during Jesuit meeting May 13, 2023
- The Impact of Fatima is Still Being Felt Today May 13, 2023
- Overcoming the crisis – with Bishop Vitus Huonder May 11, 2023
- 10 Offerings That Bring About Conversion May 9, 2023
Search posts by keywords
- 4,671,385 hits since 4th July 2010
- Thousands Visit Sister Wilhelmina’s Incorrupt Body in Missouri
- Every Truth is from the Holy Spirit
- Padre Pio Never Cursed - Let Alone in the Confessional - But he did use Calculated Insults
- When Did the 100-Year Reign of Satan Begin?
- Why I Love You, O Mary! - a poem by St Thérèse of Lisieux
- Our Lady of La Salette: A Fearful Warning and a Prophecy
- Long Ago Prophets Knew
- Marriage Crucifix
- Why Women Wear Mantillas In Church
- The Martyrs of Nowogrodek - on 01. August 1943, 11 Catholic nuns were murdered by the Gestapo
The 1956 Olympic Games was held in Melbourne Australia during the height of the Cold War. Throughout the world, there was much global tension and political unrest because of the Suez Crisis, the invasion of Hungary by Russia, tension between East and West Germany and between main-land China and Taiwan. A decade earlier, World War Two shook the foundation of human civilization. It should have served a lesson for future generations that aggression and violence was not the way to win world peace.
The first boycott of an Olympic Games was at the 1956 Melbourne Games. A number of countries pulled out of the Games as a protest because of the Suez Crisis and Russia invading Hungary. Athletes were being segregated in the Olympic Village and also fighting broke out between Russian and Hungarian players during a water polo match. It was the fighting which prompted the boy to write his letter in an attempt to save the Games and to get all the athletes together.
Foreign governments had high-jacked the Games and the athletes were a pawn in their game. The Olympic Movement was being torn apart. The IOC and the Organizing Committee had given up all hope of saving the Games from ending in failure.
Watching all of this was a schoolboy from Swinburne Junior Technical School who was training to be an apprentice carpenter. He was very concerned at what was happening and he came up with an ‘idea’ of holding a peace march during the Closing Ceremony. He wrote an anonymous letter to the chairman of the Organizing Committee Wilfrid Kent Hughes setting out his ‘idea’. The boy included a drawing to help explain his idea. (Later he was asked why he wanted to remain anonymous, he replied “In case people thought it was a silly idea.”)
In his letter he wrote, “And there shall be only One Nation. War, politics and nationality will be all forgotten, what more could anybody want if the whole world became One Nation.”
The president of the IOC Avery Brundage agreed to the boy’s request and changed the rules of the Games. For the first time in Olympic history, athletes were allowed to march in the Closing Ceremony. It was also the first International Peace March to be held in the history of Mankind. Prior to those Games, athletes had never before marched in an Olympic Closing Ceremony since the Games began in 776 B.C..
Since 1956, athletes have continued to march in the Closing Ceremony as one nation as a show of global unity. They will continue to do so on the final day of the London Olympic Games 2012.