Joël Bouzou elected President of the World Olympians Association
MONACO, December 10, 2011 - The President and Founder of Peace and Sport Joël Bouzou was elected as President of the World Olympians Association (WOA) at their General Assembly held on Saturday in Lausanne (Switzerland). Focusing his election campaign on two main themes- encouraging social commitment from Olympians and providing services to Olympians during and after their career - Joël Bouzou was nominated by a vast majority in the first round of voting.
He succeeds the American Richard "Dick" Fosbury at the head of the only international organization which unites all of the 100,000 athletes to have competed in an Olympic event. In his nomination speech, Joël Bouzou said: "Sport has given us so much. It has changed our lives. It can be a life-changer for so many more people in so many different ways. And we are the ones who can make that happen (...). The World Olympians Association is the most amazing reservoir of resources, experience and talent you could find! And yet it remains largely untapped. We need to change that."
This commitment to involve top-level champions in serving the public interest has been the underlying theme of Joël Bouzou's entire career. In 2007, Bouzou founded Peace and Sport, a neutral international organization based in Monaco placed under the High Patronage of H.S.H. Prince Albert II of Monaco, whose backbone of activity is a group of more than 60 international top-level athletes called "Champions for Peace." Secretary General of the 'Union Internationale de Pentathlon Moderne' (UIPM) and former modern pentathlete himself, Joël Bouzou has participated in four Olympic Games (Moscow 1980, Los Angeles 1984, Seoul 1988, Barcelona 1992) wining the bronze medal in 1984.
In 1987, he won the World Championships in this sport. In 1991, Joël Bouzou founded the French association "Rassemblement par le Sport" (Together through Sport) and created the "Champions in the Street" program, which helps to socially integrate young people in volatile suburbs in France through sport, promoting champions as "role models". In 2010, Joël was conferred the title of Doctor Honoris Causa in Humane Letters by the University for Peace in Costa Rica, in "recognition of his unique worldwide leadership role in promoting peace and mutual understanding among different cultures, and the leadership of organisations devoted to these objectives".
Joël Bouzou was a member of the World Olympians Association (WOA) Executive Committee from 2003 to 2008. He is also Advisor to H.S.H. Prince Albert II of Monaco. This election to the head of the WOA rewards the passionate commitment of a true humanist who has always believed in the values of sport to implement ambitious action for the good of society.