A Friday night, people like you and me were trying to enjoy their free time in a bar, a nightclub or on a soccer pitch. Then some savages decided that it was to be a black day, a day of blood, of fear, a day where death reappeared at the hands of terrorists who decided to sow the seeds of desolation in Paris.
It is worth noting the behaviour of the French fans who were enjoying the France-Germany football match in Saint Dennis. It was exemplary . The fans, while receiving through their mobile phones the news of what was happening outside the stadium, remained calm and obeyed at all times the instructions of the authorities. But more than anything, what will stay with me for the rest of my life is the way the fans left the stadium – spontaneously singing La Marseillaise in unison.
That moment captured the essence of sport, the essence of what these brave men did by helping the whole nation to rise up after such a horrifying attack – the union of an entire people, the fraternal spirit of the French Revolution which has always been passionately defended by all. That union is what makes sport great. It is why nowadays sport is more important than ever.
The image of Wembley stadium in England, filled to capacity and with the whole stadium singing La Marseillaise showed the international community the way to follow . France has suffered a terrible blow, but we are all in danger. And we have to work as a team to put an end to the terrorists who started this war.
Sport should serve as an example. Fellowship, unity of the team in hard times, overcoming the greatest difficulties, honour , the fighting spirit and a long series of values intrinsic to sport are vital for the whole of western society at the moment.
Now, more than ever, it is necessary to rediscover and strengthen the values of Pierre de Coubertin, founder of the modern Olympic Games, so that everyone has the possibility of practising sport without discrimination of any kind and in accordance with the Olympic spirit, which requires mutual understanding, a spirit of friendship, solidarity and fair play.
«The important thing is not to win, but to fight well» . This is what Coubertin had in mind when he first set up the modern Olympic Games. This together with other universal symbols such as the Olympic Rings, the Olympic Truce or the Olympic motto «Citius Altius Fortius» , pursue an understanding between cultures, races, ideologies and religions, at least for a few days, to celebrate competitive sport.
Daesh has decided to start a game. A game in which many people’s lives are at stake. A game in which these murderers have decided to force us to be their opponents. And it seems we still do not know how to react. It seems that we are waiting for the reaction of others to see how we ourselves should react, looking around apathetically, and asking ourselves , now what?
Now we must continue with the Olympic spirit, the spirit of Coubertin, the spirit of unity which has become even stronger over the last few weeks. Because standing together we will win this match, undoubtedly the most important match ever. The match of our lives.