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Olympic stars from Jamaica named as UNESCO Champions for Sport

Olympic stars from Jamaica named as UNESCO Champions for Sport

UNESCO Director-General, Koïchiro Matsuura
Two of the brightest stars from the Beijing Olympics, the gold medal-winning Jamaican sprinters Usain Bolt and Veronica Campbell-Brown, were today named as Champions for Sport by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

UNESCO Director-General Koïchiro Matsuura announced the designations in Kingston, the Jamaican capital, where he was attending the opening of the International Congress on Sport for Development and Peace.

“The two champions are being named in recognition of their commitment to the values of peace and tolerance, as well as equity and equality between men and women in sport,” according to a press release issued by the UN agency.

In Beijing, Mr. Bolt won the gold medal in the 100 metres, the 200 metres and as part of the Jamaican 4x100 metres relay team. In all three events, the world record was broken. Ms. Campbell-Brown won the 200 metres, defending the title she won at the Athens Olympics four years ago.

UNESCO selects outstanding sports personalities to be its Champions for Sport, including the seven-time Formula One world champion driver Michael Schumacher, the former number one tennis player and seven-time Grand Slam victor Justine Henin, and the Brazilian soccer player known as Pelé, who was a member of three World Cup-winning teams.

Champions for Sport are expected to spread the message of UNESCO around the world, especially the values of physical education and sports and how they can help build a better future for younger generations.