Thailand will host the finals of the inaugural United Through Sports World Virtual Youth Festival this week in Bangkok, International Olympic Committee (IOC) member Patama Leeswadstrakul said on Monday. The event is backed by the IOC, International Paralymic Committee (IPC) and Special Olympics.
Over 100 international organizations and federations have joined forces for this event to promote the Olympic values of inclusion, equality and nondiscrimination, Khunying Patama said.
Qualifying rounds are being played and the finals will take place from Thursday to Sunday, the Thai official said.
The tournament features thousands of youth of all abilities and educational backgrounds.Patama said the event will help boost Thailand’s bid to host the Youth Olympic Games. The opening ceremony will be held at the Arnoma Grand Bangkok on Thursday at 7pm.
Notable speakers at the function will include IOC president Thomas Bach, IPC president Andrew Parsons, Special Olympics CEO Mary Davis and former UN secretary-general Ban Ki-Moon.
The Thai representatives at the ceremony will be Patama, who is also chair of the local organizing committee, National Olympic Committee of Thailand president Prawit Wongsuwon, Tourism and Sports Minister Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn, Sport Authority of Thailand governor Gongsak Yodmani. The closing ceremony will be at the Ambassador Hotel Bangkok on Sunday.
United Through Sports (UTS) Virtual Youth Festival 2020
The COVID-19 pandemic has given life to the United Through Sports (UTS) Virtual Youth Festival 2020, that goes far beyond a temporary solution to the cancellation of sport events. It is a positive opportunity to move forward and bring us all back together. The unique Virtual Youth Festival will be held and broadcast online, bringing Olympic and non-Olympic sports together.
This pandemic has affected each and every one including, the world of sport. We all understand the difficult circumstances and the unique challenges we face. Now more than ever, we must stand in solidarity and unity under the Olympic, Paralympic and Special Olympics movements towards promoting and fostering the Olympic, Paralympic and Special Olympics values. Now is the time to transform crisis into nurturing opportunity, promoting health and safety with a united mission for the youth of the world. We must cultivate our communities to continue to be active, inspired and to be included.
We have seen many inspiring initiatives as organizations pivot and adapt, navigating the current unpredictable landscape. In 2017 the United Through Sports initiative was born to create and contribute towards a better world, with and for our youth.
The festival is under the patronage of the International Olympic Committee, the International Paralympic Committee, Special Olympics, SportAccord and the Global Association of International Sports Federations.
Many International Federations, global NGO’s and sport affiliated entities are uniting to showcase, demonstrate and promote inclusion, equality, non-discrimination and peace-promotion. The UTS Virtual Youth Festival is a celebration of our youth who will carry the torch of life for the next generations, and on this platform everybody is equal.