Flags at half-mast in the honor of Mr Nelson Mandela

Montenegrin Olympic Committee will honor Mr Nelson Mandela by flying its flag at half-mast on the day of his funeral, on Sunday, December 15th. President of the International Olympic Committee, Mr Thomas Bach, called on all 204 National Olympic Committees (NOCs) around the world to do the same.

Calling Mr Mandela a great friend of sport and a hero of humanity, President Bach said all representatives of the Olympic Movement should be inspired by the example set by Mr Mandela and proud of the important role sport played in his life and the rebuilding of South Africa.

The story of the Makana Football Association, which was founded by Mandela and his fellow inmates, political prisoners on the Robben island, in 1966, and under whose administration were dozens of clubs organized in three leagues, is also the story of the dramatic transformation of South Africa from apartheid country in the country of people with equal opportunities.

 

"Sport has the power to change the world. It has the power to inspire. It has the power to unite people in a way that little else does", Mandela said. "It speaks to youth in a language they understand. Sport can create hope where once there was only despair. It is more powerful than government in breaking down racial barriers"

 

The photo of Nelson Mandela while handing the trophy to rugby world champion Francois Pienaar, the captain of the South African team at Ellis Park stadium in Johannesburg in June 1995, has become a symbol of reconciliation and demonstrated the role of the sport as a unifier .

 

"Mr Mandela always respected sport for its ability to break down walls and build bridges, and the world of sport benefited a great deal from his involvement in it", said President Bach during the joint session of the IOC Executive Board and the Executive Council of the Association of National Olympic Committees, which began with a minute of silence. "We should help to ensure that Mr Mandela's sporting vision and legacy live on by continuing to work, through sport and the Olympic values, for the benefit of humanity."

The former President of South Africa will be buried on Sunday following a week-long series of memorials to remember his life.

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