POSTED: August 2nd 2010
Annecy 2018: Peace team of 8 Palestinians and Israelis scale Mont Blanc
LAURA WALDEN / Sports Features Communications
TAMPA/ANNECY, Aug 2: In a peace promoting effort a group of young Israelis and Palestinians from the University of Haifa have set off on a climbing mission on Mont Blanc. The expedition takes place between the 2nd and the 5th of August.
Mont Blanc is the symbol of the Annecy 2018 bid and is supported by the cities of Chamonix, Courmayeur and Haifa . Chamonix Mont-Blanc is one of the 2 selected areas in the French bid for the 2018 Winter Games.
The expedition is lead by Swiss mountaineer Jean Troillet who is famous for his record-breaking ascent of Mount Everest. It has been organized by the “Coexistences” association and supported by the bid to encourage the uniting of nations through sport.
Edgar Grospiron, ceo of the Annecy 2018 bid, said: “We are extremely proud of this historic initiative on the “Rooftop of Europe”...The Olympic Games carry a message of peace, solidarity and sharing between nations, thanks to sport and its values.
“We are proud that our area, candidate to host the 2018 Winter Olympics, as well as having a breathtaking natural landscape which has seduced great explorers, writers, and mountaineers over the centuries, has today become the stage, in symbolic terms, for the uniting of two nations in conflict. The values that our Olympic bid represent –excellence, fraternity, authenticity, sharing and hospitality – echo this unique initiative,”
“The whole of the Annecy 2018 team support you and wish you success in this sporting endeavour, and hope you enjoy this incredible adventure!”
The climbers have been training in Galilee for the past few months under the vigil eye of two experienced mountaineers: Israel’s Doron Erel and Olfat Haider from Palestine.
Following a week of acclimation at Val Ferret in Switzerland, the climbers will cross Aosta Valley at Courmayeur then head towards the Refuge des Cosmiques via the Glacier du Géant. They will then make their way up Mont Blanc via the “Voie des Trois Monts” to conclude the expedition at Chamonix, the birthplace of the winter Olympics.
Mountaineering requires a true sense of solidarity within a team and these students wish to demonstrate that in this instance there is fraternity between two nations in spite of the conflict, and that their comradeship is founded upon mutual trust. Sport can be used to bridge some of the widest barriers.
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Laura Walden ()
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