Sunday, 20 September 2020

Hyde Park, Olympic Memorial

 

The Olympic Memorial in Hyde Park was unveiled in 2000, near the Anzac War Memorial. This monument commemorates Olympians who lost their lives as a result of armed conflicts and also their Olympic achievements. The inscription reads: 
This plaque was dedicated by the New South Wales Government, the Returned and Services League of Australia (New South Wales Branch), the Australian Olympic committee, the Sydney Organising Committee for the Olympic Games and the City of Sydney to fallen Olympians and commemorates their Olympic lives. 
On 3 September 2000, surrounded by schoolchildren carrying the flags of all the nations about to compete in the Games of the XXVII Olympiad, people gathered here to honour those Olympic athletes who have died in war and to celebrate the cause of peace. This inaugural Service for Peace and the Remembrance of Fallen Olympians was a project of the New South Wales Government, the Returned and Services League of Australia (New South Wales Branch), the Australian Olympic committee, the Sydney Organising Committee for the Olympic Games and the City of Sydney.  One of the prime motives of the Olympic Games competition is to foster friendship and goodwill between nations.
Sadly though, war has forced the cancellation of three celebrations of the Olympic Games (1916, 1940 and 1944) and hundreds of Olympians have lost their lives as a result of armed conflict. The purpose of this Service, in a city anticipating an imminent Olympic Games, is to provide a reminder of the true spirit and the values of the Olympics.Essentially, this monument symbolises both a collective tribute to athletes who have become casualties in warfare,and enduring hope that the Olympic Games of 2000 will encourage the peaceful resolution of conflict.

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