Olympic gold medal-winning fencer highlights how physical activity can be a key tool in the fight against coronavirus, and preventing future health crisis, as he shares support for WHO's Walk the Talk initiative
International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach has urged leaders around the world to harness the benefits of physical activity in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
In a message posted on social media on Sunday (17th May 2020), Bach said, "I call on all national governments to include sport in their economic recovery programmes."
"Sport can help the economic recovery, but it is also very important for the prevention of future health crises." - Thomas Bach, IOC President.
The message was shared in support of the World Health Organization's Walk the Talk: The Health For All challenge, being hosted virtually for the first time.
Bach's rallying call comes a day after he and World Health Organization (WHO) Director General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus signed a new Memorandum of Understanding in Switzerland, to further strengthen links between the two bodies.
The Olympic gold medal winning fencer further praised the WHO in his video message, adding, "They advise us to play sport together in a safe environment. With them we are in safe hands."
Earlier in the week, the IOC unveiled plans to provide a funding envelope of up to 800 million US dollars to cover additional costs around hosting the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games in 2021, and supporting the wider Olympic movement.